N N N N N Nineteen

Bear Rose

The Rose turned 19 last week.

It was a far less traumatic affair than her 18th but amazing for a number of reasons.

It started out with a hankering to have a Spa day with me and a friend. The Friend had no name but The Rose was confident one would arrive pretty soon and then we’d all go off and be pampered.

I spent time finding somewhere we could go to (and afford) and suggested pampering options to The Rose. She was excited at first but grew increasingly concerned about the order of the day. She defiantly wanted to swim but not if she’d had any kind of massage/manicure first and what about lunch?  It wouldn’t work if she had a sauna after lunch and we had to get home by 5pm. Arghhh!

The Rose recognised I was trying to do a nice thing for her but didn’t appreciate why I couldn’t make it ‘all smooth’.

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts you’ll know The Rose has a loving heart, she doesn’t ever mean the rages she has but accommodating changes to plan (especially much anticipated plans) does not come easily. The Friend, along with the plan, evaporated as she verbally tore up the day and resigned to not have a birthday at all.

Typically – the rages subside quite quickly, the tears are dried and a new plan is hatched, written on one of her classic ‘notes under the bedroom door’. Thank God for notes under the bedroom door.


I’m 19. I’m a grown up. I want to show you I am mature, able to cope with life. Move on. Be an adult.

So let’s go shopping like ladeeeez. We can have lunch. We can talk about boys and I can use my New Look vouchers and get that coat.  I can buy you a present too (smiley face).

And so it was. We dressed up and drove to the shopping centre. Heading immediately for hot chocolate and croissants so we could sit and write down more lists and the order we would do things.  The Rose seemed nervous. So was I. Keeping our temper and avoiding meltdowns is usually my preserve but I could see The Rose was doing it too. It was like a date. We were on our best behaviour and it felt great.

It’s a minefield though.

It’s vital to The Rose that when she shops the things on her list are actually ticked off. We also need to pretty much stick to the right order of visiting shops according to how the shopping precinct is laid out. We can’t be too spontaneous. We need to decide where we’ll have lunch.  All pretty sensible plans really unless you are a window shopper like me, in which case you are the devil incarnate. Note to self – keep your eyes on the prize.

If any items The Rose wants aren’t available that’s OK – but if I suggest an alternative – that’s not OK. I also have to remember not to be too enthusiastic. If I think that what she chooses is great, I have to keep a calm voice.  If I don’t like it I have to tell her straight. She can’t bear tact. Often she doesn’t want me to speak at all so she can think, yet she almost never leaves my side.

Big shops with brand names and loud music are safe and understood by The Rose. They are cool and good to feel excited in but not if she has to do anything, like buy something! And if the shop is hard to navigate or things have moved – she leaves.

The Rose used to refuse to try things on – the harsh reality of cash wasted on scratchy, ill fitting clothes means she does at least now go into a changing room – but she has to gather herself. If the clothes are the wrong size or have a fiddly zip/button combo she’s out like a champagne cork from a bottle, clothes wafting to the changing room floor in the vacuum that is left in her wake.

So it’s tricky.

But with our grown up demeanour, ordered plans and clear rules  my 19 year old daughter sailed like a galleon in full mast around the aisles, smiled charmingly at cashiers,  ordering lunch like a connoisseur and quickly getting over the booby trapped boots – which had looked so different online.

It was heaven.

“I feel so mature Mum. Is this how it feels? I think I’m really getting on. I want a car soon. I think we need to leave now I’m tired and we are having tea and scones aren’t we? No arguments today. I really think 19 is my year”.

As we were leaving to go back to the car – she turned to me, all adult concentration, long eyelashes and sartorial elegance.

“Mum I want to do one more thing”

Of course love what is it?

“I want to go into Build a Bear”