Manifolds, Manolos & Manure
This weekend after a fundraiser, my aunt presented my three-year-old with a beautiful centerpiece complete with tinsel, ribbons, and foil. It’s lovely… for a one-dollar centerpiece. Defying all logic, my loud big-little boy named it “my precious” and carries it around. It sheds leaves at will. His cat, “Xanadau,” eats the leaves and pukes. Then I walk in the puke.
This is the same little boy who visits a pet store and after petting the bunnies is more interested in the water filtration system on the aquariums and the wheels on the hamster cages than seeing the cats, ferrets, or gerbils. This, of course, is done all while wearing one of four John Deere sweatshirts with his tape measure on his belt. (Fortunately, he’s not allowed to take his screwdrivers in public.)
His sister on the other hand still spends hours at pet stores. Hours. Despite her love of all things fuzzy she usually spends most of her time with the amphibians and reptiles. As her mother, the very thought of geckos and snakes crawling around my house makes me start hearing scratching in my vents. Our pet store visits always end at the fish. Fish have no fur.
Unlike her brother, she has one John Deere sweatshirt. I’m pretty sure its pink with a horse and a rainbow on it. She typically wears it when she’s at the stable. It matches her pink boots. Her purple gloves. Her rainbow reins. And when she’s riding “Jolie,” the horse on it matches “Jolie.” Unfortunately for my blue-eyed girl, “Jolie” is a little too well-behaved and doesn’t make my blue-eyed girl work for her trail ride.
Conversely, our big-little boy hides from the horses. Behind my legs. And squeals if one dares to look at him. During his sister’s lessons, he scoops poop. Digs in the arena with his skidloader. And raids the kitchen. When she returns from her trail ride, he hides again. And screams. Then giggles. Loudly.
Speaking of skidloaders, the big-little boy howls at the sight of one. Like his dad he scales the ladder with finesse. He demands gloves when he’s riding in the sprayer. And he’s notorious for liking speed. His sister, though, will happily ride in a tractor but would rather spend time with the calves or walk the cows. Like her uncle, she reports on their health and behavior. She’s even been known to chase an escapee. We have video of it.
Her brother could care less about the cows. Except when its time to feed them. Or scoop poop. Feeding cattle involves tractors. Loaders. And a totally mixed ration also known as a TMR. Scooping poop involves a skidloader, tractor, and manure spreader. My blue-eyed girl will scoop her bunny’s litter box with some complaint, but she doesn’t enjoy it.
Our children’s love of the farm makes our heart swell. Like their dad and grandpa before them, we hope they want nothing more than to milk a cow. Drive a tractor. Farm.