WARNING: this story is full of crap. (No, really…)
I can still remember the excitement of the day I brought my first baby home. The overwhelming feeling of knowing I was responsible for this tiny human being hit me like a ton of bricks. Breastfeeding, changing a diaper without getting peed or pooped on, or putting her in the car seat without feeling I was breaking something was a daunting task. I realized within minutes that I had no clue what I was doing. I wanted 5 minutes alone with the person who wrote What to Expect the First Year. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. I had read every book I could get my hands on, determined to be the best Mom in the world. But the sad truth is books can give you knowledge, and that is a good place to start, but wisdom is the tears of experience. Looking back now, I can see that my parents weren’t nearly as dumb as I thought. This next story is called “Exhibit A,” because my Dad schooled me with a pooper-scooper. I have the photos to prove it!
Last week, I took my kids out to my Dad’s farm for a quick visit. It is a wonderland for my kids who have the great misfortune of growing up in town. I showed up an hour early and my Dad, who had just closed his clinic, wasn’t ready for the kids to play in the yard yet. (I think they have somewhere in the vicinity of 7 dogs in the house. Unless we pooper-scoop the yard, my kids are always one step away from tragedy.) My Dad closed the clinic and started towards the yard, yelling over his shoulder for my kids to come help. I laughed to myself. Yeah, right. My city slicker, yuppie kids are going to help clean the yard. But to my surprise, they eagerly swarmed around him at the gate and he informed them he would pay them .20 cents per pile. They followed him around the yard excitedly pointing at the dog piles and proudly announcing how much money they had so far.
My jaw dropped. These are the same kids that ask for $40.00 video games and ask me if they can get $20.00 for emptying the dishwasher. I think they earned a whopping $2.00 a piece but none of them seemed to care. I had been schooled. My Dad is 70 years old. He knows his vision isn’t great and knew he could get the job done twice as fast with the help of the kids. It was pure genius. It took us all of 10 minutes to finish the job. We spent the rest of the day playing, visiting, and eating Simple Simon’s pizza on the porch of the “Dry Rot Yacht Club,” a small fishing shack overlooking their new pond. Charlie didn’t know what to do with himself.
The older two boys just basically wander and explore. It’s not like town, where you have to worry about if someone is going to grab them. I just let them roam. It was a beautiful day at Sunset Hill Farm full of memories and lessons. Especially for this mom. So the moral of the story, my young friends, is listen to your parents.