14/08/2014 12:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Surviving Teenagers: Disappearing Acts

Surviving Teenagers: Disappearing acts

The bigger teenagers get, the harder it is to see them.

There they are, sprawled over the sofa, hogging the kitchen chairs, crowding out the living room.

Their shoes clog the hall. Their coats block the stairs. Their many and various chargers snake in and out of sockets all round the house. So they clearly live at the same address as you do.

But when you need them, they're not there. They've disappeared.

I've thought about this, and the times they're most likely to be invisible are:

1. Breakfast

2. After a meal when there's clearing up to be done

3. When you need help unpacking the enormous supermarket shop (jumbo packs of cereal, family bags of potatoes, economy packs of pasta)

4. The rare occasions when the landline rings (aka Deaf To Everything But My Ringtone)

5. When the dog is desperate for a walk...

6. ...the bins have to go out...

7. ...the house needs hoovering...

8. want to get something down from the loft...

9. ...or you'd like a serious explanation about who was making all that noise last night

10. The embarrassing minutes just after the front doorbell rings when everyone knows it's going to be a local councillor facing election/someone selling dusters/a self-published poet

11. Weekend mornings before noon

12. When there's no milk and you want someone nip to the corner shop

13. The rare sunny day when the path needs weeding/the washing has to go out/the windows are so dirty you can't see through them

14. The weeks leading up to exams when they're 'revising'

15. Late at night when you've calculated to the last minute the exact moment they should be home after the last bus/the last train/the text saying ON WAY, but there's still nothing coming up the street to the front door but a rather mangy-looking fox.

How is this possible? How can such big people just vanish?

"Well, your eyes aren't what they were, are they?" says my daughter kindly.

Do you have disappearing teens?