My Dad, a.k.a "Pop Pop," hatched some chicks while we visited over Thanksgiving weekend and again at Christmas. As a special treat, when we left after Christmas each kid got to each pick a chick to bring home and enjoy for a few weeks, as we had plans to visit and bring them back the third weekend in January.
We brought home 5 chicks (Jackson's not really into claiming a small fuzzy bird as "his") with us in the van and I became a temporary chicken farmer.
From the title of this post it seems like I'm going to ramble on with some amazing stories and anecdotes about raising up these chicks for a few weeks. Really, it was pretty uneventful. (And I can let the photos speak for themselves.) But it's the first time I've ever taken care of an animal other than a dog, and it was really quite fun. At one point I moved them from their box in the garage to a cage outside and we had to make sure they had food, water, warmth, and shelter. Home school. Mostly, for me, because while I was doing all this I wasn't really teaching them a whole lot about what I was doing, I was just trying to repair a water dispenser and figure out how to shield them from our dog, who would have loved a chicken nugget or two. Or five. Oh, and now (as if I didn't already) I say "WASH YOUR HANDS!" every five seconds.
The children have enjoyed the chicks immensely. They hold them, talk to them, have named them (of course), and I fear they have traumatized them to the point of the chicks needing to see a chicken psycho therapist when they're all grown up. But whatever. They put the chicks on the swings, they carry them up into the playhouse, and I had to stop them from sending them down the slide. If there is one thing I've learned it's that chicks are resilient. And that they like to poop all over my children's clothes.
This is "Lemonhead." Violet's chick. Violet was traumatizer numero uno, as she could care less whether she was nearly squeezing one to death or not. I heard multiple times from inside the house, as they were outside with them- "Violet! No!" and I was sure she would have squeezed it to death, but she managed to allow them all to live. (So far.)
This is "Youngster." Juliet's chick. Appropriately named, Youngster is the smallest. Juliet has trouble catching them now that they are bigger and move faster, but youngster has had plenty of love from Juju. Juliet was quite the mother, she would place Youngster on the patio table and place torn napkins under his bum- waiting for him to poop, so she could change him. This is the only time in your life you will be eager to change a poop filled napkin, Juliet.
This is "Hope"-- aka "Bob Hope," and "Bob Ross." Penelope's chick. It was originally Hope, but seems to be looking like it's a rooster, so Penelope renamed it "Bob Hope," then that became "Bob Ross." I don't know who he is currently. Penelope reminded me of the "feed the birds" lady from Mary Poppins. She was constantly letting the chicks roost in her hair, on her shoulder, or on top of her head. She always was rubbing her face against them and pretty much LOVED them ALL THE TIME.
This is "Bono." Cash's chick. Named after the U2 lead singer, of course, and very appropriately so, since last week the boys and Jimmy got tickets to see U2 this summer which we will never forget, as we will never forget our time as temporary chicken farmers. I named him Bono because he had gray hair, which reminded me of Bono. Old, but forever hip and young, like a baby chick. Shortly after I took this photo of Bono on Cash's back, he pooped on Cash.
This is "Solera." Libby's chick. Named by Uncle Willie shortly after hatching. Libby was a lot of help with the chicks, and also helped keep the dog away from them countless times.
We will be taking them back to Pop Pop in two days, and will all be sad to see them go. Our HOA will not allow us to have chickens, sadly. I feel bad for them, as they really seem to like their home here. There is something very fulfilling about making a good home for something and seeing them thrive. I wish I could see my children in that way. That simple way. Instead, I make a good home for them, love them, take care of them and instead of feeling fulfilled, I let my mind fill with worry that I'm doing enough, educating them enough, providing enough. That's not the kind of mother I want to be. I fight it. This temporary chicken farmer is a permanent mother. May I focus on the simple and enjoy them immensely.