I went to see my daughter’s Christmas play yesterday – she was Little Bo Peep. She’d been given a shepherd’s crook as part of her costume, which she basically used to prod anyone who’d forgotten their words, or wasn’t standing in the right place. ‘Turn around,’ she hissed at one poor Reception kid playing one of her sheep, poking him in the back. ‘Turn around!’ The audience tittered at first – how sweet! Look how she’s keeping them in line! – but when she screeched, ‘Turn AROOOUUUND!!!’, and waved the crook in the air menacingly like an SS Kommandant brandishing his Luger, there was an embarrassed silence. At one point, she and the sheep had to perform a rudimentary dance routine; I think it was supposed to be some sort of square dance, but with my daughter dragging her partner across the stage in a half-Nelson – ein!, zwei!, drei!, vier! – it had the look of a military parade. At times like these I can’t believe we share any genes at all. I’d always imagined my children would be like I was as a child – shy, neurotic, a bit dreamy. Instead, I got someone who literally kicks my door open at 7am, bounces in carrying a clipboard and a felt tip, and trills, ‘Good morning, Mummy! Get up, we’ve got to prepare for my party!’ [It’s six months away.] She’ll be someone’s nightmare boss some day – ‘Have it on my desk in 5!’. But right now she’s just bossy.