Sunday, April 24, 2016

properly motivated

I had promised Elliott that just as soon as we returned from our vacation trip we would look into finding some chicks to round out our flock here.  This boy does not allow such things to be put off.  Not even for a day.  Or for breakfast.  Or to be told to put some non-pajama clothes on.

I heard some scraping and dragging and grunting noises while I made breakfast, coming from outside, and I looked out the back window to see the garden shed door open and a good deal of thumping and crashing coming from inside.  Next glance out the window revealed Elliott, in PJs, dragging a large green bin backwards across the yard toward the back door with a heat lamp under his arm.

Mommy.  I need a bucket of warm water and soap, please.  And for the hose to be turned on.

I sipped my coffee and gave him the hairy eyeball.  Can we eat breakfast first?

You can.  The door slid closed behind him.



I scrapped the plans for muffins, threw some cereal and milk on the table and headed to the basement to find a bucket and to turn on the outside water spouts for the season.  It is spring here, after all.

Determined as a nine year old boy -- who is preparing for chicks that were currently headed north in a small box in a minivan -- can be, said nine year old is not especially careful...or tidy...or able to wait patiently while you repair the fabulous duct tape detailing of the homemade brooder we created last time we had chicks.  Turns out duct tape can lose its stick when left in a garden shed for a couple of years where the urban wildlife nests and sits and scratches upon the chicken wire surface the duct tape was supporting.

I rescued the heat lamp before it was dropped.


And headed back down to the basement for some different duct tape and then got to work reattaching the wire to the top of the bin.  


Isn't it gorgeous?  Especially since someone was breathing heavily in my ear while I worked.  No time for coffee or scissors, I had to use my teeth and bare hands to tear and fit.  


All cleaned and repaired, the brooder was carried to its new home for the next few weeks. The dining table, of course.  



Elliott added tea cups.  For shade and a place to rest, he told me.


And then, while I was having a moment to brush my teeth, Jonathan arrived.  The minivan had not come to a complete stop before the back door slammed and Elliott was out there.

Can I carry the box?  I am told was all he said.







After some perfunctory greetings, attempts at mazes and chick forts were made, but these chicks were determined to be too easily chilled and so were quickly returned to the brooder.




All day long those chicks were tended and held and talked to and watched.  Adjustments to light placement and bin positioning and water temperature were all made.  And every time I left a window or door open to let in some of that gorgeous spring air, it was closed as soon as I left the room.

It's too drafty for the chicks.


It was a very full and chick filled day.  And yes, those are still pajamas.  But fresh ones, I was told. I had to tear him away to go to bed.  

And, of course, he was back at the brooder hours before the rest of us were even awake the next morning.

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