Kids and Chores

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The stud horse likes two-footed minions – they scratch all the itchy spots.

I’ve mentioned, a time or two, the value of having the kids involved in the ranch work. I was holding onto my appreciation of that value this morning by the skin of my teeth. We had a number of bare spots in the middle pasture and some old grass hay. Combining the two means no more bare spots and better graze for the critters come spring. Since there’s supposed to be a fair-sized rainstorm headed our way next weekend, this was obviously the weekend to get that hay spread.

Driving the four-wheeler is a rite of passage for a ranch kid (the big one has now graduated to the backhoe).

When doing ranch work with smaller children, you really have to watch out for them for safety reasons. When doing ranch work with pre-teens and older teens, you really have to watch out for your temper. The younger kids may drive you to distraction trying to get involved, but the older ones will drive you to distraction with whining, bitching, fighting, eye rolling and arguing. Said whining, bitching, fighting, eye rolling and arguing was exacerbated because the two younger ones are learning how to drive the quad – saints forbid one should have a single second more driving time than the other. Or that one might actually have to open a gate while the other sits in the pickup.

Small fry on bottle detail.

I know this is a stage they all go through. I know they’re actually very good kids. I know I love them dearly. On the other hand, sometimes I must admit I fantasize about knocking their heads together. We did manage to get all but 10 bales hauled and more than half the hay spread. I’m debating whether it’s worth the effort to get them back out there tomorrow to do the rest or if I should just go do it myself. However, tomorrow is another potential quad-riding day; I also have pumpkins for carving and Halloween is Tuesday.
Nope, I’m not above bribery.

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