Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Bon Voyage to Mort & Lexi: A Mother Hen Interview

MH: Mother Hen is here at the coop, interviewing travel experts Mort Gander and Lexi Goose, a couple who are preparing for their yearly trip south. Welcome back, Mr. Gander and Ms. Goose!

Lexi: A pleasure as always, Mother Hen.

MH: Where have you been spending your summer?

Lexi: There is a lovely park by the river in London…

MH: London, Ontario, Canada?

Lexi: Well of course, silly. We didn’t fly here all the way from the UK!

MH: Just trying to be clear for our readers.

Lexi: Anyway, it is called Springbank Park. Have you heard of it?

Mort: I didn’t see any bank.

Lexi: It’s over in the plaza, Mort. Anyway, we found a lovely spot under a willow tree…

Mort: About five flaps from the merry-go-round.

Lexi: Mort is fascinated by the merry-go-round.

Mort: It goes around and around and around, and a lady named Merry runs it.

MH: What is involved in getting ready for your big expedition?

Lexi: Well, we log a lot of air time strengthening our wings and practicing our V-shaped flying.

Mort: and we eat like pigs.

Lexi: What Mort means is that we do alter our caloric input in order to provide energy for our strenuous journey south.

Mort: and we eat like pigs.

MH: It must be very difficult to fly in V-formation with only the two of you.

Lexi: We do have to trade off positions more often, obviously.

Mort: We cheat.

Lexi: Mort, we do not “cheat,” for heaven’s sake! We have merely adapted our great tradition to meet our particular needs.

Mort: She means we cheat. A lot.

MH: How exactly do you plan your itinerary?

Mort: Our whatsit?

Lexi: We do like to take the scenic route whenever possible. Last year we found the cutest little B& B in a pond run by a Mallard duck.

Mort: And we hit all the McDonald’s. And Burger-Kings. And White Castles. Don’t forget those.

Lexi: Mort has an unfortunate addiction to fast food.

Mort: Ya, we have to move fast or we’ll be food. Ha!

MH: Hilarious. Are you heading back to Marry-land this year?

Lexi: Of course! Our honey-moon destination! It’s so romantic.

Mort: We don’t have to get married again, do we?

Lexi: Why? Wouldn’t you do it all over again, dear?

Mort: Um…let me think about that.

This concludes Mother Hen’s interview with…ahem… devoted couple and avid tourists Mort Gander and Lexi Goose.

Postscript: Postscript: This is Mother Hen’s close friend, Jodi. Springbank Park in London is home to what seems like a million geese in the summer. There is a merry-go-round in the park  but to the best of our knowledge it is not operated by anyone named Merry.

Back-To-School with Mother Hen

Mother Hen realizes that down there in the US of A, some kidlets head back to school in August.  Up here in Canada-Eh, little chicks and roosters return to the classroom after Labour Day. (Yes, that is how it is spelled here. Get over it.)

That means that MH still has a couple of weeks to get her feathers together and make sure that Missy Hen and Junior Rooster are suitably outfitted and raring, well, okay, ready to go.

Here is the Game Plan.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
15 Ask Father Rooster to get the Supply List from the school.  16 Ask Missy Hen to get the Supply List from the school.   17 Take Junior Rooster to get the Supply List from the school. 18 Read the Supply List.Freak out!(Why does a Grade 3 rooster need a protractor set ANYWAY? To poke his neighbour’s eyes out?) 19 Check in drawers, closets, old backpacks, under beds and in laundry baskets for leftover school supplies. 20 Forget that. A search unearthed box of 12 chewed pencils, one black eraser, 7 broken crayons and 2 dead mice. Ew! 21 Day of rest to thank the Creator for only making back-to-school once a year.
22 Firmly determine to go and get school supplies. 23 Decide instead to order supplies online. Chicken stores are notoriously under-stocked anyway. 24 Actually look at Honest Fred’s – Your Friendly Discount Office Supply Store’s website. 25 Get up the nerve to go to Honest Fred’s checkout and see what the damage is. Keep bucket handy for throw up. 26 Get up the nerve to tell Father Rooster what the bill comes to. (“Honest” Fred is a large duck, so he always has a big bill. Hee-hee!) 27 Order supplies. Realize that they will never arrive on time. 28 Day of rest to ask the Creator for another week to get school supplies.
29 Let down the hem on  Missy’s old school uniform. Tell Junior to pretend he is wearing shorts. 30 Pack up chewed pencils, black eraser and broken crayons in last year’s backpacks. 31 Sew up holes in last year’s backpacks and repack. 1 Pack leftover popcorn in lunch bags. Tell Missy and Junior to just wing it, and have a good day anyway. 2 Dance the happy dance with all the other hens! 3 Go get some re-tail therapy. 4 Post-pone telling Father Rooster about the re-tail therapy.

Mother Hen Rules the Roost

Dear Devoted Readers and Loyal Chicks,

As you may have noticed, recently Mother Hen has been dreadfully busy pursuing her career. What with interviews, reviews and the occasional press conference (okay, only one…but it was very important), MH has barely had time to rustle up a few bags of popcorn for her brood in the evening.

No more! Mother Hen is in the coop, boys and girls! It is time to shape up, get the lead out, toe the line, and get your acts together!

“Junior Rooster, get your butt and those blocks up off the floor!”

“Awwww, Ma!”


“Missy, you can only wear one outfit at a time, for heaven’s sake! Hang up those dresses and fold those tops. “

“But Mother, I have nothing to wear!”

