Lucky Duck

7 Jan

There’s actually quite a long list of books I don’t enjoy reading to my 4yo… probably more to do with the 4yo than the books admittedly, he’s never really been one for sitting still and listening. To anything.

Anything human anyway.

Though well populated the list does have a concise title, I’ll just call it “Anything not written by Julia Donaldson”. That covers it quite nicely.

But there’s one book in particular that “don’t enjoy” doesn’t quite do justice to the dread I feel when Paul (usually implementing a devious ploy to stay awake longer) hands me it and says “Read this one Mummy!”


Oh he’s just wandered over right now, spotted the picture and announced “Hey I have that book”. Damn damn damn. He better have forgotten by bedtime.

It’s a beautifully illustrated story about a boy and his toy duck. The duck goes everywhere and does everything with him. Until the day he loses it whilst visiting his Granny at the seaside. No amount of ripping Granny’s house to bits uncovers that ruddy duck. So off he goes home. Sad.

And then comes the bit where, on first reading this story to Paul, I fell in hate with it.

Years pass.

Lots of years pass.

And the wee boy grows up.

So… struggling to read on I am now a bawling, snivelling wreck. The tear-tap has been turned on full and I can barely snort out an intelligible word between my heaving sobs… because I.KNOW.WHAT’S.COMING.

Oh yes I do.

The wee boy grows up and has a wee boy of his own.

While on a visit to his Great-Granny at the seaside that wee boy wanders off for a rake around the attic.

Yeah you know it now.

He finds the fucking duck.

By this point I am totally incapable of speech and Paul is looking at me with an expression that I can only describe as a cross between “Shit, what’ve I done now?” and “Who broke Mummy?”

Thankfully it’s almost over and I manage to stumble through to the end, giving Paul the sort of reassuring squeeze that takes his breath away, constricts his breathing, whatever. He limply squeezes back the snotty, snorting, grinning mess he now finds himself sitting on. He skips off apparently unscathed, unlike me.

Before I’ve had a chance to rationalise this I take Lucky Duck and throw it at MrWs head screaming “I am NEVER reading that book again, it’s YOURS, OMG READ IT! Can you read that? What am I LIKE?!”

What’s so lucky about being left in an attic for, twenty odd years, getting all dusty, being all forgot about?

When I was little I didn’t cover up  my doll’s and teddies faces when I tucked them up in bed at night fearing they’d be smothered.

I’d leave a glass of water on the floor in case my stuffed dog (Patch) got thirsty through the night. My bedside cabinet was too high for him to jump. He was fixed to a wheeled frame. He was a special dog.

I couldn’t even bring myself to close my cupboards at night as the thought of my toys being stuck in the dark and scared did my 7 year old head in. I needed to see all their faces.

Me and anthropomorphism were childhood friends for an alarmingly long time.

We’re still fairly well acquainted when it comes to stuffed things with limbs… or not… limbs. I can even personify stuffed snakes and creepy crawlies now I’m a bit more mature and know we have nothing small and dangerous in this country.

When my kids want to clear out some of the stuff that clutters their rooms they’ve learned not to let me see anything poking out of the bin bag that has a face.

They know I’ll give them a look.

A “How COULD you?” look followed by a “What shriveled piece of meat beats in YOUR chest in place of a HEART? How could my womb have nurtured such a cruel and barbarous creature!?” look.

You should see the attic.

This post has been brought to you by Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop.



26 Responses to “Lucky Duck”

  1. Lourie January 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    ROFL!!! I will never look at a toy duck the same again! Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from Mama Kat’s writing prompt.

    • mrsw January 7, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

      Yeah but you’re laughing – me and ducks? I’m a bubbling idiot. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by – I’m heading over your way about….. now.

    • mrsw January 7, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

      I can’t comment – I don’t have a Google or Blogger ID!

      I’ve read your book post and all I can say is – Boys! They have the attention span of a mushroom – gotta love them 🙂

  2. kelli January 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    TOO funny! Love You Forever has that same effect on me. Thankfully it isn’t the most often requested. That honor falls to Hiram’s Red Shirt. And if you’d like, I can recite it for you now. From. Beginning. To. End. Every word. Then your tears will start to flow because you’ll feel sorry for ME!!! 😉

    • mrsw January 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

      Love You Forever sounds like it might be the sort of heart-bursting crying I do (flippin’ heck I’m wet!) to Guess How Much I Love You – that’s OK – I can read that one (and tear-up) til the cows come home.

