Monday, August 1, 2011

Consider my mind blown

Some background is probably necessary for this to make any sense, so here we go.  Over the Memorial Day weekend we went to San Francisco to see the preview of the new Tales of the City musical at ACT with our dear friends.  Well the grown ups went to see it, the kids were left at home with an amazing and very brave sitter who took on all four children at once! The weekend was a nostalgic escape from our daily lives and a time to commune with our friends as a group who don't usually get to be all in one place at one time.  It would have been near perfect but the last day, just hours before we had to pack up and head home, we got a call from our pet sitter.

NE had agreed to house sit and watch the dogs, fish and chickens while we were away.  She had agreed to sit, but expressed some anxiety over dealing with the chickens.  They freaked her out a bit.  I assured her they were low maintenance, just opening and shutting the run at the right times of day and night, everything else would be set up and good for the weekend. In doing this I may have cursed myself because the experience ended up being the kind of thing that can traumatize you.  She had to inform us that one of the chickens had died.  And it couldn't just die in the yard, oh no, it died in the hen house with her legs sticking out of the door blocking the ramp the chickens use to enter and exit their little home.  And it just happened to be the biggest hen.  And she just happened to die, trapping another chicken in the house.  And NE had to deal with it.  She had to maneuver the dead chicken out of the way and pull her out of the house.  She dealt with it like a pro, but she was shaken.  She felt responsible, though she did absolutely nothing wrong. As much as I tried to calm her, I very much doubt she'll ever house sit for us again.

Anyhow, after the dust settled the fact was that we were down one hen.  I wanted to add another to the flock.  When I started to look at this, I found it is generally recommended to add at least two chickens to a flock at a time.  So I did.  I got two 4 month old pullets who would start laying in a month or so and did the work to integrate them into the flock.

Fast forward about a month.  The new girls, Ms. Fluffypants and Wishbone, have become a part of the flock and are staring to lay.  Like other pullets, they start by laying these adorable little pullet eggs.  They're about half the size of a normal egg, perfectly formed and just plain cute.  Now I already obsess over the chickens with a level of fascination that Mr. Dog finds incomprehensible.  I delight in collecting the eggs each day the way a child might delight in looking under the tree on Christmas.  I gleefully report the egg count almost every day to Mr. Dog who more or less rolls his eyes at my unbridled enthusiasm for our poultry.  So just imagine how giddy I was when the new girls' first tiny egg appeared.

I rushed in to show Mr. Dog who may have mumbled "nice" or something equally unsatisfying.  So I decided to ratchet things up with my announcements.  Each time they produced an egg, I'd bring it in and build it up.  My favorite, and the one that has stuck, is to promise to show him something that will "blow his mind"  after I repeat this several times I hold up the egg and say "Pullet egg!"  Then I make a little hand to head gesture designed to compliment my next recitation of, "Did it blow you mind?"
And now I do this a lot.  I personally find it hilarious even if no on else does.
The other evening, we got two pullet eggs in one day.  After explaining this to Mr. Dog and the boys and doing all of the "blow your mind" nonsense, I did the "Did it blow your mind?" closer complete with hand gesture.
Little Dog, in a completely flat voice answers, "No.  You know what would blow my mind?  Some water."  And he turns my own little joke against me to ask for a glass of water.  He is a future master.

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