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My marginally least feral child (subject to change at parental discretion) turns four in a few days. I KNOW!! She’ll be applying for a paper round soon and popping five bob in the housekeeping jar. Definitely not kissing boys and teaching me how to contour my lacklustre face

Anyway, the last couple of months have been replete with birthday wishlist demands.

Her: “I want….”

Me: “No.”

Her: “I want Elsa…”

Me: “No.”

Her: “I would like…?”

Me: “Better. Proceed.”

Her: “I would like an Elsa [mumbles] with no Olaf and no Ana, just Elsa.”

Me: “What did you say, an Elsa coat or an Elsa kite?”

Her: “Oooh. I did say coat but I’ve never had a kite before, have I?”

At this point it all goes a bit Mary Poppins, final scene. Then:

Her: “I want….I’d like a bike.”

Me: “You got one for Christmas. Remember?”

[Small boy whizzes past at breakneck speed on a scooter]

Her: “Mummy? MUMMY!”

Well, it’s better than another slew of Elsa tat, I suppose. Actually, I should be embracing her outdoorsy nature. Being the slightly “busy” sort, I can’t think of anything worse than being cooped up indoors, and so I’ve raised my cubs thus far to be hardy, perennial types. My first round of maternity leave saw me doggedly walking through all weathers to get from A to B, so mindnumbingly hideous was the prospect of staring at the same four walls until my husband came home to rescue me. I invested in a good pair of wellies and sensible coat, and that was that.

It seems to have filtered through to the big child, who loves muddy puddles and soggy swings and high winds. And, so it seems, wheels. Since that discussion a few weeks ago we’ve settled on a weird trike thing, some rollerskates, and a pogo stick (!) before coming back round to the idea of a scooter. I’ve found some beauties for small people over at SkateHut and thank GOD they don’t have a Frozen range, at least some things are sacred.

So, this is basically my summer, I reckon. Lugging a scooter over my shoulder until we reach safe green space, then alternately screaming “waaaaaaaait” and “mind ooooooooooooout” like a fishwife while she races ahead and narrowly avoids dog poo and unsuspecting old people. Or, hanging out with all the cool kids at the local skate park, wondering if I’m the only one old enough to remember when Tony Hawk was on The Simpsons.

Look at her though. Admittedly, she has so much energy she needs to be worked like a sheepdog. But I’d much rather stand armed with a pack of Mr Bump plasters and a restorative box of raisins than sit through Frozen for the millionth time.

Mouse jumping on a ramp at the skatehut

-SJW May 2017

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