|A Meal Provided by our Hens and Garden|
There is also another chicken development that has been in the works for a while too: Our roosters are now crowing on a regular (and continual) basis. Again, I was very excited for this milestone to occur and now feel the novelty may have warn off. I don't know if you know this but roosters do not crow exclusively in the morning. They crow pretty much all the time and for no particular reason. I am certain my parents thoroughly enjoyed the majestic wonder of our roosters crowing at 6:00 in the morning right outside their window when they were guests at our home a few weeks ago.
I have provided a very short sound bite of one of our roosters crowing. You need to turn the sound up, and it is very very short. Even though they do this NONSTOP it is a hard thing to capture on video without Annabelle shouting in the background.
Annabelle is, of course, growing right along side our hens and roosters. She has reached a stage in her development that I find to be....quite exhausting. She is 10 months old and is all over the place. I have heard this described as being inquisitive, or curious, and my personal favorite....as her "finding her personality and becoming an individual." So often since pregnancy I have wondered what type of person she will become. Will she have her father's patience and my incomparable wit and sense of humor? I spent hours contemplating this while pregnant and watching her grow. You can imagine how overjoyed I am to discover that she is...a royal pain in the ass.
I began this post last night with the hopes Annabelle would simply play quietly on the floor. And she did. She quietly played with my cookbooks, completely shredding and eating a portion of every page. When I consult other parents, blogs, or websites for advice on how to teach your busy 10 month old not to destroy (and inevitably eat) all of your personal possessions they all provide similar advice: positively redirect, explain in detail what it is about the behavior you do not enjoy, make sure to provide her plenty of opportunities to explore, don't limit...etc. etc. etc. I assure you I have done all these things. And what I have discovered is that when I tell my baby "no touch" or "that's mama's beer" or "ah.ah. ah." she looks at me and laughs in my face.
Annabelle's favorite food, hands down, is dog hair. I do not understand this. I have seen her put an entire fistful of dog hair in her mouth and smile and make num num sounds as I attempt to retrieve the sopping wet clump from her face. And on the rare occasions that I am able to retrieve it, she cries as if I have taken her bottle away. And when I see her with dog hair and attempt to sneak up on her to yank it from her angry fists, she runs away. I didn't know this was possible. She runs on all fours at a speed that I simply cannot compete with.
|"I claim this dog in the name of Spain"|
|Muscles McGrenie Bottom Attempting Escape|
Another form of cheap entertainment I stumbled upon was the flyswatter (two words? one word? I don't know). Another unanticipated side effect of chickens is chicken poop. And a side effect of chicken poop is flies. Our deck and home is overrun with flies. So I have gotten in the habit of keeping a flyswatter with me. Last night while supervising Annabelle's dinner I sat at the counter swatting flies and Annabelle thought this was the best thing ever. She laughed and laughed at each THWACK of that flyswatter. And every time I would swat I would say "sonsabitches" and that made the whole activity even funnier to Annabelle. So the truth is out. You know my secret. Annabelle and I spent a large amount time of time swatting flies and cursing last night, and she was the happiest she had been all night.
So this is where we're at. Cursweords, fly-swatting, and naked popsicle eating.
Please do not misunderstand my account of life with a 10 month old Annabelle. I am not so naive to not recognize on a daily basis how this little girl has changed my life and made me a better person. Despite her recently-found discovery phase, and her inability to sit still, I know we are so lucky to have sweet Annabelle. But that sort of sappy admission is not my style, and is certainly not nearly as entertaining as how she is able to make her mama absolutely crazy.
I can only hope that in a couple of years Annabelle will walk with me, holding my hand, into the coop to gather eggs in her little basket topped with a pretty white satin bow. Actually, if I am being truthful I hope she can just go into the coop without me and get the eggs FOR us while I sit on the deck drinking a glass of Riesling. Until then I will resort to whatever tricks I need to make Annabelle laugh and smile.
And if any of you would like to sample our farm fresh, free-range, organic eggs you just let me know. The first half-dozen is free. As of press-time we are now getting FIVE eggs a day. I am working my way to a writing career one egg at a time.