Posts Tagged ‘child’

The Aftermath

With a Special Preview of Mother Hen’s New Coop Plans

(How could Farmer Brown resist?)

Dear friends of the Nest*

Do not be distressed!

Mother Hen is just fine —

She’s begun to design

A new home for the Coops

While the family regroups.

Dearest darling readers,

                Thank you so much for your concern and good wishes as the Coop family recovers from their recent fire. Mother Hen and her brood are all alive and kicking, thank God! Farmer Brown has promised to build a new coop just as soon as MH and Father Rooster can agree on a layout. If anything, Mother Hen and the gang will soon be the envy of the entire farm because of their deluxe accommodations!

Missy Hen is thrilled at the prospect of a new wardrobe. With the post-Christmas sales on, she is itching to get at it!

Junior Rooster is making a list and checking it twice – of lost toys, that is! He expects them all to be replaced, but that fateful science kit is a no go. Hear that, Junior? Absolutely, positively not, mister!

Of the family’s meager possessions, the only thing that everyone mourns is the flat-screen TV. What a tragic loss! MH is suffering from withdrawal symptoms as we “speak!” However, the neighbors are taking up a collection for the unfortunate Coops which may just find its way to a big box store nearby (which shall remain nameless, as Mother Hen does not do endorsements for free, for heaven’s sake!) What those other hens don’t know can’t hurt them, right?

The New Year will be a new start in a new place with the same old people. What more could a family want?

Yours contentedly,

Mother Hen

Gentle readers, do please understand that while Mother Hen and Jodi Edwards Wright are the very closest of friends, they are not one and the same “person,” and the tragedy that has befallen Mother H. has not also transpired in Ms. Jodi’s life as well. Here are some hints on how to keep the two straight, since it is a difficult task:

                Mother Hen                                                                                       Ms. Jodi

  •  
    •  Is a chicken                                                                           is a human female
    • Has one spouse and two chicks                                         Has one spouse, one grown chick,two stepchicks and their spouses, and four grandsons
    • Has two “ally” cat informants in the farmhouse             Has two crazy but loving housecats
    • Lives in a coop                                                                     Lives in a house
    • Is located at Farmer Brown’s place, Canada                   Is located in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada 
    • Lays eggs on a regular basis                                             has egg on her face on a regular basis
    • Eats popcorn and drinks tea or eggnog                          has a food intolerance to corn, but does drink tea

*With “especial” love to Ms. Lori, who is a dear friend to both ladies

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Twas the Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the coop
The place was in chaos. (They’re one messy group.)
The TV was blasting the post-Christmas ads,
To draw the last dollars from dear Mom and Dad.

The children were screaming, “Don’t touch my new stuff!”
While Daddy just sits in a daze — on his duff,
And Mother Hen wearing her gift of a sweater,
Had yelled at them all to behave a lot better.

When Missy Hen saw a great deal on a dress,
the TV said cost thirty-five percent less,
she cried “Mama Hen, I must go to the mall!”
But MH said “No!” so she started to bawl.

Junior Rooster was testing his new science kit,
The one that the box said would not hurt a bit.
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a gas that smelled foul and made their eyes tear.

“Out Junior! Out Missy! Out Father! Get going!
As fumes filled the coop and the stink was still growing!
To the top of the fence! to the top of the wall!
Now get away! Get away! Get away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild forest fire fly,
and the sparks that result will then mount to the sky,
So there at the coop-top the bright flames they flew,
With the coop full of toys, and nice leftovers too.

 They stared at the blaze that was burning their place,
With looks of pure horror on each fowl‘s face.
“Now what will we do? And where will we live?”
Cried Missy, then hens all around said they’d give.

One offered a spare nest, another a shelf,
and one tiny chick brought a toy from herself.
Then Junior proclaimed in his loudest peep-peep,
“It’s lucky for us that no one was asleep!”

His eyes showed no sign of remorse for his act,
His innocent face was angelic, in fact.
Mother Hen was so tempted to smack his wee tush,
Since the neighbors were watching he got a slight push.

Then Mother Hen thought about what he had said,
How it was a blessing that no one was dead.
She gathered her family all up in a brood,
overcome with a feeling of pure gratitude.

“We still have each other,” she said with relief,
“And Farmer Brown’s sure to replace it – Good grief!”
“Has anyone seen my computer ‘round here?”
I brought it out with me. It has to be near.”

