Day Three: The Duck Pond Fiasco

park mom

NaBloPoMo Day Three

I was ready to post letters tonight but somehow, magically at the stroke of nine p.m., I became incredibly tired. I hate it when this happens. At least I didn’t fall asleep putting Baby Bug to bed. I do that all the time and then I get nothing done. It’s pathetic though. I drank a whole cup of coffee at five and I swear I could fall asleep in less than seven minutes if I put my head down right now.

making mommy nervous

Maybe I’m tired today because I spent a marathon three hours at the Duck Pond with Baby Bug. It sounds like fun, right? Nice weather, ducks, water, a park, a fun kid… what could go wrong?

A mom who is paranoid that her kid is going to topple over head first into the pond, is what could go wrong. Baby Bug is not known for her steadiness on her feet and she falls head first at home all the time without a pond. I was just waiting for it to happen and I think my shoulders are a mass of knotted muscles because of it.

us, at the duck pond

I had told Toby how much fun Baby Bug has been having lately when we go on walks together. Actually, to be completely honest, I was complaining about how getting anywhere takes a million years because she has to examine every rock, stick and leaf. And then when she does finally catch up to me, she often decides she wants to go back the other way and I spend a lot of time calling her to hurry up and stay by mommy.

kickin' it

Toddlers are toddlers and they will do what they do. I’m learning the hard way that if you force them to do things your way (ie: walk forward in a straight line) they will buckle and balk, scream and yell, twist and shout in every imaginable combination until your eyeballs roll back in your head and you are convinced that letting them win just this one battle will not be the end of the world.

Sigh. It makes me very tired. I think I spent half of today holding her wiggling body as tight as I could so that she didn’t expel herself off of me and land headfirst on the concrete. Kicking, wiggling, pushing herself away… you name it. It is amazing what a little twenty-pound body and a will of steel can do. I don’t think I could get a better work out if I took three spinning classes back to back.

screensaver

I want to say the duck pond was fun. It was really pretty (green algae and all) but it was so much work. I don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon. It didn’t help that I misplaced my phone and we spent an hour looking for it with Baby Bug struggling against me. I tried carrying her in my arms, I carried her upside down, I put her on my shoulders. It was just impossible.

I would have strapped her into the stroller but Toby and I had the bright idea that I should leave the stroller at home so Baby Bug could “be free to roam and explore”. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking about the great big body of green water that she could fall into. Nor was I thinking about her will power of steel. A “walk in the park” was anything but a “walk in the park.”

It’s not like she would drown. The pond is only a few feet deep. But still, I just didn’t really want to go sloshing in to save her. With the mud and wet clothes and the probability that she would go head first… it all seemed like a bad idea to me.

sparkle

In the end, I won’t say it was a complete bust. She didn’t fall in the water and I got a bunch of pictures. As a reward, I think we both will sleep really good tonight. All’s well that end’s well, right? Just don’t ask me to go to the duck pond until Baby Bug learns to swim.

Burning California

halloween trees

We’re covered with smoke here. You probably saw something about it on television. Everybody I know is fine, so don’t worry. We’re all rubbing our eyes and coughing but we are in no danger of having our houses burn down. The fire near us is a whole city away and there are lots of streets and concrete between us. I guess that’s one good thing about living in an urban area. We don’t have that much wild brush to burn up here.

black hole sun

It probably wasn’t very smart of me but I was so in awe of the rose colored light, I packed up Baby Bug and took her down to the tide pools for an impromptu photo-shoot. I hope she doesn’t blame me when she develops asthma later in life. I don’t know how bad it was to be breathing this air. It didn’t hurt to breath and I saw a few other families out enjoying the strangeness of it all.

tidepools

Maybe I can sell my photos and pay for her doctor bills. Ack. I shouldn’t joke like that. But it was pretty amazing to be out in this strange other-worldly light, taking pictures. I would have stayed longer if the battery in my mom-minivan camera didn’t go dead. Along with everything else that is dumb with this camera it also has a battery that goes dead with very little warning. It lasts the normal amount of time but when it starts blinking that means your photo shoot is pretty much over immediately. Even turning it off and then back on again doesn’t work.

amphibious

But guess what!!!! I don’t hate my doltish camera anymore! You know why? Because it’s waterproof. WATERPROOF is sooooooooooo cool! It was the weirdest feeling to deliberately dunk a piece of electrical equipment in a tide pool today. I was all ready for it to shock me or at least start changing funny colors on the lcd screen. But nope. It just kept on working and working. I LOVE IT!!! My camera is an amphibian! How cool is that?

anemone 2

You should have seen the look on the girl’s face who was standing near me when I dunked my camera in a tide pool. Her eyeballs popped right out of her head. Priceless, that’s what her shock was. I think I’m going to go around dunking the camera in water just to repeat that over again.

seagulls

Being amphibious makes all the other stuff that I hate about the silly camera not so bad. I can put up with the slow shutter button response. I can put up with pukey color it adds to all my photos. I can even put up with the stupid lcd screen that goes dim one second after I start to frame my shot. I’m sorry I said all those mean things about it because when it comes to taking a beating and still keeping on ticking, my camera can kick your camera’s butt. (I say that affectionately, of course. As a rule, I’m against cameras fighting.)

it was like we were on the moon

But enough about the silly camera. It was really fun showing Baby Bug the tide pools. I can’t believe I haven’t taken her down there more. I used to walk there all the time when she was small enough to fit in the baby carrier but I never let her actually get down and look at the little crabs walking around.

It was like walking around on the moon. Poor Baby Bug, I was so distracted by my picture taking that she got herself in quite a pickle. The ground is very uneven and rough and her little feet just couldn’t find an easy way to go where she wanted to go. Eventually, she fell into a pool and got very upset because she had her shoes on. “Shoes ON!” she cried.

gromit

I love her little orange shoes but she has nearly outgrown them so I told her it was okay that she got her feet wet. I couldn’t very well take her shoes off because the rocks are sharp with barnacles and crustaceous skeletons (is that redundant?). So I decided her little orange shoes could take one for the Gipper. Or Gromit or whatever. It was worth it for the experience.

Okay, yes, I admit it. I was selfish and I wanted to play with my amphibious camera. Take one for me, cute little orange shoes. (Actually the shoes are fine. Much like my camera!)