Daughter #1 is 17 today.
How in the name of Holy Mary Mother of God did that happen?
Last time I looked she took her first steps two hours before Morecambe played Ipswich Town in the FA Cup at Christie Park in January 2001.
A moment captured on video that couldn’t have been more shocking if Mick Jagger had ridden through our lounge on Shergar.
As well as this, she starts her driving lessons today.
It’s no wonder that all of a sudden it feels like we’re living in the future.
When kids are little, all they want is your constant attention.
When they’re teenagers, all they want off you is funding and transport.
We mainly communicate by text message these days – even when we’re in the same house – because walking down two flights of stairs from her room to actually talk to us is barely worth the effort.
Here are a few examples.
“What time is my driving lesson on Thursday?”, “Is he picking me up from our house?”, “Is it an hour long?”, “Do you have time to buy ingredients for my baking lesson at school that’s tomorrow?”, *sends screenshot of BBC’s GoodFood recipe for lemon drizzle cake.
Of course you want your kids to be independent and have the ability to think for themselves.
The number of feckless nimrods I’ve seen pass through newspaper offices on work experience is terrifying.
Eleven years of school and all they’ve got is plenty of attitude but answering a telephone or making coffee without setting the place on fire is beyond them.
There’s no way we’d let our kids be so gormless, not if we had anything to do with it.
But the trouble with raising independent kids is they answer back – and what’s worse is nine times out of 10 they’re right.
Still, they’re going to need all the self-confidence they can get once they fly the nest and realise toilet roll doesn’t magically appear in the bathroom facing the right way on its own and houses cost about four times what you paid for yours.
I reckon that’s when youth ends and adulthood starts.
The day the first bill drops through your letterbox with your name on it.
Anyway, happy birthday.