Elle Severe Presents

Teen Duck Mom

In Life, Married Life, Musings, Random on August 30, 2012 by Elle Severe

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took our 2 and 4 year old down to the Charles River to hit a couple playgrounds, frolic in the pool, count the Duck Boats on the Charles, and have some good old fashioned family fun.

We took a break from all this exciting family fun around 12:30pm to have some snacks. We settled in to one of the picnic tables by the concession stand near the Hatch Shell. Because my kids are complete wack-a-doos, we all ended up sitting on the same side of the picnic table.  I think there was some nonsense about wanting to sit with Daddy but Daddy needed to sit on this side…you know what, who gives an eff,  it’s only pertinent to the story because we were all facing the same way, which was towards the Charles.  This allowed an awesome view of all the people and the boats.  My 2 year old likes to scream out “FERRY” whenever she sees a boat of any kind.  I’ve stopped trying to correct her.  Whatever floats your boat kid. (See what i did there?)

Anyway, there was some commotion over by the water’s edge and then we saw people clearing a path and the next thing you know, this Mommy Duck comes up out of the water with her 5 baby ducklings – it was cute overload.  I mean, let’s be honest, there are few things more precious in the world than ducklings, amirite? And I loved how everyone immediately cleared the area to let her and her babies pass.  I love when people come together as a group and behave in a unified way that benefits someone or something other than themselves.  It’s those little moments in life that restore my faith in humanity. Unfortunately that didn’t last very long.  Some moron tourist pretty much bumrushed Mommy Duck with her iPhone in order to get pictures.  Maybe they don’t have ducks in Europe?  In an effort to avoid the duck paparazzi, Mommy Duck veered a little to the left, more towards the Hatch Shell than she probably wanted to go, but it was okay.  This allowed me to get a nice shot of her and her sweet little babies.

Mommy Duck and her fluffy, sweet, precious babies.


She continued on and everyone kind of just stopped what they were doing and watched.  A truck driver trying to get past her just cut the engine and waited;  the people setting up for National India Day all paused…it was a sweet sight…riiiiiight up until Mommy Duck decided to take her and her babies on some sort of kamikaze suicide mission.

Not a duck crossing.

This batty bird decided to cross Storrow Drive with her babies in tow! WTF! (For the New Yorkers who read this, Storrow Drive is similar to your West Side Highway or the FDR) Thankfully some Good Samaritan type stood in front of her trying to shoo her back until the Park Rangers came flying over on their golf cart and immediately took care of business.  I am still left to wonder if someone there called 911 and started screaming “WE HAVE A DUCK EMERGENCY ON STORROW! SEND IN THE RANGERS!”.  The bravest one of them all jumped out of that golf cart with a quickness and stepped right the f*ck into Storrow and began stopping traffic! Let me just pause here and explain to you that at this very moment time stood still…not a single solitary soul in the park was looking anywhere but at the drama unfolding with Mommy Duck and her Precious Babies.  We were in the middle of a real life Duck Drama! For those of you not from Boston, our ducks are pretty sacred.  We have a whole industry here built on our duck situation.

Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings” is a children’s classic.

Caldecott Award Winner.


We’ve got Swan Boats that go around a lagoon devoted to the preservation of swans and ducks.

Swan Boats. Best Bahhhgin in the city for family “fun”.



Duck Sanctuary.








We have Duck Boat Tours.  We have duck statues.  We have a lot of duck going on.  Probably more than your average city.



and WATER! Take THAT Trolley Tours!

To continue:  the Park Ranger stops traffic on Storrow Drive, Mommy Duck and her five babies pass to the median and everyone breathes a sigh of relief…except me.  I’m freaking the f*ck out! Where is she taking them?? There’s ANOTHER side of Storrow Drive! How the hell is she going to get them across that side? Mr. Park Ranger’s jurisdiction apparently ends at the traffic divider as he immediately jumps back in his golf cart and takes off to his next duck-related emergency.  But what’s going to happen here?? All I can think is that she’s trying to get them over to the safety of the island in the Swan Boat lagoon, in the Garden, but sh!t, that’s another two full blocks away! She’s got to get these sweet little fluffy babies down Charles Street, across Beacon Street and into the Public Garden without getting smashed to smithereens! Not. Going. To. Happen.

For love of God, someone DO something!

And that’s when I lose my sh!t.  Here she is in the center divider on Storrow with her babies just hanging out and then, it gets better…she just disappears! It looked almost as if she ducked under some grassy knoll and now she and her babies were gone and at that point I could draw only one logical conclusion: this Mommy Duck was a teenage mom. I’ve been watching 16 and Pregnant since 2008 and Teen Mom since 2009, plus I’m from Dorchester so you know I can spot a teen mom a mile away in the dark with sunglasses on.

Just ducky.

Now I don’t judge (yes I do), but I’m telling you, she had all the classic hallmarks of a teen duck mom.  Irresponsible, stubborn, treating her progeny with reckless disregard, entrusting strangers to help her out and then acting entitled the entire time…oh yeah, there was no doubt in my mind that I had just seen Teen Duck Mom.  Because there is no other logical explanation.  None.  Because no one in their right mind takes their babies across Storrow Drive. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Bruins ducks.

Once I realize this, I turned to my husband and said what I always say whenever I see a teen mom and her baby: “I’m about to run over there and snatch that baby up and take it home” – only this time it was more like “I’m going to bundle them up and run them over to the Garden”. And that was the very moment when my son decided to do that super annoying thing all toddlers do when there’s a serious situation:  start asking a MILLION questions.  And that’s when I want to scream “SHUT THE F*CK UP, WE’RE ABOUT TO LOSE SOME PRECIOUS BABY DUCKS HERE”.  I just don’t have time to explain what “bundle up” means in the midst of all this drama, come on kid, get with it, willya!

Sidebar, why do kids do that thing? Because they do, every single time, without fail.  It’s as if they inherently know that this is really bad time and decide, “Hmm, how can I make this situation worse…ohhhh, I know, I’ll ask the same question 17 times in a row, perfect!”.

Back to the drama at hand.  So my husband says “Okay, let’s go, she’s going to be fine”. No she’s not.  And we all know she’s not! I appreciate that he’s trying to just get me out of there as I’m a very emotional person and the idea of these beautiful fluffy little critters getting run over by some aholes driving a Lumina on Storrow is making me sick,  but he can’t blow sunshine up my ass.  I think we all know that by tonight either those babies are going to be orphans or that Teen Duck Mom is going to be very, very regretful about the life decisions she made today.

Christmas ducks. Or if you’re an asshole, Holiday ducks.

Now listen, I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know if they made it across to the other side safely; I sure as hell hope so.  I was physically dragged out of there and over to the nice pool about a block down because my husband was not going to tolerate some sort of ill-advised Teen Duck Mom rescue.  But I’ll tell you what, I haven’t stopped thinking about those babies and their Teen Duck Mom since.  FRICK!

She pretty much haunts my dreams.  Did they make it? Are they alive? Are they happily settled in the lagoon? Are they eating a well balanced diet of local grass and organic breadcrumbs? I just don’t know.  I guess you have to come up with you’re own happy or unhappy ending.  Sorry.

Last week in Vegas my husband and I went out for a fancy dinner.  He ordered duck.  I thought that was in poor taste given what I’m going through.

Oh Mama Duck, where are you?