Daddy Cool: ‘The children are becoming rather useful’

I MIGHT regret saying this but – for the moment at least – the children are becoming rather useful. Take daughter No 1, our very own boomerang kid.

She’s bounced back home for the third time following university, working periods and long sojourns in foreign parts but now, for the first time, she is showing signs - only signs mind you - that this time she might just start pulling her weight around the house. She cooks dinner occasionally, loads the dish washer occasionally and chips in with tea-making duties, occasionally. She even volunteered to cleanse her room of some of the junk she has accumulated over the last 22 years.

Being of feisty character and always up for a rammie, she’s even taken on the role of chief complainer. Her first opportunity came when our internet services went down and she decided she couldn’t trust her parents to cope with the bloke in the call centre who was demanding a level of technical expertise too high for her ageing ma and pa. That this was motivated not by the common good but by her internet addiction is by the by. She needed her fix and she needed it now. I swear her face was going all pale and sweaty as she went cold turkey until her sister arrived home with her smartphone – Daughter No 1 is temporarily phone-less – which she promptly grabbed out of her hand.

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Daughter No 2 is also displaying all the symptoms of being less of a burden. She cooks up a mean risotto and a sumptuous stir-fry. When she sets her mind to it she can clean up the kitchen with a zeal of a Michelin-starred chef with an army of underlings at their command. She was even seen cleaning a car, but mainly because the seagulls of St Andrews had used its bodywork as a toilet for a month and even she didn’t want to be seen out in it. Not good for the image.

And, oh yes, the car. Now both have their driving licences taxi companies are taking a hit as they are available to be summoned to a public house for parental transportation. If that’s not useful, I don’t what is.

I fear, however, things might be about to change. Both have jobs to cover the summer before DNo1 takes up a full-time position and DNo2 returns to university. Once they are working again, I expect they will both return home shattered, slump on the settee and expect normal parental service to resume. If that’s the case, I’m going to enjoy this brief flowering of eternal hope while it lasts.