I am the impulsive spouse in our marriage.
For that reason, I was rather dismayed when Ben piled us into the car and headed for the local CAL Ranch store, also known by the kids as "the cowboy store." (Just so you know, I LOVE the smell of that store. I'm not sure what it is. Just like I LOVE the smell of hardware stores. Weird.)
He was on a mission, and that mission was PEEPS. Chicks. I'm pretty sure that the kids were practically diving into the cages, they were so excited. That is, until a worker informed them of the dangers of salmonella poisoning. Then they were a little more, shall we say, tame. There's something about telling kids that you'd rather be DEAD--from first-hand experience--than suffer from salmonella, that snaps them to attention:). Sweet lady.
I had to laugh at myself when a guy, who looked about my same age, started asking me questions (as if I knew ANYTHING at all?!). I reverberated all the info I had learned two seconds ago from an employee. I was pretty convincing. Then, I summed up my wealth of knowledge with, " . . .BUT, I have absolutely no idea, really. I've never done this before." Sometimes I wonder why I ever open my mouth?
The kids picked six chicks. Three Americaunas (they lay the prettiest blue-green eggs), three golden sex link pullets. Baby chicks are SO adorable. And SO fragile. I was worried for their lives. We are not gentle lovers at our house. It's all or nothing.
I didn't realize that I'd turn into a "mother hen" about these little chicks. I stayed up until 1 AM reading a book about raising chickens. It was much like the hours I spent reading What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect The First Years before I gave birth to Brigham, our firstborn.
I kept checking on them, wondering if they were still alive, too cold, too hot, clean water, etc. It was like taking care of Sammy all over again. It must be that mother-heart we have as women.
We learned that we have a little time before we need the coop up-and-running. The chicks will stay inside for another five weeks. They won't start laying eggs until August.
Here are their names, according to family member: Dad/Sam: Gah, aka Lala (I don't understand it, either), Brigham: Cosmo (like his fish:)), William: Captain Moonlight, Lincoln: Tin Tin, Annie: Alexis (again, what?), and Me: Penny.
Thankfully, they're still alive. I'd be lying if I didn't say there is something mushy-gushy-sweet about seeing your own adorable children holding pontentially-salmonella-causing adorable baby chicks up to their cheeks and smiling. Trepidatiously-cute (yes, I made that word up).
(You have to admit, they look so cute, don't they?)
As much as this experience has brought mass quantities of wonder into our household, I'm still not thrilled that my laundry room and occasionally my kitchen smell like a barnyard. I'm all about smells, and this is one I'd like to keep OUTSIDE, if you know what I mean. Five more weeks. I can do that, BECAUSE . . . I can do HARD things, remember?
The things we do for love.