Yesterday was one of those quiet Sunday afternoons, the kind when you’re ready to put the children to bed for the night at about two o’clock.
With the rain all week they’ve been cooped up inside, so when it cleared a bit I decided a walk in the park was a good idea.
So the four of us: Jessie, Johnny, David and I went out together.
David was riding his bike, Jessie and Johnny insisted on bringing their scooters. Scooters and parks don’t go well together as most of the paths are packed earth, far from ideal for the scooter’s tiny wheels. On top of that, Johnny can’t really ride one yet. He just kind of pushes it along, one foot on, one foot off, teetering haphazardly on the pavement (sidewalk), oblivious to the dangers of rolling headlong into the oncoming traffic. I ended up carrying his scooter early in the jaunt.
Naturally, David and Jessie were soon well ahead of me and John and I lost track of where they were. I thought we’d agreed on the general direction so I was hopeful to see them again and fortunately we did.
“Dad, where have you been?” as if I really needed to answer that question.
With all the rain, the path was muddy and wet. And, naturally, when the path is muddy and wet, Johnny is inclined to seek out the muddiest, wettest part of the trail.
“Johnny, get out of the mud!”
“But Dad, I like the mud,” as if that were the only needed explanation.
Jessie was labouring on diligently, pushing her scooter through the dirt. She seemed to be enjoying herself in spite of the challenge.
“Dad, I have to go potty.”
It was Johnny, lumbering along in shoes heavily laden with sticky mud.
He’s nearly four and has fair control over things, but I didn’t want to risk it.
“Here, go into these bushes.” I was hoping I could explain away any complaints about public urination.
“Dad, there’s a better place up here!”
I was too late, but David had discovered a well hidden path to the river, ideal for John’s predicament.
I really hoped he hadn’t used it himself.
Then it started raining. People are so used to rain in these parts that they rarely seem to notice. We were wearing our waterproofs and weren’t terribly concerned either. But, I really didn’t want to stand about in the rain.
However, it soon stopped, then started again, then stopped, then started again, as is the Scottish way. We managed to stay mostly dry.
On the way home I was dragging two scooters, Jessie having abandoned hers in favour of a balancing act on the walls lining the pavement home.
“Jessie, get down from there and you take this scooter!”
“Alright, alright, just a minute, I’m almost done,” she said scampering nimbly along the wall.
By this point David had discovered that Johnny could sit on the rack on the back of his bike, something Mother would never approve of. The two of them quickly vanished up the street, leaving Jessie and me with the now loathsome scooters.
“Daddy, this was fun,” she said.
It was three o’clock when we got home, almost bedtime.