If you’ve ever had contact with chickens you’ll be aware that they are not the brightest of creatures most of the time. However for the last couple of weeks I have been outsmarted by my semi-resident chooks.
Because I am a reasonably nice person I decided to let the hens roam the back garden (only locking them up at night for their own protection).
These hens had never had it so good before! And my vegie garden has never looked so bad!
But suddenly the girls decided that they should be free-range ALL the time.
Every night I secure the hen house and every morning they escape.
They may have been laying eggs – but I wasn’t finding any because they took off adventuring before they did their duty!
We even found one of the hens in the neighbour’s backyard – terrorising their dog.
Each day I work on the chicken coop and each day they find, or create, a new security breach.
It’s taken me over a week but I’ve finally done it!
They were still there this morning looking like extras in a prison movie. All they needed was a tin cup each as they paced back and forth cackling in frustration.
After laying time I went to let them out – I had to chase them – they had obviously forgotten what the doorway was for (I told you chooks weren’t exactly the most intelligent birds).
I eventually managed to catch one and toss her through the entrance, hoping that the others would get the idea.
Not a hope – these chooks are really dumb! I ended up having to chase each chook out individually.
The really sad thing about this story is that although chooks are really stupid – they still managed to outwit me for 9 days!!!
I can remember sitting on the front step after getting up to a crying baby in the wee hours and feeling like I was the only person alive in the street.
My husband was asleep, he had “selective deafness” (a congenital condition prevalent in fathers with small children) and even the dog barely flicked an ear as I staggered out of bed. Every house in the neighbourhood was dark: no-one in the entire world was awake at this ungodly hour except me!
It’s amazing what sorts of thoughts come into your head at time like that. Being a mum has some wonderful fringe benefits but nobody ever really warns you about sleep deprivation, and what it can do to your brain.
Now I am a reasonably intelligent woman, but there were days when I truly wondered how I could hold it together. When I found myself putting the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard. Don’t laugh – I only realised what had happened when I couldn’t find the milk several hours later!
I fantasised about my bed constantly. Although it was a long distance relationship where we rarely spent any quality time together yet I remained true to my dream: I would spend an entire night in my bed without interruption. Mock if you will, but everyone needs something to strive for and this was my ultimate ambition at the time.
My husband laughed and told people that I was losing it. That might even have been true but what right has a man who has a pre and post dinner nap and still manages a full eight hours sleep to criticise ME?
When I was single (and younger) I had no problem with partying all night and only snatching a couple of hours sleep before doing it all again.
But as a young mum …
I would sit on the front step in the wee hours hating all those unlit houses and envying those inside who were sleeping.
More than once I contemplated trying to convince the dog that there was a burglar in the backyard so he’d start barking and wake everybody else up!
I’m a great believer in bribery and corruption, especially when you have children.
I once offered to pay my son $1 if he could be quiet for 5 minutes. Needless to say he didn’t actually make it. I think he lasted 2 ½ minutes tops!
I refuse to give my children money for nothing. So they have to do little jobs around the house to earn their pocket money. Sounds brilliant doesn’t it? Teach them the value of money, and responsibility, all at the same time.
Easier said than done, I’m afraid. My son is always in debt because he borrows against next week’s money. But because he knows he’s not actually going to receive any cold hard cash in his hand that week he “accidentally on purpose” forgets to do his jobs. And so the debt spiral increases.
I once paid my daughter to wear (in good grace) a dress on a family visit that her grandmother had made her. Ok – I admit it was a very ugly dress but her Nana had made it with love, after all.
I can’t (for health reasons) venture into my son’s bedroom – it’s a death trap in there. So I pay him to clean it up once a week – just so I don’t die from embarrassment if the door is inadvertently left open. It’s a scary place his room. I’m convinced that strange things are growing in there. I keep expecting the Health Department to turn up and seal it off from the public as “unfit for human habitation”.
Ok so it’s not a full-proof method but it can make life easier. We now pay our teenagers to go out when we have friends over for a dinner party.
After all, who wants to hear a teenage boy brag about his sex life at a table full of adults who (being married with children) are probably sexually deprived anyway?
Warning: Don’t ever try to have sex with your husband if you have a teenager in the house!
A teenage girl will ask you not to do that sort of thing while she’s still living at home because it will damage her psyche forever. And that people as old as you (we were in out 30’s at the time) should have stopped doing that sort of thing years ago!
A teenage boy will smirk and make embarrassing comments over the breakfast table. He thinks it’s hysterically funny that people as old as you (we were in our 40’s) actually still manage to have a sex life!
Now I know why teenagers are the greatest walking advertisement for abstinence in or out of marriage. It’s just a pity we didn’t know this before we had them, isn’t it?
So here’s my latest concept for a Reality TV Show that I know some of my friends would watch. It’s not very politically correct but has that ever mattered where ratings are concerned?
“AUSTRALIA’S SEXIEST FIREMAN”
Just think about it …
Each week there would be a different assortment of “firemen”. Viewers could vote for their favourite and some contestants would be eliminated. They would have to flex and pose and occasionally save someone from a burning building (volunteers only).
Fundraising calendars featuring firemen sell extremely well but this would be big. Really Big! It could make ratings history, I imagine. We could even take it worldwide: “The World’s Sexiest Fireman”. Just think about it. Half the population can watch sport and the rest of us can watch firemen.