There are so many times in my life where I am pretty sure I should be constantly filmed for entertainment sake. Let's take yesterday for example...
It was about 3pm, the mail had just arrived and A was chatting happily in her crib after her nap. I grabbed the mail off the floor and headed for the kitchen as I started to leaf through the fliers promising everything from ten grapefruit for ten dollars, to "world's best" carpet cleaning service. Normally I just look for the good stuff, trashy magazine and any invitations, but today I decided to go through it all. As I pealed back what seemed like the fourteenth flier my eyes landed on a cream colored, legal sized envelope. I quickly put the rest of the mail on the counter and with shaking hands and a quick pep talk I carefully pealed the envelope open.
Skipping the boring intro that never reveals anything good, I looked right to the second paragraph and there it was..."We are very pleased to inform you that a space is being held for A in our world famous, very important, and utterly desirable preschool." Okay, so maybe I exaggerated a bit on the adjectives, but you get the gist...SHE GOT IN!
I know this might not seem like a big deal if you are not from Baltimore, but trust me Preschool is pretty cut throat around here. You need to have interviews scheduled for the September before your child would potentially attend, and all applications have to be postmarked before mid October. It is a little crazy, and has caused me some major panic attacks recently.
So naturally, I went sprinting upstairs into A's room to tell her the good news! After her initial shock of seeing mommy dancing around her room, she was able to shut her mouth and ask me why I was "being crazy". After explaining what a great job she did at the interview and thanking her for carving the path for sibling some day (they get priority!) I decided we should do something special.
I didn't want our something special to be inside since the thermometer was climbing near 55 degrees, so I decided today would be the perfect day to bundle her and the dog and walk to the ponds to feed the ducks.
Now, this was the part of my plan that was a little less than fully thought out. For one, Preston is a lab whose father and mother were both champion hunters, but I thought nothing of leading her about 5 feet from the ponds with an entire Ziploc baggie of mini bagels. Secondly, I didn't take into account that since it is winter, and has been pretty cold recently, the ducks have not been privy to their usual hourly feedings from all the children. Oops.
As we crossed the lawn and headed for the ponds I didn't think twice of Preston's stance...head up and at attention, her tail perfectly pointed behind her and her feet delicately touching the ground. So when we were about 5 feet from the edge of the pond, I locked the brake on A's stroller and started to bend down to get the bagels. And that is when Preston charged. All 70 pounds of her went full speed towards the flock of ducks that were swimming our direction. As my feet flew out from under me, curse words poured out of my mouth, and the cold ripples of the pond were within reach, I panicked. I threw my body in the air in the hopes of stopping Preston, whose leash was firmly looped around my wrist, and waited for the inevitable splash, first of the dog, then of me. About 2 second later I opened my eyes, realizing I am laying in a pile of mud and grass, somehow incredibly not in the pond. My eyes quickly dart to Preston who was once again at attention ready to pounce. I scrambled up as quickly as possible and tugged her back with all my remaining strength, before quickly looping her leash around the trunk of a pretty good size tree.
Although I am pretty muddy and a bit flustered, I brush myself off and get back to our plan of feeding the ducks.
Luckily A did not pick up on the fowl (pun intended) language that was pouring out of my mouth, or she just thought it would be nice to save it up for a time when I would least expect it, and then let the obscenities pour from her little 2 year old mouth. Either way, she was smiling, the dog was restrained, and we were ready to feed the ducks.
As we started to throw out little pieces of bagel for them to share we soon realized we were being surrounded. As we franticly threw pieces quicker and quicker I unhooked A's brake and backed us up right next to Preston's tree in the hopes that she would keep them at bay...but soon we were chucking all the bagels we had towards the pond, as far and as fast as possible, and I was frantically brushing the crumbs off A's stroller as the ducks now had us completely surrounded and were closing in.
In a rare burst of coordination and speed, I managed to unhook Preston from the tree, release A's brake, and throw the last bagel behind us as we ran screaming (yes, literally) from the center of this water fowl mob. If there is a next time, which I am sure there will be, I will need to work on my game plan and recruit some backup before throwing myself into the middle of that feeding frenzy again.
It was exhilarating, terrifying, and fantastic all at once but I wouldn't have traded that afternoon of complete chaos for anything else.