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March 25, 2011

The Cycle of Life - The Beginning - Farm Style

What parent isn't terrified of having to teach their children the "facts of life"?  I kid you not I started stressing about it while I was pregnant with my first - I went so far as to suggest to my sister and sister-in-law that I thought it would be a great idea for us to "swap" kids for this talk - they could talk to mine and I would have the talk with theirs (neither one was pregnant or had kids at the time) - needless to say neither one took me up on the offer!  So I continued to stress for years - but then one beautiful sunny day in January of 2006 the skies opened up, I felt a metaphorical tap on the shoulder and the opportunity presented itself to "talk" with My Cowgirl - I will never forget this day -

We had just brought home her second set of show calves - 2 steers and 2 heifers - we had them haltered and tied out in the lot - she was so proud!  And so excited, the first thing she asked was when her cows would have baby's (this is when I felt the tap, the one I should have ignored - but hind sight is 20/20)!  I heard a little voice saying to me "Take this opportunity of living on a farm and have this conversation with your child", I thought for a moment and before I could turn back I proceeded to explain how "cows" get pregnant!  I explained that mommy cows have eggs, just like mommy pigs like we have down at the hog barns have eggs - and I just kept going, I was on a roll, there was no looking back - I laid it all on the table.
I won't lie - I was pretty proud of myself, I had done it - the rest was gravy compared to having this conversation with my child - I hadn't let the giggling stop me or her protests - this was the facts of life and by gosh she was going to learn them from me - not on the school bus as her Dad thought she should!
I ended with the typical "Now if you ever have any questions you can always come to me and I will be honest!"  At that point I don't believe I had ever seen her run so fast, she booked it to the house and avoided me for hours - but I had done it - until the day about a year later when she got off the bus, ran into the kitchen, looked me right in the eye and said "MOM Did you know people have to do that too?"

Seriously - I said what did you think our "talk" was about?  She said "Animals?"

Obviously my theory of taking advantage of living on a farm and the advantage to having breeding animals had not worked out so well for me - but it just need tweaked, I still believed the livestock angle was the way to approach this sensitive subject!

Kid #2 - My Midget, she had an older sister, surely this time would be a little easier, surly they had giggled and talked about this kind of thing?  This time I revamped - I obviously needed to use a few more "human" terms this time around.  She loves to help Chris breed sows, we AI and also run a boar in for clean-up.  She had been around for at least 5 rounds of AI with the cows.   Obviously I was extremely good at explaining animal husbandry but this time I needed to use a few more references to "humans"!  So one day when she and I were working in the farrowing barn cleaning up afterbirth (which strangely enough is a chore she volunteers for) she says to me "What is this stuff anyway?" - the skies once again opened up, I felt the metaphorical tap on the shoulder and the opportunity was before me!  I said "Well it is called afterbirth - it is what's left inside the sow or momma pig after all the babies are born - it is the sack that keeps the babies safe in the womb, it holds the fluid and baby's, it is the placenta and umbilical cord which is attached to the mother and to the babies, that is how they "eat" in the womb . . . ."  and I went on and on about eggs and sperm and males and females, she never interrupted, she just listened, she never giggled (hind sight should of told me this was not normal) and then I ended with the big finale "This is also how people have baby's - do you have any questions?" and this is when she simply looked at me and said "No, I already knew all that from the bus, I just wanted to know what this slimy gross stuff was called!"

Kid #3- My sweet Lil' Farmer I was not going to let this happen again three times in a row!  Last fall when my boy bought his first heifer, we were driving down the road (just he and I) and he says "So when will Holly's baby be born?" Well no one is going to make a fool of me again three times in a row!  I simply said to him "Well this summer we will have Darryl (our AI guy) come out and breed her or put her in with a bull and she will hopefully have a baby in early 2012", he said "Oh like Dad does with the sows or has a boar do it?"  I said "yes", he said " I just have one question - do people have to do that too?"  I said "well, yes" he held up his hand to my face and said "STOP I don't want to know anymore!"  I said "Thank God - when your ready go talk to the kids on the bus!"

Now go check out all the other posts and stop laughing at me!


  1. Not looking forward to those days AT ALL!


  2. hahaha, third time is the charm right?!?


  3. I'm all for using the farm method to teach the facts of life:) And when you live on one, it happens sooner than later doesn't it?!

  4. Steve and I are still laughing at your stories! Remind me of this when our girls start asking questions!

  5. This is good! Thanks for the laugh.