How To Entertain A Chicken-Part 2

“Maybe raindrops are the bravest thing created by God . . .they are never afraid of falling.”


Here we are in week two . . .Finally! Christmas and Christmas strain and stress of creating Christmas joy are over!

And now there is the stress of detangling and putting away all that Christmas joy.

Yup, I have a whole lot of clean-up to get done, now. And a couple of antsy chickens who have not fled the coop in quite some time who need running out.

Day One

Monday, fun-day? Nope. Rainy in-day. Good for me to start putting my life back in order, but really bad for in-house crazies. They have moved past the thrill of couch potato status and have found new ways to torture each other. All in the name of making me happy:

“Lucy? Could you please start taking down the Christmas ornaments from your tree? I’ll give you a box.”

No, Alexa! That’s my box! Mommy told me to do it, not you!”

“It’s ok, here’s your box. . . Alexa? Honey? No baby, you don’t have to bring me the entire tree. Mommy can do that . . .honey . . .?”


“Here, mommy. See how strong I am?”

“(Sigh) Yes, honey.”

“I can do that, too! See?”

“No, Lucy, wait . . .”


“Mommy? Do we get our cookies now for helping you so good?”

” . . .Maybe later . . .”

Sweets are a great incentive to them. They move at lightning speed when they know there is sugar at the end of a task.

Now, if I can get them to scrub off the marks where they hit the trees against the wall before Ray comes home? They can have whatever they want.

Day Two

Going to Sea World today! Of course we are, I love a packed amusement park during the holidays! So does Ray.

Which is why he’s going in to work.

“You be careful. Watch them, make sure you don’t lose them.”

“I haven’t yet!”

Yet? Good God . . .”

At first, I didn’t see as many people around as I would have thought, which was nice. We immediately headed over to Christmas Village to say hello and thank Santa for his gifts. We were ushered in after just a short wait. Santa made the grade, too:

(Alexa whispering) “Mommy? I think that was the real Santa . . .did you see his beard? I think it was attached . . .”

Since that went so swimmingly, we rounded the corner to the picture station to find Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

Ah. That’s where all the people were. The line was at least ten families deep.

Apparently, all that attention meant Rudolph needed a break. So we stood in line and awaited his re-freshed re-arrival. Meanwhile, you had to feel badly for the poor guy Yukon Cornelius, who was filling Rudolp’s slot until he got back. No one went over to see him. Half the people there didn’t even know who he was, and his larger-than-life head was creeping out Alexa. She couldn’t hide any more behind me than she already was.

Lucy, on the other hand:

“Mommy? I’m going to go take a picture with him. He seems lonely.”

This attention was rewarded with loads of attention from Yukon and a candy cane.

Oh, my heart.

Day 3

Nothing much to report for Wednesday. So we cleaned up some more . . .again.

Ugh, someone please explain to me why it is that take down always seems to take longer than put up? I didn’t buy anything new this year, or get anything new this year. In fact, I lost several bulbs and an old wreath due to hurricane-like forces called, children-running-through-the-house-trying-to-get-to-a-toy-before-the-other-one-gets-there-first.

Yeah. I don’t get it. I can feel those boxes just glaring at me.

Although, it could be Ray.

Day 4

Outing! My mother got our family a yearly pass to Lions, Tigers and Bears for Christmas, so we decided to visit. It’s a really neat sancuary forever-home for rescued big cats and other animals. There are other programs when you visit that you can add to your experience.

(Total attempt at humor)”Ray! Mom says that Alexa can ride on the back of a bear.”

(Total lack of humor) “We don’t need our child to get eaten.”


Driving up, the place looked like a scene from Jurassic Park, complete with electrified fencing. Of course I had to get a picture of the chickens in front of that. And, of course when I said, “Don’t touch it or you’ll die,” they looked at me like, “Oh, really?”

After watching the video explaining their mission, we followed the tour that took us through the small developed portion of their vast 67 acre ranch. But by “small,” I don’t mean to imply that the animals are kept in close quarters by any means. The tigers had their own pool!

“We want to go swimming, mommy!”

(Total lack of humor) “I don’t want you to get eaten.”

Maybe there is something to the fact that they don’t allow anyone under the age of 18 to feed the animals (a real experience you can add to your visit). Due to the fact that the kids were a little distracted (“Pay attention! You might learn something!”), I only got myself a cool hoodie.

“But, mommy! Where’s our shirt?”

“Can you tell me something about the tigers?”

“Um . . .they have a pool?”

Too bad, kid. You got the rest of the year to come up with something better.

We went into Alpine proper afterward to eat at Janet’s Montana Cafe. It was nestled in this older part of town that still had some wooden buildings that looked straight out of a classic western. It was astounding how small some of them were.

“Mommy! Can we climb on the roof? Look! I can . . . reach it . . .”

Sigh. This is what I get for keeping them cooped up. That, and putting them in gymnastics classes.

Made it home with all limbs intact, Ray seemed pretty happy. Planned a trip out to the river to celebrate New Year’s Day, so we were leaving tomorrow. Not exactly looking forward to going out there (limited entertainment for the girls), but we have some basic house stuff to do, I suppose. It’s family time that counts anyways, right?

Ugh. Same chore load. Different house. Yippee.

Day Five

Cough. Cough. COUGH.

Ray looked up at me, bleary-eyed and sad.

“I don’t think we’re going, baby. I think I’m sick again.”

“Lucy and I are going for a hike, then? We have to conquer the Five Peaks for her Girl Scout badge.”

(Rolling over)”Cough. That’s fine, I’ll stay here with Alexa.”

Exhilarated, I make my way out to the living room . . .

It’s raining. Again.

Oh, well. No more excuses for those Christmas decorations not getting put away. And now I have a poor sick husband to tend to. Who needs a bell.

“Honey? (Cough) Can you come rub my head?”

Poor baby. Dammit.


And so ends my saga.

The weekend was still alright, we spent New Year’s Eve in (as we old folks tend to do), and New Year’s Day at the folks’ place. Very low-key.

Matter of fact, the entire week without camps was quite relaxing. I feel like I really had an opportunity to bond with the kids without making them do much of anything. Just hanging out was enough.

There may be something to Ray’s mandate. Just don’t tell him I said, or even implied, that he could be right.

There’s only 5 months until summer break.




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