Our New “Normal”

Friday night before bed, both kids (spontaneously and unbeknownst to each other) asked me to wake them up so they could help with cleaning the coops in the morning.  This is a chore I do weekly – usually on the weekends.  Happily surprised, I agreed to wake them.

However, when the early morning came, I caved and let them sleep in.  After a quick breakfast, I continued to the coops to clean.  Moments after I started, I heard little clomping feet and knew it was my little guy.  He said, “Why didn’t you wake me?”  I explained that I wanted him to sleep a bit longer.  However, secretly I was tickled that he was so motivated to come out and “help” me (although I use the term ‘help’ loosely).

Long story short, he (and soon to follow…his sister) came out and just played and enjoyed the chickens.  I loved the idea that they were not sitting on the couch this Saturday morning watching cartoons, Roku, or a movie (we do do that but I try to keep it under control) but instead were in the coop, in their lawn chairs, playing with the chickens.  We all hung out for about an hour and just enjoyed each other.  Me cleaning, they – in their PJs – singing and talking with the chicks.  I love the new “normal” we are creating for our kidlets.  It’s very intentional and not easy – but I think it’s worth it!  Time will tell…

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Squirrels…Beware!

Ok – so my movie plans for tonight have been thwarted!  We were at the lake all day today with the kids.  I’m dog-tired and was all ready to enjoy a relaxing evening watching a movie with the hubby.  But as of ten minutes ago, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

On our drive home from the lake this afternoon, my husband and I were discussing dinner options.  As I told my husband we didn’t have much prepared for dinner and we were all bushed from being out in the sun all day, I quickly decided Spaghetiio’s and grilled cheese would suffice (at least) for the kidlets.  So we got home, and I brought in from the mini-van the potpourri of towels, flip-flops, and swimming suits.  And I, like a mother who cares about the well-being of her children, started dinner.  As I started the stove, I see my husband TRY to sneak by with his bow and arrows in hand!  I think (with quite a bit of judgement attached) “WHAT?”  I thought we were (as a team) going to get dinner on the table to feed our starving children.  I ask him, “Where you goin’?”  With that, he smiles sheepishly and says, “I’ll be back in a minute.”  Already I can see I am regretting the purchase of that “testosterone-jacked compound bow for our 15th wedding anniversary”.  With worn-out children tired from the day, my priority was to get them fed and “watered” first.  Hence I didn’t have time to debate my case to the “hunter”.  (I know how to pick my battles.)

So about 8 minutes later, I was sitting at the table with the kids, happily inhaling their dinner, and the hunter comes (almost skipping) down the stairs.  I smile reservedly, still questioning what he’s up to.  In a gleeful whisper, he says, “Come outside…by yourself!”  I tell the kids to keep focused on the mission at hand – eating their dinner – and I go outside.  We walk down the rocky path and he reveals his trophy: a squirrel with an arrow…through its head!  The Hunter had gone up to our bedroom (we have a small deck outside our room) and had shot this squirrel from the deck.

Now truth be told, I was somewhat impressed.  This is the first time he had shot a squirrel, he had only taken one shot, and he hit the head no less.  Really, you’ve got to give him some credit for the precision and skill he expressed…but then again it was a squirrel!  I was happy to celebrate the success of his objective (I’m growing as a supportive wife) – but then I asked, “So….um…what is your plan now?”  Without hesitation, and smiling, he tells me he’s going to skin it and eat it (at some point).  Now, I don’t know if you’ve looked at a squirrel recently (with the intent to consume it) but there’s not a lot there.  You’ve got to have a few of ’em to even come close to making a meal!  But there was no stopping this new, enterprising hunter.  Again, I know when to pick my battles and this one was not one of them.

So my relaxing movie would just have to wait.  That was ok.  Seeing the kids happy and asleep and my hubby practically looking like he’d won the lottery was just as good!

PS: Just for the record, my husband has been in touch with the MO Dept of Conservation as well as researching local zoning laws regarding hunting squirrels.  The short of it is he’s compliant and the squirrels have been put on notice!