Tag Archives: country living

Enjoy them now

There’s always an older woman around when you need that crucial piece of advise. I’m sure I’m not being ageist or sexist when I say it, I assure you. Maybe it’s coincidence but I think not for there she is, the older lady with nuggets of wisdom to dispense at just the right moment. They are mothers, grandmothers who no doubt wait by phones for sons to call or wave grown up children off of a Sunday evening urging you to enjoy every second of your time with your young children. It is well meaning for that I have no doubt and comes from a place of empathy but happens within earshot of most young mothers normally at the end of their tether, far too frequently.  Allow me to illustrate.

Now, rest assured, the following incidents are purely fictional and thereby serving to illustrate my point. I mean at no point yesterday afternoon did I personally find myself at a local library with three young sons you understand. No, no son of mine was emptying the read-it-yourself shelves and upsetting the alphabetical order of things while his brother begged his mother to read another of the Mr Men series. Nor was I drawed upon, ahem, she drawed upon to find Wally at the same time. No, I’m sensible like that. No, this was an altogether different mother. All characters remember are fictional, all but the lady who appeared just when the poor mother at the library was about to throw a tantrum herself and pack three said boys into the people carrier, lo and behold, there from behind the cookbooks appeared the older lady like an appartition ‘Aw’, she said ‘enjoy them now, these years go by in a flash, You’ll miss them.’ The mother almost huddled in the corner trying to realphbetize a row of Horrid Henry‘s while simultaneously trying to hold a trying toddler, smiled and nodded, really appreciating that little nugget of wisdom. I’m sure it was the first time, even that day, she had heard it.

That same sorry mother an hour later in the supermarket encountered another angelic vision who might have popped out at her from the cereal aisle to whisper ‘oh, their problems only get bigger.’ as she cajoled her eldest along who had gotten his finger stuck in the trolley. Is that so? I better get home I thought, I mean she thought, before the third vision appeared telling her that she had her hands full and that indeed boys are a handful and then inevitably there would appear the ‘wouldn’t-it-be-worse-if-he-were-thrown-down-sick’ fairy who somehow finds the perfect time to deliver the most useful line with perfect timing. Is there nothing to be said for awkward silence anymore?

Then today, that same mother found herself watching her three boys tumbling down an outside slide in fits of giggles, watching them standing up in turn to blow her a kiss at the window where she watched on, knowing instinctively, that she will miss the days when they were young, full of fun, carefree and naughty. And funnily, no-one had to tell her that.

Teaspach

Only a few more cows left to calve telling me that soon it will be my turn. I feel a lot of empathy with my heavily expectant counterparts; the slow and laboured march to the water trough and the constant grazing. Like their own calves, my two little boys are full of teaspach (a local term used to describe the exuberance and spirit of young calves when new straw is scattered around them or on hearing the familiar splash of creamy milk reaching their bucket, a wholly bucking, jumping, break dancing show).

Teaspach to the heavily expectant mother is the most challenging. While one doesn’t want to break their spirit, a mother has to use up some of the battery life on some exercise that ensures everyone in the farmhouse gets a full-nights sleep. I find living on a farm helps; obviously, there are safety concerns that young cowboys have to adhere to but the farm is a veritable childhood obstacle course designed (in my mind) to help the farming mother harness some of that exuberance.

There is no shortage of adventures. Provided with a knapsack that includes a biscuit, toilet roll binoculars and a fascination for any insect/rodent/small animal or bird that moves; little boys can safely tour the perimeter of an adjacent field in full view of their mother. And every little find provides a relay back to the same mother to show their findings or perhaps a little kiss for a nettle sting. Spirit in tact, they wander back on their expedition.

Bringing the cows in for milking is another luxury in the world of heavily expectant mommying. There are few calls as welcome to a mother who has just prepared the dinner and washed up as ‘Boys, do you want to bring the cows in for milking?’ Oh yes they do! Suitably attired they walk out the door behind their father as I flick on the kettle for my real cup of tea; the ‘cows come home’ cup. An utterly bovine experience that allows me to sit for a moment while my ladies in waiting chew the cud outside the window in harmony.