Mother Hen was concerned but her laptop was handy,
As Missy had emailed her punk boyfriend Andy
Since MH has shared in her blog all the news,
She thinks she is long overdue for a snooze.

So now that it’s high time to bid you good-bye,
And go to a neighbor’s to get some shut-eye,
Mother Hen wants to wish all her readers good night,
Happy New Year to all, and please try not to fight!”

Coop Family Calendar November 2010

Mother Hen presents: The first ever Coop Family Calendar!!!!!!!

As you can see, life is very busy indeed, and MH has her wings full just trying to keep track!

Father Rooster had to cope with the end of daylight savings time, and let Mother tell you, there is nothing so cranky as a rooster off schedule! You would think that the sun was never going to show up at all!

Most of the calendar is self explanatory, but perhaps Mother should…ahem…elaborate a bit about Junior Rooster’s cockey game suspension. She is extremely disappointed to report that he was cited by the ref for “pecking from behind” and “unroosterlike conduct.”  Let Mother H. assure you , he was nested and confined to the coop for a week for those shenanigans. (For more about Junior Rooster and cockey, see Sports and the Male Animal).

Last year for our family holiday portrait, Missy Hen substituted a neon pink dress (see illustration above) for the lovely blue velvet Mother Hen had chosen, then hid her outfit under her coat until we had arrived at the photographer’s studio. Well, it was just dreadful! All of us were wearing shades of blue, and there was Missy sticking out like a sore claw! That will not be happening again this year, no-sirree-bob!

Mother Hen has joined the Christmas Clawbell Choir, as you can see. The choir is preparing for an impressive debut at the Christmas Eve service, which is quite a challenge. MH has had ringing in her ears ever since this whole thing began. Annoying, but she is sure it will be worth it.

Enjoy your little window into Mother Hen’s world!

Mother Hen on Raising Chicks and Kids

Mother Hen has always wondered why humans call their young baby goats. People are a puzzling species.

Naturally, Mother H. has a few things to say about the matter of parenting. After all, when you’ve raised 263 hatchlings to be responsible hens and roosters, like she has, you will be quite the authority as well.

Rule Number One:

Never tell a young’un more than twice, tops.

Tell them once because, well, how else are they supposed to know? Tell them twice only to give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, they might have fluff in their ears and not have heard you the first time.

Continuing to cackle simply teaches the little beggars that they only have to move their precious tail feathers once Mama starts to really squawk. By that time, Mother is about to have a conniption, which is bad for her mental health.

Rule Number Two

To every action there is an equal (but not necessarily opposite) reaction.

If a young’un does the right thing, fuss. Do everything short of throwing a party in her honor. Sing her praises. Give her a high five. Put a sticker her chart. When parents fuss more about the negative than they do about the positive, guess which kind of behavior a little chickie will choose more?

If a young’un does the wrong thing, don’t fuss. Calmly enforce pre-determined consequences that fit the crime. Time outs, complete with a little egg timer are Mother H’s favorite. The trick is that the whole time out must be spent quietly by the little delinquent or the time starts over again. If that naughty little rooster hops away before his time is done, pick him up and put him back. After a good time out served, offer a hug. Mama still loves her baby even when he messes up, now doesn’t she? (Hint: The correct answer is yes.)

For bigger offences, there must be bigger consequences. Say your little chicken crosses the road, a definite no-no. Well, there is one hatchling who is going to have her freedom curtailed for a while!

Rule Number Three

Don’t threaten. Have rules, have consequences, and that it is that. However if you do by any chance threaten, make sure it is something that you are willing to follow through on, Mama and Papa.

Typical family conversation as overheard by Mother Hen:

Mama: Stop that, Junior! Put your little sister down, right now!

Mama: I’m warning you Junior! I am going to count to three!

Papa: Listen to your mother, Junior. [His eyes are glued to the game on TV.]

Mama: One! Two! Three! I’m not going to tell you again! That’s it: a week in the coop for you!

Junior: Awww, Mom!

Papa: Isn’t that a bit harsh, dear?

Mama: Well, okay. Go sit in the nest for three minutes, Junior.

Junior: Just give me a sec.

Mother: One…

Junior learned his lesson all right. He learned that parents don’t mean what they say, and that any consequence is negotiable.  Which lead us to:

Rule Number Four

Present a united front. If there is more than one parent, back each other up.

“Well, what if he’s wrong?” you say. Discuss it, later, away from the chicks. Remember, someday soon, you will want him to back you up!

