Being paid to put studies to bed

Last Saturday was a big day in our house, our 15-year-old daughter #2 had paid employment for the first time in her life.

She earned a tenner for babysitting our friends’ young lad while his parents enjoyed a night out.

Transport costs were zero (they live just across the street) and the young man was tucked up in bed at a reasonable time, leaving daughter #2 a few hours to do some revision for GCSE mock exams which start today – English literature and maths, followed by absolutely everything else.

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The revision timetable on her wall isn’t just a work of art (isn’t everybody’s, as well as being a work of fiction?) but it turns out she’s actually stuck to it.

Unlike their dad, our daughters’ revision is just that – as opposed to learning it for the first time when you recognise the handwriting in your book as yours but have no recollection of ever scribbling down what’s in front of you in the first place.

It’s like the notes magically transferred themselves from the board to your book without passing through the brains of either the teacher or the student.

Anyway, once her English revision was done and the little fella was in the land of nod, it was time for some telly. But hang on, what’s this? Two programmes recording at the same time meaning you can’t watch a third? And you don’t want to touch the remote control in case you cancel what your hosts have recorded? So you end up watching whatever channel was on when you first walked in?

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Which is how daughter #2 (who thinks football is a four-letter word) ended up watching Match Of The Day from start to finish and knew all the scores, scorers and incidents from Saturday’s Premier League games – which is just as alien to her as you or I repeating last Thursday night’s shipping forecast word-for-word from memory.

Still, when she got home with one of those lovely new £10 notes in her hot little hands, she said: “I’m not complaining. I basically got paid to do revision.”

Like her big sister, who has earned and squirrelled away enough money from her part-time job to open up her own bank, that girl will go a long way.

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