The Jubilee extravaganza has caused an overdose of sugar and late nights, and with half-term running helpfully on from the four-day weekend, by 10am my wits’ ends were far behind me. Locking myself in the loo was as much for the children’s protection as for my own.
Today I have a new strategy. I am surviving half-term by being French. Having recently finished reading French Children Don’t Throw Food (only marginally less irritating than Gina Ford) I have happily subscribed to the view that children don’t need adults to entertain them. Thus I am letting them go feral while I browse eBay, tut at Daily Mail articles and scan Twitter.
My new-found French status enables me to give a Gallic shrug in response to infantile questions such as, ‘Why is it still raining?’ ‘How many baked beans would it take to make someone explode?’ and ‘Why is your belly-button all the way down there?’ When pushed extremely hard, the fact that I’m temporarily French can result in an exasperated ‘zut alors’, or even the odd ‘merde’.
Being French means I can chuck hunks of bread and cheese on the table for lunch, without the faff of actually making sandwiches, and bribe the children with hot chocolate without the slightest pang of guilt. Most importantly, being French permits me to pour myself an enormous glass of wine at midday, which has already improved my day significantly.
The only slight fly in the ointment is that French children stay up far later than their English counterparts. So at about 6pm I shall be reclaiming my British status and putting les enfants to bed.
Enjoy the rest of half-term. Bon courage!