Chickenating the country side. Pt 1

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June 23, 2013 by Dadinator

You know how sometimes in life you have a little trivial dream in your head? You spend a long time mulling over it and imagining it and visualising it and researching it. You google pictures of your ideal whatever it is that you’ll create for yourself and sigh a lot about it. It was like that with us and garden stuff. The Mamanator and I had spent all our adult lives renting until we bought this house. There are lots of limits on what you can do when you’re renting. No screws in the walls, no moving things around, no renovations or painting and beyond basic maintenance no gardening.

Well that’s changing now. We’re home-owners in the country. We have an acre and we’re not afraid to use it. Actually we were afraid to use it for ages(we’ve killed a lot of plants…), but we’re starting to make progress. Let me show you what our ‘moving to the country list’ looked like before we got here:.

  • Buy house with land
  • Build cat run for our cats so they can go outside and not decimate local wildlife population
  • Get solar power
  • Get solar hot water
  • Create compost heaps
  • Build raised garden beds for vegetables
  • Get chickens
  • Plant out fruit trees
  • Eat a lot of peaches

Suddenly it looks like this:

  • Build raised garden beds for vegetables
  • Plant out fruit trees

Of course these last two steps are big-uns, and by ‘suddenly’ I mean over the past 5 months we’ve progressed to this point, but we’re close to doing almost all the stuff on our list. Somehow it all hit me yesterday while driving around the place. Here’s what I spent the past 2 days doing:


After getting up and breakfasting the Mamanator took The Lad off to playgroup while I ran around trying to set him up with gear for the next day or so. I was doing it again, I was taking The Lad down to Melbourne solo. It went well last time, how would it go this time? Only time would tell….. The Mamanator once commented on how when she was in her teens she went around Europe for 9 weeks with a single backpack. These days for a weekend she fills an entire station-wagon. Even though I was only going for one night the amount of stuff in the car boggled my mind slightly. There was:

  • Portacot
  • Bedding (doona, blanket and monkey. Monkey is not a toy, he is part of the bedding, in my mind)
  • 4 picture books
  • 2 night nappies
  • 8 day nappies
  • Wet bag for the dirty nappies
  • Cloths and cream for The Lad’s bum
  • Baby neurofen (in case)
  • Teething Gel (in case)
  • 7 pairs of spare pants
  • 5 spare shirts
  • 2 spare jumpers
  • a spare pair of shoes
  • 5 spare pairs of socks
  • 4 rice cakes, 2 apples, a kiwi fruit and sultanas
  • Bubble bath, tooth brush and tooth paste.
  • A water bottle, and a spare (just in case…)

And then there was my stuff:

  • One change of clothes.
  • My toothbrush
  • My tablet

I then moved the baby seat to the passenger side of the car. This had 2 effects; it lets me put the back seats down to give me more storage space, and it meant that putting him in the car would be less of a struggle for The Mamanator who is now 29 weeks pregnant.

Shortly after The Lad returned from playgroup we set off, it would have been about 12 PM. All our luggage was in the passenger seat. We embarked. Unlike my last journey, he slept almost the whole way in. Maybe it was my more relaxed attitude, maybe it was playgroup, but whatever the reason he slept, I drove, we arrived at my mother’s.

Mum had agreed to watch him while I headed out for dinner with some dear friends of mine. One of those dear friends had just submitted her PhD thesis, so celebration was warranted. The Lad and I had stayed at Mum’s before, just the two if us, and it went well. This time I was getting Mum to have her first go at putting him to sleep, which does take a while with The Lad. He had been enbeddened before by my in-laws, but with his recent sleep habits I was concerned.

Our plan was: eat, go to the park, return for dinner and bed time. I would leave during dinner. I changed him just before we went to the park, then noticed he smelled. He also had a growing wet patch on one leg. He had breached his nappy…. So we were delayed for 5 minutes while I dealt with it, and then were on our way.

He played up a storm. He’s growing in confidence every day, climbing, swings and slides are well within his playground repertoire these days. We went around to the lookout hill thing near mums house and he ran around in circles and pointed to the dogs. He also fell off a step, he chose to walk off if just as I had to readjust my grip on his hand. He was fine after a short cry. Whoops.

Then it was home, more play and a discussion of bed time. The plan was food, bath, TV, books and bed. So with some trepidation we got The Lad eating. I then said my goodbyes and left……

To be continued….


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