Who knew that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin only allow their children to watch TV in French and Spanish? Speaking to the Indian TV channel NDTV, presumably in neither Sanskrit nor Hindi, Gwynnie explained, "When I'm in France I go to Boulevard Beaumarchais and buy all their cartoons".
Her eight-year-old daughter, Apple, is "cross" about this, she admits, and you might safely guess that Moses, six, feels the same as his sister. Even the playground hilarity that Noddy is known in French as 'Oui Oui' might not compensate for having no idea what Big Ears is saying to him.
If there is a mystery about the Paltrow-Martin Television Tower of Babel, it is the apparent absence of any kids' TV shows in Jewish tongues. Not long ago this descendant on her father's side of Polish rabbis – a devout follower of Kabbalah, of course, in common with her best frenemy Madonna – took the decision to raise them in the faith. It does seem a bit of a shame, if not a wilful act of negligence, to deny the kids the Hebrew version of Bugs Bunny, and the Yiddish version of Wacky Races in which Dick Dastardly mutters a dispirited "Oy vey" after yet another disaster, and screams "You meshuggeneh" at Muttley.
That curious oversight apart, Gwynnie's commitment to motherhood knows no bounds, keeping a close eye out, as she does, for contraband English-language Tom and Jerry DVDs. She also finds time for her website, goop.com, which she founded a few years ago with the noble aim of "curating the best of lifestyle". Among this week's 'small bites' is a recipe for that timeless children's favourite, avocado on rice cracker ('Preparation: Place sliced avocado evenly on rice cracker, feeling free to muddle a bit to fit the shape of the cracker…').
One day soon, Apple and Moses will become grateful to their mother for her typically unpretentious approach to life and parenting. It isn't every pre-teen who can come out with a perfectly accented "Mum, I cannot and will not tolerate another morsel of this macrobiotic filth. Call Domino's this instant and get me an American Hot" in three different languages. Knowing the French for, "My mother is the most affected woman on the planet", and the Spanish for, "If my mother was one iota more smug, she'd be Gyles Brandreth with breasts", might just come in handy as well.