Silence is golden when buying gifts

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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My two girls are very lucky.

Caitlin and Alyssa have lots of nans and granddads.

Two nans, two granddads, two great-nans and one great-granddad to be precise.

So many, in fact, that to limit confusion we have to give each one an additional name.

My mum and dad are nan and granddad with the fish, for example, because they have a fish pond in the garden and Caitlin likes to feed them on every visit.

And my partner Serena’s parents are called nan and granddad with the ice cream, because the girls are always treated to some tasty scoops in a cone, complete with strawberry sauce and hundreds and thousands.

Then there’s nan and granddad banana in the light – that’s my nan and granddad, who always hide a banana up high for Caitlin to find and eat on arrival.

I know, it does actually sound slightly barmy.

But Caitlin understands it and I’m sure Alyssa will too.

Regardless of what we call them, one thing I’ve learnt is that all nans and granddads love to spoil their grandchildren.

And when I say spoil, I don’t mean to excess.

But when Caitlin and Alyssa arrive, they are guaranteed a treat of some kind.

This treat is not always of the sugary and sweet sort, as I discovered on a recent visit to nan and granddad with the ice cream.

They decided to buy Caitlin some treats of the noisy, musical, kind.

Not only a toy whistle but also a tambourine and a recorder.

To the annoyance of my ears, these treats came home with us.

Of course, I’m being careful not to trample on them when they are left on the floor. But if the unthinkable did happen, I confess, I wouldn’t be too sad.

Nan and granddad banana also treated the girls to a toy monkey.

Nothing wrong with that. Except every time you go near the thing, it wolf whistles at you due to a movement sensor in its face.

Slightly concerning when I banished it to the spare room, closed the door and could still hear it whistling.

Then there is nan and granddad with the fish, who brought round two large balloons for Caitlin and Alyssa to play with.

But one noise I don’t like is the sound of a balloon bursting so these gifts have put me a little on edge.

Caitlin and Alyssa are both loving these presents from their grandparents but I think it’s time to request that in future, treats come with a silence button.

Or at least, don’t continue to wolf whistle, long after the girls have gone to bed.