This being election week, a responsible mother should at least have a stab at introducing the world of politics to her children. Maddy said ‘What exactly is Labour?’ ‘Um..well' I mumbled, 'it means ‘work’ and' (I was getting stuck already, hoping Alan wasn't smirking outside the door) 'the Labour Party puts the worker's interests foremost in its policies'. There. ‘I HATE WORK’ they all shouted, languishing around the breakfast table, as I fetched and mopped. ‘And what exactly is Conservative?’ Maddy continued, (enough on the Labour Party). ‘Don’t you know anything?’, Bonnie interrupted; ‘David Cameron is the Leeberal Demcras and Nick Walsh is Conservatits!’ You see - they'll pick it up from school anyway. We hooted childishly: 'Conservatits!! Conservatits!! Bonnie said 'Conservatits' Ha ha ha!' me glad of the diversion, as I really didn't have a half-baked, three word answer to this one. I gave Bonnie a big hug, which she deflected with a fork in my chest, humiliated. It was only fair.
Alfie likes maths, so I stimulated his interest in election issues by drawing a cake and presenting a fascinating mathematical anaylsis of proportional representation ('this slice might be for the Green Party, this slice for the Monster Raving Lunatic Party - ha ha!'). He was listening so intently that I was able to go on drawing more and more cakes to explain the rounds of voting with our current electoral system. Parenting can be so rewarding! Eventually I laid down the pencil to look at him and share a smile, but he'd gone. He was in the garden, laughing at me through the window: 'You've been talking to yourself for about ten minutes!'
We did feel sorry for Gordon Brown, though, when he said ‘goodbye and everything was entirely my fault’ through gritted teeth (I had a vision of doing the same on my deathbed), but his claim to be quitting his second most important job (PM)in favour of his first (father and husband), rang a little false, to my mind. I was looking at Sarah, his wife, grey-faced, perhaps thinking, ‘If you really mean that, mate, help me pack this lot by tomorrow!’. Imagine moving out in one day! At least she was standing next to him, unlike David Cameron’s other half, set back like the dollybird in a magic show. Mind you, with her impossibly perfect bump, electric blue frock, and long heeled legs she looked like a gorgeous lollipop and quite stole the show for me.