ONE of the things I like about Sunderland is that there is always something you can do to entertain the kids for free.
Whether it be a day at Seaburn beach or a walk up to Penshaw Monument, there’s something for everyone.
One of Tate’s favourite places to go is the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.
It’s open to all members of the public so anyone, no matter who they are, can have a mooch inside and enjoy what’s on offer.
Last weekend Tate was desperate to take his daddy inside and show him the fish.
He loves to sit at the side of the pond and name all the koi carp and goldfish as they swim by.
On this particular day he decided that they were all called “big fish” apart from the smallest of the group, who he named “Nemo”.
After dragging his dad – who was ill after a hard three months on military exercise – around the gardens we decided it was time to head to Mowbray Park.
Sausage roll in hand, Tate set about his favourite game which is chasing the pigeons. He never catches them but he enjoys it anyway – unfortunately, this time it all went wrong.
He decided to take his bird-chasing up a level and unfortunately for him he took on the biggest, roughest-looking seagull in the park.
Not only did it walk with a limp but it was the same size as Tate.
Before myself or his dad, John, could do anything the enormous seagull had spun around and was now in hot pursuit of Tate.
It didn’t take long for it to grab him by the hand with its beak and prise his sausage roll out of his fingers.
This seagull was definitely practised in the art of sausage roll snatching and while Tate screamed in terror the bird took off to enjoy its lunch.
If Tate wasn’t so traumatised it would have been quite funny but his little fingers had all been cut ( I didn’t realise a bird could do so much damage) and I had no idea what to do next.
John suggested we take him to the doctors in case he needed a jab. After all, who knows what they stick their beaks into, so we made our way there as Tate sobbed.
The crying got worse every time he noticed the blood on his fingers and he kept saying ‘naughty birdie’ to anyone who walked past.
At the doctors I felt a bit daft saying my son had been attacked by a bird but the receptionist just looked at me and said he was the second one that day.
Maybe I’m naive but I didn’t realise seagull attacks were commonplace, especially not in the park.
I had read about the notorious one on Blandford Street but obviously they are venturing into new places with easy food to target.
I will bear this in mind next time I hand Tate a sausage roll – although he may not eat one again after this.