Let's Digress

The Toddler Chronicles, No. 2

The Toddler Chronicles, No. 2


We have six chickens which are about three months old. They have a coop and all of the normal chicken stuff, but we also let them roam the backyard. It’s great! They eat bugs, weeds, and dumb flowers, and Lyla often chases them.

One of the things they enjoy the most is dried mealworms. They go crazy over them. It’s like catnip for chickens but with the raw pheromonal impact that Luke Bryan songs have on white girls.

Gabby, my mom, Grandal, Lyla, Charlotte, and I were outside. Lyla was chasing the chickens and dogs around the yard, or maybe they were chasing her, it was hard to tell. Regardless, there was a pursuit afoot that involved roughly 22 legs.

While that was going on, I retrieved the big bag of dried mealworms and scattered a few handfuls of them inside the chicken habitat for them to forage for later and then I went back to the deck to engage in meaningful adult conversation with the adults about something relatively trivial.

Suddenly, my mother gasped and Gabby’s face looked like she was attempting to choke back her own vomit. I directed my attention to the chicken habitat to see what was inspiring the newfound GI upset and discovered that Lyla was inside the fenced-in chicken area.

She was eating dried mealworms that she found on the ground.

And she was smiling.

I have now determined that my child is either the next Bear Grylls or she might be some form of poultry trapped inside of a ginger toddler’s body. It’s 2023, so both are equally plausible I suppose.

Being the only adult who wasn’t actively dry heaving, I ran over to her and intervened, explaining that dried mealworms were for the chickens and not Lyla’s food.

A visceral sound erupted from deep within her and I still can’t determine if it was an angry weeping-and-gnashing-of-teeth wail or if it was her first angry “bock bock boooooooock” clucking noise.

After a few seconds of her having emotionally ruffled feathers, she shuffled over near the hammock swing and plopped down in the grass to pout and I returned to the still-horrified adults. Less than a minute later the gasping and pointing resumed, and again I directed my attention to the chicken habitat.

The child was eating another dried mealworm.

Eventually, this shenanigan stopped. I hope her crop can digest it okay. I guess I’ll find out in the morning when I let her out of the coop.

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