Mama Speaks...by Hattie Harrison

Hello! Are you a parent? Do you live in Tunbridge Wells? If your answers to the above are ‘yep’ and ‘sure do’ then read on…

You know you are a Tunbridge Wells parent when…

1. You have used a ruler on a map #schoolcatchment. Tunbridge Wells statistically contains the worlds biggest schools within the world’s smallest catchment areas* - i’m looking at you St Johns Primary School. (*This is completely untrue.) 

2. You hear ‘Fenwicks’, you think ‘cafe’ or changing facilities.

3. ’Pup’ no longer means small dog to you. 

4. At some point in time you have spent at least 30 minutes sat in traffic on the St Johns Road with a bawling child in the back. 

5. You have purchased a child’s lunchbox from Jeremy’s Homestore.

6. You have been disgusted by something and amused yourself by thinking “I am the ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.

7. You have attended ‘something’ on the Pantiles (food/jazz/market/piss up).

8. You know the pain of pushing a buggy up the hill by the station. Extra points for a buggy board.

9. You have stressed about the number of miniature pointless steps in Hoopers.

10. You have spent 18% of your life queuing for a lift in the Royal Victoria Place. Only to get out on the wrong floor (side note: how is it actually possible that Boots has a different amount of floors to the rest of the mall?).

11. You have missed a train because you have a buggy and because of the steps you had to go all the way around the station to get to platform two.

12. You have fallen asleep on the train and woken up in Hastings (just me?).

13. You are disproportionally excited about The Grovensnor and Hilbert park revamp. New coffee shop you say? Next to enclosed play area you say? Free babysitting you say? I made that last bit up.

14. You say ‘careful’ 31 times a minute at the free soft play area in The Royal Victoria Centre.

15. You have irrational HATE for the big kids at the free soft play area in The Royal Victoria Centre. They are TOO BIG to be at soft play. They don’t even have parents watching them - potentially because legally they are adults, who knows.

16. You miss The Early Learning Centre. The fact that they have shoehorned the toys into Mothercare has not softened the blow. Putting baby toys in an area that you cannot manoeuvre a buggy into is an ill advised marketing ploy. Likewise H&M; baby clothes and maternity wear at the back of the shop is a certain equation of:  reluctant sibling + buggies + pregnant women = HELL. 

17. You know what I mean when I put two random words together like ‘bike and slides’ or ‘squeals on wheels’.

18. You have approached High Brooms station car park from an odd angle and not quite made the turn. And had to reverse and turn, and reverse and turn, and reverse and turn. And eventually you have parked in High Brooms car park. 

19. Going to the tip is a day trip in that it literally takes all day. Damn you Homesense and John Lewis for making the area such a Sunday afternoon hotspot. And maybe Staples? Anyone visit Staples? What do they sell? Other than staples, obv.

20. Because the council doesn’t recycle glass for you you are totally shamed into revealing your alcohol intake whilst depositing glass at the recycling bins. See you at Sainsbury’s bottle recycling area on Saturday- I’ll be the one in sunglasses and a moustache depositing multiple bottles of Pinot Grigio.

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