The Trials of Parenthood: Off-net boyfriends.

Our lovely daughter - 'Squid' is now in another city, studying hard at Art (Did I really say that), and has been seeing a boy - the oddly long-haired, guitair playing accountant-wannabie - Vista Boy (his obsession with Vista I could almost forgive. But accountancy ?).

Some background: As a caring father, I didnt want her running a 'pay as you go' ChavPhone wilst in Dundee, in case she needed to make a call for some reason, and of course couldnt. So I got her a BlackBerry pearl. She's destroyed one so far, but hey - she's a teenager. Its small, fairly robust, does eMail and internet as well as phone stuff, and doesnt look like a shitty windows phone. Battery life is exceptionally good too.

Now. Both of these young adults are in constant internet communication, etc. Both have laptops permenantly glued to their laps, some shonky internet messenger open ALL THE TIME.

Well, the phone bills came in. The whole family mobile phone costs now come in one handy bill. SWMBO - unsurprisingly - is the least expensive. She normally says things with actions. (Such as setting me on fire, breaking my knee with a set of mole-grips, etc. Stuff that doesnt cost (her) much). I, surprisingly, came next. Some fifty quid in calls and text, which isnt bad for me. My highest was some £2,500 at some point, when Vodafone ripped me off.

The winner in the 'How much did that f**king cost!!' competition was in fact Squid. By a mile. In fact, over two months, by more than her car is worth. (okay, its a fairly cheap car). And most of the calls - which didnt cost that much - was to Vista-Boy. Fair enough. However, the FOUR PAGES of charges for text messages hurt far far more. Late at night, lots of em. I mean. A FORTUNE in text messsages.

It'd would have been far cheaper for ME to rent Vista-boy another BlackBerry, and they could have eMailed each other, or used BlackBerry messenger. For free. No. Seriously.

Sigh. Parenting isnt easy. I've largely avoided it over the years - SWMBO parenting both myself and Squid. Its hard.

So one parenting tip. Make sure any potential boyfriend/girfriend is at least connected to the net. Dont let em date 'muggles'.