Caroline Verdon: When our children decide to test the boundaries...

My son is two years old and he’s a thief. OK, that’s a bit strong but I did catch him trying to smuggle a Peppa Pig sweet out of Asda at Killingbeck on Saturday.

I know he’s only two but I made him put it back and tried to explain as best I could that we had to pay for things and that taking things that aren’t ours isn’t right.

I’ve no idea if it registered with him and I imagine we’ll have to have the conversation a few more times.

Ant’s daughter is four and she took a toy egg the other week after he said he wouldn’t buy it for her. By the time he found out what she’d done, they’d left the shops already so it’s still sitting in his glove compartment.

It’s so hard to know what to do in these circumstances – do you go all out and use the situation to set an example or do you just have a quiet word and let it slide?

Jen lives in Chapel Allerton and she says went all out. When her son was six he stole a 4p strawberry sweet from Sainsbury’s: “Some people might think I went over the top but I took him to the police station and made him tell them what he’d done and they had a word with him.

“We then went to Sainsbury’s with four pence from his money box and he gave back the sweet and gave them the cash. He still remembers it to this day and he’s 19 now and touch wood has never been in trouble with the police!”

We’ve all tested the boundaries in some way or other as kids – I stole from the church when I was 12.

My parents ran a youth club and made the mistake of putting me in charge of the tuck shop and I basically ate my way through the stock and didn’t pay for it but the guilt got the better of me and eventually I owned up.

I also stole from my sister and that well and truly came back to bite me.

We used to go the the papershop on a Sunday morning with my dad and we’d get 20 pence to spend on sweets which back in the day meant 20 pick-n-mix.

I used to really like them. Really like them. We had Pound Puppies as kids – basically two soft toy dogs that sat in a toy dog basket. We had a pair each and I told her that if she didn’t feed them they’d die and so she used to give them half her Sunday sweets and miraculously an hour later when she’d go back to check on them they’d have eaten them. Joke’s on me though as 25 years later and she’s slim and I’m spherical.

For as bad as that was, and I’m aware it was pretty bad, I count my lucky stars I’m not Danielle from Holbeck!

She called us this week to say her toddler didn’t ever take sweets. Oh no. He stole a butterfly…from Tropical World: “When we discovered it, it was too late to take it back. I don’t know how he got it out of there because if he put it in his pocket surely he would have squashed it and it would be dead but this one was very much alive and was flying around in the car one minute and then it flew out of the open window the next. I couldn’t believe it.

“Obviously I was cross but at the same time sort of mystified – we still have no idea how he did it!”

And it seems Danielle really has her hands full as it’s not the only thing he’s taken: “When he was two we got home from shopping one day and next to him in his buggy, snuggled under his blanket was a joint of beef. I didn’t see him take it. I called the supermarket when we found it but they said not to worry so at least we got a free dinner from it!”That’s one way of looking at it! Also on the upside at least you know he could have a career as a slight of hand magician as he’s clearly stealthy! Perhaps we’ll see him on Britain’s Got Talent 2025?

Make a change to aid homeless

Blimey it’s cold. I’ve wanted snow for so long and I’ve made no secret of it.

I like the drama it brings – the school closures, the unexpected duvet days, but I also love the change to build a proper snowman and have a proper full on snowball fight.

I’m one of ‘those’ people and I shopped as though the armageddon was coming. The cupboards are stocked with tins and there’s bread in the freezer for if we run out of the fresh stuff. I am prepared. I’ve dug out my big coat with the additional fleece layer and I’ve got a pair of seriously warm gloves and hats and scarves in various colours to go with every outfit scenario.

It’s safe to say I was absolutely loving the weather but then I got to work and everything changed. We’ve had some rough sleepers living on the grass at the front of the building for a few weeks now, but this morning as my car said it was -5 on the Burley Road my heart broke to see them still there in this freezing weather.

Help is available and emergency accommodation is there but for a whole host of reasons some people decide not take that offer up. We’ve taken over warm clothing and food and drinks and some of us have made charity donations to the teams operating in the city but it doesn’t feel enough. Statistics released by the government at the end of January showed the number of people sleeping rough has increased for the second year in a row. I don’t know what the solution is, I’m just convinced that if we put our heads together we could make a change.

Ex-girlfriends at wedding

It’s been revealed this week that some of Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriends will be invited to his upcoming wedding with Meghan Markle. Controversial.

Ant’s getting married in September and his fiancé has put a blanket ban on him inviting anyone he dated in the past and I can understand why. We had a call from John Bird from Normanton who not only invited his ex to his wedding, but she helped organise it!

“My ex and I have a child together and we spilt when she was one. I’m a child of divorce and it was tough growing up having parents at each other’s throats and we vowed not to be like that. We’ve both got new partners and we regularly hang out together. When my wife and I got married my ex helped my wife get ready in the morning and also made a lot of the food for our reception. When she got married I played the music that she walked down the aisle to”.

You never know, Chelsy and Cressida could be making the sausage rolls as we speak.

Caroline Verdon is one half of the breakfast show at Radio Aire. You can hear Caroline and Ant between 6-10am every weekday morning.

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