The recent publicity about paedophiles on the internet and in public life is frightening, isn't it?

I think the Government adverts that are currently out are very clever in showing exactly how such people work but it is still very worrying to think your child could be contacted by such evil people.

Daughter, like most 13-year- olds, is totally convinced of her own invincibility and believes nothing and no one will or can ever harm her.

This makes trying to have a rational discussion about the threat of such things almost impossible, as her replies are all along the lines of "Well I wouldn't be that stupid" or "I wouldn't do anything as daft as that".

The thing is, I remember being 13 myself and I know I did do stupid things and did put myself in situations which were difficult to get out of at times.

All 13-year-olds do, especially girls.

Still, daughter is quite grown up for her age and I know is quite careful about what information she gives out on the internet.

I guess I just have to trust her to be as sensible as she tells me she is.

She is growing up so fast these days its hard to keep track of her progress.

After copying me and getting a new haircut herself, the other day she arrived back home with a new layered straightened style which makes her look much older.

I looked at this tall leggy stranger with trendy hair strutting down the street and wondered where my chubby little baby had gone to.

It doesn't seem ten minutes since she was still getting tucked into bed with a hot milk drink and her teddy bear. All of a sudden she has become almost an adult.

Mind you, she can still act like a child at times.

I went up to her room to say goodnight the other night.

After wading through the heap of clothes on her floor, I finally reached the bed only to discover Chico the hamster curled up on her pillow.

"You shouldn't let Chico sleep in your bed," I said. "Put her back in her cage."

"Why can't she sleep with me?" asked daughter.

"Well, it's not very hygienic. She might do a poo or something," I explained.

"I know," she said. "You know the other day when I was watching that programme on your TV in your room."


"Well, Chico was with me then and she did one in your bed."

"What did you do with it?" I asked suspiciously.

"Nothing. I was watching that programme and then I must have forgotten about it and just left it there."

So, not only are the kitchen and bathroom still in a mess, although the builders have almost finished I'm glad to say, but him indoors and I are reduced to sleeping in a bed with hamster poo.

I didn't tell him, as I knew what his reaction would be, but did change the sheets before we went to bed that night.