Which Came First?

We never miss the yearly Spring Brunch at the club. They do such a great job of including the children in fun activities. Last year, there was a lovely lop-eared bunny petting zoo and the kids loved feeding pieces of carrots to the fuzzy rabbits. This year’s theme was Chicks and Eggs. I found a sweet pale pink crinolined dress for Daisy, a straw boater hat with a matching ribbon, and planned to stop at Mister Cobbler’s for new patent leather shoes. Stevie Jr. balked at the idea of trying on new clothes but after much complaining, huffing, and puffing, I was able to find the right-sized jacket. The pants could be altered to fit. He’s going to be tall like his Dad. With a new shirt and a pale blue clip-on tie, he’ll be dressed like a little man. Getting him to try on new shoes might require some bribery, but I was up for the challenge.

On the morning of the brunch, I woke up early and dressed. I laid out Steve’s suit and tempted him to get out of bed by putting his cup of coffee on the vanity in the bathroom. Daisy was easy to dress even though she didn’t like the scratchy crinoline. I surprised her with a little matching purse that she immediately filled with tiny plastic animals and bracelets. I sent her into the kitchen to twirl around on the linoleum to break in her shoes. Junior was a little harder to get ready because he refused to cooperate and stood stock still while I dressed him. He had gone to bed with wet hair and it stuck up all over his head in funny points. I wet it again and smoothed it down while he wrenched up his face in mock pain. Once everyone was ready, Steve took pictures of the children for our photo album. I was exhausted and we hadn’t even left yet.

The brunch buffet was beautifully laid out and the children used their good manners and sat up straight while they ate. Junior likes to watch the chef make his waffle and he loads on the toppings. Daisy loved the baby-sized pancakes on skewers and she dipped them in the pool of maple syrup on her plate. I am going to steal that idea for Saturday breakfasts. As the families finished eating, you could feel the growing impatience of the children while they waited for the fun to begin. Jane Van Wyck was the event organizer this year. She announced for the families to meet at the practice putting green behind the restaurant for the activities. As we approached the putting green, I heard some peeping and cheeping. Baby chicks in various pale colors hopped about on the green amongst brightly dyed hard-boiled eggs. I looked at Steve and saw the color drain from his face. All at once, kids starting running toward the green. The bigger kids arrived first, smashing the eggs into the sod while trying to pick up the chicks. The chicks hopped about as best they could to get away. Anxious chicks apparently are hard-wired to react to anxiety the way humans do. You could hear the kids announce their disgust as the chicks started to use their natural pooing defense. The kids put down the chicks and rubbed their hands on their good clothes. Mothers and fathers grabbed tissues and handkerchiefs in defense against the excrement. The peeping slowed as the chicks started to calm down. After a trip to the overcrowded restroom, we grabbed our candy and started to drive home.

Every now and then, I thought I could hear a peeping sound from the back seat. When I turned around, Stevie made chick-like noises that made Daisy giggle. He had quite a bit of bird droppings on his suit jacket and it would need a trip to the cleaners. Daisy had been disappointed because she was too little to catch a chick. I thought it was cute of Stevie to entertain her. When we arrived home, Junior offered to take off his jacket and pulled Daisy towards the bedrooms so that she could change also. This was suspicious. I waited a minute and then followed them quietly. Junior’s door was cracked open and I could see him gently holding a baby chick so that Daisy could pet the down with her fingers. She was delighted and looked up at her big brother in awe. I quietly closed the door and went back to the kitchen. Steve was pouring a drink while discussing the damage that had occurred to the putting green. I told him that he had a bigger problem and let him know about our new pet. Steve handled the situation very diplomatically. “Feathers” now has her own enclosure in the laundry room. Snowball is frightened of the noises that come out of the chick so she stays away. Feathers is fond of big band music and sometimes I leave the radio on in the afternoon to keep her company. Stevie Junior and Daisy take turns “walking” the chick outside. Well, it’s not really walking, but more like herding. Steve told the kids that they could keep Feathers until the chick outgrew the enclosure. After that, they would drive the chick out to Uncle George’s farm to live a peaceful life.

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