It’s all these “rules” that make everything so much of a downer. And Daddy’s tired. So let’s just not have any rules. Makes sense, man.

Initially, it seemed to work. The kids did more or less what they wanted, and the Beloved Leader made wise suggestions about what they should do next. This lockdown Utopia lasted approximately one morning.

Turned out that they didn’t like the idea of home school. What’s the point of being at home if you still have to do school? I could not argue with this impeccable logic. But parenting often means having to force your children to do illogical and boring things. Which is sure to make you popular.

What followed was the dark time. The Beloved Leader turned into a terrible, grumpy, shouting monster. Everything was an argument. It was awful. Then the beloved leader had an idea, born more out of desperation than inspiration. The kids should decide when they want to do everything, and write it all down on a piece of paper and stick it on the wall. We all abide by the schedule without having to shout at each other. And democracy is born.

Unfortunately, as we all know, democracy doesn’t work. It quickly started to go wrong. After three days, the eldest child was making an impassioned speech about the tyranny of the “piece of paper on the wall” and how he was going to “tear it down and rip it into tiny pieces”. This naked populism was, not surprisingly, very popular.

Now we have adopted another system. It’s a mixed system. Some shouting, followed by some argument, followed by brief, reluctant compliance, followed by some whinging, followed by telly. Followed, at the end of the day, by the Beloved Leader drinking quite a lot of wine.

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