Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Art of Being a Delicate Child

17 days glued together while on vacation.
Thus, the separation anxiety plaguing the entire week following our return from Canada...
Look at that face as I'm trying to back out the driveway.
Waiting for me to open the door to his spot in the car.  Pitiful.  Tantrums, upset stomachs, crying... and Cole was just as bad.  
With Jinx gone, the thought crossed my mind to enroll Cole at a doggie day camp.
My little introvert wouldn't fit in to public school any better than I did.
Private schooling is better tailored to his 'special needs'.  So, he's back in physiotherapy twice a week with his best friend.
Structure, order and discipline, now that's more like it.
That's me in the middle, in the sanctuary of my favorite place: Joan of Arc Private Catholic School.  Being transferred in Grade 7 to public school was like tumbling into hell.  My well meaning mother would dress me up with knickers and ribbons in my hair to differentiate me from the little roughnecks from the air force base.  It set me apart all right.
I've kept zero pictures of those years, but this younger me is a good example.
 Skipping grades left me two years younger than most of my classmates and made me a prime target for bullying.  Stolen mittens, books, lunches; being knocked down, kicked and the girls were equally as mean as they boys.

I'll always be grateful for the telephone conversation I had with my dad when I was ready to quit Grade 7 and become a dropout at the ripe age of 11. He told me not to ever back down.  Stand up and fight with everything you've got. They'll either fear or respect you.  

Well, alrighty then.  I started changing out of my nice clothes into street clothes before getting to school.  I still got beat up, had my head held in a snowbank until I couldn't breath, oh and how many times did I turn around to have a ball clock me in the face.  It took many a scrimmage and finally pedaling my bicycle purposefully into a head on collision with the biggest bully to A) bend my tire into a pretzel, B) give us both fat lips and road rash, C) get me creds for being crazy.

From that moment on, I was on best terms with all the boys... but girls still had their little cliques.  
That's OK, that's why dodgeball was invented.  It's the great equalizer.  I had a vengeful streak.  The girls were older than I, meaning most were 'developping' and many had braces. I wonder why my favorite kill shots were either head or chest?

But, I digress, most of my stories do have a point.  The point being that I take particular umbrage to bullying.  
My Ameraucana hen, Poppy, is the victim of such treatment from her coop-mates.  The malevolent hens pluck her feathers.  The logical answer is to cull Poppy and end the problem.  Why convict the victim?
She's very calm, especially if a cricket gets tossed her way every once in a while.

I'm in the cricket rearing business now.  Only Poppy (and Wilbur) get the crickets... higher protein diet and a few new judo moves, Poppy will be the one doing smack downs soon.  
Until then, she gets a new suit of armor...sewn on to her...again.
Alright girl, make them fear you!
"Mummy, I don't feel like Rambo yet".  
I sat her on my lap and gave her my best motivational speech: my favorite passage from the epic poem of Beowulf written over a thousand years ago.

"Do your utmost.  A good name, a glorified example and fame after death are all you can win in this world.  It is the courage to strive, not success, which ultimately reveals and ennobled the true hero."

Then she pooped on me.  That means 'Roger that,cleared for takeoff' in chickenese.


  1. One of your best yet. Worthy of the "Blog Hall of Fame", if there is such a thing..

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, from the very beginning until the present!

  2. The swinging-Tarzan like continuity of this post is amazing! I love your class picture.... I'm pretty sure you and I wore the same jumper that year; I have to find that picture and send it to you. I especially love the "take that" look on your little girl's face. The apple doesn't fall far...

    1. Indeed, we are two peas in a pod. By that, I mean you and me, not me and the chicken...

  3. Are you SURE you were the one in the middle in that photo? I just can't see you in there. Good job to your Dad for telling you not to back down! See how that's served you well your entire life? :) I've never seen chicken armor before. Interesting. Hope it works!