Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Take a breath

I'm doing better today. Life always looks brighter after a workout and a decent-ish night's sleep. This month's program is The Work on Beachbody, and I'm enjoying it. I also made a batch of my favorite lockdown cookies (no flour required) and ate no fewer than five. I need to figure out where I'm headed with this summer look. 

(Fitness goals is always a lengthy subject better left for its own post.)

As always, I underestimated my awesome kids by insinuating that they wouldn't take care of our new livestock. Case in point, this morning. 

We got the ducklings almost two weeks ago. For the first twelve days, they stayed in a kiddie pool in the basement, under a heat lamp, since it was too chilly outside (snow every day). Each day I changed their bedding and rinsed them off in the bathtub. This was about as cute as you can imagine. After a week, they had doubled in size and were making twice the mess in their kiddie pool, so I was bathing them twice a day and changing their bedding twice. Worst of all, they'd eat all their food during the night and start frantically jumping out of the pool in the early morning, going to the bathroom on the basement floor and peeping so loudly that it woke me up. I'd run downstairs, chase them around, clean up the mess on the floor, haul them upstairs to the bathtub and spend the next hour changing everything out while they swam around in the tub and the family slept peacefully.

On Tuesday morning, Brian and I decided that it would be passably warm to move them out into the sun. They could not stay here another night. They had grown too big and I was completely exhausted by their early morning needs. I was really looking forward to sleeping until a decent hour on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday I moved everything out to the barn. The ducks spent the day in their enclosure outside in the sunshine, and in the evening I had Will and Barrett help me transfer them to their new coop inside the barn. "Eventually," I commented, "you guys will wake up in the morning and come out here to let the ducks out."

"What if it's cold?" Will asked. 

"You'll put your coat and boots on," I shrugged. I figured that by the end of the summer, the ducks would be feathered out enough to free-range in the yard and pond, and all the boys would have to do would be open the barn door and let them out, fill up their food and water, and pen them back in at night. Until then, I need to actually carry them out into their fenced pen with a bin, since they can't swim in the pond until they've feathered out or their down will get water-logged and they'll drown. (I guess.) 

But apparently, William took that to mean, "From here on out, you guys will take care of the ducks." I didn't realize this until this morning (Wednesday morning), when I was having one of the most lovely dreams I've had in a really long time. I was dreaming that I was able to Marco Polo people I love who have died. Sister Sharon, Anna, Jonathan - I was talking with them - I could see their faces. Suddenly my bedroom door burst open. "The ducks are not okay!" yelled Barrett, who was suited up in winter coat and boots. "Their water is almost gone and their food bowl is tipped over!"

I stumbled out of the bedroom, bleary-eyed. It was about 6 AM. "Barrett, why are you guys out there with the ducks?"

"William said it's our job to take care of them now! He's down in the barn with them."

I sat on the couch. "You can give them some food if you want, honey, but I'm going to go down and take care of them after I've had my coffee. Just tell Will not to worry about it."

Barrett left the house. A couple minutes later, Will came in. He was crying. "I don't know what to do with the ducks." (He's very uncomfortable handling them.) "Am I supposed to carry them into their pen in the bin?"

"Oh, honey," I said, "I didn't expect you to do anything with them this morning. We were all supposed to be sleeping right now."

"But what about the ducks?

It took another minute to convince him that he wasn't responsible to do anything for the ducks yet. "Go and get your brother," I told him, sucking down my coffee, "and tell him to leave the ducks and come back to the house. I will take care of them. I'll train you guys to do it when it's the right time, okay?"

We had a good day. We planted the garden and no one fought. Brian ran out of grout for the shower tile too soon, but doesn't seem too devastated. He's still on cloud nine since finding out he's likely got the new director position at the university. He's the right person for the job, no doubt. I'm excited to see him in his new role. 

There is much to be thankful for. 

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