Saturday, March 22, 2014

Beep the Corn

This week it was warm enough to let the chickens outside for some fresh air, digging, pecking and foraging.  They were ecstatic. And so was Annabelle. And I realized we are entering our third spring of chicken-raising!

April 2012
(You wont catch me holding this hen now)
Yup, Annabelle in the brooder at 5 months of age
I look at at his picture now and I am less concerned about the chicken eating
Annabelle's finger. but am more concerned with what the hell she is wearing
and why there is a container labeled "soup" next to her. Incidentally Georgia
wore this ladybug suit to daycare today

March 2014
Annabelle helped the chickens take a bath by throwing dirt on them

March 2014
I love Annabelle's bravery

A few Saturdays  ago I decided to enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck before beginning my day.  It was cold out, but it was nice and sunny and there was just barely a light winter breeze. These days I am so desperate for five minutes of silence that I will stand outside in the middle of a Tsunami if it means I will be alone.  I held my cup in both hands, slowly sipping while enjoying the warmth radiating off the cup.  I could hear a woodpecker pecking the oak tree by the chicken coop and I wondered if spring was just around the corner.  And as I looked out onto the field to enjoy the sun's reflection on the white and icy ground cover, my silent reflection was interrupted by the sound of one of my dogs retching and throwing up under the deck.  I tossed what was left of my coffee over the side of the deck and went back in the house to face the day.

How many times can one human's quiet time be interrupted by a retching dog?? Scroll back through my past posts and you will's fairly often.  We just have a "dog throwing up under the deck" kind of a life.  At least this time it was not in our bed.

At any rate, that cold morning got me to thinking about how desperate I've become for a few moments of quiet.  I have never been someone who enjoys the quiet. I always have a radio or tv on just for noise. Now that I have  a walking, talking mini version of Bryan and I...I find myself  craving silence.

Even as I wrote this I wanted to run screaming from the house.  Annabelle always makes me laugh but it is nonstop talking. There's a lot of talking just for the sake of talking "Whatcha doin, Mama?"  and "are you talking to daddy?"  and we've even reached the age of  "why."

 And as I've mentioned before, the conversations  are often very difficult to participate in. On the occasions that I am able to follow and make sense of her dialogue, she is usually picking up from a conversation we had a week ago.  Yesterday morning while driving to school we were talking about ducks and water.   In the middle of what I thought was  a very productive and educational conversation, Annabelle interrupts herself and says "Santa brought my kitchen."  Ok. True statement. "Yes, Santa did bring your kitchen. At Christmas.  Three months ago.  Let's count the ducks we see."  and she starts counting, gets to 3 and says "I wanna call Santa."    Jeez.  So I did what  I am supposed to do and lied .  "We can't call Santa now, he's sleeping."  In fairness to me, it was 5:50 in the morning, he probably was. I don't know what time zone the North Pole is in. I also am concerned that my daughter may go through life believing Americans suffer from a high rate of narcolepsy because whenever she wants to talk to someone on the phone my immediate response is "you can't right now..he's sleeping."

It is not only in conversations that Annabelle's mind seems to wander, she's two.  Her attention span is not much different than the attention span of one of our dogs.  Although...I have seen Milton sit and stare at wrapped Twinkie on the counter for several hours, so perhaps that's a bad example.

Annabelle loves to be busy. Idle hands are the devil's tool. She has a lot of interests, the problem is that she doesn't enjoy doing any of them for more than three and a half minutes.  For example, when Annabelle asks me if she can  paint one could assume that this is an innocent enough request, but one would be wrong.
Painting! - make a note of the glass of wine in the background on the
The last time Annabelle the chance to paint I told her she had to sit in her big girl chair, as she always does for art activities.  On this particular day she wanted to sit on the stool instead.  Since we could merely agree to disagree on the matter, Annabelle chose to lay on the kitchen floor crying instead of painting.

Don't feel too sorry for her though because twenty minutes later while I was engrossed in  an activity, Annabelle pulled herself together and decided she was ready to paint and happily moved her chair over to the counter.  Since she used nice manners and sat where she was supposed to sit, I really had no choice but to let her paint.  In the past painting would occupy Annabelle longer than any other activity, usually for around twenty minutes.  On this day, though, she  decided she was done painting after approximately three and a half minutes.  This is most likely due to the fact that I was doing something I enjoyed.

