Photo: The Panama Canal reopened with a new expansion today. In celebration, my two boys got started on their own little waterway between our beach chair and the pond. It was an elaborate effort requiring heavy plastic machinery, blue speed boats to cut through the sand, and much thought toward water flow and sand erosion.


Today at Camp Mama, little boys learned that chasing chickens is a difficult thing to do and often results in an armful of grass instead of feathers.


As I’ve written before, the new trendy thing among my friends is to get chickens and keep them in the yard. The boys think this is amazing and have been asking for us to get chickens. After hensitting/babysitting this morning, I’m not so sure…

I’m not sure which part of the Camp Curriculum this lesson helped with… there was some physical education, maybe a little bit of teamwork (imagine four boys ranging from 6 to 3 chasing five chickens between three yards), certainly a bit of strategy (you go this way! You go that way! [MAJOR!] point your stick there!), and certainly a bit of… biology? Life science? Life science is still a thing, right? Anyway, the boys don’t get a lot of a chance to directly interact with animals like this. It was good to watch them gently pat the animals, not afraid of them. Well… maybe a little bit afraid of them.

On the way from the babysitting to the pond, there was much discussion about how awesome chickens are, and how they make such a great sound and, “Mommy, did you know that chickens poop out eggs???” I had to do a little explaining about that…

I still think I’d rather get a dog.

Or at least keep my fox.

Stupid fresh eggs would probably do wonders for my cooking, but… we have a farmhouse and a barn, sure… but we don’t have to go all the way with the theme, do we? I’m going to hear about it for the rest of the week, of course. I told little boys to save it for their father. I’m sure he’s going to be overjoyed.


Life Science curriculum gave way to straight-up engineering this afternoon. My two little boys spent the better part of an hour building a “canal” in the sand. There was contemplation about how much water to get and how fast it should be put into the hole they were digging (“because you know, Mom, if you do it too fast, the sand fills right in.” “Yeah! And that ruins it!”). Unfortunately, they did not bring sufficient toys to do it well–foresaking their shovels and good buckets in favor of only bringing their wagons and boats today.

About half-way through the building expedition, a kid who must have been significantly younger than Minor than I thought when he walked up, came up with his bucket and shovel. He didn’t say anything to them, but it was clear that he wanted to play with them. He stood there with wide eyes and pouting lip for a good three minutes before I did that Mom thing…

“Little boys, I think he wants to play with you. Can you guys tell him what you are doing?”

I will give credit to my two little dudes. They looked up and said hello, then went into explaining what they were doing. Words like “trench” and “canal” were used, and they were speaking pretty excitedly. The little boy, God bless him, his eyes went wide and then he presented his bucket. “I brought bucket.”

Uh oh…

My boys sorta shrugged, kept trying to explain. They presented their speed boats, which they were using as shovels and also as measures for how wide the canal needed to be. The kid had a lightbulb: “I have boat!” He ran off for his mat and his toys. I thought this was gonna be ok.

Well, he came back with a huge tugboat toy. Huge. And when he got back to the boys and their canal, he proceeded to smash it into all of their hard work.

They were dismayed.

HEY!!!” they screamed simultaneously.

The child was delighted. I’m sure he wasn’t malicious. I think he thought that’s what they were playing. He didn’t understand that what was happening was a delicate and thoughtful building expedition.

I was just as shocked and dismayed as anyone. As I (feebly) tried to stop the child from doing any more destruction (his mother came to scoop him up eventually), the boys gave unto me the most damning look of damnation. Just a complete and utter look of condemnation and anguish. Like, “you just had to butt in, didn’t you? You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you?”

Welp. The rest of the visit was a slow deterioration. The magic was over. “I’m hungry, I’m hot, I’m tired, I’m sandy” began…

that’s what I get.

Camp Mama Lesson for Mommy: When the Campers are in The Zone, let them play. Your intervention is never a help.

Of course, for all that I’ve already put in today, there is so much to do. So I’m off to make some sort of dinner (Meatless Monday? hahaha, who am I kidding?) and wait for The Husband so I can get out and run errands after the boys go to bed. The Summer Schedule is the worst. No consistency, no respite for Mommy. No writing, either. What does school start again?

What are you doing this week, Dear Reader? Inspire me with your grand plans of productivity! Maybe we can both accomplish something this week, yes?

See you Wednesday.


3 thoughts on “Of Chickens and Trenches

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