DON’T get me wrong, I’m loving being a grandad. But no one told me it would be this hard. Chloe is just over a year old now and she’s got more energy than a Duracell Bunny – not quite walking yet, but crawling like the clappers and getting into everything.

Whenever she comes round our house, she immediately wants the activities to start – and I’m finding it tougher than a heavy workout at the gym.

First, she points to the garden so she can be carried out to say hello to the fish on the way to having a go on the swing she got for her first birthday. Admittedly, this is a gentle enough start, which doesn’t take that much effort on my part, but there’s much worse to come.

Once she’s had enough swinging, she points back to the house, where she wants me to chase her on my hands and knees as she crawls from room to room and hides under the dining table.

Then she points at the blanket that’s draped over the back of the settee. This time, it’s a demand for me and Grandma to wrap her up in our “magic carpet”. We have to grab two corners each, and swing her from side to side until our arms are dropping off.

But by far the hardest part is when she indicates that she wants to go for a ride in her aeroplane. Well, it’s not really an aeroplane – it’s a small armchair in the corner of the lounge.

She points at the chair and starts shouting “d-d-d-d-d” (no, I don’t know what it stands for either), but it’s to let me know she wants to sit in it. Once in position, she points upwards with more “d-d-d-d-d” urgings. This is the signal for me to make the aeroplane take off and fly round the lounge before zooming off into the dining room and then make the return journey.

As soon as we land, the “d-d-d-d-d” is replaced with a “g-g-g-g-g”, which I think means “again, again”.

I’m sure I did this with my children when they were little, but there’s a big difference. I was in my 20s then and now I’m 55, going on 70. It’s not easy lifting a one-year-old in a chair and making it fly round the house over and over again.

Last weekend, I swear I piloted the aeroplane through six take-offs and landings before collapsing in a sweating heap.

Anyway, I don’t need telling that we’ve made a rod for our own back. Once you start playing magic carpets and aeroplanes, there’s no going back. They become an expectation.

So, there it is. Like I said, I’m loving being a grandad. Whenever I haven’t seen Chloe for a few days, withdrawal symptoms set in.

But within an hour of her flying visits, I’m completely knackered – a gibbering, dripping, wheezing wreck of a man hurtling towards old age.

Does it make me a terrible grandad that, having been so desperate to see her, it’s not long before I can’t wait for her to go back home?

The things they say

MANY thanks to Terry Storey, of Darlington, who’s been in touch about a memory from a while back.

Terry was repairing a piece of equipment on his dining room table when along came eldest son John, aged four.

He had a rummage through his Dad’s tool-box on the floor followed by a rummage through the various bits on the table then back to the tool-box.

After a thorough examination of all the various items in the box, he suddenly turned to Terry and said: “Daddy, can I have your tools when you die?”

Terry reports that John’s 41 now and hasn’t bothered waiting!

THANKS also to Sam Jennings, who has been in touch from Stockton to tell me about her five-year-old daughter Ellie, who put on a very serious face the other day and asked: “Mummy, if I’m really, really good – gooder than I’ve ever been before – can we have Christmas a few weeks early?”