“Dad? Daaaaaaad! Can I have a cookie before breakfast?” Manchild yelled from an empty kitchen to his missing father.

“No!” Yelled back both Captain Schenanigans, and the voice from the open laptop on the table. Captain Schenanigans had been called away from his conference call to solve an internet problem for Girlchild. His co-worker in Pennsylvania (who had never met Manchild, but had a set of twin boys and a younger boy at home) voluntarily took over parenting for a moment, albeit virtually. Because all parents know, ya can’t have cookies before breakfast, doesn’t matter whose kid it is. Blue ribbon for that dad!

Don’t you ever wish there were more awards given out in life? I could certainly go for one every time I drag my pajama clad body in rubber boots out to the coop in the rain, wind, cold, dark nights, and early morning hours. Twice a day for ten days, just to fight with Hank-the-hen who looks at me and annoyingly runs away. Again. Like she doesn’t know the program yet. Hrmpf.

Right now as I type, there is a black and white chicken out there in the chicken coop with bubble gum on her breath. Not from cracking gum of her own, but because she happened to have a slow healing foot infection at the same time as Girlchild was being de-escalated (learned this word today, medically speaking it means to be taken off a prescription intentionally yet prematurely) from Amoxicillin because it wasn’t a sinus infection after all, it the wrong daily anti-histamine. Which was the first thing I told the doc when she came on the video chat last week… But diagnosis’ aside, this bubble gum flavored liquid gold was just in time to treat Hank once and for all. So I took Girlchild off the drug, re-calculated the dose (sorta) and switched to a tiny veterinary syringe. No needle, just down the hatch while her protesting beak attempted to swing from side to side.


Girlchild has set her sights on becoming a veterinarian (can’t imagine why), and earlier in the week requested permission to administer a dose of medicine to Hank. Seeing as how it was Manchild’s bird, I sent them both out to conquer a 5lb chicken with a dose of antibiotics. The chicken totally won! Sadly, Girlchild trudged back to the house to inform me that Hank had bested them, and they lost the entire dose down her feathers. Manchild was still outside trying to wrangle up the other hens who slipped out of the gate during the poultry rodeo.  I re-loaded her syringe and we gave it another go. Hank’s a tough old bird, but I’m a nurse. We. Don’t. Skip. Doses.

So I’m thinking I’d like to collect an award for doing my due diligence with Hank. I’d also like to give one to the driver  who was driving slow enough, and paying enough attention, to hit the brakes in time to avoid running over Manchild yesterday,  His first time riding his new electric scooter, with the whole family watching, and our hearts nearly stopped.


There is a house across the street with a driveway that does up a small hill to a carport. Just the right size for a boy to bike up, and coast down at top speed. Which he had been granted permission to do, with supervision, Unfortunately, there was also a corner with a stop sign about 200 feet up the street from this driveway, on the same side. It was just the right timing for Manchild (wearing his dirt bike helmet which covers his ears so he couldn’t hear our voices) to swoop down this hill, out into the street, and right in front of this car that wasn’t on the street when he left the top of the driveway, but was most definitely there when he got to the bottom. Praise God, and thank you Jesus, for protecting my boy!! Big old blue ribbon to that driver. Huge. And very blue. Maybe even gold! Whichever is the best.

I’d also like to give an award to 8yr old Manchild, for learning to use a sledge hammer to pop the 12ft boards of our deck from the underside, and thus sped along our little deck project. We were taking off the old wood boards and replacing them with composite decking. Trex brand in Tiki Torch brown, since you asked. I mean there’s no time like a pandemic for attacking those nagging home improvement projects, and since I knew my husband had all his week-ends free for a while, why wait?

One particularly stressful day I just went out and started pulling up boards. Manchild’s radar went up at the sound of hand tools in use, and he showed up about the second blow of my hammer. We had the first railing off in about five minutes, and the second and third about three minutes later. We raced each other, I won. 🙂 After about two hours I was done with the project and went inside. But the opportunity for demolition nagged at Manchild like a kid waiting for Christmas. Every chance he got, he asked if we could work on the deck. When he woke up in the morning. When it was too dark and past bedtime. At the intermission of family movie night. All he wanted to do was pull up boards. And he was good at it! Half the deck was removed by Manchild alone. We may have botched up homeschooling and had him doing the wrong assignments online, but he certainly learned a few other life skills this week! Red ribbon for Manchild (I know, I’m switching between ribbons and awards), because while his skills and enthusiasm were unbridled, don’t interrupt movie night to ask me to do demolition work. I’m in my jammies already, and we all know I can only doctor birds in that attire!


One final special award would go to all the good doggies in the world. The ones who comfort their boys and girls when the world seems unfair. The ones who curl up beside tired mamas at night who are perpetually cold, who fight husbands for the front seat of the car where they always ride, and suddenly go on multiple walks a day when parents need a break. The ones who pick up all the dropped food off the floors so mama doesn’t have to, and are the only ones in the house obeying when we speak.  You puppers are God’s gift to us.








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