Grace Dent: I could never be as good a mum as Lily Allen

Despite her celebrity status, she wants her children to remain grounded

I loved Lily Allen’s candidness on giving her kids a normal childhood. “I didn’t want them spending the weekend in the Groucho Club in the hotel upstairs, with a Toblerone to keep them going.”

Keeping a child remotely grounded when society has elevated their parent to the status of a higher being sounds like an incredibly tough call. Famous-land is a magical place, a world of late nights, irregular hours, constant free gifts, “creative” types with fragile egos and effervescent energy, plus a constant glut of strangers begging for photos while babbling hysterical praise.

The celebrity baby is exposed to all of this from their earliest breathing moments and then pilloried by the press and public when, as a teenager, they go a bit off the rails. Trying to raise a pleasant-mannered, grounded child – one who might hold down a Saturday job or even crave a non-media career – must be a daily battle of counter-brainwashing. Less is more, little one. Greed isn’t good. I love that Lily has strong feelings about this sort of thing. She’s making a better job of mothering than I would. I reckon a giant duty-free Toblerone could keep a kid going in the Chateau Marmont hotel room for two hours at least while Mummy has a Martini. It’s got almond nougat in it, for crying out loud. That’s one of their five-a-day.

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