Saturday, May 15, 2010

Make way for...DUCKLINGS!

There are times as a parent, where the kid inside of you floats to the surface. My "kid" moment started Thursday when a friend said we should come see her ducks. Immediately I thought, sure, kids love feeding the ducks outside...What she actually meant was, "You should come see and play with out 2 live pet ducklings living in our house!" I started feeling "kid-ish."

It was love at first site for my girls when they laid eyes on 2 baby ducklings. I knew my oldest would be an instant fan. From as early as I can remember, "animal lover" would easily describe Aislynn. As a toddler, Aislynn took great offense to a baby crying while being side tackled by a dog was perfectly acceptable. My youngest falls at the other end of the spectrum. "Suspicious of animals" would easily be in her character description. She would much rather try to sooth a crying baby than have even the tiniest puppy run at her let alone attempt to side tackle her.

The wheels started turning after I found out that Rural King sold ducklings in sets for $3.99. Who can resist an adorable, cheap, and TEMPORARY pet with such an easy exit strategy? Seriously, they swim away. Immediately, a childhood of temporary pets flashed through my mind: Our third grade zoo: Mice, newts, and a tarantula...hatching chicks and taking one home..,my next door neighbor ending up with kittens in his garage...guinea pig babies...And so I thought, we'll just go to Rural King on Friday to check out the situation.

We went to Rural King on Friday. We checked out the situation so thoroughly, that we left with 2 ducklings, some feed, and a heat lamp. My tiny entourage, in addition to myself was excited. We decided to surprise Daddy, and thought all our excitement would definitely rub off on him. I have been known as an "animal surpriser" at times. Surprise Mom! I bought my sister a guinea pig, Surprise Mom! I bought 2 guinea pigs! Can you take care of them while I student teach?....Surprise roommate, I brought a kitten home for us to find a home...Usually these surprises did not quite elicit the enthusiasm I was hoping for at the time. Perhaps I have a need to surprise everyone after my childhood longing to be surprised with a puppy under the Christmas tree in a box with a red bow on it went unfilled. A void which I am more than happy to KEEP void now (no puppies right now please for all you who were planning on mailing me one).

It may be hard to believe that I do not want to own any pets on a long term basis at this point. The thought of caring for a dog or even cleaning out a fish tank sounds exhausting and unappealing. And cats, we just won't go there. But somehow, a temporary duck pet sounds intriguing. Perhaps this intrigue will wear off in a week! I'll get back to you on that...

After being married to me for almost 6 years, my ability to shock and surprise Andy with my adventurous side has dulled a bit. In other words, I think it would take quite a lot for Andy to be surprised by me. I am so full of surprises, I think he expects it. Andy came home for a quick lunch break to the greeting, "Daddy! We have a surprise for you!" The girls unveiled our newest house guests and Andy of course remained a good sport. As long as the ducklings do not escape in the house, poop on anything, and eventually-sooner rather than later-swim away, I think he will be fine.

My master plan: Care for our new friends indoors for a few weeks. Then, as the weather warms, and they grow into tweens, let them outside in the backyard, then eventually take them to a duck pond and let them go. The girls already know that when our babies grow bigger, we'll take them to the pond to, "swim away and find new friends," as they like to put it.

Needless to say, on this first day home, our newest families members had quite an eventful day...probably more eventful than their Rural King days.


Being the cruel mother that I am, I told the girls they could not hold the ducklings until their toys were picked up. They opted to sit and stare longingly at the ducks for awhile before beginning, what appeared to be a painful process, of picking up toys.

Meet "Sam," (Aislynn's) and "Ming Ming," (Isla's). Aislynn wanted to name them "Pam" and "Sam," but being a gracious older sister, allowed Isla to name her own duckling.

Our ducklings became well acquainted with being carried around in a bucket, swimming in our water table, wheel barrow rides, and more...

Aislynn read them a book, sang them a song, and put them to bed.

Rest up little duckies! You'll need it for tomorrow.
Perhaps our new friends will fly away sooner rather than later after a week with us!


Angie said...

Wow - you have made having ducklings so appealing! I mentioned it to Nick last night and he did not have the same response as Andy. He looked at me like I asked him for a giraffe! We will try and see them today!

dana said...

this makes me smile. your little sweeties are probably going to talk forever about the time they had ducks. if grant wasn't so young i would go buy some right now, cora would flip out! i love the idea of temporary pets, too.

Unknown said...

Those ducks have pretty fragile wings; if you want them to swim away and fly south, make sure the girls are careful!

Christy said...

What a great idea. We had temporary duck pets once too. And yes, I still talk about it, 30 yrs later.
Thanks for sharing and bringing back great memories! Make sure you will the bath tub at least once for them. Well worth the splashing mess it makes.