And after several more hours (forgive me if this is getting dull, but the hatching process *is* pretty dull, right up until the last few minutes):
If you look closely, you can see a little pale bill poking through the hole. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any more pictures until after the big event. In fact, I *heard* the big event, but didn’t get to see it this time–Everett was nursing to sleep, and I thought I had more time before he would pop out. But here he is, in all his bedraggled glory:
This little guy (or gal) still had the umbilical cord and yolk sac attached. In fact, he still does. I had to do some frantic reading up to find out that this is quite normal, and it will fall off in good time. Each hatch, apparently, is different, and each one equally nerve-wracking. I put his big sister (or brother…) in the incubator with him for company, and she groomed him for a while, and ate part of his yolk sac (yuck!) and they cuddled, but then the first duckling wanted out, so she is back in her brooder, sleeping.
The kids have decided to name the first duckling Hermione, the second one Ron, and the third (whose bill is poking through a hole in the egg and appears to be another dark-colored duck) Harry. We have no idea about gender, and won’t know for about a month, but for now we’ll go with it.
And here are some random cute pictures from today:
Does it get any cuter than this? You may notice, besides the frosting, another phenomenon on the dumpling’s face. This is what happens when you drop a toddler from the height of a chair, face-first, onto a brick hearth. Much crying ensues. Then you make everything better with frosted cookies. By the way, he is hamming for the camera. I tried several times to get close-up shots of the damage I’d done (so I could send them to his father to see what happens when he goes out of town and leaves his children in my care for a week), but every time I point a camera at him, he looks directly at me and cheeses.
Who does this kid take after? I leave him alone for five minutes, and the next time I look at him he’s covered in… ketchup? frosting? Who knows. He’s slower than Christmas too. But don’t tell him that. It might hurt his feelings (I would know).
Last but not least. They grow up too fast. When did they learn to do THAT? Sigh. It’s like they’re already teenagers. Oh well. At least they’re cute teenagers.