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.