SOMETIMES, I feel like the forgotten man, no matter how hard I try to be noticed.

When it comes to our little granddaughter, Chloe, there’s no doubt that my wife is the clear favourite, and I’m well down the pecking order.

In making this rather sad admission, I completely acknowledge that ‘Ganma’ deserves her lofty position in Chloe’s affections, not least because she’s much better at playing Fuzzy-Felt games than I am.

She has the patience of a saint, a child-like imagination, and can keep the fuzzy fun going for much longer than I ever could.

“I think Ganmas are more fun,” she declared, matter-of-factly, in a heart-to-heart with her Daddy recently.

But the truth is that even when I do try to be fun, and get involved in Chloe’s games, I still might as well not be there.

She came over to play in our garden recently, with her Mummy and Daddy in tow, and the weather was nice enough to have drinks and snacks outside.

“Let’s play hide and seek,” she announced, just as I poured myself a beer and filled a bowl with crisps. “Ganma and Gandalf, you hide, and me and Daddy will seek,” she added.

I’ll be honest, I was peckish and thirsty, so I made a strategic decision from the outset not to find a very good hiding place. I was knelt down by the fence, behind some overhanging branches that were sparse enough for me to be seen with relative ease.

Concerned that my beer would get warm, and that birds would steal my crisps, I even let out a giveaway cough as she approached with Daddy.

Our eyes met as she looked straight at me but then she turned away and I heard her whisper: “I know where Gandalf is but I’m ignoring him.”

She then spent ages searching for Ganma, who was taking the game far more seriously, and was hiding round the corner of the house, behind a gate, and maintaining a perfect silence.

I was starting to feel like that Japanese soldier who was in the jungle for years because he didn’t know the war was over, so I coughed again, this time a bit more loudly.

“It’s just Gandalf – I’m still ignoring him,” I heard Chloe say.

Eventually, she discovered her beloved Ganma and it was a cause of great excitement for both of them.

“Have you found Grandad yet?” my wife asked, as they started to eat their crisps and guzzle their drinks.

“Yes, but I’m just ignoring him because he’s annoying,” she sighed.

Annoying? All I was doing was kneeling down in some foliage, desperately trying to be found.

I could honestly still be out there now and no one would be bothered.


MY eldest son Christopher – Chloe’s dad – also has cause to be feeling under-appreciated.

The other day, he somehow managed to drop a Batman figure into a bowl of soup and, instinctively, told his little girl: “Oh well, I guess he’s a souper hero.”

He was understandably pleased with himself and looked to his four-year-old daughter in the hope of getting a laugh or at least a smile.

She sighed deeply, gave him a stony stare, then said: “It’s hard to laugh when you’re not funny, Daddy.”

ON another occasion, Chloe’s Daddy had another reason to be feeling pleased with himself.

“That was pretty clever, wasn’t it Chloe?” he said.

She looked unimpressed and replied: “No Daddy. I’m the clever one in the family.”

A bit put out, he asked: “Am I not clever too?”

“You are Daddy,” came the reply, “but not as clever as me.”

CHLOE and her Daddy were playing “I spy” the other day.

“I spy something grey,” said Daddy, noticing that Baby Elephant was down the side of the settee.

“Is it your hair, Daddy?” came the reply.

THEN, when they were in the supermarket, doing the weekly shop, Chloe asked: “Can we go home now, Daddy?”

“We will Chloe, we’ll only be another ten minutes,” explained Daddy.

“TEN MINUTES?! But…that’s HOURS!” she replied.