I came across a piece in the Sunday Times the other day about what a child should know in order to live independently when they fly the nest.
It went something like this:
By age 7 they should be able to make a sandwich, lay the table and wash up.
By 10 - help change the bed and run the dishwasher
By 13, cook a meal, change a fuse and bleed a radiator(!)
By 14 to be able to use the washing machine, sew a hem, clean a U bend and change a lightbulb.
I am all for encouraging independence. My mother calls it laziness on my part and ok I accept perhaps it was a bit unreasonable when I was irritated that my 5 year old had left his jumper, toothbrush and underwear behind when he packed his own suitcase for our holiday.
If my children can do some of these things they are certainly keeping it a secret from me. I have to confess that I only have a vague idea about radiator bleeding and I am quite happy to keep it that way. I do quite often refer to the bleeding radiator when the temperature outside plummets.
As for cleaning a U bend - isn't that what Mr Muscle is for?