This summer we are working with Isaac and Walker on taking pride in their work, completely finishing tasks and doing them well, without having mom and dad following behind to pick up the pieces. This week we had the perfect opportunity for them to practice this.
With a cow ready to go into labor and Daniel out of town, we called on the boys to step up to the plate and be the farmers for the day.
Missy's due date was not until June 18th, but we knew that she was not going to make it that long. She was showing the signs of the birth being very close. She was close enough that Daniel wanted someone to check on her throughout the night. Isaac very quickly volunteered. Daniel and I looked at each other and gladly accepted the offer. School is out and he will sleep in as late as he wants, so why should we get up in the middle of the night and then have to drag ourselves out of bed to get to work in the morning?
By night number three, Isaac was no longer enthralled with the alarm going off at 2:30 a.m.
To make things even more interesting, Daniel had to go to Nashville, TN this week for training. We were convinced that Missy would have her baby before he left Wednesday morning. Just my luck! She didn't go and I was left in charge of baby watch. However, I had to work. This left Isaac and Walker on baby watch during the day.
Thursday morning before I left for work, I went out to the pasture to check on Missy. She was fine. By later that afternoon, Isaac called to tell me that her tail had been sticking straight out for about a half hour and that he thought she was having contractions. I had to leave my desk for about an hour and Daniel was in class, so I told him to keep an eye on everything, but only call Dad if it was a real emergency.
I got back to my desk an hour later and Walker called to tell me we had a bull calf. As soon as he had gotten off the phone with me an hour earlier, he ran around to the back of the pasture and saw two feet. Two pushes later and the calf was on the ground.
Within fifteen minutes, the calf was standing and nursing. We were really nervous that something would go wrong and that we would have to call in help for the boys. We are so thankful that everything went like clock-work.
Later that evening, Isaac put iodine on the umbilical cord. The boys had handled this birth from the start, so I wanted them to finish it.
Normally we weigh the calf with our calf scale attached to the tractor. Since the calf was out in the pasture, it was too difficult to maneuver the tractor. Isaac attempted to weigh the calf by holding the scale "like Dad does", but it was an epic fail. We decided to just wait for Daniel to get home.
We have seen such growth in Isaac this year. Last year we would have him go out to the barn to check on a cow and he always thought the cow was in labor. This year he was spot on with all of his predictions. It reminds me of how much he is growing up.
We are so proud of the boys this week. Not only did they put their brotherly arguing aside to work together as a team, but they rose to the challenge and were true farmers. They took the knowledge that they have gleaned from just watching these past years and put it into practice.
It is also a lesson for us as parents that sometimes we don't let go of the reigns enough to let them really learn from the experience. This week circumstances forced us to give up those reigns. They have developed independence and now we can trust them more and let them build upon these experiences.
We couldn't be prouder of our new calf and the two young farmers that were there by his side.
And by the way...all of these pictures were taken by Isaac and Walker.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.