Being Five


Flea turned five last weekend.

Five seems to be a real milestone for my daughter. For weeks beforehand, I’d be pestered almost hourly with, “How many days now, Mummy?”

When I told Flea that it was my birthday, her response was: “Wow that means it’s only two more days until my birthday!” 

One of the things Flea was most looking forward to was her special birthday outing. She asked if she could go to Chill Factor-e, an indoor snow centre in Manchester. And she wanted to take her best friend from school. Oh, and could Daddy come too?

Well, it was her birthday. "Of course he can come, darling."

It's not cheap (£95 for myself and 2 kids) but there are some really fun things to do at Chill Factor-e. First, Flea and her friend spent an hour in the snow play area, where there are slides, and rides and a play house. Then we moved on to 'tubing' where you get to sit in a giant inflated tyre and slide down a steep, snowy slope. It's pretty exhilerating, and Flea adored it. After lunch, we spent another hour sledging – which is perfect for the end of the day as you do tend to get cold and wet when you fall off.

Flea had the best time EVER. In fact she wants to go back there every day for the rest of time because “Chill Factor-e is just so totally awesome”.

I wasn’t sure how the day would go – let's face it, family days out with your ex-husband are fraught with the possibility of awkwardness. But we had a complete ball.

I'd like to say a special thanks to the charming young man who was looking after the 'tubing' activity. It's not everyone who would have understood my dark wishes when I pointed to Flea's Dad and whispered, "It's my ex-husband."

The sight of my ex, wedged into a giant inner tube and screaming in terror as he flew backwards down the tubing slide was the best birthday gift a girl could hope for.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 22nd August 2010 / 10:55 am

    Happy Birthday Flea (and Mummy). Sounds like a fantastic time. We LOVE Chill Factor-e and are there almost every weekend for lessons and just for fun. Haven’t tried the tubing yet but will have to give it a try.

  2. 22nd August 2010 / 11:30 am

    Flea looks adorable and it sounds like something my teenagers would love too, shame we’re so far away.
    I get to celebrate my kids birthdays with my ex too, 3 times a year.
    Lucky me (it’s not that bad, just going for the sympathy vote)

  3. Susie
    22nd August 2010 / 11:44 am

    LOL-nice young man indeed.
    Happy birthday.

  4. 22nd August 2010 / 11:49 am

    Happy Birthday Flea! ah to be 5 again eh.

  5. 22nd August 2010 / 12:03 pm

    Does Squidge do lessons there? Flea’s desperate for snowboarding lessons, I’m tempted. Are they expensive?

  6. 22nd August 2010 / 12:04 pm

    It is a strange thing celebrating birthdays together with your ex, isn’t it? You have my sympathy TOTALLY.

  7. 22nd August 2010 / 12:04 pm

    A very nice young man, indeed! If I’d been able to navigate the wretched snow suit, I might have tipped him.

  8. 22nd August 2010 / 12:05 pm

    Yes, being able to go to bed at 7pm. Magical.

  9. Priness_L_88
    22nd August 2010 / 2:43 pm

    Hehe! Glad you had a good time! Sounds like a pretty fab birthday present for you too!

  10. 22nd August 2010 / 6:08 pm

    That’s brilliant. I’m not into snow stuff but OH has gone a few times and taken Monkey with him once or twice. I think lessons are quite expensive there. Glad you had a good time – and happy birthday to you both.

  11. 22nd August 2010 / 6:53 pm

    Thanks CJ, I must admit I’m having such fun with her at this age, I love it!

  12. 22nd August 2010 / 6:54 pm

    Thanks. The whole place was quite expensive – by the time I’d bought lunch and a mid-afternoon hot chocolate, plus a t-shirt for Flea, I’d gone through over £150. Had to explain to Flea today that it’s not an every weekend sort of place, and she might have to wait for Christmas for another visit!

  13. Nikki
    22nd August 2010 / 8:33 pm

    Sounds brilliant Sally – and oh – great to have you back!!!!!!! Woo hoo – I missed my Daily Flea!!
    Sounds like the centre called Xscape at Milton Keynes which is also a great place. Haven’t taken the kids yet, but will endeavour to do so 🙂

  14. 22nd August 2010 / 9:48 pm

    What a great place – sounds fun! Happy birthday to you both and three cheers for the helpful young man 😉 xx

  15. angelsandurchinsblog
    23rd August 2010 / 8:00 pm

    Shouldn’t that be a ‘complete snowball’? Sounds awesome indeed. Manchester a long way from south-west London, but I’m going to Google and see if there are any other Chill Factors. And if there aren’t, why aren’t there?!

  16. 23rd August 2010 / 8:55 pm

    SOunds like you had both had a fantastic time. I think we may need to make a trip to Manchester at somepoint. Happy Birthday to you both. x