A traffic cop and a cockroach

Hmmm. Sometimes life causes experiences to collide and provide a perfect storm of… an unfortunate day. I pick Lucas up from school, nothing new there. His handsome little face lights up with that smile that tells me he is pleased to see me. I buckle him into his car seat and we set off, discussing the day, athletics at school, whether a T-Rex could beat a Dragon in a fight, what super crocodiles ate, the usual stuff.

When we leave Kaipaki Road and turn into Lamb Road we start to pass paddocks of mares and foals. It is that time of the year, lots of gorgeous little foals. Lucas loves babies of any animals, so I slow down. I check the rear view mirror and there’s no-one around on a long country road. So I let him watch the foals playing and drinking from Mummy on the other side of the road and then speed up a bit and then slow down to see the same sights on the left hand side of the road. We discuss how foals get tired and lie down and sleep.

I turn a corner and check the rear view mirror. There’s a police/traffic (same thing here) cop car just behind me with its lights flashing, telling me to pull over. WHAT? I was hardly speeding. So I stop on the grass verge and start to open my bag to retrieve my driver’s licence. The tall, bald, uniformed cop, with a flak jacket on, strolls to the window and I slide the glass down. He says ‘hello’ and tells me I was ‘weaving’. WHAT? I explain I was showing him the mares and foals and indicate the backseat. He leans down and spots Lucas and  says, “Hi Buddy, how are you?” Lucas manages a very quiet, “good.”

Then he puts the black machine in front of me and asks me to repeat my name and address. I do so. He asks me how my day’s going as it processes. I resist the temptation to say it WAS going very well. He checks his machine and says ‘that’s fine’, leans in and tells Lucas to have a good day and saunters off. There is a very pale little boy in the back seat but he grins at me and says he’s never met a cop before. Oh wonderful, his parents are going to be SO thrilled about this. The cop thought I was drunk in charge of a vehicle. Me. I drink about one glass of wine every four months. We discuss this all the way home and decide he was a nice cop and we were only looking at the mares and foals.

And we get home, dying to tell Nanna T about our adventure, and as we walk in I sense something is not well. The two-seater is pulled into the middle of the room and the two cushions are on the floor in a heap. There is much disorder in a normally fairly ordered room. And there is a ginormous cockroach on the curtain of the window behind where the sofa usually sits. I point this out and Mum reacts with relief, ‘get the thing and get rid of it.” She sprays it and I get the jar and capture it. Lucas is thrilled and says he’s never seen a real cockroach before. Oh wonderful, another first. He is fascinated by it. He wants to put air holes in the lid of the jar, but as it has already been sprayed and is on its back, I explain that is irrelevant.

It is not because we have a dirty house, far from it. The house is wooden inside, every room has a wooden roof. And it was empty for about two years before we bought it and those two things combined mean we very occasionally have cockroaches dropping in. So far my bedroom tally is two, Mum’s is four, one in the kitchen and now one in the lounge. And what a great day for it to happen.

We had our usual great time, digging in the sand for fossils and reading books and we even got the (paper mache) volcano out and did some baking soda/food colouring/vinegar explosions. Lots of lava and some slightly wet and pink trousers.

Then it was finally time to go home and I delivered back a very happy little boy who was dying to tell his parents about the cop, the cockroach and the volcano. Fortunately they understood it all and thought it was part of the great mosaic of growing up and learning about life. They know I adore Lucas and he adores me and his confidence at school and life is growing as fast as the growth spurt is adding to his height. I just know what the first questions will be today, “Are we going to not slow down today in case the cop stops us again?  Is the cockroach still in the jar? Can we explode the volcano again?”

Addition: For those interested in the answers: No, we are not going to slow down, or yes, we are going to not slow down, ever again. The cockroach has gone to a better place and the jar is ready for the next one. And we can explode the volcano again when it has dried out and become solid, in about three months. The T Rex who spent the night in the mouth of the volcano is a bright shade of red, but what the hell, who knows what colour they were anyway?

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