Usually when I talk to people about Bookbug, it's in my role as Head of Early Years at Scottish Book Trust. But in reality, I am very much a dual citizen of the programme. As well as managing Bookbug I attempt to manage two small children at home. The harder role by far is learning how to nurture and raise my daughters, and on a daily basis I am thankful for the stash of songs and rhymes I have learned from Bookbug which make my life as a parent a little bit easier.
Bookbug in times of change
The pandemic affected my children in different ways, but for our family stories, songs and rhymes have been a source of comfort and an important space to bond when everything else felt uncertain, or tiring, or frustrating.
However it is only now, when we are slowly getting back to a more normal way of life that I realise – with shock – that parenting is frequently uncertain, tiring and frustrating. OH. NO. In recent weeks it's been chicken pox and sleep regressions, but next month it could just as easily be something else to throw us off kilter.
So back again we go to the treasure trove of the Bookbug app, and our friendly online Bookbug Sessions for more song and rhyme fuel to get us over the next bump. And again and again, I repeat nursery rhymes like mantras to console a tired toddler, zoom-zoom-zoom the buggy along the road to nursery (and the moon) when we're running late, and whisper lullabies in the night to comfort myself as much as my children.
We have heard many powerful stories about how families were supported by amazing Bookbug Session Leaders throughout the last few years, and I know that my parenting experience is not unique. Bookbug has helped me feel that I can have little moments of calm and joy with my children, and feel empowered that I can make a difference to their development.
But our team have not forgotten that for many families this is brand new.
This autumn we're focusing on getting families across Scotland back to Bookbug. You might be lucky enough to spot Bookbug on the side of the bus in your area as a reminder! There are more ways than ever to get involved with the programme and make space for stories, songs and rhymes in your day.
And why Bookbug? Well quite simply we want the best start in life for all of Scotland's children, particularly the parents, carers and little ones who have been growing together in the most difficult of times.
Is it time to Bookbug? Always!