Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall Weaning

Big changes happen this time of year around the Valley: the kids are back in school, so our one-lane turns into a drag strip; the farmers are exhausted and can practically see that last bale of the season plopping out of their baler; the buck hunters start twitching whenever they drive by our house and see the bucks lazing in the shade, giving the camo-ed up drivers the finger; and the ranchers start weaning calves. Here on Hanna Bros. we are in category "E" (All of the Above). This means that our nights are spent wide awake, wishing the teenagers would stop knocking over the road signs (damn kids these days!), wondering why we live next to a feedlot, and listening to bawling calves.

Our days are blurs of activity. Regina's back at work, so Dylan and Grady are at Eileen's. Dylan is no longer the baby of the group and rolls with the big kids. She even made up a song about daycare today. I tried to have her sing it to a catchy Avett Brothers tune, but she got off track when she sang the chorus: "We're going to Eileen's and we're going to see Aiden, Shelby, Gavin, Abby, Jenna, and Maaaacy Grace." Granted, it needs work, but give her a break, Simon Cowell, she's only two. Grady just shook his head and went back to his nap.

We've also been chasing down yearling calves that have escaped the feedlot. They made a hole in the fence the size of a hoola-hoop and snuck out like Hogan's Heroes. We've found them six miles north, four miles south, and a couple miles west. The good news is that our eastern forces have been strengthened, just to keep the calves out of Nevada. You know, legal prostitution and gambling just wreaks havoc on impressionable young bovines.

Regina and I got into the spirit of the season and tried a little weaning of our own. No, we didn't leave a box of raisins and a gallon of milk on the floor and skip town, but we decided it was time to get rid of Dylan's mi-mi.

Okay, the decision was made for us, about five months ago at Dylan's two-year check up. We were cruising through the appointment, and getting the esteem boosting nods and "good" replies as we answered the doctor's questions. Then he had to ask about a pacifier. We could tell by his tone that we shouldn't still be using one. I think the question was something like: You're not still using a pacifier, are you? We looked at each other, panicked, expecting the other to lie. Finally the truth came out and we received a stern, yet gentle, reminder that "they" like to see toddlers give up the pacifier at eighteen months. We nearly fell over from laughing.

Strangely, Chowder, our puppy, got into Dylan's bedroom, the truck, and the car, singled out Dylan's mi-mi's, and ate them. At least that's the story we're telling Dylan. I feel bad for Chowder. Dylan's going to resent him for something he actually didn't chew up. She's been, more or less, fine without her mi-mi, and doesn't even ask for it at bedtime anymore, but we've reinforced our eastern line, just in cast she breaks for Nevada.

1 comment:

Big Daddy Paul said...

You should put a GPS locator on everything, kids included. That way, you can sit around with the kids and look on the computer for where the cows are. Less interestingly, you can sit around with the cows and try to locate the kids.