Monday, 19 January 2009
I took Betty for a walk down to the river by our house yesterday afternoon. I have never done this before without Tom, because I am terrified of any cow or sheep that might be in the field which leads to the river. The sound of rustling in the hedgerow gives me palpitations.
As Betty strode on ahead of me down the lane, happily wading through brambles and sheep shit like a trooper, I pathetically dodged all obstacles and kept a fearful watch out for the next door neighbour's dog, who has scared the life out of me on numerous occasions by barking and running around a few fields away.
Betty charged off down the steep hill towards the river and I tried to keep up with her with my heavy six-month-pregnant waddle, and called after her: 'Please don't tread in any more poo my darling'. All the time I kept thinking: 'Please please don't let that dog clock us, and please please don't let Betty ask me to carry her back up the hill'. I was a bag of nerves. The things I selflessly put myself through for my daughter’s enjoyment…
Sure enough, we reached the river and after Betty had pointed and said 'sea' a few times, she held her arms out for me to pick her up and said: 'Home. Home'. My heart sank. I realised it was going to be a long and tiring journey home. Perhaps we would never make it. I couldn't possibly have carried her for more than a few metres up a near vertical hill, in my wellies (which aren’t actually mine and are two sizes too big), with her balancing off my bump. Tom would have to come and rescue us.
I tried to distract her from wanting to be carried by pointing out some swans and taking a few faux-joyous photos of ourselves, before challenging her to a race up to the gate halfway up the hill. Thankfully, despite her little legs obviously being very tired, she rose to the challenge, and off she charged. She reached the gate a good thirty seconds before me and when she turned to see where on earth I was, she gave me a concerned, pitiful look, as I puffed and panted my way towards her.
After a few more race challenges and some serious chocolate bribery (I promised her my entire secret stash) we finally made it home again. I recounted our nerve-jangling expedition to Tom who was totally unsympathetic and seriously questioned my claim to have been brought up in the countryside. I had a strop and told him we were moving back to London. Tom gently suggested that I go and have a lie down with a bar of chocolate.
Posted by Elsie Button at 14:02