Asterix the spud causing headaches for dad

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When I heard the statistic one-in-six parents do all their little darlings’ homework, I shifted uneasily in my well-worn reclining armchair.

Not that I was particularly surprised – 21st Century kids are having the common sense molly-coddled out of them – but I was terrified I would finally be found out.

It will not come as a surprise to my regular reader, but I was not a particularly good scholar, in fact the only things at which I excelled were drama and mucking about. My four-year-old reckons I am the second cleverest ‘boy’ she knows (apparently there is a lad in her school who can fit an entire packet of Monster Munch in his mouth) and I would like it to stay that way.

This being her first year of school I did think that the Day of Reckoning would not come quite as quickly, but it has been and gone. The task that showed me up wasn’t advanced algebra but a humble baking potato which had to be turned into everybody’s favourite cartoon ancient Frenchman, Asterix.

You heard me right: spud art is alive and well in the English curriculum and causing headaches for cack-handed parents everywhere.

If you have ever tried sticking a yellow pipecleaner, come moustache, onto a King Edward then I will save you the trouble. Don’t bother, it is impossible as neither cello tape or glue will stick.

This fact passed me by during two hours I will never get back and it wasn’t until The Boss returned home that the situation was resolved, when she quickly realised that all we had to do was stick the end of the pipecleaner into the spud and, hey presto, a moustache.

Not only did we have to dress a root vegetable but I had to transform our reception class daughter into the Gaulish hero, all in the name of World Book Day. I could not even do that right and have come to the conclusion little girls are not meant to wear a giant stick-on moustache.

Modern dads can cope with many things, but I defy anyone to tell me of a task more difficult than trying to convince a stroppy mini-adult that their costume doesn’t look daft.

Things haven’t got better as I this week received the metaphorical dunce’s hat after ‘we’ forgot to take that all-important jam jar to school for a typically green spring project. I was tempted to tell daughter number one (she’s the only one) that from now on she’s on her own when it comes to homework ...but I may wait until she turns five.

Of course, none of this bodes well for the future, and I can only hope she takes after her mother in the grey matter stakes, otherwise we are in for plenty more tantrums. She won’t be happy either.