So yesterday, despite the snow, ice and Siberian gales, we went to the park, to feed the ducks.
Straight forward enough, you'd think.
No. No it was not.
It was HARROWING. Absolutely TRAUMATIC. With a capital 'I've just pooed my pants'.
Why? How? What the Hell am I on about? Listen carefully.
I strapped Betty into her various hats/gloves/ski socks/snowboots. We left the car. All good.
Boo walked beside me as we crossed the road and made our way, bag of bread under my arm, down the pavement and into through the park gates. And then it started.
No. The camera does not lie. This is an UPHILL slope. Covered in a thick layer of pitted ice. To be scaled by an unfit mother in slip ons and a 16 month old who can never be trusted to be fully in charge of her limbs anyway.After slipping and sliding our way to the halfway stage of the incline, I wrestled with The Poop and began to march the remaining distance with her in my arms. After two heart stopping steps I quickly acknowledged the potential danger of my falling and landing directly upon the babe in my arms, and so, paralysed by fear, I bit into my own tongue. I placed Boo back on the ground, blood dripping from my mouth onto the white path, and fantastically enough, all down the front of my jacket. Whilst attempting to quell the bleed, I slipped and landed on my bum, on ice, in jeans. And, as I discovered upon standing, a blob of doggie that had been laid atop the impenetrable glaze. Winner.
We continued to ascend the path, with me frantically rifling through Boo's nappy bag for a wipe with which to smear the poo from my ass. So far, so terrible. Then it got worse.
After TEN MINUTES of endurance, focus and skidding (up the hill and in my own undies), we made the summit.
We attempted to compose ourselves as I dug the bag of bread from the depths of my distressed, pincer like armpit. At which, precisely nine hundred and seventeen thousand five hundred and twenty six ducks, pigeons, swans, geese and a wider assortment of winged things, hearing the rustle of the plastic, SWARMED viciously, Hitchcock stylee, in our unsuspecting direction.
And in case you didn't know: I'm terrified of birds.
There was a great deal of flapping, screaming, mincing about and blood. Frozen to the spot with fear, I was useless. I left it down to our 16 month old daughter to arm wrestle the avian sh**houses to the ground on my behalf. Amongst torpedoing mallards, snatching osprey and swooping eagles in hoodies, I totally lost it. I threw the full bag of bread at the lot of them, swept my daughter from the battlefield and shuffled away, across more sheet ice, to shelter from all the pecking and squawking. Only TO BE FOLLOWED by at least forty birds who had now gathered up baseball bats, disgruntled expressions and a Ross Kemp voice over. So we legged it.
|Don't be fooled by the smile; she hated it as much as I did|
As we neared the shrubbery, I could see the back of my phone peeping out from between a few leaves, and so reached in to swipe at it. At which point my front foot slid about one metre forward, and I found myself sitting, in the splits, beside my daughter, while still holding hands with her. She laughed, I pulled something in my thigh. Accepting defeat, I scrambled about in the ice like a dying fly for three or four minutes before snatching at my phone and chucking it in my pocket.
But not before noticing I had shattered the screen.
If only I'd had a stroke halfway round I might have qualified for some sort of prize.
We're never feeding ducks again. It's more hassle than you'd imagine.