Families Magazine March April 2015
March is when I shake off the fatigue and stress of January and February. January is consistently stressful because it always entails planning Midi-Me's birthday celebrations whilst simoultaneously ransacking my handbags and drawers for all my business receipts and doing my accounts in time for the tax return deadline. The self-inflicted fatigue was largely caused by the effort it took to conceal from Midi-Me the fact that I was watching Celebrity Big Brother every day. (I know. But I just couldn't help it this time.)
The birthday came and went without major incident (by “without incident” I mean specifically without my having a personal breakdown). Midi-Me is the queen of our household, so naturally she had 3 birthdays. Friday was all about The Fahmleee: Twofer pizza from Pizza Hut, halved baked potatoes with sour cream artfully plonked on top and chicken legs in the oven. My super duper niece made a Ferrero Rocher inspired cake; Bob was therefore my uncle.
Saturday was the day of Billy Elliot and what I will henceforth refer to as “Coatcushiongate”. I had cannily bought the tickets to the show (that she had desperately wanted to see for about a year) when they were on offer at Christmas with getinolondontheatre.co.uk (worth bookmarking that site for offers). Here's the thing: both Midi-Me and I are properly short and we were sitting behind a couple of averagely tall members of a hen party, dressed in pink hen party sashes and carrying special hen party gift bags and with their hair in hen party up-dos that added about 2 inches to their already not inconsiderable height. Midi-Me therefore folded up her fleece coat and sat on it and I folded up my very lightweight feather filled coat and gave it to her for extra comfort. We adjusted ourselves accordingly (-Midi-Me became the height of an averagely short grown-up whilst I remained the height of a ten year old boy) and had a natter in the few minutes remaining before the start of the show, trying to zone out from all the chatter around us. In between all this however, we became aware of an intentionally loud voice behind us:
“Now look, that girl's not that little... When she was standing she was nearly as tall as her mother!... Well, some people are just SELFISH, aren't they?”
I realised the voice was talking about me! And Midi-Me! We turned around. “How very DARE you??” I didn't say. Fumbling around, avoiding our stare was a mum sitting next to her daughter, a few years younger than mine.
“If there is a problem, or your daughter can't see, you can ask directly. We don't want to block anyone's view.” Midi-Me sank herself down in her seat a bit more.
“Thank you” said the lady
“You are very welcome.” I replied, more than a little sanctimoniously, I'm afraid.
Unnecessary conflict averted, we went on to enjoy Billy Elliot which was excellent.
The next day, more celebration! I took her schoolmates to see “Into the woods” which I am still singing in my head two weeks later, substituting the word “woods” for any room or vehicle or item of clothing I happen to be stepping into – take that as a warning if you haven't seen it already. We followed that with dinner at TGI Friday's. The kids' food was okay but those of us adults who eschewed meat for Tex Mex found a plate of Ew in front of us. Mine looked and tasted like an old slipper. Such fun.
Check out the guide on page ___ for birthday party ideas. I wish I had.
Guess what? One of my talented Sing and Sign mummies is a professional actress a West End musical! Heather Craney is in Made in Dagenham with Gemma Arterton and she says every woman should go see it, especially if they have children. It is on until 11th April at the Adelphi theatre on the Strand. Go see it and let's chat about it on my new page on facebook...
Like Angelina Melwani on facebook to have me squatting on your newsfeed (look for a black and white picture of my dodgy fringe!) Angelina teaches Sing and Sign baby signing classes. More info at www.singandsign.co.uk.