Days Out, Family

When Feeding The Ducks Really Is A Series Of Unfortunate Events

I love being self-employed and having the ability to work from home. Spending time with my kids without any work interruptions as and when I choose. Today was one of those days. A beautiful sunny June. And Austyn decided to sleep in until 8.30am. Today, despite it being Monday, it’s already a good day. I can feel it.

As beard leaves the house, he shouts “bye guys, have a great day! BBQ for dinner tonight! Mummy, I didn’t get a chance to water the veg patch, my work shirts need washing and don’t forget to use up that bread that’s gone stale. Go to the park, don’t chuck it!” Why does my husband call me “Mummy” in front of the kids??

The veggie patch watering can wait. I’ll say I did it – the sprinkler was on for ages yesterday, I’m sure my tomatoes will survive. Plus if I get the hose out the dog chases it, gets tangled up and tries to eat it. I want a stress free day today. The work shirt situation, however, does need addressing. I do need to put the washing on, and there’s no getting away from that. However, the stale bread is the perfect opportunity to go for a morning walk with Austyn to feed the ducks, and if I time it right, I can nip down to pick up some charcoal for the BBQ just as he’s ready for his nap.


I decide to leave the bulky change bag at home; Austyn has a fresh nappy, I have a dummy for snooze time, purse, keys, phone, parasol. Let’s go. So far so good until BUMP!!! Where the heck did that lamp post come from?! I navigate around it and a minute later, CRASH I’ve launched the buggy off the kerb. Another minute or so, WALLOP! We stop dead on a huge tree root I couldn’t see. I can’t bloody see anything because of this stupid parasol in my way! I put it down, but then Austyn is blinded and has the sun directly on him, so I decide me being temporarily blinded until I can cross over and get some shade is the best bet. We are well into our walk now and I’m navigating seamlessly. Pre-empting potential hazards and averting them like an absolute pro until BANG! What is that now?! Where is that voice coming from? It sounds like it’s in the buggy!! I move the parasol to the left and… there’s a TINY old lady in a heap on the floor. I mowed her down. I completely took her out, and her can of sweetcorn is now rolling down the hill. In complete shock, I ran to her aid, forgetting to put the brake on the buggy and Austyn then proceeds to roll down the hill in his buggy straight over her hand as she’s struggling to stand up!

This cannot be happening.

Trying to compose myself, I secure the 4 wheeled monster truck and help her up, collecting her custard, bread and peas. The sweetcorn was long gone. I wasn’t running after that, so I said a million sorry’s and explained that the stupid parasol completely blocks my view and I simply hadn’t seen her. It became apparent that she was quietly sitting at the bus stop minding her own business when she dropped her hankie, went to pick it up and out of nowhere, I then tried to kill her. She looked at me sympathetically as I was genuinely feeling awful about the whole situation and said “Don’t worry dear. We’ve all been there.” I went to speak, and straight away she corrected herself saying “Well, no. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever knocked into someone with my pram. I have 6 children.” She smiled, and I explained I would get her more sweetcorn… And flowers… and bring them to her house later, as I noted down her address. I waited with her at the bus stop until her bus came. Of course, I wanted to make sure she was ok and could actually walk. However, equally, I was concerned that she may suddenly think “where there’s blame there’s a claim”, and I’d need to support my case with an act of compassion.

Bless her, she was more than grateful, and I was relieved that she was only shocked and not injured, but I’m incredibly annoyed at myself. I should have left the parasol at home and bought the Snoozeshade.

We continue on our journey after waving goodbye to our new “friend”. Although as the bus is getting ready to leave, I see her talking to the lady next to her and pointing at me – the lady gasped and glared. I’m sure our new “friend” just said what a lovely lady I am. I hope.

We finally enter the park and SPLAT! I step straight into a giant dog poo. No. Correction. It’s a Mountain of dog poo. Even with the parasol obscuring my view I should have seen this. In fact, I should have smelt it. Oh, holy Jesus, it stinks. I’ve stepped straight into the middle of it. Not only that, I’m wearing flip flops. BLOODY FLIP FLOPS!!! The next 10 minutes were spent wiping my foot in the long grass and dipping my flip flop in a stagnant pond. Not my best look but head up high, smile, deep breath. Today is supposed to be a good day.

At last, here we are, at the pond. And there’s not a duck in sight. Nothing. Not even a pigeon. Despite this, unfazed, I can actually loop down the road, go to the shop and back up via another duck pond across the street. We can get shopping and still fulfil our duck feeding goals. I can save this trip out. Today is a good day, isn’t it?

We arrive at the duck pond and it’s lovely and warm, sunny but with enough shade for Austyn to enjoy the…. What? I don’t believe it, the little git is fast asleep!!! We came to feed the ducks, he stays awake for the attempted murder of a granny, scooping up shite with my flip flop and viewing an empty pond, chats away while shopping, but snoozes for the actual activity!?

I try to wake him, but he’s totally soundo so I decide to feed them anyway, “feed the ducks” I’d been told, “don’t chuck it” so feed the ducks I will. I get to the last two bits of bread and Austyn wakes up just in time to see the ducks swimming away and then cries as I turn the buggy ready to go home seeing as all bread is gone and my mission is complete. However, Austyn has other ideas; he wants to look at the empty pond, a flea-infested pigeon and a couple of swaying trees. It was a lovely way to spend 15 minutes. Riveting.
As we leave, I realise that I came down steps, which were easy. But now I’ve got to go UP steps – not so easy. I decide to do an epic powerhouse “run-up-the-slope-and-succeed” tactic as I need to lose weight however the slope was far steeper and longer than I had anticipated and now I’m sweating like a pig. I literally look like a beetroot dunked in a jug, and as we reach the top Austyn chucks his dummy clean out of the buggy and it’s nowhere to be found. Excellent.

He screams the whole way home. And as fate would have it, I have no dummy, no toys, no changing bag, nothing. It was supposed to be a simple case of “feed the ducks” like normal Mums do. It’s turned into a horror movie but we are now finally home. As it’s such a beautiful day, I wheel the buggy through the house and straight into the courtyard and then go back in to get a refreshing soda and lime. As I walk back through the house, WTF!!!! There are at least 12 smears of what looks like red berry mixed with chalk mixed with… Hold on… I check the soles of my flip flops. No, not me. I then check the buggy wheels and I have somehow managed to wheel through the biggest berry-filled bird shit I’ve ever seen, and it’s now all over my cream carpet?!

What the hell have I done in life to deserve this? Smashing into numerous large static objects, attacking an OAP, traipsing through dog shite, failing to obtain tiny shopping list for BBQ, allowing a baby to sleep while doing the planned activity, sweating like a pork scratching with an arse crack full of trouser fabric, being that Mum walking down the street with gritted teeth and a satanic child in the buggy screaming, and now smearing our carpet with berry-filled bird poop.

And the cherry on the top? Guess what I’ve forgotten…? The fecking flowers and sweetcorn for the old lady. Not long after, beard came home; “did you feed the ducks?” Screw Mondays. Where’s the gin?

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