WHEN you’re a dad, it’s a harsh fact of life that you have to get used to being ignored.

I had to come to terms with being invisible and, since the arrival of baby Chloe, I’m enjoying watching my eldest son discovering that he might as well not exist either.

These days, when Christopher calls round our house, he gets no attention whatsoever from me or his mum. As soon as we hear the front door open, we run straight past him in a state of high excitement to give our grand-daughter a cuddle.

“Er, hello…I’m here too,” he sighed the other day, as we focused our undivided attention on Chloe.

“Oh, hi son,” I found myself saying, with a cursory wave, before carrying Chloe out to the garden to play on her swing.

There was a time when Christopher would get a hug from his Mum that lasted minutes before he’d even made it over the doorstep, but not anymore. He’s lucky if she remembers his name. It’s all about Chloe these days.

At the weekend, Christopher popped round for a visit and he and Chloe were enjoying the sunshine in the garden. He was making himself at home by having a go in my hammock, which is tied to two wooden posts on the patio. Chloe was in there too, lying on her Dad’s tummy as the hammock rocked gently in the breeze.

My wife and I were tidying up in the kitchen after Sunday lunch when were heard an almighty crash and a yell out in the garden. Our blood froze as we looked out of the window to see that the hammock had snapped. Christopher was in a heap on the stone floor and Chloe was on top of him, crying with the shock of it all.

Had her Dad tied the hammock tight enough, you might ask. A frayed knot would be the answer.

Well, my wife and I dropped everything and covered the ground faster than Usain Bolt in his prime.

My wife grabbed Chloe, before holding her close, and saying: “Oh, that was such a nasty fall, wasn’t it?”

“Is she alright?” I asked, stroking her hair, and breathing a sigh of relief that there were no obvious injuries.

Then Chloe’s Auntie Hannah arrived on the scene, with an anxious look on her face, and making yet more sympathetic noises.

There we all were, in a huddle of concern around out 16-months-old little girl, making sure that there was no lasting harm.

Then we heard an animalistic groan behind us and turned round to see Christopher, our once precious first-born, still lying prostrate on the floor.

“I think I might have broken my back,” he moaned.

“You’ll be fine,” I told him, as we took Chloe inside to watch Peppa Pig on the telly to take her mind off her frightening ordeal.


I WAS chatting to my wife about raising children and happened to pose a question about why children consider their dads an embarrassment.

“You’re not an embarrassment to them now,” she said. “They just see you as a joke.”


SO, there I was, having a shower after a session in the gym.

A bloke came in and I heard him curse to himself before he walked over stark naked and said: “Excuse me mate, I couldn’t have a bit of shampoo could I?”

“Sure – no problem,” I replied, a little nervously before letting him have a squirt of my Wash ‘N Go and sincerely wishing that he would.

“I brought the wrong bottle,” he explained. “This is the oil for the baby’s nappy rash.”


A FELLOW Dad has been telling me how his little boy, Sam, had everyone in fits at the fish and chip shop in Blackhall, County Durham.

This particular family keep hens, and Dad was making idle conversation with the staff behind the counter.

“Isn’t the weather mild,” he said. “It’s so mild, the hen’s are laying really well at the minute – we’re getting at least an egg a day out of the hens.”

“Aye,” the little lad chipped in. “And if they don’t, we just squeeze their bums.”