People ask me all the time if we have any animals on our farm. We do have a dog and 2 kitties but technically we do not have any livestock. HOWEVER we do have four kids and I have to say there are some striking similarities.
I grew up a farm with cattle. Now, I will be the first to admit I didn’t actually have to partake in very many of the cattle chores – I had a brother that was a year older to help me escape from most of that. I was pretty little when we had the largest cattle numbers on our farm and when the whole family would be out working the cattle I always wanted to tag along. So in an effort to keep me safe and most likely out of their hair I was usually put in a fenced off areas with strict instructions to stay there and look cute. I took this job very seriously and whilst doing my job looking cute I observed many cattle characteristics that I can relate with now with my children:
- Feeding them was often loud and messy. I remember going out with my dad to the pasture to feed the cows. He would yell “Cabus, Cabus!”and they all would come running. What followed was a frenzy of bellowing cows spilling their grain all over the place. Meal times at my house can be pretty similar to this at times. Four little mouths all going at the same time – asking for drinks, ketchup, spoons instead of forks, forks instead of spoons, ect. And supper is never complete without the inevitable milk spill.
- Cows are smelly and they poop a lot. My birthday is in the spring right when all the cow patties from the winter were thawing and filling the air with their aroma. I remember having my birthday parties and hoping my friends didn’t think our yard always smelled this way. Well for the last 8 years of my life I’ve had at least one baby in diapers. It seems that without fail right before we have company a baby has a most foul smelling diaper. You can change them and get the diaper double wrapped in ziploc but that smell has a way of lingering. I promise our house doesn’t always smell like this.
- Wrangling. I’m sure almost everyone has at least seen on TV a cowboy wrangling and roping a calf. Well have you ever had to wrestle a stubborn, fighting toddler into a car seat? This little 30 lb person all the sudden has the strength of ten toddlers and your using all your limbs to hold them down while you try to finagle a three point harness.
- Speaking of stubborn. Cows are stubborn and often make poor choices. These traits have a way of getting them into places they aren’t suppose to be. Likewise, I just had to pry my child out of the 3″space between the couch and end table. How did he get himself in there – you got me. Why did he feel he needed to be in that spot – because he wanted to.
- Cattle herding. As a mom of four young kids anytime I am in a public place with them I feel like I am herding them. I just wish it was appropriate to carry a lasso into Target so I could rope them when they wonder off from the rest of the herd.
- And last but certainly not least: Cows have runny noses and they are constantly sticking their tongues up their noses to lick it. For anyone with young children I really don’t think an elaborate explanation is necessary on this one.
Seriously though this is all in good fun – I don’t actually think of my children as cattle – most of the time. Besides cattle are adorable as babies but when they grow up not quite so much. My kids are going to be adorable for their entire lives 🙂