Like so many young children, N takes everything really literally, so trying to explain things on the farm can be quite hard. We’ve had several conversations recently which have either made me chuckle, or despair that it’s never going to end.
Something that every farmer must dread is TB testing of cattle. We’re not in a high TB incident area, although we’re not far from Gloucestershire which is, and there’s plenty of badgers around so there’s always the worry that a positive test will come our way. Testing seems to come round really quickly, although recently the OH was helping another farmer with the testing of his herd.
It was interesting to try and explain to N what that day’s job was for N.
‘Daddy will be late back this evening, because they’re TB testing’
‘The vet comes and tests all the cows for a horrible disease, and if they test yes to having it, they have to be killed’
‘So they don’t give the disease to all the other cattle’
‘With a gun?’
‘Err, kind of’
‘So daddy will be home when we get back from nursery?’
‘Probably not, he’s TB testing and he’ll be late’
‘Why? What’s TB?’
When I grow up
I suppose with it being really obvious on a day to day basis and at home, it’s obvious what N wants to be when he grows up. Yes, you guessed right, a farmer. This was a reason where having a girl might have avoided as many discussions about having to study hard before choosing to be a farmer.
We do have a few discussions about N being a farmer. He thinks he’s one now at 3 years old because he does jobs with his dad on the farm. Before bed one night we chatted about his day:
‘I helped daddy calve the cows. I sat on the tractor so I was safe’
‘Ok, could you see?’
‘Yes, I helped. When I’m a farmer I’m going to do that’
‘You have to work hard at school first and get some qualifications in case farming’s not around anymore when you’re a grown up’
‘Because children have to go to school until they’re 17, that’s older than cousin Z. Daddy and Uncle H and Grampy all had to go to school as well’
‘But Daddy didn’t go’….hmmm
‘Daddy had to go but now you have to go for longer. It’s important to work hard and learn lots of things before you choose a job’
‘Well, I have to be as old as Daddy when I can be a farmer’
Whoop, he’ll be waiting another 40 odd years for that then.
‘That might be quite a few years, but maybe sensible. You can try out different jobs first’
‘I’ll be a doctor first’.
I almost snorted when I heard that. While I’d love to think N would be clever enough to be a doctor, I’m thinking if he’s anything like his parents, he might struggle with the scientific side!
We don’t often eat duck,
- it’s pricy; and
- I’m not that big a fan unless it’s crispy with pancakes, shredded cucumber and hoisin sauce.
But I bought some as a treat the other day towards the end of the Christmas holidays. I served up and then the questions started.
‘What is it? Is it chicken?’
‘No, it’s duck. Like chicken, a breast fillet’
‘There’s no face or beak’
‘No, it’s just the breast part, like we eat chicken. Taken from the duck’s chest’
‘Is it a duck off the pond?’
‘No, from the shop’
Strange child. He does come out with amusing things, and also thinks of everything so literally with what he knows already. I do love having really detailed conversations with him now he’s a bit older. N is starting to think a lot more about what he’s going to ask and the answers that he’s given.
What kind of conversations have you been having with your children recently?