Of dead pigs, live frogs, circus performers and the myriad joys of motherhood

"We'll split a pig with you" are not necessarily words I associate with a door opening onto a budding friendship. But when I heard them last week from a new neighbor, I hoped, like a seventh grader with a crush, that that's exactly what they were. My young neighbor, a New York City transplant married into an longtime local farming family, couldn't be nicer or seem like more fun, her husband, too, and though they are younger and as yet without kids, they seem to like us, too. Hence the offer to split a pig from her brother-in-law's farm down the road. I can't wait. Having sampled his fresh, pastured hen's eggs (a welcome to the neighborhood gift a few days earlier--Dido pronounced them "the best eggs I've ever, ever, EVER eaten") I am confident that his equally happy (at least in life) pigs will also be delicious.

Meanwhile, the frog saga continues. Our pond is teeming, swarming, fully alive with tadpoles, side-lying columns of them buzzing through the murky water, and more to come, judging by the wormy tubes of eggs (finally identified as such after much dopey puzzling on my part) lying in the muddy banks. The frogs sing not just at night, but pretty much all day long, and Dido caught one Friday afternoon. He was completely ecstatic. After it flew out of his hands and back into the pond, it sat still in the water, head above, body and legs dangling below, and I was worried that the kid had unwittingly injured it. After a few minutes, though, he dove down and swam out of sight (not hard, in our zero visibility pond water.) But he popped right back up, and seemed to stare Dido down. Dido made a couple more attempts, but then grew delighted with the fact that Frog seemed to be connecting with him somehow--perhaps wondering what this strange, inept hunting creature that failed to eat him could possibly be.

Meanwhile, the night before, the Babe woke up, in her very first night in her "big girl bed," crying for her daddy. No surprise, the waking or the need for papa, but awaiting us was an unfortunate surprise--a big pile of puke (which sounds like the name of a Russell Crowe band, but sadly, was real.) She's been sick as a dog ever since, with a brief interlude yesterday where she seemed to be getting better, so we all, including my visiting mother in law, went to a fundraiser circus performance at a local school. It was fantastic, and made quite an impression on both kids. I'm not sure what they loved more--the 7th grade trapeze artist, the boy unicyclists, or the amazing acrobats. Both my kids fully appreciate performance, in any and every form. But by nighttime, the Babe was listless and cranky, refused to eat dinner, and then puked all over me, the dog, the deck again.

Adding to the fun, her illness (at least thus far) culminated today in a ten minute waking nightmare--she seemed to wake from her nap, but quickly was hysterical, wouldn't let me touch her, wouldn't take the ever-soothing pacifier, seemed terrified or in pain. It was horrible. I finally took her outside into the fresh air, and asked her, over and over again (although she already seemed fully awake) to wake up. When she calmed a bit, desperate, I offered her ice cream. Apparently, even when you have the stomach flu, strawberry ice cream (from a local dairy, thank you very much) is a panacea.


Mieke said...

Please take a picture of the pond! Your new life sounds like soooooooooooo much fun.

Aren't you getting chickens? I want chickens but I think my Santa Monica neighbors might object.

Sorry to hear my the Babe was so sick. No sleep for the mommy!

Kel said...

splitting a pig
i split my sides laughing

hope the babe is better

Alto2 said...

Isnt' strawberry ice cream a cure for everything that ails ya? I hope the Babe is feeling better. FWIW, when we lived in rural PA, we were offered fresh spring lambs, completely butchered and lambskin, too. It was a bit gross at first, but there's nothing like fresh meat. Our first lamb was Marcellus; I never had the courage to meet him (or any of the others).