I should have smelt a rat last night when small son set off the house alarm by mistake and I heard him quietly answering the phone when the security company phoned to check – about 2.00 a.m. I should have smelt more rats this morning, when hubbie left for work and exclaimed that the big, motorised security gates for which we coughed up big money after our burglary last year, were standing wide open! Note to self: not matter how good your security system is it can’t account for the teenage factor. Then when I found small son’s bedding stripped and even his duvet lying in the kitchen by the washing machine (damp patches on all), I should have known. An unpleasant smell of vomit pervaded my nice clean kitchen and small son was to be found sleeping peacefully in a sleeping bag in the spare room, having deserted his ill-smelling own. He wrote his last exam yesterday. I had a distinct sense of déjà vue, going back ten years when an almost identical situation presented itself in the shape of his older brother, (then himself 18). The essential difference is that whereas small son at least tried to clean up after himself, eldest son slept through it – and in it! It must be a question of degree.