This weekend I’m solo parenting while the lady of the manor enjoys herself on a hen weekend in Italy for 3 days, but I’ve been determined not to take the easy route and stay home for the whole time. One of the biggest challenges of being here on my own is walking Bracken given that I normally run with him before the kids are up and if I want to walk I can hardly carry them both can I?
So I decided to be brave and take them all to the local lake where Matilda would happily trot around while I carried Henry. Plus it had the added bonus of earning some top dad points by taking some bread to feed the ducks which is one of Henry’s favourite things. Of all the animals in the world it is the humble duck that he loves and he will spot even the tiniest drawing of one in any book we read and then spend the next 5 minutes saying quack quack over and over again.
Things didn’t get off to the greatest start when Matilda realised I hadn’t brought her pushchair to push like last time and then we started our walk just as 50 members of the local running club hit the trail around the lake. Interesting trying to keep both a toddler and a dog out of their way, thankfully having a smiling boy in the rucksack on my back helped wipe out any potential for grumbles.
Once the path was empty again we happily trotted down one side throwing sticks for Bracken and playing hide and seek, we managed to get at least 400m before Matilda said she was hungry and started acting like she hadn’t eaten anything for a week. I coaxed her a little further with the promise of an apple and then spotted one of those wooden platforms that stick out into the water from the bank for fishermen.
A perfect spot for a snack and to feed the ducks, plus of course Bracken could have a paddle which he’s never going to refuse. A popped Henry’s carrier down on its stand so he could see and then prepared myself to be the worlds greatest dad by attracting the lakes waterfowl to our little spot with a nice bit of french stick. Henry was going to love seeing all those ducks just a few metres away, maybe even near enough for Matilda to throw bread for them too (if she doesn’t eat it all first of course).
I stood up to get a bit more freedom for my throwing arm and started launching pieces of bread out into the lake. As that first piece flew through the air it was joined by a Spaniel shaped object in hot pursuit. He performed a perfect running leap and dive off the platform into the water landing with a giant splash and then happily swam around mopping up all the bread I’d thrown in.
When he finally returned to the bank he leapt up onto the platform and gave us the opportunity to experience exactly how cold the water was by shaking it all over us. I then had to spend the next 10 minutes holding his collar to stop him jumping in again while throwing bits of bread into the water and handing apples to my darling children.