While she was paitning I found myself having to say (and let's be honest...I was shouting) "don't drink your paint water!" and "Take the brush our of your mouth" and  "Why are you STILL drinking the paint water??? If you want a drink of water I will get you a cup of water!" and my personal favorite "No, you may not paint the dogs. You paint on the paper only."  In between each of these verbal attempts at trying to correct her behavior, she removed another article of clothing. Nudity really gets the creative process a-cookin.
I didn't drink the paint water

As a brand new parent I had more patience. I used to try and positively re-direct her behavior.  For example, in my earlier days I would have smiled and pleasantly suggested  "oh my, that is very creative to paint Bernie. You are very smart, but show mommy how good you are at painting the paper."  However now I am more likely to jump up and down and shout  "If you put one more drop of paint on that dog I am going to throw your paints in the garbage and give your dog to a little girl who listens to her mommy."

It has taken this long to realize that parents have no idea what they are doing.  And I am terrified my children will eventually you figure this out. It took me over thirty years to figure it out. 

Yesterday in Target I overheard an altercation between an adult and toddler to which I could completely relate.  The adult had been reduced to nothing but a babbling moron.  I couldn't see them but I gathered the child did not want to sit in the cart but wanted to either get out or stand. I heard the adult say "I told you if you don't get down, you won't be buckled."  What? In what possible scenario did that statement make sense?   Then there was some stammering and and stuttering and a defeated sigh escaping from said adult.  I wanted to walk over to that aisle and hug her and say "it's ok. I knew what you meant."  It's just like when Annabelle and I are leaving daycare and she decides to lay down in the middle of the entrance.  As  I recently told a friend, after trying all tactics that I know of I starting counting to three. And all I can do is pray "Dear God, please make this child get up before '3' because I have absolutely no idea what the hell I am supposed to when I get to three."

I also vividly recall my mother and sister having argument and my mom threatened my sister by saying "If you don't watch your mouth, you're going to get fat teeth! And we're talking lips here."  Even now decades later I cannot recall this without laughing out loud. I love that my mother was so angry  that she was not only threatening her with physical violence, but was so flustered she couldn't even properly threaten her.

And not that long ago Annabelle was eating hot dogs for lunch, which she had begged me for. Halfway through her hot dog she decided she wanted baloney.  And what did I tell her?  "You may not have any baloney until you finish that hot dog, young lady."  WHAT???  Never mind the pile of carrots on your plate, but you better eat that entire tubular formed processed meat byproduct before you can even think about having a flattened circular processed meat byproduct.  I have no idea what I am even saying to her half the time.  Thankfully she is still too little to call me out on it.

Her conversational skills continue to improve the older she gets, and she wants so badly to tell me things and it is so frustrating when I have no clue what she is trying to tell me....for both of us. She so badly wants me to understand her.  It is like a demented game of charades most of the time.  And then there are the heart warming moments where I cannot control myself and simply laugh at her while she is talking.

poor Georgia.  she's practically used as
furniture.  those are her sister's shoes
resting on top of her after they "fell" off
in the stroller on our buggy ride
On the days when Bryan is home before we get home I always honk the horn when we pull in the driveway so he can come out and help get the children and all of our baggage inside.  Until recently, Annabelle loved this and would laugh hysterically when I honked the horn and delightfully command me to DO IT AGAIN, MAMA!  However lately it only seems to provoke the beast within her.  On the first nice day this season, Bryan was cleaning the chicken coop when we pulled in the driveway so I didn't need to honk. He heard us arrive and he came out from the coop to help us, and Annabelle got to go with him and help him clean the chicken coop.

Since that day Annabelle FORBIDS me to honk the horn. "don't beep the corn, mama! don't beep the corn."  So of course I start laughing and beep the corn.  This causes her to get so mad she turns red and shakes and shouts "No. Don't beep the corn. Daddy's in the chicken poop. Annabelle go in the chicken poop."  I suppose a better mother would correct her and sound out the word  H-h-h-orn and  C-c-c-oop.  But instead I beep the corn and laugh at her.

Meanwhile Georgia has most likely joined Bernie's crusade to figure out a way to get the hell out of this house.  I have seen Bernie lying next to Georgia and her staring very intently at him. I am certain they are planning their escape.  Perhaps they will hitch their way out west and jump a freight train to California.

And when I turn to my husband for some adult conversation, I am usually left scratching my head as often as I am with Annabelle.  I often sing "You Are My Sunshine" to Georgia and I  sang the part  The other night dear, while I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms. But when I woke up, I was mistaken, and I hung my head and cried." and I told Bryan I hated that the second verse was so sad.  Bryan's reply:  "Sad? What's so sad about it?  It just means you didn't co-sleep her to death."  I am surrounded by logic.

Bryan will murder me for posting this picture, but I LOVE it, it's one of my favorites .  It completely
captures the essence of our home. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture, and I love your stories. You are not alone, except maybe with the chicken poop. <3