Who’s The Daddy column

Williamson Park.
Williamson Park.

Time doesn’t just march on, it evaporates.

It feels like about five minutes ago that we spent our early mornings pushing newborn daughter #1 around Williamson Park in her new Mamas & Papas pram, this week she’s deciding what subjects to take for her GCSEs.

We’ve got a parents’ evening with daughter #1’s teachers this week to discuss her Options. It wasn’t that long ago that our only options were deciding which mucky end of her to wipe first.

Her school produced a brochure to sell each potential subject so that the students can decide to carry on with the ones they like the best (dislike the least).

Back in the mid-1980s when teachers spent years on strike and terrifying bog-standard comprehensives were about as welcoming as borstal, we learned to read, write and do sums and that was about it.

Daughter #1’s Options brochure called ‘Moving On Up!’ is like some sort of lifestyle choice magazine or a list of activities that you might choose to do on a luxury cruise.

It all looks marvellous. Designing mobile phone applications, web pages and games, back-stage tours at theatres, trips to Spain, France and Germany, yoga, skiing and composing music.

All that’s missing are courses on how to rig the Libor rate, running London Stock Exchange software and Mandarin Chinese – although if the kids come in at 8am on Wednesdays they can study those subjects as optional modules.

The only school-related piece of advice offered by us to daughter #1 is to choose subjects she likes and that she’s good at. She’ll have to do all the homework and exams, not us.

We’ll just get to hear all about it.

Back in the dim and distant mid-80s yours truly was railroaded into studying physics, chemistry and technology with a view to working in the shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness.

Science is like Harry Potter magic as far as I’m concerned and if VSEL (as was) had let me loose near a nuclear submarine then there’d now be a huge radioactive hole in the earth where Cumbria used to be.

What’s just as worrying is in four years daughter #1 will be out of the house – and she’ll be driving a car in three.