Friday, 23 September 2016

"If you can't be one, marry one," and other terribly wrong examples to set for your daughter.

Mummy on the Edge
Families North West London
July/ August 2016

Midi-Me has a few inset days coming up so I very cleverly booked a break the Cote d’Azure for she and me. Sorting that assuaged my guilt about taking a two week grown-ups’ holiday in the Yucatan and Havana with Mr Angelina (there are some pictures on my Instagram account @mynotesfromtheedge and posts about this epic trip on my blog).

Mr A sent his own Midi-him a picture of a black and gold sombrero as a joke, saying he had bought it for her. She replied back words to the effect of “Cool!” So he was faced with a dilemma: not to buy the sombrero because his fifteen year old daughter was probably being sarcastic or to buy the sombrero because she actually thought it was ironically cool. My advice? “Don’t buy it.”

We worked the market in 100F heat, stall by stall, looking for nick-nacks and paddy-wacks for the three (in total) Midis (two his, one mine). I stopped to handle some maracas which I thought a wonderful idea as Midi-Me is so musical. “What’s she gonna do with those?” asked Mr A. “Play them!” I countered, helpfully demonstrating with a cheeky 10-second shimmy. I realised I was buying them for myself. Upon his advice I instead chose a cute wooden spinning top and a white top of the wearing kind (one I could borrow...)

At the airport we had time to kill. As we walked around, the normally laid-back Mr A encountered a vast heap of overpriced synthetic velour sombreros in assorted sizes and hues and became somewhat crazed, flinging sombreros around. “Which one shall I get her? The red one? The yellow one? The green one?” “Get a small one,” I reasoned. “No I think I should get a bigger one; how about this, or this?” There was nothing I could do but shake my head and walk away. I became momentarily sidetracked with some maracas and two shakes later I returned to find him clutching a turquoise monstrosity with gold braiding, too heavy for anyone but the butchest Mexican to carry on his head for more than 30 seconds. (Number of people we saw wearing a sombrero in Mexico: zero.) “I’m not carrying that for you,” I remarked.

The book!
I also brought home a pretty painted octopus which Midi-Me loved because there is an
Octopus named after her in Mr Angelina’s children’s book which is being published this summer by Penguin Random House in India. Ayeshaand the Firefish is about a brave 10-year-old who accepts a mission to save the world while travelling it. It’s a bit like a kids’ version of the Da Vinci Code but cleverer, funnier and more unputdownable. Our heroine embarks on this adventure with the help of a sarcastic snail on a surfboard, and under the radar of her hedge-fund-manager-mother and her househusband-father. The story was born out of so many bedtime stories that Mr A made up for his Midi-girls when they were Mini-girls.

The last few months has been an education for all of us. Midi-Me and I have watched as Mr A has skilfully edited and honed his manuscript and now…  it is ready for launch! Inside are cute illustrations and the cover is colourful and sparkly with a beautiful Puffin logo in the corner… just like what we read when we were kids! I am beyond thrilled for him, and I get to see my name in print, on the thank you page. I was his self-proclaimed muse of course (– a very important job which luckily could be carried out alongside my three favourite activities, i.e. eating, thinking about writing and watching Real Housewives.)

So the moral of this story is: if you want to write a book but for whatever reason are not doing it, marry someone that will and experience the glory vicariously. I realise that’s not a very good life lesson for one’s Midi-Me but heck, no one’s perfect.

Oh and if you are wondering, Midi-Me loved the spinning top as much as she loved the octopus and was glad I didn’t buy the maracas. And yes, Mr A’s Midi loved the monstrous blue sombrero too!  Shows how much I know about teenagers… I’ll stick to Housewives. * * twitter @appleina *Instagram @mynotesfromtheedge *

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