Monday, May 9, 2011

Maddeningly Unhelpful Monday--How to Traumatize Your Children

In honor of mother's day, I thought I would share a motherhood failure story to make you all feel better about your parenting. Or, you can take notes if you're looking for a way to traumatize your children.

Some of you may remember the baby duck that adopted our family. We named him Ding Dong and he lived in our pond.

He grew into a big healthy duck. Look at us, aren't we good duck parents. We raised a healthy duck.

But as the days got hotter, our pond (which is really a rain water drainage ditch) began to dry up and we knew we needed to find a real home for Ding Dong. We noticed at the end of our street some other ducks that looked exactly like ours living in a permanent pond complete with water lilies and grass. The ducks seemed so happy and nice waddling around their pond scavenging for food. So we thought when our pond became too low for our duck to swim in, we would take him down to the corner and ask the owners if our duck could join with the others.

In preparation of this inevitable day we began to mentally ready our children for the separation because they had become rather attached to the duck. So every time we drove by, I'd say things like, "Oh look, there's Ding Dong's family." I said this so much that soon my kids started saying it. My 4 year old son would wave when we drove by and scream, "Hi Ding Dong's brothers and sisters!" It was so cute and heartwarming that I just knew things were going to be fine.

Fast forward to a month later. It was time. Our pond was dry. The duck needed to be moved. We got a box, put the duck inside and drove to the corner. The owners were very nice and agreed to the addition. So we walked, as a family, up to the fence. "Have fun with your new family," I said. My husband threw Ding Dong over. He spread his wings and gently glided to a landing.

Immediately the ducks were on him, tackling him to the ground and pecking his neck. I gasped in surprise, my husband said, "It's okay, let's wait a few minutes, they'll work it out." A few minutes go by, Ding Dong is running, wings flapping around the pond with the other ducks in pursuit. They tackle him again. My son screams, "They're killing him!!" My daughters burst into tears. I look at my husband and start laughing. My daughters tell me to save him. "They'll work it out," my husband keeps saying. We drag our kids, crying, to the car where we look on for a few more minutes, still horrified. Finally, we drive away.

When we get home I look up 'How to introduce a duck to a new flock' on Google.

Short answer: Don't. Or: Take your time, it's very hard and can result in duck murder.

I get back in the car and retrieve my duck. The next day I buy a kiddie pool for the months our pond is dry. We still have a duck.

Every time we drive by the house on the corner my son stares out the window and in a low voice says, "Those are the mean ducks, mommy."

End result: Traumatized children with a life lesson on the pecking order.


  1. What a funny story. I'm glad Ding Dong survived!

  2. Oh my gosh! That is crazy! He he. Duck murder. I'm not sure why that sounded so funny to me. I'm glad Ding Dong is okay! :D

  3. Whew! You almost traumatized me. So glad for the happy ending. I guess the moral here is go to the internet first? ;-)

  4. LOL! (But feeling rather guilty about it.) Poor Ding-Dong!

    Of course, the reason I'm really laughing is because "Ding-Dong" is how my mom always referred to a certain part of the male anatomy when my brothers and I were growing up. Makes your whole "pecking order" bit even more hilarious.

  5. I was already laughing, and then i read Linda G.'s comment. Know I'm in fits of giggles. That is hilarious! At least I'll get to meet Ding Dong someday.

  6. That should say, NOW I'm in fits of giggles.

  7. I was giggling with tears in my eyes at the same time. Not laughing tears, but sad tears for both Ding Dong and your kids. And then I read Linda G's comment and laughed out loud. Glad you got Ding Dong back! Your kids will remember that forever, you know? They'll be talking about it in 30 years. Hopefully they at least learned something from it...

  8. Oops. It's the same with chickens. I'm glad you got your duck back okay!

  9. Now THAT was funny. Horrible, but funny. Which is the best kind of funny.

  10. Maggie, me too! I can't imagine the trauma if he hadn't.

    Chantele, yes, duck murder is a very serious thing. No laughing. :)

    Ruth, imagine actually witnessing it. :)

    Linda, yes, that is always the moral, isn't it? The internet knows all.

    Linda G., Oh my gosh! That's funny. I will never be able to look at Ding Dong the same. :)

  11. Candi, I know, Linda's comment was funny, huh? And yes, you should be able to meet the duck barring any other tragedy. (we do have coyotes out here)

    Kristie, yes, I think they'll talk about it forever. "Remember when our parents tried to kill our pet duck?" :) And maybe I should think about changing it's name. lol

    Angie, so I learned from the all knowing Internet. :) It's so sad.

    Brock, wasn't it? And you actually know Ding Dong so you could probably picture it well. lol

  12. I know it wasn't funny at the time and quite tramautizing for all of you. But it is a little bit funny! Glad he's okay. :)

  13. Ahhh, the scars we unknowingly inflict on our children. Glad it had a happy ending, anyway.

    My duck story is a little different. My father had a couple ducks in a box, and was driving them to a friend's house. Not on an outing, mind you, but to give them away. (You don't want to know what said friend was planning to do with those ducks.) So, my father was tooling along in his spiffy new Buick Skylark convertible (top up!) without a care in the world, and the ducks were nestled in their box on the floor of the back seat. As he drives around this large sweeping stretch of road, the ducks burst out of the box and started flying around the inside of his spiffy new car, squawking bloody murder. Feather and duck crap everywhere! He had to pull over, catch them, and secure them in the box again, but until the day he died, every time we drove around that particular stretch of road, we got to hear the story all over again.

  14. Laura, I was laughing the whole time. So much that my daughter had to tell me to stop laughing. But I did recognize how traumatic it was for the kids (despite my laughing....or maybe my laughing added to the trauma). lol

    Susan, lol I love that duck story. That's funny stuff. I bet he does remember that stretch of road, it was probably very scary for him. :)

  15. You had me at the title then it kept getting better and better. That is the funniest story I heard all week, or since the last time I read a "Maddening" tip.

    That duck looks suspiciously like a goose. But whatever he is, he sure is cute.

  16. *Blink, blink*...Uhm, so Ding Dong survived the bullies. Wow, learn something new every day. How not to murder a member of the family. *winks*

    The amazing thing, I grew up on a farm and "I" had no idea they were so territorial.(Hugs)Indigo

  17. There is a reason you haven't met my children...

    oh wait, you have...

    hmm, oh well.

    I read this to my mom in our hotel room and we can't stop laughing. Thanks for a good start to our morning. :-)

  18. This article is really good for all newbie here.
    good post