Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Angelina & Mini-Me do Disney - Families NW Nov Dec 20111

My edited version of this article appeared in Families NW Magazine in November December 2011
Angelina and Mini-Me do Disney.

“Shut up, legs! Behave yourselves! I know you are aching but this is DISNEYLAND!!”

This was merely the first rung of Mini-Me's advance up the ladder of self-parenting, propped as it was, against a crumbling wall of mothering built by me.

Somehow, Mini-Me and her edge-teetering mother had made it to the hallowed grounds of casa Mickey Mouse. In a world where one could conceivably change the name of this column from “Mummy on the Edge” to “The Next Set of Stupid Things She's Done” this was quite an achievement. For a start, I used Tesco Clubcard Vouchers converted to Airmiles on special discount offer to purchase the Eurostar tickets. I spent an inordinate amount of time checking out all the offers advertised on the website and on the telly. The best advice offered was that “the fun starts the minute you tell them”. In that case, do we actually need to go, I wondered.

After further research, it quickly became apparent that staying at a Disney hotel would end up costing me an arm and a leg (and about half a kidney). So instead, using a cashback website, I located a clean, newly built budget hotel just one stop away from the Disney RER (rail station) and right next door to a HUGE shopping mall housing a LARGE Auchan supermarket where we stocked up on grapes, poulet-thyme and bolognaise flavoured crisps, and other snackettes for me to secrete in my backpack; Mini-Me dragged me (practically screaming) away from the lingerie sale rail which featured bras by good French brands like Aubade and Chantelle (not that I still deeply regret not buying lovely French underwear at remarkably low prices).

I had booked the Disneyland tickets online using a 4 days for the price of 3 offer. Four days seems like an awfully long time for one to torture oneself for the sake of the happiness of one's child/ren but I had this ridiculous idea was that I would try very, very hard not to bark HURRY UP!! all the time, as I do at home. This was a gift to my lovely princess Mini-Me (which would hopefully include this Christmas and maybe her January birthday, if I could manage to milk it for that long), so if she wanted to stand still for 20 minutes outside the toilets, admiring some minor Disney wall frieze detail, while ride queues lengthened from 2 miles to 4 miles and summer turned to autumn, she could do so with neither threat nor sarcasm from her mother. I would not chevy her along in order to do things in a more time efficient manner. And if we decided that enough was enough and we didn't really need the last day, no problem. We could instead go back to Auchan and spend the morning foraging for pretty bras in a 32D! In any case, a lovely Oyster lunch was definitely on the cards while waiting for our train to go home from Gare Du Nord. [except I got the time of the return Eurostar wrong and we had to leg it from Disney to Gare Du Nord]

We dropped off our luggage at the hotel and got to Disneyland at about 5ish. It closed very late so we had plenty of time to wander around a bit and then catch the first parade. Mini-Me found a spot behind a tall lamp post, next to a tall girl. Her head peeping round from behind the lampost, Mini-Me's eyes were wide with glee when the characters made their way around the circular road in front of our patch of pavement and I swallowed a sob, just observing the wonderment on her face. Then in pigeon French I asked the tall girl if Mini-Me could please stand in front of her. She looked at me as if I was mad and said “Non!” Indignant, I continued in my terrible, wrong French that belied my grade “B” A level: “Please miss. You are very, very fat and she is very, very tiny!” Again, (somewhat offended) “Non!” Mini-Me was happy enough and quite embarrassed of me. But I finally lost it and in one deft, two-handed movement I shoved the tall, mean girl to the left and slotted Mini-me in and said “Thank you! You are very very beautiful!”

We weren't going to make another mistake later on for the weirdly named Fantillusion light-up parade. We found a seat on the pavement about forty minutes before it was due to start. By that time our legs were aching badly enough for our bottoms to find the cold, hard ground exeedingly comfy. We sat, while crowds swarmed around us. And sat. And sat. Mini-Me yawned. We played I-Spy. We shivered. We breathed in third party cigarette smoke from the mummy of miscellaneous nationality sat beside us with her son who was absolutely beside himself with fatigue-induced delirium. It was about 10pm and he desperately wanted to go to bed. But he was going to enjoy Fantillusion (whether he fanted to or not). There is so much more to tell you that won't fit within the confines of this space. Please visit my blog to learn more about weird European haircuts, disgusting Disney food, queueing to meet characters and how I tortured Mini-Me by making her go on the Tower of Terror! (But don't visit the blog if you work for Social Services...) Happy Holidays!

Goofy had an attitude problem.

Mini-Me peeking trying to get a peek of the parade.

What my castle will look like after I've sold the rights to my life story.

Me posing in un-purchased Mini-Mouse Ears with the price and security tags still attached: Mini-Me, do you think we should buy these ears? They will only lie around the house making it a mess won't they? The joy of the ears will be spent once we get the home as will the 18 euros (can't actually remember the price) they cost. What do you think? Shall I buy them????
Mini-Me: No, Mummy. You are right, don't buy them.

This is self-explanatory.

This and below are inspiration for how I'm going to decorate my new house, once I've bought one.

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