When Your Kids Remind You of Chickens

Time stands still for a moment as I'm in the kitchen wearing oven mitts and pulling dinner out of a 350 degree oven.

Against the consistent beeping of the oven's timer, two children are yelling.  The third child is cartwheeling in the narrow space between the kitchen table and the island where I'm trying to set down my hot dish, even though she's been encouraged (repeatedly) to curb her inordinate desire to use the cartwheel as her primary method of locomotion throughout our house.

Each child is louder than the next (which seems to be a technical impossibility except that it's true), and each is simultaneously needy, resulting in a ungodly spiral of noise and demands for my immediate attention and response. 

They repeat themselves with increasing volume as if I can't hear, as if I don't notice the small person standing directly in front of me who's yelling about the coloring page that was torn crookedly from the coloring book.  And the other small person who's yelling that it was her coloring book in the first place.  And the slightly larger person who kicks the kitchen table, mid-cartwheel, and crumples to the ground in a hysteric wail.

I set my dish down.  I regard the children warily and notice a certain crazed beadiness of their eyes.  Time stands still, and in that frozen moment I'm utterly convinced that these children would be entirely capable of systematically pecking me to death like aggressive chickens.  One deliberate peck at a time.

If at any point today you feared that your children just might be feral (despite having spent more than enough time with them during their early childhoods to know for certain that they weren't raised in the wild), recognize that you're not alone.  I've visited that dark place more than once.  This afternoon, in fact.

Considering that I've reached the day's end with enough coherence to still be writing, let me encourage you with this:

The chickens won't win.  I tucked mine into bed, kissed their little heads, and watched their beady eyes close.  Tomorrow is another day.  (And, hopefully, a peck-free one.)

Photo compliments of Ami Bunker from Bunkers Down, a special blogging partner in crime.  Those are her actual chickens.  To my best knowledge, they would never systematically peck anyone to death, but I'd still keep my eye on the one on the right.


  1. Oh how I love this SO MUCH Robin!!! You painted the PERFECT 'mother picture'!!! I have to introduce you to a blogging gal who's BLOG IS CALLED... (wait for it....)

    Pecked to death by chickens!!!!!!

    Isn't that HILARIOUS??!!

    She's actually an amazing woman and writer with so much knowledge. I am going to share this and hopefully tag her and you!

    1. How fabulous! I just visited her blog and introduced myself. This post can be a tribute to her terrific blog title! :)

  2. Love! Now will you please make mine close their beady little eyes and allow me to breathe?

  3. Fun post, Robin! I saw a bumper sticker with a similar concept that I've been quoting for years to depict motherhood. "Motherhood is like being pecked to death by ducks," implying that our little ones can never quite kill us, I guess, with blunt, round beaks. I'm thinking your interpretation is more accurate.

  4. Oh my gosh, I might have opted out of marriage and motherhood altogether had I know the incessant, mind-breaking cacophony my life would become!! I am an introvert, A-type with a smidge of OCD. This makes motherhood pretty much constant torture for my senses. I'm teaching my kids that mommy is getting to THAT line, please go outside right this very second without another word so I can focus on my breathing for a bit. Man, audiotorially sensitive and children are a bad mix!


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