Mums and dads with little kids, you don’t know how easy you’ve got it.
Oh I know it doesn’t feel like it now, what with teething infants screaming the house down at 3am, months of broken sleep, baby brain, toxic toddlers and the life you once knew gone for ever.
But at least when your kids are small, keeping them entertained during the day is an absolute doddle compared to pussyfooting around teenagers, whose default setting lies somewhere between ‘Permanently Offended’ and ‘Constant State Of Outrage’.
Pre-school kids think it’s a day out at Disneyland if you take them on a wet welly walk to the park, stick on a Barney DVD, feed them mashed up bits of chicken cut into dinosaur shapes and covered in breadcrumbs and go to a soft play area where they can fight with other toddlers until bedtime.
Teenagers’ tastes, on the other hand, are a little more refined.
A few weeks ago the boss booked a behind-the-scenes tour of the former set of TV soap Coronation Street. Production has been moved across Manchester to a new purpose-built studio so Joe Public has the chance to have a nose around the old one. Daughter #2 could not have been more excited. Apart from Glee, The Simpsons, Modern Family, The Middle and None Of The Above, Corrie is her favourite show on the telly.
Her big sister feigned disinterest until she saw the actual cobbles on the actual Coronation Street, which have a funny effect even the most too cool for school teenager.
Daughter #2 completely flipped. She took a total of 168 pictures of Roy’s Rolls, D&S Alahan’s, Nick’s Bistro, Websters’ Auto Centre, Underworld, The Kabin, Audrey’s, The Rovers, Prima Doner, Barlow’s Buys and the lean-to out the back of the boozer where Peter goes for a fag.
Compare that with the horrified reaction of our children when they awoke at 11am on Monday to be told we were going on a family bike ride.
Daughter #1 refused point blank and said: “I’m in a bad mood now and it isn’t even my fault” while if daughter #2’s bike could’ve been powered by moaning she’d be riding for Team Sky.