When old ladies in the park used to peer into our infant daughters’ prams with that look in their eye and say: “They’re not babies for long,” we didn’t know how right they were.
Two things happened in our house last weekend that proved time speeds up as you get older.
First up, daughter #1 started her first part-time job. Actually earning her own money to spend how she wants.
But the first thing she wants to spend it on is a ticket for one of the days at Leeds Festival at the end of August.
A day ticket costs £66.50 (including booking fee) and she worked out that’ll take her almost 18 hours to earn enough to pay for it. That’s a lot of work and do you know what, it’s made her realise that (dadspeak alert) money doesn’t grow on trees.
But earning your own cash is one of the greatest feelings in the world. And where her own dough is concerned, daughter #1 is as tight as a child of a Scotsman who married a woman from Yorkshire. That money will pile up in her account so fast that her bank manager will be calling her to make an appointment before you know it.
As for the job itself, her boss has told her part of the work involves smiling and being nice to customers. As parents of teenagers will tell you, that’s going to be the hardest part to master. Grunts, eye-rolling and muttered asides don’t wash in the real world.
The other thing that happened in our house to signify the end of one chapter and the beginning of another is the tatty old trampoline in our garden that looked like a prop from a terrifying 1970s Public Information Film was dismantled and taken to the tip.Rusted, tattered and torn, a fly-tipped fridge would’ve been a safer place for kids to play. The only ones who still used it were our cats and the dog who chased each other around it like some feline and canine version of the wall of death.
Daughter #2 watched us spend Sunday morning taking it to bits and loading it into the car and then said: “I paid for that with my birthday money when I was eight.”
There really is no answer to that.