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.

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