Monday 2 July 2012

Mummy on the Edge Families Magazine: July August 2012

Ah... What is the life of a single mother if she cannot torment her single daughter from time to time?

While performing the drudgery of clearing out her cupboards, after attiring Mini-Me in a pleated skirt, a ribbed polo-neck and my oldest, thickest pair of specs, I took a picture and posted it on facebook asking if anyone knew whom I had created. Of course it was Velma from Scoobie-Doo and the look of annoyed dissatisfaction on Mini-Me's face served only to authenticate the near-perfect rendition.

“Mummy! Why did you put that on facebook??” For a cheap laff, obviously, my little cherub. I think my childhood was too austere and I am having my playtime now, in middle age (nearly 40 if you must know). During her 10 years, poor Mini-Me has born the brunt of my regression with good-natured alacrity. She has tolerated my rusty scissors in her luscious locks and pretended to like the blunt bobs and unwanted fringes I have left her sporting. Now however, I fear the wind is changing. I recently took her for her first vaguely posh (well, paid for, anyway) haircut at Cedars of Bushey. Hmm... I need to re-exert my influence as much as possible now, before my living “Girls World” toy (remember? I always wanted one as a child) grows up and asserts her authority over her own appearance. And everything else.

The recent Diamond Jubilee of her Maj provided the perfect opportunity for my favourite brand of sad, pathetic fun. Naturally, the merciless weather prevented our trudge to Central London to witness first hand the pomp and ceremony. However, some patriotic and kind individuals down our street had organised a “Jubilee Picnic” featuring a special fancy dress competition with a prince and princess theme. That was all I read on the pink flyer that came through our letterbox before I ran upstairs to dig out my old wedding tiara (lucky I didn't burn it after all), pearls and anything else I could dredge up from the bottom of my dusty costume jewellery box.  The promise of cake and roast chicken and thyme flavoured Walkers Sensations crisps was enough to draw Mini-Me out of the house and into the street wearing my fakery and her dressing gown which has “princess” embroidered on it. Of course she won first prize. (Let's ignore the fact that she was the only princess to have ventured out in the rain.) This was not the first time I had worked Jubilee magic on my unwitting child-victim. When she was a baby I fashioned a crown out of my bangles and tissue paper for the Queens's Golden Jubilee. What will I do in 10 year's time? She will be twenty and I will be nearing 50. Gulp. Will they still be selling Girls Worlds?

Anyway, it will be retribution time by then. Mini-Me is already telling me what looks good and what looks funny. Last Friday when the bin men were out, she told me I looked like I had nothing on under my trench coat because I was wearing shorts. I actually had to go and put leggings on to appease her!

Yesterday, when my gorgeous 19 year old niece made me put her bandage dress on (“For jokes, Auntie” (- Oh! I suddenly can see now how this will all backfire on me - )) I  found out how much fun it actually is to play make-believe. I was instantly transmogrified into “Lisa”, the oldest hag from Real Housewives of Beverley Hills (don't look at me like that, I do also watch Newsnight, and The Book Show...) using an old cuddly toy as Giggie, the permanently attached chihuahua. Of course, although Mini-Me hadn't a clue who I was (as probably no one reading this does either, but you can IMAGINE, right?) tottering around in my sister's stilettos, and posing in front of her huge, ornate mirror, spouting hackneyed platitudes from the show, she did enjoy hanging dangly sparkles on me and laughing at my impression. “Mummy, you look BEAUTIFUL!” What fun we had together; she, lavishing me with compliments and me, pretending to be a filthy-rich, botoxed, egotist. Is this not what experts mean when they say you should make time for imaginative play with your children?

For more Life on the Edge with Angelina, including details of her latest life-changing gadget visit Angelina runs Sing and Sign baby signing classes in Harrow, Bushey and Rickmansworth and Sing and Sign has just won the Netmums awards for the best pre-school classes in Harrow and in Brent! More info at