Farm Kids are generally very happy kids in my opinion.
There is something about the great outdoors that delights children and being on a farm is mostly all about the great outdoors. I know because I grew up on a farm, and even though I would generally describe myself as a bookworm rather than an outdoorsy type, a large chunk of happy childhood memories for me are outdoors knocking around paddocks with my siblings on the farm.
My kids are blessed to have a great deal of exposure to farm life despite the fact their parents are not farmers. This week we jumped at the chance to go out west for a few nights at a group of properties my parents own. Mum and Dad don’t live there, so we don’t get out all that often. In fact, I was astonished to realise I haven’t been out there since the triplets were 8 months old – read about that trip here.
So on Sunday the kids and I loaded the car up and headed west. We stopped for a quick play in the park at a town along the way and Miss Rachael, who lives there now, popped down quickly with her fiance and showed us her new engagement ring! We headed to the next little town and stopped at the nursing home to say hello to my grandparents. Sadly, they have dementia now. It is still good to “introduce” my children to their great grandfather. Nana has only just moved there, so even though it took her a little while to work it out, she does remember the kids still. It’s all a bit sad, but thankfully, there is still so much of their personalities that are retained despite their damaged memory.
Once we got out to the farm, it was a bumpy drive up the long driveway to get to the homestead. It had rained recently, so the driveway was very slippery. Vans are not made for wet bush tracks. So, I didn’t get in our car again until we were leaving. Now that we are home, the car is still waiting for a wash, it has a thick, thick, thick coating of mud over the mudflaps!
Mornings started with cousins playing together with a toy farm by the fireplace.
It didn’t take long before the kids were outdoors. I had brought the triplets balance bikes. There were two enormous mud puddles in the driveway in front of the homestead. Mum and I spent a lot of the next few days yelling at the four youngest boys (5, 4 and two 3 year olds) to get out of the puddles. Honestly, boys and mud – it’s a magnetic combo. They would creep up to the side of the puddle and just stare longily at it. Next they would have a stick or be poking it with their fingers, and before you know it they would be riding through it. I looked out once and there was Jayden standing in the middle of the puddle with a plastic mower. Luckily there was a washing machine to keep washing the muddy clothes!
The best thing to do to stay away from the puddles was get out and about and see what the big kids, Uncle Adrian and Grandad was doing. An excursion away from the homestead was always an adventure.
Like watching a truck unload the grain and get loaded up the auger.
Letting grain run through your fingers is such a great sensory experience.
There was old machinery to play on.
New machinery to explore.
Things to climb.
And best of all, rides on machinery!
Lessons from a big cousin.
Lessons from Grandad.
Picnics for lunch.
Getting spoiled by Grandma. Lollies!
And getting up close and personal with wildlife. The kids loved being introduced to an echidna.
As nice as life on the farm is, I always wonder how I would go if I was living in such isolation, when a quick trip to the shops is out of the question and having a day of retail therapy is several hours away. As it was, I downloaded a book to read on my Kindle while I was away. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realised that my Kindle was turned off and therefore was unable to deliver the book to the Kindle. There was no reception whatsoever except for a few random places on the farm you could get a very weak reception. (As it turned out, even those places wouldn’t pick up on the Kindle.) The triplets and I went for a drive a couple of kilometres away from the house one afternoon to see if I could get my book. When I pulled off the track to go to the tank where you can sometimes pick up reception, I didn’t realise how slippery the wet mud was and bogged the car. I felt like such a goose! Unluckily for me, there was no reception picking up that day either, so I couldn’t ring for help! I hadn’t brought the two way radio because it was playing up. I knew I could walk back to the house, but it would take a couple of hours, particularly with the triplets, but they didn’t have shoes on, so we couldn’t do that. I considered letting the triplets out and just letting them play in the mud, they had been trying to do this all day anyway, but I was figuring that it would probably be at least three hours before Dad would come by on his way home, so by then they would be very cold and far too dirty to get back in the car. The triplets did have fun beeping the horn repeatedly. I figured there was definitely no one but the cows to get annoyed by the sound!
Luckily for us, we didn’t even have to wait a full hour. Dad decided to bring the kids back and have an early afternoon, so he came by earlier then usual. Of course, I was feeling stupid, and he didn’t make me feel any better. My son who was with Dad also had great delight in laughing over my misfortune. Nevertheless, Dad towed me out and we returned to the house with no new book. Imogen was telling everyone that “Grandad was a superhero because he rescued us.”
Just as well, the end of the evenings were lovely with a fire to watch.
Or even better – a bonfire!
And of course toasted marshmallows!
But best of all going to the farm meant family bonding for the children with their cousins and grandparents.
We live a rich and blessed life indeed.
Have your kids been able to experience farm life? Are you on holidays yet?
Linking today Flog Yo Blog with Grace.