I am the parent of four adults! How did that happen? When I was in my twenties and thirties, my beloved and I planned for a large family - well, not so much planned but certainly welcomed the idea. It did, of course, take longer than we had intended and when my friends were packing their children off to secondary school we were back at the nappies stage with the twins. And seriously, most of our friends thought we were mad, which obviously we were!
Now those little treasures who woke us up in the middle of the night and kept us short on sleep but long on smiles have grown up and they, as of last weekend, are eighteen. Nowhere in my plans or dreams did I intend to become the parent to four adults and I am now wondering how this is going to pan out.
Some things haven't changed. Two are still in residence and in school, although clearly not for much longer as A levels start in a matter of days and once that's over so is school. And the usual requests/complaints are still being made. Generally the most frequent of these are as follows:
1 I haven't got a shirt.
2 There's nothing in the fridge.
3 Can I have a lift to...
4 I can't find (insert here any article of clothing, sporting equipment or formal document ie passport, driving licence, examination paperwork etc, of which we will only have one)
And most recently...
5 There's no fuel in the car.
The latter is interesting as I keep putting fuel in Manu, the Kia Rio named after the Leicester Tigers and England centre, and then the next time I get to drive it there is something slightly more than a dribble left in the tank. Hmmm...
So can I hang up my parenting skills such as they are? I suspect not but we are moving into a new and different stage in our lives and there are hopefully new challenges ahead. I have not yet crossed into the engagement, wedding, grandchildren area of play and I can, and am, still attempting to maintain some sort of discipline here - house rules, my rules and although it's hard to call them to heel when I have to look up rather than down at them, I can still try!
Finally, tomorrow is the Acorn 100k Sponsored Bike Ride and although we have all been cooking up a storm cake-wise for 600 cyclists, the weather forecast is shocking. So if you're not cycling, marshalling or involved in other Acorn Bike Ride-related activities tomorrow, spare a thought for us lycra-clad souls who are pedalling across North Yorkshire with only the thought of cake at the end to sustain us!