AFTER what seems like an age, I’ve decided to retire from this column and give someone else the chance to air their children’s dirty washing in public.
When I first started writing it, Vanessa was an infant and Nick was a cute, good-natured, round-cheeked, blond toddler.
How things have changed. Vanessa’s now 19 and has landed her first job as a supply childcare assistant in a crèche.
Like most school leavers these days, she’s found it almost impossible to find work, so she’s been gaining experience by volunteering two days a week at our local school.
The supply work’s not many hours, but it’s a start.
At least she still lives at home and doesn’t have any financial responsibilities – several of her former classmates are already parents with homes to run on next to nothing.
And the only thing that remains from my description of Nick is cheek!
Fourteen-year-old youths are foul creatures, made of “slugs, snails and puppy dogs’ tails”, according to the old nursery rhyme.
I wish! I suspect teenage boys are made up of a large proportion of cats’ wee, if the smell of his feet are anything to go by.
And from being up and ready to play at 6am, noon seems to be counted as an unreasonable hour to get up on a Sunday.
Instead of an engaging toddle, he stomps around like an irritable orang utan. Even the blond hair’s nearly gone.
One thing he was better at when he was little was speech. He seems to have lost the ability to speak, communi-cating in a series of grunts and “aaars”. It’s like living with a seal.
As for me, well, I hope that by sharing my misfortunes and mistakes, I’ve made other mams feel a bit better about their lot in life.
After all, none of us are perfect parents.
We’d all be better at it with the benefit of hindsight.
One thing I really can’t wait for is the time that my two have their own children.
Then, with the wisdom of age and experience, I’ll have written evidence of all their misdemeanours of youth.
And then I’ll ride off into the sunset to live somewhere warm, cocktail in hand, shouting “I told you so … now it’s YOUR turn!”