Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happily Ever After

It was brought to my attention recently that I am doing my kid some serious damage.  Not for the reasons you might be thinking of, although plenty of people would have comments about those. 
Not because she has two moms. 
Not because she isn’t allowed to eat many foods with HFCS (one person in my life actually told me I am making her a weirdo because I won’t let her eat processed foods very often). 
Not because we have chickens living illegally in our back yard (although I WAS told that this is giving her the idea that law breaking is OK).
Nope. It’s none of these things that will cause my child serious damage. (Thank the Lord, I was worried.)
Apparently, what is going to do the most damage is the fact that I have helped instill in her a belief in fairies and other magical creatures and ideas.  I have convinced her that I can heal her boo-boos with magical spells.  I keep a bottle of monster spray (lavender water) under the bathroom sink and I have a cool brown glass bottle full of healing potion (tea tree and lavender water) in a drawer.  Black Hair does an amazing healing chant (imagine something between a voodoo chant & speaking in tongues all ending in a yelled “BE HEALED” in her best tent revival accent).  I have often spent afternoons outside whiled away looking for garden fairies, building fairy houses and talking to her about which magical creatures ride dragonflies and who is brave enough to try to tame a bee.
An elf lives at our house for the entire month of December.  His name is Scooter and he has close personal ties to Santa.
My oldest now tells anyone who will listen that her invisible friend (not imaginary, invisible.  "She is REAL Mama, you just can’t see her.") is part girl ghost and part dinosaur.  Her name is Dinoria and she sleeps in the attic.  My girl tells everyone that she is a level 4-ghost hunter and plans to go to school to reach the highest level so that she can have her own ghost hunting team when she grows up.
Now here’s the thing people, it’s called IMAGINATION!  Does she really believe that I can make her well by magic? No.  She knows it took a trip to the hospital and 6 weeks in a cast to heal her broken arm.  She knows it took emergency surgery and 2 weeks of quarantine and seriously yucky tasting antibiotics to get rid of MRSA.  She knows hand washing is imperative.
Does she really believe that monster spray keeps the baddies away?  Well, she used to, but now she knows not to talk to strangers, never to let people into our house without my permission, never eat candy given to her by people she doesn’t know.
She knows that healing potion is tea tree oil and lavender and she knows that Black Hair’s healing chant only works in conjunction with rest, proper nutrition and possibly antibiotics.  It makes you feel better because it is attention given to you by someone who loves you very much and wants you to feel better.
If I’m not careful, she will soon have some ideas about the validity of the tooth fairy.  So far, I have convinced her that the day shift tooth fairy had to come because the night shift fairy had a cold and that the money under her pillow magically appeared while she brushed her teeth one morning.  Those were cutting it a little close…
Here’s the deal as far as I can tell-we only get to be children once. Soon enough we know that people do horrible things to each other in the name of politics, religion and power.  Soon enough we realize that while fairies may not exist, evil sure does.  Soon enough we hold a friend’s hand while she cries over rape, miscarriage, or the death of a loved one.  Soon enough we see family members and friends devastated by addiction and inner demons.  Soon enough we read horrible things in the newspaper or watch as politicians destroy one another in commercials.  All of that crap comes soon enough.
Therefore, while my children are young, I will happily spin tales of fairies.  I will listen to long pointless stories about the ghost girl dinosaur who lives in my attic.  I will spray the four corners of a dark bedroom with monster stray, mist the pillow of a sleepless seven year old with sleep spray and laugh as I listen to a healing chant being performed over a child with a snotty nose and a sore throat.  I will observe how happy an elf makes my daughter as he travels around our house at night and I will tell stories of witches who melt, bad guys who always get caught and couples who live happily ever after.
If I am ruining my children, so be it.  I will do it with abandon.
Rainbows & Unicorns,
Earth Momma

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Coop Full of Crazy (Part 2)

