I have to confess I didn’t think I would be able to actually pinpoint the moment that I turned middle aged, as in down to the very second.
But I can.
It was yesterday, Saturday 11th of May at 11.36am.
It was with a heavy heart and a shroud of sensibility that I accepted my fate, there was simply no fighting it. It was as if strands of my hair started to turn grey as I reached into my backpack, then an extra wrinkle creased my forehead as I lined up three pairs of waterproof trousers, three waterproof macs (non matching) and gloves on the grass next to my feet.
I then summoned my two older children and together we pulled on our outer layers. I ignored the snorts of amusement from the passing crowds and tried to shelter my children from the reality of how ‘uncool’ we really were.
Then we stood together, me looking slightly older, and at least four dress sizes bigger thanks to a combination of jeans, waterproof trousers, t shirt, sweater and bright red rain mac.
Each of my children placed their hands in mine and together we shuffled forward, sweating slightly in the midday sun.
A slightly spotty but otherwise well presented youth said to me ‘just the three of you?’
I nodded, wondering if actually my backside could count as an additional person.
He waved us on, and we climbed in our carriage, above us the sign read ‘Beware – you may get very wet’.
I chuckled inwardly, yesterday you could call me many things, ‘wussy, middle aged, overly sensible, but at no point was I wet, despite sitting on the Rapids nine times, riding Logger’s leap, and facing the colossal Tidal Wave.’
It seems I now do water rides with ‘protection.’ – Yes I am that old!
But it is a hell of a lot more enjoyable taking the kids to a Theme Park, diving through the water rides and not having the seven year olds whinge and whine when they are soaking wet through to their underwear.
So where were we?
We spent the day at the Thrill Center of the South: Thorpe Park
It was awesome, since I am of northern origin I had never visited before and always had the perception that Thorpe Park was for ‘big kids.’ It is not often that I am wrong but in this instance I was really really wrong. My adventure seeking seven year old twins had an absolute blast and we endured terrifying twists and turns all day on some monster rides!
The kids couldn’t go on any of the five ‘extreme’ rides, but since Thorpe Park had offered us review tickets I took one for the team and tried out a couple of the serious contenders. I summoned every ounce of bravery and tried out ‘Stealth’, all I can say is Holy Mother of….
Although never really needing to know what it feels like to be shot from a gun I am confident that I know do. Stealth hits 85 miles an hour within 3 seconds and you leave your stomach on the ground as you shoot up a vertical track (imagine a ladder shape) and then slam back down it. For the descent all age was erased from my face as my cheeks flattened in speed, my forehead was ironed, the only lines that remained were those clustered around my firmly closed eyes that simply couldn’t bear to see the ground hurtling towards me. Then suddenly I was collecting my stomach and exiting the ride…
I left looking like a bit of a waterproofed prat but I was one super cool mama to my kids.
Twin Girl has a slight edge on Twin Boy and that is she is 3 cm’s taller and managed to get onto a whole new set of rides that he was just a little too short for. Together she and I soared through the sky on an enormous swing that held us in position somewhere close to God’s house then yanked us backwards as if we were flying through the wind. She loved it, I couldn’t really taste my enjoyment as I was fighting a wee bit of nausea.
We then tackled the Detonator.
Put simply we sat in a seat and were lifted vertically about 8,000 million feet upwards, then the ride paused whilst I stared at my grinning seven year old daughter and recalled I really was not a fan of heights and then we dropped to the ground at breath taking speed.
My stomach still has not returned to its home yet.
Now don’t be mistaken that Twin Boy merely sat on the side all day, he comes in at 1.27 meters and had plenty of fun. His favourite ride was X, he rode alone as I sat in front with twin Girl and together we set on a wave of light through darkness, tripping down steep slopes and having our ears flooded with thumping music. I got the pleasure of taking them both, one at a time, on Zodiac, where we whipped around in a 360 circle, squealing with excitement each time we turned upside down.
We ride the teacups with enthusiasm speeding around like demonic drivers, we tore through the water rides screaming for more in a way that only those clothed in waterproof can get away with and we finished the day stumbling towards the exit after eight tremendous hours beaming with happiness and just the one of us needing a stiff drink.
Honestly, it was a belting day and completely disproved my theory of Thorpe Park only being for teenagers and above. Huge thanks to the park for letting us review and if you are planning a trip this half term check out one of these ways to get some reductions on your entry price.
Pick up a Frijj to take advantage of a 2-for-1 coupon offer when booking tickets. Check out more information on their Facebook page
Book tickets 7 days or more in advance to save 30% – adults from £30.24, children from £23.52 (under 12)
Head to this page to get 2-for-1 tickets courtesy of Coke
If travelling by train, head to South West Trains to get online discounts on entry
And for the love of god don’t forget your waterproofs!