I like a phoney-baloney trophy.

To explain: I don’t mean trophies for things like… participating. I know there’s a leaning towards all children having to have some form of recognition, which winds a lot of adults up. I think this is largely because the real world does not reward us for just showing up. Thus, children who are awarded certificates for attendance are in for some nasty shocks when they grow up. That’s almost certainly true, but my issue with ‘participant’ certificates is slightly different.

I have nothing against the idea of kids feeling special. I just think it shows a lack of imagination not to give a trophy/ribbon/certificate a proper reason.

For example, if you know the kid has no athletic ability but they’re absolutely A1 on Latin names of flowers, or knows all the Doctor Who actors in order, give them a trophy for that. If their mathematical skills are close to zero but they can name every county in England, recognise that.

My own experience is slightly different. I have dogs, not babies.

When Poppy entered her first official dog show, I had no idea of how she would do or what the judges might be looking for, and I didn’t want Aimée to be disappointed, so I got her a trophy. Engraved and everything. It does not reference her incredible ability to trot in a little circle or stand perfectly still while a stranger examines her teeth.

She is a funny, muppety girl and so, that’s what her trophy is for. She always makes me smile and, for that, she can have a trophy.