I wasn't going to post this story, but it won't leave me alone so here I am babbling about it.
If you ever feel like you're a shitty parent, just go sit in a mall or a parking lot and wait for someone worse to come along so you can feel better about your life.
Toby and I went to Bulk Barn today. I was fiddling with my phone and delayed getting out of the car.
A small red car pulled into a space across the way from us. I ignored if for the most part, until i heard strange muttering and squeaking noises and I looked up to see a mom holding the hand of an 8-10 year old girl, who was rubbing her face and crying. They stormed off towards Bulk Barn. The dad, who was driving, backed out of the space and because he had his window down I heard him mutter 'Well it's your own fault'.
I was out of the car and walking around to Toby's door at this point, I assumed the rude comment was toward the girl or something. I gave him an internal glare and proceeded to ignore them.
Then a shrill voice screams out "You're a filthy son of a B--"
I thought it was the mom screaming back to the dad and thought I then understood maybe why the girl was crying, caught in the middle type thing. But then I see that there's a boy still in the car, maybe one or two years older than the girl. It was him who yelled.
The dad slammed on his breaks. The mom stormed back to the car and reached through the open drivers window to the back seat to 'get' the boy, muttering empty discipline the whole time. The dad just leaned out of the way.
I was standing beside my car, waiting for it to all stop before I took Toby out. I opened the door and he was oblivious... looking at a truck behind us. I unbuckled his seatbelt, but didn't pick him up right away. He looked at me and grinned.
'Toby how many times today have I told you I loved you?"
"Mummy pick me UPPY!" he grinned.
I hugged him and just thought... no matter how bad it gets... it's never THAT bad.
On the way home we went to the George Langman Sanctuary on Bass Lake side road. We go talk to the swans and see how many geese are there.
There were a bunch of kids, which is rare. Toby dawdled around a bit, but when they left we sat on the bench my the pond and watched the ducks and the geese.
An older man on a bike came round and was tossing bits of lettuce and seed to the birds. He kept his distance at first, but I think he overheard me telling Toby all about how the male Mallard ducks don't have their green heads yet, but some of their feathers are starting to change, and how the swans have such long necks that they can reach all the way to the bottom of the pond to get the food that the ducks miss.
The man came over and asked if Toby wanted to throw some seeds in. Toby shied away, but continued his commentary of the ducks feeding frenzy as the man tossed more seeds in.
"Look at them chasing each other Toby! They're saying 'hey that's my food!"
"I think they're sharing it....."
I looked at Toby and laughed.
"Yes, I think you're right Toby"
After a while the man commented on how peaceful this place was. I agreed. He paused and then bid us good day and left on his bike.
I watched Toby sitting on the bench beside me, watching the ducks... commentating their actions....
and thought... I guess I'm doing something right...