When you’ve got teenage kids it isn’t like having children anymore, more like housemates who don’t lift a finger.
And by housemates, I mean they’re the ones who own the place (or think they do) and you do everything for them while they swan around rent free.
Even our precious time off is no longer our own.
Daughter #2 has dance lessons four nights a week and rehearsals every other Saturday.
We run a carefully devised car pool rota system with some other mums and dads that’s organised better than Uber.
And now daughter #1 and her friends go to house parties of a weekend which necessitate pick- ups the wrong side of midnight.
I never thought I’d pine for the days when they were little, what with all the noise and the mess and the sleep deprivation, but at least you knew where they were and who they were with and what they’d been up to.
When you’re sitting in the car waiting outside some poor sap’s house in the middle of nowhere that’s being trashed and puked on by a bunch of addled teenagers, three-hour Balamory marathons on a rainy January morning suddenly don’t seem too bad.
Oh, and for the avoidance of any doubt, daughters #1 and #2 have had ‘The Talk’ about holding a teenage party at my house in my absence.
They’ve both been told they’ll be written out of the will and everything we own (which isn’t much) will be sold and the cash nailed to a door and burnt, like The KLF did with a million quid in £50 notes in August 1994.
It sounds like our kids treat our house like a hotel. That’s not quite true, it’s more like a serviced apartment.
Daughter #1 has done her own washing for more than a year and if they don’t like what’s for dinner (daughter #1 turned her nose up at a homemade rigatoni dish last night because it had Quorn in it) they’ll heat up some chicken nuggets and put them in a wrap.
But with age comes more freedom and responsibility.
This week daughter #1 bought her 2017 Leeds Festival ticket with her own money that she’d earned herself – and by the time that comes round she’ll be almost 18.
If anyone knows where time’s gone, would they write in and tell me please?