I don’t know what your two year old was doing at 6 in the morning, but mine was insisting that she go out and feed the “aminals”.
So out we went.
I really enjoy having the quiet early morning barn time to myself but I really want to continue to encourage the kids to work with the animals and like doing chores. I expect them to help around the farm, they start with easy chores- feeding the dogs, putting silverware on the table and such. They are encouraged to come with to collect eggs and be around when we feed the large animals. There is very little coaxing needed when it comes to the animals. It’s usually harder to keep them out of the pen than anything else.
When I envisioned my kids helping with morning chores I pictured them going out with me, dressed, we tend the animals, then go in, make breakfast and go about our day. Well, that’s kind of how it went, with the exception of the “dressed” part. I was really hoping to not pass on the habit of doing chores in a bathrobe. My only excuse was our clothes were in the same room that Boy 2 was sleeping, he wasn’t feeling well and I didn’t want to risk waking him… and I was still half asleep myself.
There we are, Little Miss in her ballerina footie pajamas, Minnie mouse mud boots, barn jacket, blaze orange hat and mittens and me with dirty boots, bathrobe and winter barn coat, walking through the dark to the barn. She was excited to see her Sweet Caroline!
Once the light was on I glanced over to the goat pen to see if the ducks were in or not. They were out but the little nest they made hidden in the corner was full of eggs again.
“Come here!” We crouched down and peeked through the fence boards. With her shrill little girl voice “Eggs! Sneak and get ‘em!” “We will. Let’s feed the cows first.”
We hauled the morning hay out to the corral and tossed it over the fence. Then were back to the barn. Usually by this time Caroline has made her way in for her own ration of hay, a walk and a few treats. I’m guessing she didn’t make the trip because she knew the Little Miss was out there and sometimes it’s just too early to handle that little ball of fire… I know.
Once the goats were fed and mineral topped off it was time to retrieve her prized duck eggs. Those smart little ducks made their nest tucked in a corner close to the fence so we can see the eggs and far enough away that I actually have to climb over the fence to get them. After climbing in and turning around with the first egg, I was met with the brightest, most eager eyes and little mittens readily waiting to carry the eggs.
Her hands were full with her egg, I put the rest in my pocket and added some grain to the ducks feed pan. She scurried back to the house, the quiet house. Where everyone was sleeping except Mike who was enjoying the news and his coffee. The door swung open and in she flew!
“Daddy! Duck Egg!” the concept of “inside voice” and “everyone is sleeping” was completely lost. Little Miss had a duck egg to show and there was no slowing her down.