      You do have my sympathy tho – I don’t think there’s a book I can quote verbatim unseen – yet 🙂

  3. Kelly January 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    We’ve got a few books in our library that make me snivel like that. Thankfully, they are not Vi’s favorites.

    Don’t come by my house on a purge day. I have no heart 😉

    • mrsw January 7, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

      I may have to raise funds for a Mission to save them now.

  4. Mwa January 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    You are a freak. I bet you like dogs.
    (I am partial to freaks. Even differently flavoured ones to my own freakiness.)

    • mrsw January 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

      I am a freak.
      I like dogs.
      It’s a correlation not a causal effect.
      I think.

  5. Dan January 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    We’ve got that one too. It is rather poignant, probably because I too have handed down my beloved teddy (actually sheep) to Evan, my son.


    • mrsw January 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

      Aaww – I give mine NUTHIN’ since I’d probably find one of my best friends poking out of a bin bag after one of my hypocritical ranting sessions about tidying stuff up.

  6. SingleParentDad January 7, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Boy, did this blog post not go the way I anticipated. Awesome stuff. Not what the book does to you, but the writing here. You may be interested in
    a run-in I had with one of my son’s books. Though it was of a moderately different nature, but does stem back to a youth not really understanding people missing the actual morals in books.

    • mrsw January 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

      YES! It’s no wonder we are still saying “No dear that’s wrong” when they are teenagers. Disney has always done my head in a bit even when I blogged to no-one there – but Cars… oh I cry buckets at Cars and I’ve seen it more times than I care to admit. I am counting the days (533) until Cars 2.

      • SingleParentDad January 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

        As much as I bash the ending in Cars, the music in it brings me close to tears at times. I have some of the soundtrack on a Spotify playlist – Which I think I titled ‘maudling sad bastard’ (or similar). I too, eagerly anticipate the international adventures of Lighting McQueen and Mater.

        • mrsw January 8, 2010 at 9:50 am #

          Let me guess… Real Gone, Life Is A Highway, Our Town and Sh-Boom? Paul was singing Rascal Flatts before he mastered a nursery rhyme 🙂

          I think Cars is second only to The Rocky Horror Picture Show in my list of movie obsessions.

  7. Barbara January 7, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Shit. I’m sticking to Room on the Broom. I was well hard before I had children. Now, I cry at the drop of a hat. Although not a very tall hat, fortunately.

    • mrsw January 8, 2010 at 9:51 am #

      I used to think I had a serious hormonal imbalance or something after I had my first. Now I just accept it as unavoidable and avoid Bisto ads.

  8. Valorie January 8, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    I have a serious problem with anthropomorphism too! I would take my stuffed koala with me EVERYWHERE until I was about 10, even on trips, and I wouldn’t even fully zip closed the suitcase if he was in it for fear he couldn’t breathe. Even after I realized he wasn’t *actually* alive, this fear persisted. My parents hated that.

    • mrsw January 8, 2010 at 9:53 am #

      Oh I SO get that!

  9. Dad Who Writes January 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    That’s so funny but I suspect Little Elf (already organising tea parties for her animals, feeding them at the breakfast table etc etc) is heading the same way. Dudelet has shown little serious interest in anthropomorphosising anything until the recent arrival of a giant stuffed crocodile. But he’s equally likely to be winding us up.

    • mrsw January 9, 2010 at 12:43 am #

      Cute innit? My little one’s cereal bowl has become a bit of a watering hole in the mornings.. and apparently cats love chicken nuggets. I suspect he’s trying to guilt me into getting the puppy he would just give anything in the world fot but that his brother’s allergies just won’t let me get 😦

  10. Not Waving But Ironing January 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Thank you, you’ve really made me laugh! And I needed a laugh today, snowbound AGAIN. I share your love of stuffed animals with mournful eyes – I had one called, imaginatively, ‘Dog’, and I can remember my mum putting him on the windowsill outside my room and threatening to push him out if I didn’t GET UP NOW!!!

    • mrsw January 10, 2010 at 12:41 am #

      That’s just evil that is 🙂

  11. Je'Ca January 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    OMG! I so totally relate! If it has a face I treate it like its real. My sister made me a teddy for Christmas and I also got a stuffed duck, and every morning I tuck them up together in my bed. I can’t bear the thought of leaving them all by themselves, you will never find a stuffed toy sat alone in my house!

    • mrsw January 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

      Oh that’s just going too far (lolol!!)

  12. Heather April 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    ha ha ha ha. you really are a complete freak, aren’t you? lol. LOVE this post, love it!

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