Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

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!”

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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.

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

Problem Child

sad girlDear Mother Hen,

My five-year-old is driving me crazy! Her father says that he wants full custody, and I am seriously considering it. Let him and his skinny little girlfriend deal with her if they can!

I told her on  Monday that she has until Friday to shape up or they can just keep her. Since then she hasn’t exactly been an angel, but she has cooperated some. This morning she brought me her dirty clothes, separated them, and put them in the washer without complaining – for once! She didn’t fold them right though.

She was supposed to dust the living room after lunch, but I found her playing with the cat instead, so she got a time out for goofing off. Next time I turned around she was gone out the door, and she hadn’t even done her whole time out! I had to haul her back from the neighbor’s in front of everyone. She got a spank on the bum for that one, you bet!

Since then she picked up her room okay, I guess, and didn’t make too much of a stink over her bath time. I almost fell over when she volunteered to go to bed early! Like that ever happens!

Thank goodness she goes to kindergarten every other day, or I swear I wouldn’t make it through the week. Watching her all the time is wearing me out! It is only Wednesday and I can’t wait for the weekend.

No man is ever going to look twice at me as long as I have a bratty little kid. Should I just let her dad have her and get on with my life?

Fed-Up Mom


 

Dear Fed-Up Mom,

Raising children takes a lot of energy and time. It is huge commitment, and a 24/7 responsibility. Putting the needs of your child first requires major sacrifice as a parent, and I sincerely question whether you are you are prepared to put your own preferences aside to focus on your daughter full-time.

I am very concerned about your statement, “…she has until Friday to shape up.”

Children need to know that they are loved unconditionally, not only if they do the right thing or have a good day, but when they make mistakes and have bad days. I am willing to bet that well before Friday, she is going to test you to see if you truly care for her or if you will disown her when she misbehaves. I think that you have already answered that question, and unfortunately, the answer is that she had better stay in line or else she is gone. That is not good enough.

Ask yourself, “Am I prepared to provide a secure, consistent and loving home on a daily basis, or would I be a better part-time mom, with time to prepare myself for her visits, and time to myself in between? If I were only required to supervise her some of the time, would I have more patience, and maybe even some fun, with my daughter?”

When children get positive attention, they don’t feel the same need to act out to get negative attention. Try playing with your little girl, so that your time together isn’t always so stressful. Blowing bubbles or going to the playground at the park together, for example, would be enjoyable and relaxing for both of you.

Catch her doing something well or trying hard, and then praise her like crazy. Give a hug or a high-five too! You will be surprised at how much of a difference little things like that can make in your relationship.

If your daughter’s father and his girlfriend are reasonable people who treat her well, and who truly want her in their home, then it may be best if they have primary custody of your little girl. It is important that she not see going to her dad’s place as a punishment though, so stop using that as a threat for bad behavior. Instead, tell her that Daddy wants to spend more time with her, and reassure her that you still want to be part of her life and will see her often. Make sure that you keep that promise, too, because someday when she has children of her own you will be so happy that you did!

Mother Hen