Who's the Daddy: Time for paperwork and bills
You’ll have to excuse me for a minute. I need a sit down and a steaming mug of sugary tea, unless you’ve got something a bit stronger?
Daughter #2 was 19 on Monday. NINETEEN! That’s one more than the biggest landmark birthday you’ll ever have. It’s the local elections today and she’ll be banging on the door of the polling station at dawn on her way to work to cast her vote for the first time.
Previous birthday party venues have included ball pools, soft play areas and even an indoor ski slope one year we were feeling particularly flush. The only places we didn’t go were anywhere with an employee on minimum wage dressed as the organisation’s mascot – 6ft bear, 7ft squirrel, you name it – because daughter #1 was terrified of them. She could spot these things at theme parks from half a mile away, would bury her face into your chest and shake with terror.
Now aged 21, two years ago she backpacked her way around South America for three months, is about to complete her second year of a law degree at a Russell Group university and drives herself around in her own car. Kids, eh? What are they like?
This year we weren’t even invited to daughter #2’s main event, which took place last weekend outside a range of Liverpool’s finest bars with her friends, all wrapped up in blankets to keep out the chill.
We had a table booked outside one of Lancaster’s lovely pubs for dinner last Monday but the biblical weather put paid to that so we sat around our kitchen table together, sang Happy Birthday – the longest song in the world when you’re an adult and your family’s singing it at you while maintaining eye contact – and had a takeaway instead.
Anyway, daughter #2’s had to do some adulting of her own in the last week or so. Boring but important paperwork involving Student Finance England and her ISA.
That’s the thing about being a grown-up, you have to do your own dull stuff yourself.
We’re just waiting for the outrage when the first bill with her name on it lands on the doormat of her student flat this autumn. Listen out for the screams.