Solo Parenting at the Park: A Noir



Solo Parenting at the Park: A Noir

(Based on a True Story)

I swung the old Ford in beside a tree, as it wheezed its gratitude. It seemed pleased to have a rest out in the sun. My journey was only just beginning. I reluctantly switched off the engine and prepared myself.
"Can I bring my bike?" asked the four year old from the backseat.
"Gah," said the baby beside her, a warning-shot; I'd better get moving. What was I thinking? Taking both to a park... Alone! This, just after a trip to the doctor's, where the four year old had cunningly hidden polystyrene up her nose. Even the cops wouldn't have found it there.
"Okay," I agreed, not thinking it through, not realising the torture that would soon follow. We made it to the park, the four year old running a few lights on her wheels, but nothing too serious. There were a couple of disagreements between my two associates on the way in as well- but only a slap or two exchanged. All was going well enough and they both began to play. Maybe things would work out, just maybe. I chanced to sit on the edge of a bench as the baby played on a patch of grass and the four year old sprinted about.
"A good day for it," came a sinister voice. It was from a young mother, trundling along with several small people of her own.
"Go away, I just want a second's peace,"I said. No, I didn't, though I very much wanted to. Her children looked mean, and high on something or other- I suspected Slushee. The giveaway was the blue residue left on their tongues. I checked my holster.
"It is, lovely day for it indeed," I replied weakly, hating myself. I was trapped. I didn't like the cut of her jib.
Suddenly, I was saved by the screams of my eldest. I burst into action, scooping up the baby and saying my goodbyes in a split second. She was hurt, but not badly, no second trip to the Doc needed. Just a graze. The hysteria soon passed. I medicated them both with sweets as we make our exit, approaching the steep incline back to the Ford and to relative safety.

The first few steps were bearable, the baby holding her own, walking beside me and the four year old managing to cycle. Then the whining began, faintly but determined. The four year old was struggling. I should have known it couldn't last. I was a damn fool for bringing that bicycle. The baby began to flounder also- it wasn't looking good. The sun beat down on my forehead and the nappy bag on my back cut into my shoulder blades. I had to work out what to do, and do it fast! I swung the bike over my other shoulder, grasped the baby tighter, braced myself and urged the four year old onward.
"Can I have cartoons when we get home?" she asked.

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