This weekend, our children ran the house.
Obviously, they do anyway, in a thinly-veiled exemplar of the master-slave dialectic. I went to see Frankenstein this weekend, hence the allusion to Hegel.
But that aside, we thought, after a particularly fraught weekend, in which we were hugely embarrassed by their riotous behaviour, that they could have a taste of what it's like to be in charge.
So we asked them if they would like to make the rules this weekend. Would they? They talked of nothing else all week in the lead-up. Apart from how bad the food was in our establishment, and why did they have to get up in the morning.
1. Daughter played on computer all morning.
2. Son played with mother and father all morning.
3. Lunchtime saw Mummy and Daddy demanding to be fed, and daughter in floods of tears because the breakfast things needed clearing away before she could lay the table.
4. Afternoon saw much fighting, and then a hasty trip to the shops armed with a bag and a £10 note, to buy supplies. Cheese strings, hot cross buns and a red nose.
5. Mother and father enjoyed an anxiety-free day of not organizing anything (other than the washing -- really cannot let that one go).
1. Mummy played on computer all morning. Working. "Working".
2. Children fought all morning.
3. Daughter finally persuaded to make lunch, given that there was only an hour to get dressed, make lunch, practice choir songs, do homework, and get to choir concert.
4. Daughter put finger in toaster.
5. End of experiment.
6. Mummy felt somewhat guilty about toaster incident, but also secretly felt that empirical learning for independence had struck, and that although it wasn't a great learning experience, she would never stick her finger in the toaster again. And I'm staying with that.
What did we all learn?
Son: "Not to eat a whole bowl of raisins. I had a tummyache."
Daughter: "Get more cheese strings."
Daddy: "That we boss the children around all the time."
Mummy: "That it feels really good not to work so hard, and then I play more with the children."
The jury is out.