Sweets for breakfast, pillow campaigns on request, and no tidying up … what happened when three categories let the kids call the shoots 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, nearly giddy. I’m lying on the sofa with my sons, devouring 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 years, I am not in charge. This exotic wizard of relaxation is completely unfamiliar- and hitherto arouses a remote recall 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 even further it has been nothing but fun. At 1.01 pm the sons had raced to the bakery and invested PS10 on cakes, before accuse 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 clauses. I move along the pavement beside him, laughing at his jokes; his mood is unrecognisably ebullient, fizzing with humor, and I tell him he’s on cracking model. He halts and turns to me, his expres unexpectedly earnest.

” But don’t you discover? This is the real me. Your rules oblige me croak ,” and he contracts, hunching his shoulders and reaping his wrists together as if cuffed.” But our rules have unleashed 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 sugareds and crisps and chocolates and fizzy drinks
Decca has to disco dance when we want
Email Donald Trump every 10 hours to insult him
We were able to get plays on Decca’s phone
Allowed to swear
Unlimited ocean fights
Worst table manners
No vegetables
Allowed to jump on Decca’s bunked, to play on a Wii and to pee-pee on the toilet set 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 look at his telephone at dinnertime

Breakfast of Coco Pops

Dinner of fish thumbs, chips and peas

Bedtime when I require

Daddy singing anthems 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 heave anywhere, any time Weekly pedigree activities nighttime

Themed dinner every night- Mexican, Indian, etc

Constant supply of chocolate cereal

We decide bedtime


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