Archive for January, 2012

In one weeks time I will be turning (furtively looking around, lowering voice to whisper) forty.  I’ve deliberately written that in word form rather than numbers, because it just looks too scary with that big 0 behind something bigger than a 3.  I know, I know, forty is the new thirty and all that.  But frankly I don’t look anywhere near as good as Demi Moore and I certainly don’t rate my chances at getting a hot toy boy.  Not that I’d want one, in all honesty I don’t have the energy.

So I have to admit I’m struggling with it a bit.  For me it’s the true step into middle age and a realization that I don’t have any plans for this part of my life.  It’s a life-goal dead zone for me.  In the twenties I had my career, in my thirties I planned marriage (which I did at 30, check) and kids (31 and 36, check).  But my forties?  Well apparently that’s when you start getting mammograms according to the letter that came through the post a couple of weeks ago – yeah thanks for that, you couldn’t have waited until after my actual birthday?  Oh and I may have perimenopause on the horizon too, so that’s something to look forward to.

So you see when it comes to being a woman in my forties I can’t help but think about it from a twenty year old perspective or to put it in my darling 8 year old Mo’s words.  “You’re old.  Not really, really old, just you know, old.”  So when I went to buy a swimsuit the other day, for my upcoming birthday weekend away, I had a choice.  Choice number one was the instantly slimming costume, complete with full bottom and chest coverage and ruching across the stomach.  Choice number two was a sexy halter neck that showed off my ‘pretty perky for past my thirties’ breasts.  The obvious choice for middle-aged woman was number one of course.

Except, I don’t feel old.  I still feel as uncertain, unsettled and new in my skin as I did when I turned twenty.  Ok, so I have more authority and assertiveness when dealing with difficult situations and I don’t fall over so much after a good night out on the town, but damn it I refuse to consider myself as anything but young.  So I’m having the sexy swimsuit and if anyone so much as dares to mention the words “mutton” or “lamb”, I’ll poke you in the eye with my knitting needle and crack your shins with my walking frame!


About a week or so before the holidays we were told that Flo’s preschool class would be having dress-up day on the first Friday back to school, to celebrate their favorite animal.

Christmas was looming and for some reason I was in a particularly relaxed (unorganized) state of mind this year, so January 6th seemed a lifetime away.  I therefore did what every good parent would, stuck it in my diary and then filed it away in my mommy brain under ‘not important yet, will get to later’.  Now as everyone knows, this particular file has an uncanny knack of randomly selecting items and magically storing them under ‘trash’.

In my defense I did give it 5 minutes consideration over the holidays when I casually asked Flo what she might like to be.  Some lively discussion took place where we considered the options.  A pony seemed to be the favorite, at which point I thought about how I would purchase a pony costume 2 months after Halloween or alternatively, make one out of felt, left-over fabric, cardboard and 2 pieces of string.  Following which, out of some sort of mental survival instinct, I went into utter denial and forgot the whole thing.


As we were piling out of the car on the first day of school (which happened to be a Wednesday), feeling a little smug that we were on time, had all our snacks, water, lunch, hats, gloves and even Mo’s clean gym kit, (which she didn’t even need until Friday!), Mo asks “Isn’t she supposed to be in costume today?” “No,” I say casually, “that’s not until Friday.” Light goes on over head! Which would be THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW!!

At this point while I start sweating in panic, Mo and Flo start chatting about what the costume should look like.   “It’s ok”, I reassure Flo, “we can still make a quick run to the costume shop before Friday,” (which is 40 minutes roundtrip and may still not have what we need). Suddenly Flo has decided,  “I want a butterfly and a dog and a pony.”  “That’s a lot of costumes Flo, lets just stick with one shall we,”  “No, I want to be a butterfly, dog, pony.” “In one costume?” “Yes.”

Now this I can work with, I know for a fact that we have dog ears and butterfly wings in the costume box, now just for the pony part.   And whilst my poor, early morning, caffeine deprived brain starts smoking, my darling 3 year old Flo pulls one out of the hat, “And I can wear my butterfly t-shirt and put my ‘My Little Pony’ stickers on it.”  The child is a genius!

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