AS I’ve remarked on several occasions over the years, blokes never really grow up, do they?

Our eldest son, otherwise known to regular readers of this column as The Big Friendly Giant, is the 30-year-old father of a little girl called Chloe – but it is highly debatable which one is the bigger child at heart.

He popped round our house after collecting Chloe from nursery one day last week and ventured over to the pond in the back garden to check on the goldfish. There was a shout of excitement and he came running in, faster than Usain Bolt with his shorts on fire.

“Guess what’s in the pond, Chloe?!” he shouted in an animated fashion. “Guess what’s in the pond?!”

“Is it fish, Daddy?” she asked, matter-of-factly.

“Well, yes, Chloe, there’s fish – but we’ve also got a…FROG!”

Imagine Sir David Attenborough, in the depths of an Amazonian rain forest, stumbling across a species of amphibian that was thought to be extinct. I’m not sure the great man could have sounded any more exhilarated.

The BFG proceeded to carry his four-year-old daughter out to the pond to see not only the frog but a swathe of frog spawn. To be fair, Chloe, was quite excited to see nature at work so close to home – but not half as much as her beloved Daddy.

“Look, we’ve got a frog! And frog spawn – loads of it!” he then shouted to his Mum, who was doing a bit of weeding across the other side of the garden. Naturally, she was required to come and have a look and, despite the fact that I was busy working in my office upstairs, I was also summoned to come down and peer into the spawny pond.

The excitement didn’t stop there. After what I suspect may have been a breathless, sleepless night, he arrived early with Chloe the following morning.

“We’re going to take some frog spawn to nursery, so Chloe and her friends can watch them grow into tadpoles,” he explained, holding a Tupperware container at the ready.

‘Ganma’ accompanied the pair of them on the walk to nursery, and waited outside while the BFG escorted Chloe and the Tupperware full of frog spawn into the building.

He emerged with a disbelieving shake of the head. “I honestly don’t know who was more excited about the frog spawn – Chloe or the teachers,” he sighed.

Oh, the irony.


DON’T you just love the way kids make up their own words? For example, when Chloë gets something wrong, she often says she got 'mixfused'.

A CONVERSATION between Chloe and her Daddy…

"Daddy, I love you up to the moon."

"Thanks Chloe, I love you up to the sun."

"Well daddy, I love you up to...the sewers."

"Then I love you up to the stars, Chloe."

"Daddy, I love you...just how you are."

THANKS to Sandra Mol, of Hurworth-on-Tees, near Darlington, for remembering how she used to call her daughter "Rosie Posie". When poor Rosie started school, and the teacher asked for her last name, the little girl replied, innocently: "Pudding and Pie.” 

FINALLY, one from the archives…When he was five, our third-born, Jack, was lying on my lap, looking up at me with fascination in his eyes and a contended smile on his face.

There was a cartoon on TV but it didn’t matter. He had his back to the screen as he gazed admiringly at his good old dad.

His mum noticed and smiled at the bonding taking place between father and son across the room.

“Ahh, do you love your Daddy?” I asked the boy, gently.

“No, Dad, I’m just watching the telly through the reflection in your glasses,” came the reply.