Sweets for breakfast, pillow combats on request, and no straightening up … what happened when three families give the minors call the shots for a week?

‘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, almost giddy. I’m lying on the sofa with my sons, ingesting 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 perception of relaxation is wholly unfamiliar- and yet arouse a remote 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 sons had hastened to the bakery and spent 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 chew next.

Jake proposes a trip to the corner shop for providings. I float along the sidewalk beside him, laughing at his jokes; his feeling is unrecognisably effervescent, fizzing with humour, and I tell him he’s on cracking form. He halts and turns to me, his expres unexpectedly earnest.

” But don’t you receive? This is the real me. Your rules shape me move ,” and he withers, hunching his shoulders and drawing his wrists together as if cuffed.” But our rules have released the real me ,” and he hop-skip off into the shop.

Jake and Joe’s rules

Decca isn’t allowed to say no
No baths
Hourly meat fight
Unlimited screens
No bedtime
Decca has to play Laser Tag when we want
Unlimited sweets and crisps and chocolates and fizzy drinks
Decca has to disco dance when we want
Email Donald Trump every 10 hours to revile 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 urinate on the toilet sit Sarfraz Manzoor with his wife Bridget and daughter Laila. Image: David Vintiner for the Guardian Watch more Tv

Have Mummy and Daddy both speak to me at bedtime

No indicating

Daddy not to look at his telephone at dinnertime

Breakfast of Coco Pops

Dinner of fish fingers, microchips and peas

Bedtime when I require

Daddy singing carols from Matilda at bedtime

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

Themed dinner every night- Mexican, Indian, etc

Constant supply of chocolate cereal

We choose bedtime


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