“It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how,” said the eminently wise Dr Seuss.

One of my earliest memories is being laughed at by my grandmother and her friend for playing with a baby doll. I’ve no idea how old I was but as I had apparently abandoned dolls in favour of teddies before I was four, I’m guessing I was pretty young. They weren’t being mean, just chuckling like elderly ladies sometimes do and ‘oohing and ahhing’ over my little game, probably assuming that I wasn’t listening.

It was the first time I remember feeling embarrassed, childish even, and I reacted in true toddler-style by sulking in the understairs cupboard.

I’ve always been on the reserved side, never wanting to ‘make a show of myself’ as my grandma would say. My husband couldn’t be more different. He is unembarrasable as his poor daughter discovered growing up, and our granddaughters adore him for his seemingly inexhaustible reserves of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to playtime. 

I can’t match him on the energy levels, but there is something so wonderful about playing with kids. Making up games, building forts out of sofa cushions or just deliberately mis-pronouncing words to make them laugh. They in turn have taught me how to have fun again. How not to give a tailor’s cuss who’s watching so long as we’re all enjoying ourselves. 

I realised this a few months ago, when at a trampoline park, it was me shouting, ‘One more go! One more go!’ as I hurled myself into a cargo net. 

What a gift. Thank you my darlings x





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