Rule Number Five

Don’t lose it, and we all know what it is, don’t we? Our nasty bad tempers that’s what! When you lose it, you have lost, plain and simple. The little monsters have won. Need we say more? Mother Hen didn’t think so.

That’s all, at least until MH feels like it.

Fifty Ways to Lose Your Lover

  As a public service to women everywhere (Mother Hen likes to aim high), and on the off chance some guys out there will a) read this and b) care, here are fifty things NOT to do if you want to keep a woman around, beginning with the most obvious…

50. Leave the toilet seat up

49. and don’t flush

48. or wash your hands.

47. Fart in bed.

 46. Tell her she looks fat but

45. her best friend is hot.

 44. Flirt with other women

 43. get their phone numbers

42. then leave them in the pocket of your pants

 41. which you (for once), throw into the dirty clothes basket.

40. Leave your smelly clothes all over the floor

39. especially your dirty underwear

38. then ask why the laundry isn’t done yet.

37. Ask what in the world she does all day

36. when she is at home doing the previously-mentioned laundry

35. cooking your dinner

34. and raising YOUR kids.

33. Go out with the guys all the time.

32. but complain if she wants a night to herself

31. then call her cell every fifteen minutes or so to check up on her.

3o. Never, and this is important, offer to “help” around the house

29. but when you just can’t avoid it any longer, complain

28. and try to get brownie points.

 27. Neglect your personal hygiene.

 26. Watch every sport possible on TSN in every spare moment

25. or play video games all day

24. or look at porn constantly. She’ll really love that.

23. Chat with other women online

22. about sex

21. while you…well, you know. Mother Hen is too delicate a lady to go into details.

20. Put down her family

19. refuse to have anything to do with them

18. and do everything you can to keep her away from them, because after all, they are a bad influence

17. just like her friends.

16. Control every dime she spends

15. of her own money

14. or keep her from having any money in the first place, which is obviously simpler.

13. Call her a stupid

 12. bitch

11. or worse

10. when the kids can hear you.

 9. Drink a lot

 8. do drugs

7. gamble away all your money

6. and her money too.

5. Hit her, especially when she gets uppity,

6. in front of the kids.

 5. Bad mouth her children

4. threaten them

3. and abuse them.

 2. If all else fails, kick her sorry ass out the door, then beg for her to come back

1. yet again.

Silly Mother Hen, acting as if the men of the world need instructions to do these things!

Empty Nest Blues

Dear lady with notebook computerMother Hen,

The day I became a mother was the happiest day of my life. I know it isn’t in fashion now, but my husband and I agreed that I should stay at home with our two boys, and I have never regretted the decision for a minute. I got to see their first steps, their first days of school every year, and all of their at-home games.

Now it is time for another first, and I’m not so thrilled. When our eldest boy decided to work for a year to raise more money for college, I was secretly relieved. I wouldn’t have to part with him just yet.

This fall, both boys have been accepted to schools out-of-state. I am already panicking! The house is going to be so empty and I am going to miss them so much. My whole life has been built around my sons. Now what am I going to do?

Soon-To-Be Early Nester

Dear Early Nester,

Fortunately, Mother Hen knows a thing or two about having an empty nest. Both her chicks flew the coop earlier than expected, and rearranging the straw got old really fast. Here are some thoughts on making the adjustment.

1.  Stay busy!

If you have time on your hands without kids around the house, what about volunteering? Take a class in something that you always thought you would like to try, but never got around to checking out. Pursue a hobby. Join a book club (check at your local library). Attend a place of worship, if you are so inclined, and try some of the activities there. Moms can go back to school too, you know — many colleges and universities offer courses geared to mature students, whether you wanted to pursue a degree or diploma, or just take an unaccredited class. Take up a sport suited to the mature adult: tennis, golf, bowling, or curling are four that come to mind.

2. Pursue romance.

You don’t say whether you have a husband or significant other on the scene. If you do, it is time to focus more on the two of you. Suggest a weekend getaway or a full-fledged holiday, something to look forward to and plan for.

Do some of the above (#1) activities together and find something new in common.

If you are on your own, look into activities for singles, or go places where quality guys hang out (see suggestion #1, and find a new interest).

3.  Take care of yourself.

Join a gym. Try an exercise DVD now that there is no one at home to make fun of you!

Pamper yourself with a facial, manicure, or pedicure at home, or if you can afford it, at a spa. Get a new haircut. Buy some new clothes in a style or color that you usually wouldn’t try. Get a massage and/or chiropractic session.

