“Children are a blessing from God…” I am reminded of this almost everytime I go out with all five of my children.
“Oh wow! You have your hands full…” This I am told every time I take out five children with me.
This evening I am reminded of both statements. Just this Monday, we brought home our newest member to our farm – Daisy & her baby Poppy. Daisy is going to be our milk cow. We are all very excited about this, but are also very unsure of what we are doing, so it is a little worrying for me.
Since Daisy & Poppy were going to a new farm & new surroundings we thought it best to stall them both in our barn. And it really has helped to keep them both calm and more accepting of this new change.
However since the barn stall is fairly small, we decided to let Daisy out to graze the field’s grass for a few hours. She was relatively easy moving to the field, just very strong (causing my nine year old to be drug all over the field until I was able to catch her.) Poppy, well he was not as thrilled about going into the field, especially on a lead line. But, we managed to get them both out and Daisy enjoyed her “salad” while Poppy tried his best to get loose of his line.
That evening putting them back up was relatively easy, just took some patient and waiting on Daisey to mosey back “home.
Now, let’s talk about today’s rotation…
Again, the kids helped me get Daisy and Poppy out, but this time it went so smooth. I walked in, hooked Daisy up and Elijah opened the gate and out we went… all the while Poppy is crouched in the back corner of the stall.
We hooked up Daisy to a different area and she goes to work eating her fill. All the while Poppy is bawling from the stall to his Momma who is contently eating her grass.
So, we go back to the stall and Elijah opens the gate for me and I go in with the dreaded “lead line.” ( I am certain he now recognizes what this means and is not thrilled about being “hooked”) And then Poppy and I begin our dance around the stall. I do eventually manage to hook him, all the while he is pulling against me with all his strength. But, as soon as I get close, Elijah opens the gate and Daisy calls to him and we are off. The tables have now turned and he is dragging me. Once he finds Momma he settles and I hook him to her. Easy-peasey.
Next, we shovel in saw dust over their night’s messes — which luckily is now mostly been smashed by my shoes. And we refill her hay feeder, with the kids helping pull hay from our round bales at the pole barn.
Then they stay, grazing the field for several hours while we go finish our other chores consisting of picking up acorns for our sow, Penelope and enjoying pony rides courtesy of Sugar our pony.
However, by six o’clock this Momma is getting pretty low on energy and we decide it’s time to put Daisy and Poppy up for the evening and bed them down. Already dreading this task, I start planning a strategy on the walk over there. Unfortunately, sometimes all the planning in the world cannot prepare you for the unexpected.
Upon arriving, it is discovered that cow poop is everywhere in the area…. Guessing they are really enjoying all that nice, green grass. So, I turn to all the kids and repeat several times… “whatch where you step, please do not step in cow poop.”
And as surely as I had finished telling them, Nehemiah is the first to plant his flip-flop right in Daisy’s fresh pile. Everybody in unison….”eeeewwww”. Flash forward to less than thirty seconds later, Elijah plants his flip-flop foot in a huge, heaping pile.
So, I have now again reminded everyone to wear their boots or tennis shoes around the animals from now on and “what where you step”. Only for me to then turn around to watch Abigail plant her jelly shoe into one of Poppy’s piles of manure. At this point, I have now turned into a broken record and again repeat the infamous words… “WATCH WHERE YOU STEP”. No sooner that I finish “step” Noah has landed his tennis shoe into the same pile as Elijah and while trying to “get it off” smears the warm, brown mush all over my calf and covers my tennis shoes with it. I am now, barely holding onto my religion and send Noah, Abigail and Nehemiah to wash their feet at the water hose.
The only reason I believe the cows went so willingly and peacefully is because they could feel hold tightly I was holding the lines and were afraid for their lives. … because it was far too easy to put them back “home” tonight.
Which now brings me to the statement… “Wow! You have your hands full.” Yes, people I surely do, as a matter of fact, I need at least three more hands to “hold” all of them.
But, “children are a blessing”…more than you know, because without my kids I could not have done anything tonight. Nehemiah playing with Maryam in the wagon while I caught Poppy helped me tremendously and without him I could not have caught him. And if Elijah was not there to help open & close the gate for me, both the cows would have been running around in a huge field and it would have taken us hours to catch them. And Abigail helping keep Noah at bay so he was not playing near the cows, keeping both the cows calm and less tense while we moved them.
So you see both these statements are so very true… my hands are full, but my heart is even fuller.
Kassy – Homesteading Momma