WHEN you become a dad – or a grandad for that matter – playing games is an extremely important part of the job description. Following the rules, however, is not always as straight-forward as it might seem.

For example, I recently highlighted the struggles our little granddaughter, Chloe, is having with the finer points of hide and seek. When it’s her turn to hide, one of us will shout: “I wonder if Chloe’s in the cupboard under the stairs?”. Amid a fit of giggles, she’ll yell back “No, I’m in the toilet!”

Chloe has now graduated to another traditional game and, once again, I’m not quite sure she’s got the hang of it. She was in the car with me and Grandma the other day when she announced: “Let’s play I Spy.”

The trouble with playing I Spy with a two-and-a-half-year-old is that the letters of the alphabet are completely immaterial to the answer. The first game we played went like this:

“Me spy with my lickle eye, something beginning with A,” said Chloe.

“Is it aeroplane?” asked Grandma.


“Apple?” I enquired, having started keeping a couple in the car in case I need a snack.


A few more desperate suggestions followed, including “articulated lorry” which, in hindsight, was probably a bit ambitious for a toddler. In the end, we gave up.

“LAMP-POST!” she declared, shaking with excitement.

It was Grandma’s turn next and I couldn’t help noticing that she also used the word “lickle” even though she’s a woman of mature years: “I spy with my lickle eye, something beginning with C-R-I-S…”

“CRISPS!” shouted Chloe, who happened to be eating a packet at the time.

Then it was Chloe’s turn again because, for some devastatingly disappointing reason, grandads are only allowed to guess the answer.

“Me spy with my lickle eye, something beginning with B,” she said with a knowing smile.

“Is it my bag?” Grandma wondered.


“Is it a bird?” I asked.


Bike? No. Buttons? No. Baa-lambs? No. Bull? No. Buttercups? No. Your bottom? No. Bumpy road? No. Boy in the car in front? No. Blue sky? No. Brown cow in that field over there? No.

I was sorely tempted to chuck in a “bloody” for alliterative impact when I got to the brown cow, but I decided against it and, once again, we gave in.

“HOUSE!” Chloe shouted, triumphantly.

What really gets me is that she says it as though we’re both stupid.


This week’s collection come from members of Jarrow U3A…

THANKS to Terry Connolly for remembering the time daughter Jacqueline was six and had been making Christmas cards at school.

She came home with a card with a lovely picture of a Christmas tree on the front. Inside, the message said: “To Mummy and Daddy, Merry Christmas. I hope your kids get lots of presents xxx.”

THANKS also to Ellen Megennis who recalled the time her son Graham, aged six, said to his Dad: “Guess what I’ve got you for your birthday? It begins with “S” and ends with “OCKS”.

ANOTHER member of Jarrow U3A laughed at the time he took his family for a pub lunch in the beer garden.

“Is this where they grow beer?” asked his little boy.

AND another member, a former teacher, cringed at the memory of a lesson all about Good Friday and Jesus dying on the cross.

When she’d finished, a little boy chirped up in all innocence and said: “Well, it wasn’t a very good Friday for him was it?”