Mummy on the Edge Jan Feb 2015
Angelina anticipates teen angst and she and Midi-Me enjoy a girly jaunt to Bath.
Gulp. I don't know how it happened. One minute I was floating on the operating table happily aware of Candy Statton singing Never Knew Love Like This Before on Heart FM as they pulled Tiny-Me out; the next, I'm sitting on the sofa under a blanket with Midi-Me watching Jobs, the movie about the volatile Apple entrepreneur, (rated 15). She is turning 13 this month (well the movie is educational, innit) and I am experiencing anxiety about the speed of time.
Am I old enough to be the mother of a 13 year old? I'm only about 17 years old in my head. So far, the highly-strung hysteria I have been bracing myself for has thankfully remained non-existent. And that's lucky because there's no time or space for a drama tween here. She knows where the shed is. Sure, I have single-handedly brought her up to be polite, musical, and generally lovely. Sure, she's never had a tantrum - a fact I go on about to my Sing and Sign parents ALL THE TIME to demonstrate the fact that baby signing makes kids less frustrated because they are able to communicate their needs from an early age. But I have to face facts: no one really knows what Kevin-and-Perry-themed disaster MAY lie ahead.
Whatever and if ever it comes up, we will deal with it. We who? Me and the ever-helpful Huffpost Parenting, of course. Even though I'm not a subscriber myself, I can be sure that something prescriptive will pop up on my facebook feed before I know I need it. Yesterday it was 10 things to say to your 13 year old today. I clicked on it and surprisingly, “Go and tidy your flippin' room!” wasn't on the list. Nor was, “You know where the shed is!” NATURALLY, I NEVER shout but am patient, loving, nurturing, kind and anything else you imagine I should be. And I signed with her when she was a baby. And I always apologise if I'm unreasonably grumpy. Which I NATURALLY, NEVER am.
And I take her on trips sometimes, just the two of us. We don't make them that often but the best trips involve at least two hours in the car and getting a bit lost on the way. Which you might think isn't that easy since one can use the smartphone to Ask the Google, but I can assure you through personal experience, that it IS possible. Specifically, when there's no GPS signal available; all you can see for miles is grass and a couple of cows; and you find that the only map available is a small, tattered book left in the rear seat pocket by the person you bought the car from 8 years ago.
The last such trip we took was to Bath. Midi-Me and I stayed in a charming B&B that was a fifteen minute walk into town and had to change rooms when we found that the ceiling was about to cave in, but the owners very kindly moved us to their holiday cottage which was actually lovely, if rather cobwebby. Things have a way of working themselves out.
It's easy to make the mistake of trying to see and do it all. And we did. Three museums in one day is a bit much, really and we were rather Jane Austened out (a bit like what happened in Stratford with Shakespeare a couple of years ago). We walked and walked and I didn't fuss when Midi-Me stopped to take artistic photos on the way, seemingly of EVERYTHING. Including one of a bridge with her hand wrapped around it, like a lego model. And pictures of me looking wistfully out over water and in front of Georgian buildings. Very creative. We even found a Geo-Cache which is a box of “treasures” left in a hiding place for the next person to discover. Exciting! You are supposed to take something and leave something. Unfortunately all I had on me to spare in my pocket was a used tissue and a 20-pence piece. So we took a balloon and left the coin. The highlight of the trip was swimming in the open air at the Cross Bath, fed by the only natural hot water spring in the country, sourced by the Romans! We were the only people there, and it was wonderful. Bath was the perfect girly jaunt for a mummy on the edge and her nearly 13 year old daughter.
Discover how to do Bath in 3 days at mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.com. Twitter:appleina
Angelina runs Sing and Sign award-winning baby signing classes in Harrow, Bushey and Rickmansworth. www.singandsign.com.