N’s always loved being with his dad, but previously has been a bit young to worry about his dad working late and not being around at tea. But now, he’s turned into a bit of a Daddy’s boy; he always wants to go out with his dad on the farm after nursery. Woe betide if his dad’s not in the yard for him to go and do ‘jobs’ with. As soon as we pull up to park, he shouts out
‘Where’s Daddy? I want to go and do jobs with Daddy on the tractor’
Sometimes that’s possible, other times, the jobs are too dangerous so he has to mooch around in the garden with me, or play inside. A couple of weeks ago we had tears one evening after getting home because his dad wasn’t around.
When he does spend some time with his dad, N’s really good as he’ll do what he’s told. He knows what to look at for safety, and why we tell him what he can and can’t do around the vehicles and in the yard. He might not like what he’s told to do, but he does seem to understand why and then follows the rule. Although I suppose the threat of being sent indoors does make him want to behave.
Now he doesn’t worry too much if his dad’s not around to go out with, because it’s been largely dry enough to go and play in the garden anyway. It’s not just about going out and doing jobs. We’ve also had tears because he wanted to ‘eat tea with my daddy’ when his dad was working late. So I have to explain that because the nights are lighter, Daddy has to work later to get the jobs done while the weather’s dry.
We do spend a lot of time walking down to the yard to see if his Dad’s around. If Daddy’s not around, following his Gramps or uncle will do for the interim. Or just mooching round to see what animals are still in the barns.
I love to see the animals out in the fields. Now most of the cattle are out, there’s only one barn that needs to be emptied. N even has ‘his’ calf in the field behind our house. It does meant there’s not an awful lot to see going on in the barns, but once they’ve all been cleaned out, and the drier weather continues, N will be able to use the yard to ride his bike on. Great concrete compared to the gravel drive!
Thursday though, he didn’t need his dad for some adventures on the farm. Our vet lodger arrived home and went to park next to the house to find the way was blocked by 2 ewes and 2 lambs who’d escaped from the field. Cue calls to my brother-in-law who was nowhere nearby. It was going to be down to the women to get them in.
The sheep didn’t make it easy (plus the dozy lodger at the farm who just stood and watched them wander past him while I tried to get hold of the sister-in-law, nephew and mother-in-law. N managed to get his wellies on ready, and we swiped him off into the pick up while the rest of us ran down the road to stop traffic and try and block them from going into other fields. The sister-in-law managed to come up from their house, blocking off the junction and sending them back up towards the farm.
We missed a hole in a hedge on the field opposite ours, so the 12 year old nephew had some exercise driving them through an arable field out the other side for myself and the vet to drive them back up the road again. Wily (not a phrase I’d usually use about sheep) things went straight back in another ‘gap’, but eventually we managed to get them back into the farm, up the drive and into the paddock out the back of our house. The latch must have come loose, but we were lucky there were only those animals in the field and not more.
So the girls (plus nephew) did good, with N happily sitting watching us running around from the vehicle with his youngest cousin. Now the cows are in the same field with the sheep, the former being much more interested in people, heading over to the fence to see us up close whenever we’re out in the garden.
There’s always something interesting going on with the farm for a 3 year old, even if he’s not quite old enough to be involved with or help on every job. It’s definitely the downward spiral for him wanting to hang out with me in the house or going out. Compared to his younger cousin, he’s wanting to get out and about with his dad at an earlier age.
The bonus is, I’ll get more time to spend on things I want to do for me, but it’s sad that we’ll spend less time together.
What were the signs that your children wanted to spend more time out of the house with other people? Or are they still happy to be at home?