May 18, 2011 by themommahen
This past weekend was awesome. Hatchling #1 found a four-leaf clover. In my entire life I have never found one. It took her 15 minutes.
She also scored her first soccer goal, which was pretty awesome. I don’t care about the goal. It was her face and her pride that made it awesome. And on top of that, the weekend was beautiful. Bright blue sky, big puffy white clouds, emerald green fields, billowing waves of pollen. Minus the waves of pollen that nearly killed the husband, it was beyond stunning.
We let the chickens free-range for the first time, with no cat incident (knock on wood that remains the norm).
We took walks to go pick flowers and taste honeysuckle. (Ahh, the smell of honeysuckle. Few things take me back to my childhood the way that smell does.) Well, some of us walked. Some got a ride.
And then Monday came. The past several days I learned something about staying at home. Blah days don’t just happen at the office. Okay, so I already knew that, but I guess I had been feeling pretty good about my new career lately. Like I was getting into the swing of things and really establishing some kind of routine. Not a perfect one mind you, but at least “some kind.” And then yesterday, Hatchling #3 decided he didn’t want to nap anymore. Not unless I sat and bounced with him for at least 20 minutes, which can get really frustrating. You’re bouncing, two other kids are running around trying to be quiet but not really succeeding (when do kids figure out how to really whisper?), you’re beating yourself up for not “training” your baby to sleep without this ridiculous routine, you’re hating all the parents who have successfully done said training and you’re sweating up a storm on top of it all, which only makes the heat rising up your body through your neck wors until you feel ike your head really might pop off. But I digress.
Even when I worked full time, my kids had “bad” nap routines, so my hypothesis that if I stayed home with my kids they would sleep better has now been proven to be false. (And my nannies get my heartfelt apology for all the inquisitioning I subjected them to:
“Have you tried swinging them in your arms like I showed you?”
“Okay, but did you sing the song this way?”
“He went down 9.6 minutes later than usual — why?”
“Next time maybe try standing on your head while scratching under your arms like a monkey while also singing You Are my Sunshine backwards.”
Yeah, sorry bout that.
All of them have required rocking, walking or bouncing of some kind. Or should I say, I have given them these things and they therefore came to expect it. My littlest hatchling requires being bounced in my arms while I make noises that, ironically, sound like I’m calling or summoning chickens. A hushed, whispered “chook-chook-a-chook*” with his pappy in his mouth while I bounce up and down on the end of the bed with him in my arms usually does the trick, but not since Sunday.
(*All other hatchlings had special songs I sang to them. #3 got shafted because 1 and 2 wouldn’t let me sing any of my go-to lullabies to #3 because, wait for it…the songs made them sad because they weren’t babies anymore. I’m not kidding — it’s so wrong and cute all at the same time. So #3 got the chicken call.)
I’m not sure if his teeth are bothering him, if he’s at a developmental milestone (he’s close to crawling) or if it’s some other phase, but whatever it is, it’s not working. And one thing that is true whether you’re in an office or at home, is when something you’re usually good at becomes a big fat flop, it sucks.Oh, and the other truth is that even if you’ve done this whole parenting thing before, you still never really have all the answers or know what you’re doing.
Which reminded me about our latest chicken drama with Foxy. Foxy is our crested Polish hen/rooster (we’re not sure) that is supposed to have a big ol’ poof ball on her head if she’s a girl or a cool feather afro if he’s a boy. Problem is, the guineas think Foxy is one of them. They’re best friends, the guineas and Foxy, which is why it’s hard to understand why they want to kill her/him. They don’t really want to kill Foxy, but they do want those damn feathers off his/her head. So they peck. And peck. And peck. But only when we’re not looking. Except for one day this past weekend when my dad went outside to see what kind of chicken business was going on. What you may not know about chickens is they peck if they’re mad. Or bored. Or crowded. And if they draw blood, it becomes a cannibalistic frenzy. Disgusting and something I didn’t know and desperately want to avoid.
So there’s Foxy, lying out in the sun with her guinea buddies, and each one of them is taking turns lazily landing a peck on her head. Since the husband, hatchlings and I were all gone running errands, Mom and Dad decided to separate Foxy, which he/she didn’t like. (And I’m not sure how they caught him/her because he/she’s fast!) We got home, they told us the story, we shook our heads in a serious a-ha moment (because we’d noticed Foxy was looking a bit like a shaved monk with a bald spot right in the middle of his/her head for a couple weeks) and decided it was time to act.
We Googled and chatted and texted and called to find out all our options and long story short, decided to do some major hairstyling on Foxy. So here’s Foxy with her feathers
pulled up in a classy top-knot with a fresh application of pine tar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, blue food coloring, and triple antibiotic ointment underneath it. (Disgusting, but not nearly as disgusting as the fact that the husband pointed out that it smelled like hot dogs. That can’t be good for anybody.) Yes, that’s a ponytail for a chicken. You can see how much she enjoys it.
And so far it seems to be working. But it’s too bad I don’t have video of me doing it by myself yesterday. Let’s just say that I have one ruined shirt and am still stained with dye on my hands, arms, legs, neck and the stuff tastes awful. Too bad the guineas are too dumb to realize it because they keep pecking it right off Foxy’s head.
Oh, and I got to play hairstylist on humans too. I’ve always cut the hatchlings’ hair, and after we moved, the husband asked me to do his to save a little cash, so I read up on how to do it with some clippers and thinning shears, and now I do good enough to get by. And I think that’s what prepared me to do Foxy. I’m pretty sure our financial concerns are over. There’s money in this, right? Okay, I don’t care about the money. These faces are all I need.