Five reasons I’d rather have real babies than ducklings

We babysat three baby ducklings from my daughter’s school last night. They were tiny, yellow, unbelievably soft and totally helpless. They chirped in alarm when the kids approached their plastic pen, but then settled down adorably on Avery’s lap to rest.

Awwww! Isn't he cute?

Right after she called me into the kitchen to witness the triple duckling love-in, one of them chose that moment to poop on her leg.

“Ewwwww! Yuck, Mommy! He pooped on my leg!” She looked at the poop in horror and I did what any parent in that situation would do. I burst out laughing. “It’s not funny!” she wailed, summoning tears to match her disgust.

You'll see a lot of this with ducklings. I calculated that they poop 12 times as much as a human infant.

Before you go thinking that’s a one-off occurence, and that maybe ducklings would make a good pet, let me just tell you: they poop A LOT. Like, four or five times an hour. I did the math and figured that’s about 12 times as much as a human baby poops. They also chirp incessantly (their noise caused another mom from Avery’s school to get up in the night to check on them — just like newborns!) and their pen gets so messy from spilled water and poop you need to change the newspaper every couple hours. They’re fairly high maintenance sleepover guests.

Cute? Absolutely, for about an hour. But thinking long term, consider that they grow into large, pecking, not-so-cute-anymore birds. With that in mind, here are five reasons I’d rather have real babies than ducklings:

  1. Human babies poop into a diaper, not on the floor.
  2. Human babies don’t step in their poop and then step into their water and food bowls.
  3. Human babies don’t poop the minute you put them into a nice clean bathtub, unless you’re extremely unlucky.
  4. Human babies eventually learn how to poop in a toilet; again, unless you’re extremely unlucky (confession: my son, age 4, still poops in a diaper. Sigh.).
  5. Human babies will one day fly away, but only when they’re all grown up and you’re ready for them to leave (so I say now).

My babies with the ducklings.

But for all their noise (and the rolls of paper towel we went through cleaning up poop), it was neat to see my babies play with their duckling babies. How about you? Have you taken ducklings home to babysit? Don’t they poop A LOT??

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