4.  Make more time for friendships.

My mom belonged to a couple of ladies’ social groups that have became her support network as well as being a lot of fun. The Red Hat Society is one example of a group of women who have banded together for female companionship.

If you don’t know of such a club, maybe you can start one. Typical group activities could include: a book club, attending plays, bus trips, scrap-booking, craft sessions, tours, dinner dates, fundraising activity for charity, weekends away, shopping trips, scavenger hunts, car rallies, festivals and so much more!

5.  Stay in touch with the kids.

Write emails. Use a web-cam. Give your sons pre-paid long distance cards. Send care packages. Make up a photo album for each of them. Create a recipe card file of easy or favorite dishes. Send free ecards. Send regular greeting cards by snail-mail. Make up a first-aid kit. Make lunch dates or meet for coffee.

Hope that something here appeals! The main thing is to realize that this is not simply an ending, but a new beginning as well. An old dog may not be able to learn new tricks, but we wise older hens have ways of out-foxing the empty nest blues!

Empty Arms

Dear Mother Hen,

Until last summer our life was almost perfect. I wish that I had realized how great it really was back then. We had a beautiful eight-year-old daughter with her father’s curly red hair, and a lively four-year-old boy who wore pants out at the knees as fast as we could buy them.

In June, Emily started to complain of headaches. We gave her some children’s  Tylenol, put cold cloths on her forehead, and thought nothing much of it at first. When she began to wake up screaming in the night, I booked an appointment with our pediatrician.

This turned out to be the first of many visits to doctors’ offices. When all the tests were run and the MRI came back, they told us that Em had a brain tumor. By this time she was throwing up every day, and in such misery it broke my heart. We agreed to surgery. I was so terrified that day that I was throwing up too, running to the bathroom then running back in case I missed any news.

It was cancer. Emily  had both radiation and chemotherapy, and she was so brave. She turned out to be stronger than me. The first day she woke up with some of her gorgeous red hair sticking to her pillow,  I broke down and cried my heart out.

My sweet little girl told me, “It’s okay, Mom. Really, I don’t mind,” and I bawled even harder.

We lost her at the end of August. Emily was buried in a white sateen dress that she was supposed to wear to my sister’s wedding just a couple of  weeks earlier. Her curls were just beginning to grow back,  and they surrounded her head like a halo.  When they closed her casket, I thought my legs were going to give out.

I try to be strong for my son, but I walk around like a zombie most of the time. I know that he needs me, but my heart just isn’t in it any more.

Her birthday was in April, but she is never going to turn nine. I was a mess all that day. My husband tries to be supportive, but he deals with it by throwing himself into his job more than ever.

 I am already dreading the day in August that will be a year since she left us. How am I ever going to get through this? I miss my baby girl so much!

 Dear Mom with Empty Arms,

I am so sorry for all that you have been through with Emily’s illness and death.  There is no pain like that of watching your child suffer, and then having to go on without her. I understand, because I am also a mother with empty arms. My son had cystic fibrosis, and we said good-bye to  him six years ago.

 Losing a child is like having a limb amputated. You will never be the same, ever, but as you go along you get better at coping. We just have to try to live our lives in honor of our wonderful children who are no longer with us.

 Somehow, we survive from one day to the next, until we get “used” to the pain, that dull ache that is always there. Eventually, you catch yourself smiling at a precious memory, or you realize that you haven’t cried for a day or two. We go on, for those we love who still need us, and because that is what you do. You find a new “normal.”  

Give your son what you can, and enlist others to help take care of him. You are emotionally exhausted, so being kind to yourself! When you are attentive to your own needs, and take care of your son’s mother , you are also taking care of him.

 There is no doubt that certain dates, like your daughter’s birthday or  the anniversary of her death, will be particularly hard. Some of us look through photo albums and cry. Some go away for the day and plan something special.  You may wish to visit your daughter’s grave with flowers, or even have a spa day if it makes you feel better. There is no single  correct way to grieve. Whatever makes the day more meaningful or bearable for you is what is right.

You ask, “How am I ever going to get through this?” You do it one minute at a time, then one hour at a time, then a day, then two, until finally you realize that life is going on for you, and it’s okay.

Our love for our children will never die. We are not going to forget. We are not going to get over it. We will, however, because of love, go on anyway. Life still needs us here, so we will find a way.

In memory of Emily,  Darren and all of our dear children, let’s live fully every day. They have taught us what a precious thing life really can be.

Mother Hen