Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland faces reveal awkward times with their own kids...

By Kerry McKittick

Kerry McLean (41) is a BBC Radio Ulster presenter. She lives in Ballymoney with her broadcaster husband Ralph and their children Tara (9), Dan (8) and Eve (2). She says:

I really feel for the guy in the video clip because similar things have happened to both Ralph and I. There have been plenty of times that one of us will be on the phone to a radio programme and you can hear one of the kids shouting in the background.

I think the most embarrassing incident with our children happened in Comber when Dan was very small. The cafe had a toilet with a changing facility in it and Ralph took Dan in there to change his nappy. That went fine, but while he was in there, Ralph decided to go to the toilet himself and didn't realise that Dan had toddled to the door and opened it. Next thing he heard, 'Hiya mummy' being shouted across the whole cafe. I turned round to see my husband in the toilet - thankfully his back was turned as he was having a pee - and so did the rest of the cafe. Poor Ralph was shouting at Dan to shut the door and I nearly injured myself racing across the cafe to close it.

Leesa Harker (37) is a playwright and lives in Belfast with her two daughters, Lola (9) and Lexi (6). She says:

I have loads of stories of the kids doing embarrassing things so I do feel for that poor man. I'll never forget one Sunday when we were at lunch at my parents' house. Everyone was chatting away and then all of a sudden Lexi made a very rude remark about my body - one I won't repeat here.

My dad is an absolute prude so he nearly choked on his sprouts.

On another occasion about four years ago, I was doing lots of interviews - I think it was about the time 50 Shades of Red, White and Blue had just come out. I didn't realise it, but Lola had taken my phone into the bathroom and used it to Facetime a local journalist I had spoken to earlier about five times. The journalist didn't have a clue what Facetime was - she didn't even know she had a video phone, so she couldn't understand why a video of a child talking nonsense kept appearing on her phone. I had to apologise for that one.

Then there was the most embarrassing moment of my life. I had bought knee-high boots, but decided to take them back to the shop. The box sat outside the bathroom and the day I was going to take them back I walked out of the bathroom to discover Lola had drawn over the box - I got a bit worried that they wouldn't take them back.

In the shop, the customer service desk was in the menswear department so there were lots of men in the queue. The girl took the box out of the bag and turned it over to scan it - only to discover that Lola had also decorated it with sanitary pads. She had found them in the bathroom drawer and thought they were stickers. She went to rip them off and the sounds echoed round the store. My face was purple and the men behind me didn't know where to look.

Claire Allen (41) is a novelist who lives in Londonderry with her husband Neil and their children Joseph (13) and Cara (8). She says:

When my son Joseph was tiny he would put his hands down my top. It's the kind of thing kids do all the time and you get used to them doing it. I never thought about him doing it until the day we were standing in the supermarket and as he did it he pulled my top right down.

So I found myself standing there with my bra hanging out for everyone to see. That was bad, but the worst one was when he did it right in front my father-in-law. He was a very proper, English gentleman. I didn't even notice for a minute or two and he just didn't know where to look.

The best thing about kids is that as they get older you can start embarrassing them back. Joseph is 13 now and all I have to do now is look at him and he gets embarrassed. It's great fun.

Pete Snodden (36) is a Cool FM DJ and lives in Bangor with his wife Julia and their daughters Ivanna (6) and Elayna (2). He says:

Ivanna was just three-years-old and had her first ever nativity play when she was in pre-school. I think she played a sheep or an angel or something and Julia and I were in the audience to watch, proud as punch.

Ivanna had no embarrassment about going on stage at the time, though some of the other kids were very shy at being in front of so many people.

However, I think things didn't move as fast as Ivanna would have liked so at a pivotal moment she walked over to Mary, yanked the doll that was being used as the baby Jesus out of her arms and just threw it into the crib. In the meantime, poor Mary burst into tears.

That was okay and things moved on, and then a little while later Ivanna decided to start singing the Peppa Pig theme tune - complete with oinks.

As you can imagine it wasn't part of the nativity script but the entire audience was in stitches.

She didn't mind at all and just kept singing as they howled with laughter. Jules and I went bright red at that one.

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