“Your ‘nothing-to-wear’ is all over the coop. Choose it or lose it!”


“Father Rooster, what in the heck are you doing?”

“Hello, dear. I got a great deal on some surround sound speakers for the flat-screen TV, so I’m just hooking them up.”

“Where did you get this ’great deal’?”

“Oh, Walter Wings bought them from Fred Featherly who got them off the back of somebody’s truck.”

“Well, you can just march those hot speakers right back to Fred and get our money back.”

“Mama, they’re not hot! They’re cool!

“Junior, don’t interrupt your Mother when she is hen-pecking me. You know how she gets!”

That’s it! Everyone is in time-out!

“Papa too?”

“Papa too!”


“Shut-up, Junior!”

“Mama, Missy used a bad word!”

“Did not!”

“Did too! You’re not supposed to say shut-up!”

“Dear, about those speakers…”


At this point, Mother Hen used a bad word of her own, and nobody got dinner.

Sometimes you have to be a real mother to be a Mother.

You know how it is.

Yours in maternal solidarity,

Mother Hen

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!”

Mother Hen’s Holiday Newsletter: Final Draft


To compare to the Original draft of the Coop Family Newsletter (which you absolutely must do), see Mother Hen’s Holiday Newsletter: First Draft.

Delivered more or less, almost, kind of on time as promised!     Mother Hen

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!

Sports and the Male Animal

Mother Hen has often pondered the peculiar relationship males have with sports.

It almost makes sense that jocks of either gender getting all worked up about whether a large/small ball/puck makes it over the line/into the goal/basket. After all, despite the fact that the fate of the world doesn’t actually depend on the outcome of the game, at least these folks who play the field (so to speak) have exhibited a certain dedication to their sport. It’s the armchair athletes, the otherwise sedentary Joes, who puzzle Mother H. the most.

Why is every male, from the time he can wear a logo on his onesie, expected to swear undying loyalty to “his” team?  Why are team affiliations passed down from father to son like sacred heirlooms? What is with the yelling, swearing, and yes, screaming, at poor innocent TV screens that haven’t hurt a thing?

Never think this shocking behavior is limited to the human race. No, no, much as it pains MH to admit the fact, roosters young and old have been known to get their tailfeathers in a frazzle over a game of clawbowl, or a friendly cockfighting match. Even the youngest, scrawniest specimen in the coop will puff up his chest and peep wildly when the Rhode Island Reds play the California Grays at the Popcorn Bowl.

Fortunately, Father Rooster is a dignified type, without any predilection for hollering at helpless electronics. No, Father prefers to preserve his voice for the job, like a sensible rooster. Mother Hen couldn’t approve more.

No, it is Junior Rooster who is caught the sports, which is almost as bad as catching the politics, (see Politics and Chicken Pox) but with less voting. The youngest member of the Coop family has suddenly gone all macho over the latest craze, something called “cockey” which is like hockey except without the ice, skates, sticks, or pucks…or so Junior says.  It doesn’t make sense to MH either. Honestly, dear reader, who thinks up these things?

Whatever it is, Junior is rippy-tail snorting around the coop  with a helmet on, “checking” all of us and peeping “He scores!” constantly, which is unbelievably annoying. Missy Hen is perching in the rafters squawking “Mama, make him stop!” and Father Hen is inexplicably absent.

If anyone out there has a cure for the sports, please let Mother Hen know yesterday. Her shins are getting awfully sore.

Gossip, Garbage and Garage Sales: Mother Hen Style

Mother Hen hates gossip. Really she does – especially when it’s about her!

So when Gwennie Hennie told Chipper Chicken that Henny Penny said Barbie Birdie criticized Mother Hen’s nestkeeping, it was game on, girls!

How was MH to maintain her stellar reputation if other chickies spread malicious caca (not just caca, mind you, but malicious caca!) around the pen?  How could she keep her lily-white feathers unbesmirched when nasty rumors are floating around like fluff in the breeze?

MH considered getting even, she is pained to admit, but that was unworthy of her famous dignity and self-composure.  Besides, if Missy Chick found out she would die of shame, right before she informed all the other chicklets about what her Mama had done. Darn that texting anyway!

No, there was only one solution. Mother Hen organized a yard sale.

Her clearing out the coop project was simply not staying far enough ahead of the chicken wire express, you see. Not that there was any truth to the slanderous scuttlebutt making the rounds, mind you. Not at all! There was just a little excess…clutter to redistribute. What better way to redistribute clutter than to foist it on one’s neighbors!

Junior Rooster was equipped with paint and cardboard to make signs. Missy Chick was entrusted with sticker sticking. Father Rooster agreed to crow an announcement right after he finished gargling for his sore throat. Mother Hen sat back with a hot tea and some popcorn to strategize. Someone had to think up appropriate pricing, or the other lady hens might think that there was only junk for sale.

Finally the momentous day arrived.

The Coop Family made six kernels of corn, two rusty pennies, and a small sheet of tin that Father R. is sure he can use somehow.  The coop is covered in paint, sticker backing, leftover buttered popcorn, and a generous beak-full of mouthwash, which FR spewed after Junior asked him what a tampon was. (There was an ad on the back of a cardboard sign.) However, the whole family lost a prodigious amount of weight hauling the “merchandise” outside and back in again.

Mother Hen has a sneaking suspicion the hens are chattering again.

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 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!