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Chickenating the Countryside Pt.2

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June 25, 2013 by Dadinator

In our last episode, The Dadinator had packed to go to Melbourne, arrived at his mother’s, changed 3 nappies and was preparing to leave to go celebrate a friends recent academic achievement.

It was that moment, that I had gotten used to, but still strongly disliked; saying bye bye. I gritted my teeth and did the deed. The Lad looked at me happily. Thought I “my poor boy, he doesn’t realise I am going.” I walked off and he maintained his brave front, or his blissful ignorance. Then I got to the door, knowing it was about to get heart wrenching, opened it walked out and closed it behind me. I waited for the torrent of tears to hit, the screeches of a child left by their dad.

The silence continued. And continued. I gave up waiting for a reaction and trod off the the car with a sigh and, if I am honest about it, slightly heart-broken that my son got over me leaving so quickly. Actually there wasn’t anything to get over, he was unfazed… Well, fine then. I’ll go out and have an adult night out, see if I care.

I arrived at the celebratory venue and began chatting with those present. One of the girls was about a month away from having her first child. Then there were conversations about parenthood, family, home ownership, politics, careers and lots of other things that really drove home the notion that I am not in my 20s anymore. I also had a dish with Camembert cheese in it as The Mamanator wasn’t around, so I figured I was allowed. I had my phone on loud paranoid parent mode, in case my mum called because of trouble settling The Lad. She didn’t call, which meant I was the one that needs settling….

Anyway it was fun. I headed back early well, 20s early anyway, for a dad I’m sure it was an appropriate time, and checked in on The Lad and went to sleep. Mum told me she didn’t have too much trouble with The Lad, just had to work out him down to put him down without waking him. But she managed. Then I went to sleep and only had to wake up twice for The Lad. Once to bring him into bed (happens every night at the moment) and once because he needed some water.

I arose, ready for action. We ate breakfast, I showered and donned trackies and a t-shirt for today was about getting stuff done, not looking good. I struck out for the casa de in-laws. I arrived, Lad in hand, ready to be fobbed off to more grandparents. After coffee and catching up, I embarked. Glancing back at the door, just in case The Lad protested my leaving this time. He did not. Sigh…..

And I was off, to see an old mate of mine about some chickens. No seriously. He and his family will be emigrating to the United States in the nearish future and among the bits and bobs they needed to get rid if for the move were two chickens and a chicken hutch. We had gladly volunteered to take them off their hands, and today was the day to do it.

It quickly became obvious that we would need to pull the coop apart completely to pack it, which was unfortunate because it would mean having to reassemble it completely back home. But it had to be done. We also had to bundle the chickens into 2 cat carriers I had brought for the purpose. This part was easier than I thought, especially given that I stood back and let my mate do all the work. So, some screw driving and some loading up later and off I rolled with a hutch, 2 new passengers and about 2.5 hours driving ahead of me.

Had to get The Lad first. So I collected him, quickly as I didn’t want to leave the chickens in boxes for too long, seemed cruel. We set off home. I missed a turnoff and we ended up going a longer way than usual… However, The Lad slept almost the whole way, so kudos to the in-laws for executing their brief (tire him out) so well. The chooks barely stirred. One of them I could see in my mirrors, and she kept sticking her head up, reassuring me I hadn’t somehow killed them.

2 hours of uneventful driving later I was home. It was 2:30, so I had 2 hours of reasonable light and warmth to get the coop together. The Mamanator (the cavalry if you will) arrived home at about 3, which helped no end with Ladwrangling. It was proving difficult to entertain the toddler and construct the coop at the same time. Suddenly it was done, the roost and nesting box was together. I was tempted to call it a night and build the enclosure the next day, but instead I persevered and got it all done. I only put one piece on upside down through the whole process too, so I was quite proud of myself.

And here they are: Whiteberry and Blackberry.
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They have since had a chance to roam around freely, and don’t seem to mind it here too much. The Lad loves them, and they seem to be fast enough to avoid him. So all is well. Should provide good fun, good company and hopefully, eggs!

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