Friday, October 15, 2004

I DID IT! Now what...

The things they do when they think you are not watching. My four year old is always keeping me in check. Example? I was sitting at the kitchen bay window reviewing this year's ballot, when I got up and told him not to stand in the deck swing while he was waiting for his brother to get home. I sat back down and just watched him. It was amazing how much my words had close to no effect on him what-so-ever. He looked inside the door window and went straight to stand on the swing. Normally, I would go to correct him instantly. This time, I decided to let him think he had deceived me and continued to observe. After all, we have all done it. We have all been told by the people who love us not to do something, and did it anyway just to see if you could.

It was amazing. Primitive determination at its best. He started from one end and with solid concentration and serious wabbling, gained his balance and slowly walked the length of the swing. I don't even think I would have been able to that. But once he conquered the swing, he dismounted onto the deck and danced a fool like nothing I had ever seen before. Once he was done dancing, he started toward the door like he was thinking about coming inside to tell me of his astounding feat, and suddenly relized he wasn't supposed to be doing it. This was heartbreaking for me to watch. I couldn't very well go out there and share in his "happy dance" for something I told him not to do. He then turned and made a closed fisted "Oh Yeah" gesture and sat on the swing.

One day, I might tell him I watched him conquer the swing. Until then, I will continue to warn him of possible dangers that come up, but realize he may still try. To see this in action made me realize how many of those grey hairs I might have caused on my mother's head if she had only saw HALF the stuff I did at that age. Funny how it all truely does come around.


Life on the farm is great. I can feed all the livestock. I can harness and saddle with little to no supervision. If I mess it up, I'm quick to realize it's messed up. The horses know how it all goes on and let me know quick it don't feel right. Who ever says horses are dumb animals need to be on a ranch for one day and realize they are TERRIBLY MISTAKEN.

We had 6 guinea hens running loose at one time about 3 weeks ago. They were there to control the bug and fly population. The staff and I also used them for comedy relief. I mean, honestly, they are really something ugly and make funny noises. We are now down to one, and I give it only about 48 hours. Next season we will get 30 more and hope they will have more strength in numbers.

I started teaching school groups last week. It's what you might call "Trail by Fire". I know soccer. I have studied soccer like an art for the past decade. So I know kids and I know how to handle them in a teaching environment. I know livestock. I know how to maintain them. However, I do not know how to maintain livestock while I teach about them. Goats are unpredictable. Horses don't stay put around large groups. Cows don't show well. And without fail, one of these animals are going to leave a dump right there for everyone to watch and make a big deal out of. So what do you do? Wing it. Heck, kick it right there in front of them. I have found this to be the best way to defuse the "poop" comments. Do I care if the animals do it? No. They don't have the luxury of closed doors and toilets. So, why not defuse it quick by mere recognition. It works like a charm. Besides, I'm used to it.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Muscles in the strangest places...

Have you ever worked out more than you should have and woke up the next morning feeling like you might as well be dead? I did that. I rode one of our horses yesterday. Dan, our site "pet" palamino hasn't been saddled up in over two months, until yesterday. He was a little rusty and needed some remindin of who the boss was, but he caught on fairly quickly. Everything went well. Dan shines up like a new penny. He has a gait (little faster than a walk) like a champion stud. After two hours of re-training him in the machne yard, I was done. And now I get to feel it all day today. WOW. But it was worth it. Every Sunday, I have to punch in, feed the animals, get some chores done around the barn and then I HAVE to saddle him up and work him for a couple hours. Oh darn.

My four year old has been taking more naps than usual lately. Not for certain, but I think he might be going through a growing spell. Plus, you might think that a well rested child makes for a more pleasant child to deal with. Not sure about that me. He gets his mother's "no happiness" wake up gene as explained earlier. Ya have to be kiddin me. He stomps all over the house and calls me things I didn't ever realize he knew how to say, much less what they mean. Obviously, I have to address these words the second they come out. This just makes things worse. He's spending a majority of his fourth year in his bedroom and in "timeout". I feel this is definately something that could turn into one of those "Remember the time..." kinda moments. I hope. Or maybe that is the reason most of us don't remember our early childhood. I have probably blocked out most of my childhood I spent with my face in a corner because there's not much to remember of a blank wall. Ah geez. I could be creating blank wall memories for my kid right now...