Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All Aboard!

One of the fun things about having the kidlets is the new words they invent or misspeak.  As a psychologist who studies groups, it's a naturally developing, fun way to reinforce our family culture:  we have words for things that other families don't.  For example, growing up in my family, a jergle was what we called a shiver, like when "someone walks over your grave."

And, I must be honest, since our firstborn was a child of few words, the twins are coming up with a lot of the colorful new words.

They like to eat doodles for dinner and yo yo for dessert, especially the drinky and the squeezy kinds.  If they are really lucky, they will sometimes get mac-n-cheese from Jingle Bells.  And I can make some pretty good handyburgs on the grill.

They fight over who gets to play games on the patio.  Hint:  It's me.

Bridget did not like it at all when her brudder was in the house to spit.  Nor did she like it when we laughed at her pronunciation.  So she got changed what she said to "House spittle."

Recently, Bridget received a ponycorn from one of our neighbors.  Here is Conor breaking its neck.

Luckily, Daddy was able to glue it back together.  (What makes more sense when you are 2 1/2, really?  Ponycorn or unicorn?  I like ponycorn much better)

There is a phrase, though, that should you be aware of.  I mentioned a few months ago that when our children pass gas, instead of excusing themselves like normal, polite children, they proudly shout out "I tooted!!"  (Sometimes, this is less endearing than you might imagine, such as when Christopher twirled around and kept repeating it in the checkout line of Trader Joe's)

Well, the phrase has evolved.  One morning, while we were all snuggling in bed, someone tooted.  Christopher then said, "All Aboard!  Toot! Toot!" a phrase from the book Maisy's Train.  Those of us snuggling in the bed found that quite funny and our family phrase therefore evolved (language-wise, yes.  Maturity?  No).  Now, we call out,  as needed, "All Aboard!!" and identify who the conductor is.

Why might this involve you?  Well, after a close call in a public location, perhaps, say a church, we have decided that if any member of the family at any occasion warns the others with "All Aboard," it is time to hustle to a new location.  I realize that we are the only family in the world that has gas. None of the rest of you would ever do such a vulgar thing. But it's part of our family culture and due to the fact that we do enjoy our vegetables.  So you are fairly warned.  Should you hear a conductor calling for everyone to board the train, you should consider getting a move on yourself.

As Christopher would tell you, "My do it!"

Friday, May 04, 2012

Life On The Farm

Dave: "You know, we purposefully bought a house in the city."

Me:  "Yes."

Dave: "And then we turned it into a farm."

Me:  "Yes.  Yes, indeed."

Dave made this comment while he was working on our new chicken coop.  Yes, a chicken coop.  For these chicks that we got in the mail.

who have grown into these "teenaged" chicks.

We are pretty dadgummed excited about our chickens.  (When you live on a farm, you used words like "dadgummed;" it doesn't matter how many advanced degrees you have.)

And I find it very amusing that the same chick who is about to hop out of the box at two days old is the same the same one about to walk through the open door at 4 weeks of age.  I study individual behavior in  groups and influenced by the environment, but I have to admit that some traits are in-born, even in chickens.

So let me introduce our chickens:  the black one with the white spots on her head in both the box and the crate is Spike.  She is an Australorp.  The fluffy light one near her in the box is Buffy.  She is a Buff Orpington, and the inspiration for the the theme of most of their names.  Angel, who is a Rhode Island Red, is beside Buffy in the box and behind Spike in the crate.  Willow is not easily seen in either picture, but is a silver laced wyandotte.  Bunny is the light one beside Spike in the crate, and she is an Ameircauna and will lay blue and green eggs (deviating slightly from the Vampire Slayer theme, although wasn't Anya afraid of bunnies?).  Our final chicken is named Minky.  She is a  speckled Sussex (I think).  Her name comes from what Bridget calls her binky/pacifier. And although we cannot in any reasonable way make a Buffy connection to that, I'm just going to go ahead and say that Bridget is the next generation's slayer, so there.

I whole heartedly recommend that everyone gets chickens.  They eat nearly everything, thus making composting (for the urban farm!) a lot quicker.  The kids love them and they love the kids. Conor likes to put them in his cars and trucks and they apparently like it, too.  They (both Conor and the chickens) only get spooked when I walk in and "catch" them playing with each other.  So not only they have personalities, they have different norms of behavior for interacting with different people?  Really??

No, we are not going to eat them.  But we are going to eat their eggs, which they should start laying in August.

What a hoot.  What a crazy life to have this little piece of land in the city of Charl0tte and do so many crazy things on it.