Sweets for breakfast, pillow opposes on requisition, and no straighten up … what happened when three houses make the children 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, nearly giddy. I’m lying on the sofa with my boys, 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 awarenes of relaxation is absolutely unfamiliar- and hitherto stimulates a distant remembrance 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 boys had raced to the bakery and invested 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 swim along the pavement beside him, laughing at his jokes; his mood is unrecognisably effervescent, fizzing with witticism, and I tell him he’s on break figure. He halts and turns to me, his saying unexpectedly earnest.

” But don’t you determine? This is the real me. Your rules construct me disappear ,” and he decreases, impression his shoulders and describing his wrists together as if cuffed.” But our rules have unleashed the real me ,” and he skips off into the shop.

Jake and Joe’s rules

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

Have Mummy and Daddy both read to me at bedtime

No arguing

Daddy not to be addressed by his telephone at dinnertime

Breakfast of Coco Pops

Dinner of fish fingers, chips and peas

Bedtime when I crave

Daddy singing carols 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 elevation anywhere, any time Weekly clas competitions night

Themed dinner every night- Mexican, Indian, etc

Constant supply of chocolate cereal

We decide bedtime

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