Sweets for breakfast, pillow fightings on request, and no tidy up … what happened when three houses make the kids call the shots for a few weeks?

‘The house has the airless discombobulation of a student house in the 90 s, the day after a big night out on ecstasy ‘: Decca Aitkenhead

Three hours in, I feel weightless, virtually giddy. I’m lying on the sofa with my boys, chewing chocolate, watching telly, and it is no exaggeration to say that I am having the time of my life. For the first time in eight and a half times, I am not in charge. This exotic superstar of relaxation is totally unfamiliar- and yet budges a distant recollection of who I used to be.

The kids-in-charge experiment began at 1pm, and I can’t believe how well it’s going. In truth I’d been dreading it, braced for bloodbath, but so far it has been nothing but fun. At 1.01 pm the boys had hastened to the bakery and expended PS10 on cakes, before charging on up the road for lunch in McDonald’s. I’m very much enjoying the absence of washing-up, and curious to see what they will eat next.

Jake proposes a trip to the corner shop for funds. I move along the pavement beside him, laughing at his jokes; his mood is unrecognisably effervescent, fizzing with ingenuity, and I tell him he’s on cracking shape. He halts and turns to me, his phrase unexpectedly earnest.

” But don’t you envision? This is the real me. Your rules construct me disappear ,” and he shrinks, hunching his shoulders and reaping his wrists together as if cuffed.” But our rules have unleashed the real me ,” and he bounces off into the shop.

Jake and Joe’s rules

Decca isn’t allowed to say no
No baths
Hourly nutrient fight
Unlimited screens
No bedtime
Decca has to play Laser Tag when we want
Unlimited sugaries and crispies and chocolates and fizzy drinks
Decca “re going to have to” disco dance when we want
Email Donald Trump every 10 hours to insult him
We are allowed to get competitions on Decca’s phone
Allowed to swear
Unlimited liquid fights
Worst table manners
No vegetables
Allowed to jump on Decca’s bed, to play on a Wii and to pee-pee on the bathroom tush Sarfraz Manzoor with his wife Bridget and daughter Laila. Photograph: David Vintiner for the Guardian Watch more Tv

Have Mummy and Daddy both speak to me at bedtime

No arguing

Daddy not to be addressed by his phone at dinnertime

Breakfast of Coco Pops

Dinner of fish thumbs, chips and peas

Bedtime when I require

Daddy singing songs from Matilda at bedtime

No tidying up Clover with her five children( from left) Dash, Jimmy, Evangeline, Lester and Dolly. Photograph: David Vintiner for the Guardian A promote anywhere, any time Weekly category competitions night

Themed dinner every night- Mexican, Indian, etc

Constant supply of chocolate cereal

We decide bedtime


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