TO be brutally honest, I wasn’t expecting our youngest son to be a natural uncle.

I thought Max would be far too busy striving to be a drummer – travelling up and down the country on the hard road to rock and roll stardom – to be overly bothered about having a cute little niece in dresses and ribbons.

How wrong could I have been? Yes, of course, he’s still consumed with being a professional musician, but he’s also developed a surprisingly close bond with Chloe.

Uncle Mac (she can’t quite pronounce his name yet) has become an unlikely hero to a little girl who’s almost three and whose other passions in life are mermaids, princesses, and unicorns.

With admirable patience, he plays games with her, reads stories to her, and even gives her the odd drum lesson. He misses her when he’s away “on the road” and she looks forward to his visits home with increasing excitement.

There’s no doubt that Chloe loves her Uncle Mac, and that Uncle Mac loves her in return. There is, however, a limit to his devotion – and it comes in the form of a little cuddly toy called Bluey.

We’ve never been quite sure whether Bluey is a bear, a rabbit, a dog, or a bit of all three, but he’s been part of Uncle Mac’s life since he was Chloe’s age. Even though he’s now a 21-year-old man and busy with gigs and rehearsals, the pair of them remain pretty much inseparable.

Well, at least that was the case until Uncle Mac made the schoolboy error of leaving Bluey lying round the house, and allowed him to be kidnapped. Without her beloved uncle’s knowledge, Chloe snatched Bluey and took him with her on a trip to the town centre with her Mummy and Daddy.

Matters took a distinct turn for the worse when the cuddly toy went missing from Chloe’s pushchair. Realising that Uncle Mac would be utterly devastated, Chloe’s panic-stricken Daddy retraced their steps and, mercifully, found Bluey hiding under a table in a shop.

Despite being none the wiser about this close shave with disaster, Uncle Mac was far from happy when he saw that Chloe was holding Bluey by the ear during her next visit to our house.

“Hey, what’s she doing with my Bluey?” he was heard to cry in a very un-Uncle-like manner.

To be fair to Uncle Mac, the music industry can be cut-throat business and you need all the friends you can get. So, while she was distracted, Uncle Mac pinched Bluey back and hid him in his bedroom, out of the clutches of little girls who aren’t quite three.

However, it seems that the tug-of-war is poised to continue. Chloe has to take something to nursery next week and talk about it in front of the class – and it has to be blue…


DANIEL, aged five, was watching a magician at a children’s party.

“What’s the magic word to make the trick happen?” asked the magician.

“Please?” came the reply.

KIRSTY, aged three, had never seen her dad without a beard…until the day her mum decided she’d had enough of his whiskers and told him to have a shave.

As he emerged, clean-shaven, from the bathroom, Kirsty stared at him and said: “Did you used to be my Dad?”

JACK had been grumbling about getting old – arthritis, poor hearing, hair loss and other problems. His grandson, Billy, asked him: “But Grandpa – aren’t there any good things about getting old?

“Yes,” replied Jack. “You can sing while you clean your teeth.”