IF gold medals were handed out for being an auntie, our daughter would undoubtedly be a multiple champion.

Auntie Hannah is adored by her five-year-old niece, Chloe. She’s God’s gift. The bee’s knees. She can do no wrong.

To be fair, she’s a very good auntie: always bringing presents on her trips home from London; indulging in her games of fantasy; and sharing her bed on sleepovers.

But, this time round, the perfect Auntie Hannah may have gone too far in her attempts to impress her biggest fan.

It began when the pair of them were playing another game of make-believe, and sifting through the dressing-up box at our house.

“Did you win this, Auntie Hannah?” asked Chloe, holding up a medal that one of our kids had won at some far-off school sports day.

Not wanting to be a disappointment, Hannah instinctively confirmed that she had indeed won the medal, even though she didn’t really have a clue whether she had or not. The seeds of a little white lie had been sown, and they were about to flourish.

“Did you win it at The Olympics, Auntie Hannah?” Chloe continued, with wide eyes.

“Yes, I won it at The Olympics,” Auntie Hannah replied.

“Is it a gold medal, Auntie Hannah?” the little girl persisted.

“Yes, it’s a gold medal,” the grown-up girl declared, digging ever deeper.

“What did you win it for?” was the natural next question.

Auntie Hannah, beginning to panic by now, said the first thing that came into her head: “The high jump!”

Chloe was more in awe of her brilliant Auntie Hannah than ever, and they carried on playing.

A few days later, Chloe’s class just happened to be learning about how the Olympics had come to London back in 2012. Her hand shot up and she couldn’t wait to tell everyone her wildly exciting news: “My Auntie Hannah won a gold medal at The Olympics!”

“Oh, that’s amazing, Chloe,” replied her teacher. “What did your auntie win it for, and what’s her name?”

“It was the high jump and she’s called Hannah Barron!” replied Chloe, basking in the reflected glory, as the teacher wondered out loud if the Olympic high jump champion might be willing to pay the class a visit.

In the meantime, Chloe was still on a high when she called round our house after school: “We were learning about The Olympics today and…and…and I told everyone about Auntie Hannah winning a gold medal for the high jump at The Olympics!” she announced, as we all put our heads in our hands.

Bursting for a wee, Chloe ran towards the toilet, but turned back before she got there and shouted: “AND MISS NEWTON’S GOOGLED HER!”

To set the record straight, Chloe’s Daddy has had to go into school to let Miss Newton know the truth, and she confirmed that nothing had shown up on Google.

Meanwhile, Chloe has taken part in her first school sports day. There wasn’t a high jump but she won the sprint. Maybe, just maybe, we might have a real Olympic champion in the making.


CHLOE was explaining to a friend about family life: “I live with Mum, and Dad, and Roly. He’s not my brother – he’s my guinea pig-in-law,” she announced.

A LITTLE  while later, Chloe was feeling hungry and asked how many cheese puffs she was allowed.

“Two,” she was told by her Daddy

“I took three,” she confessed.

“Well, put one of them back then.”

“I can’t – I already ate that one!”