A mother's weekly dispatch from the pre-school frontline

So here we are again, at this special time of the day ordinarily reserved for enthusiastic wildlife and people on drugs. With our youngest safely preoccupied attempting to eat a balloon and the eldest gyrating with a one-eyed doll to the strains of James Brown, my husband and I are free to frantically Google the possible implications of the final moments of a programme that has, for the past six months, provided the backdrop to our lives.

Last night we finally watched the last episode of The Sopranos – seven years after the rest of the world – having started the first of six series back when the baby was just a few months old. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, Tony's departure from our lives has left me bereft. It's like losing an old friend, one with whom I've shared intimate moments: my baby's first smile; him chopping his best friend into tiny cubes of flesh. "It says here it was AJ who died," my husband looks up, hope in his eyes. I shake my head. He nods, solemnly.

"Who is that big fat man?" my daughter asks, suddenly lunging towards the screen. "That," I say, "is Tony Soprano, and he is not a fat man, darling. He is a human being who has gained additional weight as a result of comfort eating in order to compensate for a complex and relentless internal struggle." That's funny, my daughter replies. Is he a dinner lady? "No," I say. "He's not a dinner lady. He is..." My daughter suddenly gasps, lurching backwards. "I am not a fat man, I am a sex machine!"