OK- SO now we were the proud owners of five little hens (hopefully).  Did I mention that the Feed and Seed doesn’t promise hens?  You have about a 50-50 chance of hens when you pick your chicks unless you order them on line or get them a breeder.  Apparently, “chicken sexer” is an actual job and according to what I later read on line, it pays quite well. 
Anyway, we took them home and I set up the brooder (a large Rubbermaid container complete with a heat lamp, hay, chick food and water.  Over the next several weeks we (by “we” I mostly mean “I”) hand fed them, loved on them and cleaned up after them.  All of the literature said handling them is important so they get used to being handled by people.  Mathilda (remember the ugly mean one that pecked me in part one?) was very dominant even though “she” was supposedly a Cochin (mini chicken).  “She” squawked a lot and treated her little chickie friends like crap.  She also figured out how to escape the brooder and poop all over the garage.  She also pecked me a lot and scared GC1 (you remember how she insisted we get this one because no one else would?) so much that she wouldn’t come near her anymore.
After several weeks in the brooder, the chicks moved to the coop, which was residing in the driveway because it was too heavy for Black Hair and me to move alone.  Around the time of the move, Mathilda started to crow. It sounded like the chicken had a head cold, a bad cough, and was singing a weird song.   Black Hair and Carly tried really hard to believe that Mattie was a hen even though she was quickly finding his voice.  Mattie crowed all the time.  ALL THE TIME!!!
In time, we got the coop moved to the back yard and surrounded by the dog pen that a friend had found on the side of the road.  (I drove over, convinced some men to load it into the back of the truck for me, and took it home to be a chicken pen.  With the help of some rebar, it worked quite well.  It doesn’t look great but I guess it could be worse.)
Anyway, we finally let the chickens out of the coop and clipped their wings.  Mattie kept on crowing and every night all but one chicken had to be chased down and hucked into the coop.  I had made a little ramp and Lily Sparkles would see me coming in the evening and march right up the ramp and hop into her nest for the evening.  The other four would run around like crazy and I would have to chase them down.  Or Black Hair would chase them down.
Now remember that BH said she would have nothing to do with this project.  Well, when I got pregnant in September and commenced to being the most sick and miserable pregnant person on the face of the planet, she couldn’t very well make me go out in the pouring torrential rains (the drought ended with months of never ending rain) every night and chase chickens in the mud while I dry heaved and cried.  She let me know that this didn’t make her happy but she did help out on occasion.  And on more than one occasion she came in covered in mud, scraped up and seriously pissed at me and the chickens because she had fallen down again while chasing them around the coop.  I have to admit, as soon as I knew she wasn’t seriously injured, I did laugh (only while hiding in the closet) because she has a talent for falling down rivaled only by that of our oldest child (who can fall face first out of her chair while eating dinner).
Around this time, we also had our 2nd Annual Fall Party and the crowing rooster was a serious issue for those who were watching the football game on the back deck.  One friend even offered to slaughter the chicken for me for free if I would just make it shut up.  Our neighbor (who it turns out worked 3rd shift) also begged me to get rid of the rooster.  I think he might have actually been crying when he begged me through the back fence to please kill it, send it to a farm, or call animal control.  That neighbor moved out after a year and I bet he has some great stories to entertain his buddies with about the year he spent living behind those crazy people with chickens, dogs and kids.
The next step in this saga was a bit sad.  I called a friend.  Who called a friend whose husband raised chickens.  He was willing to take Mattie off my hands and sent his wife over to get the rooster.  While waiting for her to arrive, I went out to see him one last time and noticed that 3 other of my chickens were starting to make the weird croaking noises that Mattie had started out making at the beginning of his crowing career.  They also had started to develop other physical rooster characteristics.  All but one chicken were roosters.  So they all got loaded up and went to “live on a farm”.  All but Lily Sparkles. 
You remember her?  The one smart chicken who put herself to bed at night?  The one chicken who spent her day running from the others?  Well, now she was my one lonely little chicken.  So I looked up chicken breeders on line and I asked around and I found a guy not to far away who guaranteed that his chickens were hens and charged a bit extra for the guarantee.  I paid the price. It was worth it.  I now understood why chicken sexers made such a good living.
To Be Continued