Farm kids seem to have a different set of milestones than the rest of the population. As a town kid my firsts may have been slightly different from what my kids will experience. I will always remember the first time I rode my bike to Casey’s for a soda, the first time I flipped my bike on a speed bump and karate kicked the doctor out of any idea he thought of giving me stitches, and the first time an elderly neighbor, in my all elderly neighborhood, yelled at me for riding my bike by his house too much (it was right next door). Yeah, I think my little farm kids are going to have much cooler memories than I had. They have first steps, first words, and all the good baby book events that all parents love, but they also have some pretty cool, sometimes disgusting, but usually cool first experiences that others do not get. My oldest has had some cool first experiences that he talks about frequently:
The oldest went to the salebarn all the time when he was a baby, still a tiny one in the pumpkin seat, so easy to take care of, and we had no idea how easy. He’d just chill out next to Daddy, watch the cows, enjoy the cadence of the auctioneer, and give a little squeak when he was hungry. My husband could feed him and still have a hand ready to bid if a barely there, one-last-chance cow came through.
When my oldest started getting more squirmy, basically once he was too big for the pumpkin seat and it wasn’t as easy to load him into the sale barn, he was stuck with Mommy on sale days, but when he was two, he finally took his “first” trip to the sale barn with Daddy, at least what he thought was his first trip, and I can still picture him clearly, in overalls and little boots, walking to the truck, turning back to me, waving, and saying, “I’m going to the say bawn Mommy, cause I’m a farm kid.”
Broke...my….heart! It was just so sweet.
Second child, my little Spiderman, doesn’t quite get the same fanfare as the oldest, like all underappreciated second children, but that’s not technically my fault. I was subbing for another teacher when my husband decided it was time for the little one to make a trek to the sale barn. He actually hadn’t gone to the sale barn at all as a baby. I’ve been home since he was born, so there was no need for my husband to tote him along on all the farm chores and trips. This week was his full-fledged, first trip to the sale barn.
With the oldest, it was quite an ordeal getting him ready. He was a little older than the baby is now when he first went to the sale barn so a little more active. I packed all the precautions to keep him in his seat. It was all in a little backpack, packed in order of necessity. When he first opened it up, he found a little radio that played the ABCs, then some Legos, then a few GI Joes, then some dinosaurs, then some books because he loves to sit down and look at a book, but this was the warning for my husband that we’re entering a danger zone of activity. The bottom of the backpack was full of snacks and juice boxes to give my husband time to clear out before my son got bored and started running right and left through the rows, up and down the stairs, or disappearing into a herd of Amish kids.
There was also an emergency plan. In the front pocket of the backpack there was a portable DVD player and a copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ready for a display of Bad Parenting 101. I’m just guessing here, but I bet all that planning went for nothing because my husband would have handed him the DVD player at the slightest provocation and just lied about it later.
In my mind, I believe the backpack worked well. My only evidence of this was that my son came back home in one piece and my husband was his normal grumpy self, but no worse than usual.
That’s why it shocked me when I came home from my day of subbing to find out he took the baby to the sale barn. The baby never wants to sit still.
If you’re starting to wonder if I’ll ever just use this kid’s name instead of referring to him as the baby, I have two reasons for continuing on as is:
I didn’t even get to prepare the goody bag of distraction for the baby. His bag would have reflected his personality: between each toy there would be a snack because he lives life like he’s practicing for a competitive eating challenge and every toy would be somewhat soft because he gets the urge to throw things at people, hence, another nickname he goes by is Baby Godzilla.
Apparently Baby Godzilla does not need a Mommy pack, prepared with thought and love. No, Baby Godzilla goes to the sale barn, sits quietly THE WHOLE TIME, completely mesmerized by the happenings, and also becomes the star of the show. Everybody had to stop by and see the sweet baby face just chillaxing next to Daddy, which kind of made my day because I’m sure my husband loathed all the extra attention he was getting, and the baby even hit the jackpot when a little old man stopped by and gave him four quarters.
Baby faces are magnets for suckers, the people kind and the candy kind because he walked away with candy too.
Then he ate lunch with his daddy and a buddy, ate all their French fries (Jackpot!), which they didn’t really need anyway, but really, if you take a good look at my little roly poly, neither did he.
He had a good time hanging out with his daddy. I think he’ll even get to go again soon since he did sit so still. More than likely though, the new will have worn off and he’ll become a bit of a terror the next time. If not, I might just give up on all this extra education I’ve been trying to provide for him to become the next CEO, or artist, or president. Daddy will have to use the Montessori method and teach that baby to be a rancher.