Nearly 20 years ago I sat for hours reading Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner into the tape recorder, so that my youngest could listen to the stories at night after she got into bed. It was a challenge to find the time and to keep the lively house noises outside of my bedroom door, but I kept at it for many recording sessions, and she got at least one long cassette full of my sleep-inducing voice.
Before I completed the project, one tape broke and I became disheartened about the loss of so much work. Then we found a professionally produced edition of Pooh stories and young Kate made do with someone else’s voice in her ears as she drifted off. It was a long time before she got tired of this Pooh routine.
Now Scout has the homemade tape; you can see him wiggling before the sound system in this short video his mother made, listening beyond his years as she (not the one I made the tapes for) used to do. Pippin would stand by the radio to hear the adult program “Unshackled,” and sit patiently and attentively while I read books more on the level of the oldest children in our tribe.
Cassette tapes are antiquated now, and players not so available as they used to be. I’m sure my Pooh tape won’t live a lot longer. But now, by means of a digital camera, a minute of the story has been preserved against its demise.