Speaking in public, while something I have always been quite competent at, has been something I have loathed doing, even back since my school days.
People who know me would argue that I do like to take centre stage, but it is only really true if there is no script, and I am in the company of people in which I have embarrassed myself previously.
Like many others, I can get nervous, especially if there are words to be read aloud from notes, or definite thing I must say or cover, before I get booed off. I can get very bumbly, and read words incorrectly and in the wrong order.
And this is even after practice, rather than reading things aloud for the first time, in front of others.
When my son was a pre-schooler, one of the playgroups we attended would call upon the carers to take turns in reading a story to all the children, as they sat nicely during their snack time. The idea to somewhat keep them calm, before they went off racing around the place again, once all the food and drink was tidied away.
This led, to the occasions I could not avoid it, to me reading some books I had never seen previously, aloud, to group of baying little ones, and their parents. Perhaps not the most difficult audience ever, but terrifying all the same.
Reading to my own son has always been enjoyable, and I have got to the point of not really caring who is listening to us, and our mistakes.
I do find myself really concentrating if the book is more challenging than usual, or one we have not read in the past.
Making errors can also be funny – certainly is to a five year-old boy – and after making one, I then tend to make them deliberately, to see if I can get him to laugh, or notice my deviations.
It is also really funny to hand a book to someone who is not used to reading aloud, perhaps those friends and relatives without children, or ones now old enough to find they better enjoy reading themselves.
When I am in a particularly playful mood, I will hand a book to one of our 'guest readers' on the basis of it being difficult to pronounce some of the words, rhymes or passages.
Books about dinosaurs are very good for this devilish pursuit, and the holidays confirmed it. My son and I had ample opportunity, and willing victims, to test it out on.
I am not going to write how one of our friends pronounced diplodocus, but you can imagine it was pretty funny, and I suppose, a little naughty at the same time.
They then took the lead to pronounce all the dinosaurs in my son’s book incorrectly. Which he partly found hilarious, and was also good for him to be able to correct.
So, have you suffered, or I should say, enjoyed similar with your broods?
What is the funniest thing you have mispronounced to your children?