When your children hit their teenage years you become less of a parent and more of an employee.
Once upon a time when they were little it was your job to do everything for them.
All they craved was your time, your attention and your love.
Now as teenagers all they want is a lift – and fibre optic broadband with download speeds faster than most mid-sized businesses.
You think I’m kidding?
The first question their friends ask seconds after setting foot in our house is, “What’s your wi-fi password?” This week the boss and I asked our kids if they’d like to watch a film with us on the telly, a new one off Sky that was on the cinema only a month or two ago and cost about £5 to rent.
Judging by their horrified reaction you’d have thought we’d asked to look through their phones and post the pictures on Facebook.
Earlier that day we planned a short break away as a family, which is not as simple as it used to be.
What with daughter #1’s part-time job, daughter #2’s dancing lessons, availability at the dog’s favourite kennels and me booking time off work (see what’s last on the list there) we managed to find a three-day window in a two-week Easter break where we were all free.
Honestly, compiling the Premier League fixture list is less bother.
Okay, so a trip to London with your parents isn’t as thrilling as a ski holiday to Italy, a fortnight in California with your dance school or an exchange visit to Spain, but I’d have expected a little more enthusiasm – even from world weary, know-it-all teenage girls.
I may make it sound like our daughters are a bit princessy, that’s not the case most of the time.
But spending time with their parents is at the very bottom of their to-do list, somewhere beneath cleaning the grouting in the shower of their en suite bathroom.
It’s only when your children become teenagers that you truly turn into your own mum and dad and repeat more or less verbatim what they said to you in the 1980s.
I’m sure teenagers are well aware money doesn’t grow on trees and this house isn’t a hotel, it’s just that it won’t hit home properly until they move out and find out that EVERYTHING costs.