Same Circus, Different Ring

Summer is upon us here in Schenanigansland, and we are thrilled. Tomorrow is Girlchild’s last day of school, and that makes tonight the last lunch I pack for the next 3 month. YA-hoo! Manchild has failed to grasp the concept of his church preschool school ending nearly a month ago, and asks periodically during random car trips if I’m taking him to preschool. What Manchild really needs is a watch and a calendar.

Anyway, this new season of life (actually caring when public school lets out for the first time since I was enrolled in one) has brought us a fun new normal. We have begun eating most dinners on the deck, which is a lot more fun than attempting to locate the kitchen table, or remove the mountain of school papers and random clutter under which it strains. We also have begun playing Family Dodgeball after dinner most nights in the backyard. We think we’re hip.

The kids got into dodgeball at Aikido (a Japanese martial art), where this is the final thing they did at the end of each lesson. It helps with agility, and makes them nimble –  or it will someday, God willing.

Captain Schenanigans got into dodgeball volunteering with the church Middle School youth group,  where head shots count.

I’m just excited for a physical activity we can all participate in right next to my chicken run. I love looking at them in their rainbow of colors, and watching them make foolishly bad decisions with their teeny, tiny, little brains. No, you should not wait in line for the good nest box, Just use the one beside Speckles.

Anyway, since we were getting serious about our game, or at least complaining about our unsatisfactory ball options, I ordered us an official Rhinoskin Dodgeball. In purple, because it was marked cheaper than all the other colors.

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We now feel a little bit like pros, whizzing this soft skinned missile at the delicate bodies of the little ones we love most. We practise throwing fast and hard  (ahem, Captain), and slow and curvy (like me). The kids have fun doing the required 5 jumping jacks when they get tagged, instead of being “out”. This works on 2 levels, keeping the game from ending every 4 seconds, and wearing out the children prior to bedtime. Last week the game ended with both children laying on the ground, flat on their backs, slowly making dirt angels. They were DONE. We won.

The background music, as we throw and they lurch in the evening shade canopy of our trees, was the sound of one lone cat crying. For hours. Jax, our new, used, barncat that we recently adopted had to be kept in a cage to establish where home is,  for 2 weeks. This made for one sad kitty, who would complain and meow for hours once we stopped petting him.

Tomorrow was slotted to be the last day of Jax’s confinement, however I could not stand one more second of listening to this jailed feline yodel. So, late this afternoon, I allowed Manchild to grant Jax his freedom. He slid the latch across the front of the door and swung the crate open wide enough for one skinny yellow kitty to saunter through. Somewhere I imagined there were horns and whistles blowing, celebrating this wonderous event. Jax must have been thrilled!

Except, he wasn’t. After a few strolls around the yard and a couple good chases with a wandering hen, Jax went back to crying! I couldn’t believe it. He had fresh water, I gave him his dinner early, I fluffed up his bedding and tucked in his toys. I drug out the dirty cage and hosed it down, while Girlchild refilled his litter box with fresh clean cat litter. This rodent-killer should have been in hog heaven. Instead, like a sulky jaundiced child, he meandered under the wood pile, around the coop, across the deck, and past our legs. Whining the whole time. It slowly sunk in, I had introduced one more whiner into our family, and had one more opinion to listen to as I went about my day. How could this even be possible?

The Schenanigans Family is not known for their silence. They are a wordy bunch, who enjoy a good group of people, and know how to make friends quickly. I am the unofficial Team Listener. Generally, this works well for me. I’m not much of an enjoyer-of-crowds, and am usually curious to hear what other people are thinking. Atleast the first time. But it does not work out so well that I feel the need to invite another opinionated team member into the family. Especially a non-English speaker, who fails to obey orders. Such as, stop whining.

I’m hopeful that Jax will learn to pipe down once he gets the hang of his new territory. Perhaps he was just reporting his new findings back to Houston as he searched out life on plant Schenanigans. Maybe he was radioing for back-up. Or keeping a running narration, much like Manchild at play with his beloved Ninja Turtles. If you stand still you can listen quietly to the words mumbled under his breath. The never ending stream of words.With so many talkers and sqauwkers in our home and yard, I would have thought bringing home our new non-show bunny, Girl Bunny, would have made Captain Schenanigans a little more chipper than it did. Considering my new-found love of Scottish Highland cattle, he should praise the Lord it was only a bunny. But I am officially taking back all statements about Girl Bunny being unshowable. She is right now entered in the Hereford Jr. Farm Fair’s pet rabbit class, along with her husband Good Bunny in the Mini Lops. Girlchild is full of pride, and Manchild has his chest stuck out with the enrollment if his best favorite hens, Batman and NeighNeigh.

So with family dodgeball games, the complaining cat (who may become a new dodgeball player if he keeps it up), the new (hopefully mama) bunny, and the pending summer show season, I’d say the Schenanigan family is in for a wild run. Stick with us here in blog-land for the good, the bad, and the snuggly. We promise not to disappoint. Free baby bunny to anyone who complains!

 

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