Caroline Verdon: Why having kids means you need a decent poker face

Never laugh at a toddler when they inadvertently say something hilarious.

This is the lesson I learnt this week and that I’ve been reminded about three times since. Tuesday was Arthur’s third birthday. It was a day filled with family, presents, cakes and lots of games. He was high as a kite all day and ran and skipped and jumped all over the place. So much so that by lunchtime he was beyond giddy and was in desperate need for a nap. Given that my alarm went of at 3.30am, so was I.

I know he’ll grow out of naps soon but for the moment I love them. He’s got a double bed in his room so for a short nap we usually both get into our pyjamas and sleep in his room. It’s lovely reading him a story and having him snuggle next to me and fall asleep. I think it’s one of those moments I’ll look back on in years to come as I remember what life was like when he was a toddler.

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This afternoon nap was no exception. We got into bed, read ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ twice followed by ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ and settled in for a snooze. As we were drifting off to dreamland, surrounded by silence only interrupted by the odd bird call he suddenly sat bolt upright and yelled: “Mummy, I really love your boobies. I love big boobies. Your boobies are my best friend.”

I have no idea where this came from, I just knew that in my tired state I was unable to do the responsible thing. I knew the correct response was to gently tell him to lay down and go to sleep but he caught me off guard and I couldn’t manage it. Instead I howled with laughter. A full on chuckle. It burst out of me and echoed around his room, I just couldn’t help myself. This only egged him on and he repeated it time and time again, and with each tear of laughter that rolled down my face, he shouted louder and more gleefully until eventually I had to leave the room just to be able to breathe properly.

I somehow composed myself and by the time I went back into his room he was already asleep, safe in the knowledge that he was a comic genius. He’s only three, but he well and truly plays things for laughs. He knows it’s good to get people laughing at him and he remembers the things people have laughed at and repeats them. The first time we noticed him doing this was when he bowed whilst saying thankyou. It was unexpected and we laughed and since then the bows have become more flamboyant and the subsequent laughter more pronounced. These glitzy bows work particularly well after a wee on the potty – we say well done and he stands up, takes off his imaginary hat, rolls his arm infront of himself in the style of a Shakespearian actor and then bends from the waist whilst saying “why thankyou” in a low posh voice. It’s pretty harmless and definitely makes me more proud than embarrassed. Unlike the boobie thing.

Later in the evening, the inlaws came round for Arthur’s birthday tea. Just as my father-in-law was about to bite into a sausage Arthur lets him know how appreciative he is of my mammaries. Cue awkward silence (followed by more sniggers and eventually laughter). It was very embarrassing. Nearly as embarrassing as when Arthur told the Amazon delivery man about his penchant for milk makers. The delivery guy responded with “you and me both buddy” which quite frankly only made the situation worse. It’s like it gave Arthur a whole new level of confidence. Confidence that he decided to show off in Wickes.

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We popped in last night to look at kitchens and were sat down with a member of staff discussing appliances and the pros and cons of double ovens when out of nowhere he stood on his chair, caught the mans eye and yelled “I really like boobies. My mummy has big boobies”. This complete stranger immediately let out a loud laugh and Arthur took this as a well done and promptly did a flamboyant bow and said “oh thankyou” before repeating it all for a colleague and a man on aisle eight. Had I thrown in some breadsticks I think we could have legitimately called it dinner and a show. Next time I will not let him catch me off guard. I’m going to start practising my stern face.

When did you push the button?

We went on a train at the weekend and as we had buggy with us we used a platform lift.

In my haste to only allow Arthur to press the ‘close door’ button and not the ‘alarm’ button, it seems I inadvertently pressed it myself. Not the one on the wall, there was one on the floor. Apparently it’s there so that if anyone collapses in the lift they could still alert the authorities.

It led us to ask the question – when have you pressed the button? The response was great. Sian in Horsforth started a new job and accidentally pulled the emergency cord in the bathroom. She only realised when a new colleague broke in to find her sat on the toilet.

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It still isn’t as bad as Becky in Crossgates who at eight months pregnant bought a new house which completed on her birthday: “there was no furniture in it, it was completely empty but my father-in-law was desperate to see it so we popped in on the way to my birthday dinner.

“Whilst he looked around the kitchen he pressed a button out of intrigue. It turns out the old owners fitted the house with a panic alarm and the whole house alarm went off.

“The number we were given to stop it didn’t work, cutting the wires didn’t work and the company who made them went bust ten years ago. We ended up having to wait six hours for an emergency call out. No birthday tea for me and a terrible way to introduce ourselves to the neighbours!”

Celebs and second jobs

This week Rihanna has revealed she is going to be giving make-up tutorial classes.

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She’s charging $1000 a pop and that will allow you to sit in one of her classes where she’ll reveal her secrets on how to get perfect contouring and how best to achieve those killer winged flicks.

It sounds like the celebrity version of becoming an Avon lady or a Bodyshop rep. At the moment she’s only doing these classes in Dubai but you never know, she could expand to over here.

Depending on how desperate she is for the cash I suppose will depend on how much she puts into her sideline. I like the idea of a Celebrity Christmas Fair – Rihanna selling the make-up, perhaps George Clooney is on the next stall alone selling sock monkeys and next to him is Kylie Minogue selling candles and incense sticks.

Could even make a half decent reality TV show.

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

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