We Don’t Want to Read with Mommy, She’s Boring

My kids love reading with me. I make books come alive.

A.J. Bryant
4 min readJul 3


Little girl with a big smile on her face, reading an open book on her mother’s lap.
Photo by Kamaji Ogino from Pexels

Reading with me is an interactive experience for our kids.

I give characters different voices. I ad-lib rhyming words into the text. Sometimes I change a letter or use a sound repeatedly, to hear them squeal in delight ‘Daddy, that’s not what it says.’

I love watching my children fall in love with books and their imaginations and curiosity piqued.

I have a four-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter. Sonali loves to read with me. I read hours to her every week.

And now she’s in second grade and learning how to read on her own. Valentine is just beginning to understand words and his vocabulary grows daily.

I was raised in the United States, and I have always loved words and language.

My wife conversely is an Indian immigrant. Sasmita immigrated to the US in 2012 to marry me.

English is not her mother tongue. She learned English as a teen in a Catholic convent in South India. She also speaks five other languages.

I’m a native English speaker, with a large vocabulary, and grew up surrounded by written and spoken English. My father has written seven books about the Christian faith.

My mom used to write regular columns for local newspapers about the adoption process.

I have built-in advantages when reading to our children. I always know the words. I can pronounce them as my kids are used to hearing them. And most important for reading aloud, I can modify my tone, and add voice inflection and enthusiasm.

My wife could do that if she tried, but she has no interest.

As a child, my dad read to me daily. Reading with him was one of my favorite childhood memories.

Sasmita reads in a monotone. She has trouble pronouncing words due to her thick Indian accent. The contrast between our styles is glaring.

Unfortunately, our kids notice the difference. I understand why she reads that way. I don’t fault her for it.



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, and contemporary India. Prawns are my love language. @adoptedkeralite