We’d told La Serpiente she would be coming on my run this morning, but I snoozed my six a.m. alarm and when she came in to my room and lay down next to me at 6:30, she might have said she wanted to come, but she was still fast asleep at seven when I got up, and I didn’t have the heart to wake her. I left on my own, aiming to get a better time than I would pushing the stroller, and the minute I was in the taxi heading to the East Coast my phone rang.
It was my wife. In the background there was a roaring sound of inchoate rage.
La Serpiente had woken up the moment I’d left, and gone to complain to my wife that (a) Daddy wasn’t around and (b) she wanted to go running with me. So that wasn’t a good start to it all.
I didn’t contemplate turning back, as we had no snacks prepared for the little one (it’s not just a matter of pushing her for five kilometres, you have to consider the supply of rice rings, bunny-shaped cheese flavoured biscuits, blueberries etc that she requires whilst in her stroller) so instead I went off to the run, had a tough day there (thirty seconds slower than my last attempt) and took a taxi straight back home to try to make things up to my eldest.
Compensation consisted of pushing her in the stroller to Tiong Bahru and buying a pain au chocolat. But that doesn’t adequately describe the pain of doing so. I was tired from the week (hence my slow time) and I hadn’t warmed down from the 5k,and I didn’t remember how strong your arms need to be to steer a stroller. Or La Serpiente has put on weight from all the bunny-shaped cheese flavoured biscuits.
Plus, on the one-and-a-half mile route between our flat and the bakery, there seem to be an army of grumpy old age pensioners who won’t make any concession when they see a sweaty man running towards them pushing a stroller with a three year old child in it. Every bus stop became a labyrinthine negotiation. Every curb at every crossing, a septuagenarian auntie would place herself at the apex of the corner and not yield, whether I was trying to avoid a speeding bus or not. Maybe it was revenge for La Serpiente not sounding the bell appropriately last time we did this run.
Whatever, I beat my wife to the bakery, watched my firstborn smear pastry and chocolate over her face, then swapped for Destroyer on the way home and definitely walked, not ran home. We stopped for coffee at Nylon (my first in weeks) and I still fell asleep afterwards. I’m sure it was a sign of something.