Yesterday was a special treat, Jordan’s buddy, Abigail, came over to play for a few hours. We are to the point with this stay at home order, that we feel if someone has been home, safe, and not exposed for forty-something days, it should be okay to hang out with them in the open air for a few hours. Honestly, my girl needs to giggle and laugh with someone her own age. As I worked, I listened to their conversation. There were phrases uttered, that I am pretty sure are exclusive to a child reared on a farm. I have been filing away these phrases and snippets of conversation for years. I will share some of the highlights with you now.
1. Hey, do you want to go ride the goats? Said in tittering little chipmunk voices. That is the phrase that spurred this idea. I’m pretty sure that question is not a normal question in the average household. We have two large wethers (castrated boy goats) Wacko and Yacko…we also have their sister Dot…creds to the Animaniacs. Wacko and Yacko average 200-250 lbs. Jordan and Abigail may have each just barely broken 60 lbs., so riding goats is a viable option. Only a child who lives on a goat farm views riding goats as normal entertainment.
2. Daddy, the boy goats’ balls have finally dropped. We need to get them banded. Not your average observation for a then 8-year-old. She has been helping her dad band goats ever since we first had babies.
3. Daddy said to ask you if I can turn the goat’s scrotum into a coin purse? Again, not your average conversation. This occurred after the boy goats were banded and the scrotum had fallen off…with some help from a curious six-year-old. This was answered with, “Ugh! Throw that outside and go wash your hands! Dammit, Eric!”
4. Mommy, I am collecting the babies horn scabs! Daddy said I should turn them into a necklace! When the babies are about a week or so old, we disbud them or remove their horn buds. I feel this is a barbaric practice but after not removing buds this year, a necessary practice. This is by far my least favorite day in baby care. After two weeks or so, the scabs that form fall off and the area is healed. The scabs that fall off are thick and the size of your finger tip. My response to this was also, “Gross! Throw that away and wash your hands! Dammit, Eric!”
“Dammit, Eric!, Stop it, Eric!, Go away, Eric!, Don’t you dare, Eric!” are the most common phrases spoken in our household. Do you have an inkling why? I envisioned my sweet little bean going all Lord of the Flies, wearing a crude necklace of baby goat horn scabs as a symbol or power and dominance. Sigh, so much to undo on such a consistent basis.
5. Look! That piggy is a fourteen titter! We should keep her for sure! Again, not your usual observation made by a child. Counting the teats on female piglets is one step in the vetting process of who will be a good mama. Because litters can go as high as the teens, it is desirable to have a sow with at least fourteen teats. I encourage the use of proper anatomy terms but when left unsupervised with The Bibbed Wonder, one never knows what one’s child will pick up. Repeat again, “Dammit, Eric!”
Although not your normal, average conversations or observations, I would not change it for the world. My darling girl is knowledgeable about topics that I fear are falling by the wayside. She has a wide and varied skill set thanks to her humorously inappropriate and skilled father, she has a better vocabulary than most adults, she is also brave, strong, opinionated, and exercises more common sense than most adults. She has a steely work ethic along with the innocent integrity only a child can possess. I hope she never sacrifices or loses those qualities. Although our lifestyle choice does not offer her access to the best schools…something I desire for her…or even good internet access, she is well rounded, well read, and rich in experiences most children will never have access to explore.
I hope you have enjoyed a peek inside our day to day lives. They are often wildly inappropriate and filled with humor but also rewarding and filled with love. As always, stay safe, stay smart, and wash your hands, dammit!