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August 21, 2012

Feeding Swine!

I should know better - I really should - but apparently I don't!

If there is one thing I pride myself on it is the fact that my kids know agriculture - at least more than most kids their age!  My kids have seen cows & sows give birth - both the joy and sorrow of it, they know "what it takes" to make livestock reproduce (although applying it to humans was somewhat beyond their comprehension), they know where their food comes from - both plant and animal, they know first hand the joys and heartbreak of living on a production farm - from not seeing their Dad for days on end during planting and harvest to the heartbreak of no rain to the hard work (physical & mental) each of us puts into our lifestyle.  My kids use words like castration, semen, artificial insemination, herbicides, pesticides - they know the difference between conventional tillage & no-till, mold board plowing & chisel plowing, the breeds of cattle and hogs, soil types . . . . . . and just as my heart is swelling with pride I am slammed with the reality that sometimes amidst all the technical things I have tried to teach my kids the basics have escaped me!

Cole started 4th grade last week and when he got off the bus the first day he was excited (OK fine I was excited) with his homework project!  Fill a brown paper bag with 5 things that tell us who Cole is!  My kids are responsible for their own homework - unless of course it is fun and something I want to do help them with, and this I def. wanted to help with!

So we start: 

1. Combine - although he ended up taking a tractor because "combines are my favorite but I don't want anyone touching and breaking them so I will just take a tractor"!
2. Cow and a pig - "livestock" - "but Mom those are 2 things"  I convinced him if we called them livestock together it was really just one thing!
3. Train book - he loves toy trains!
4. A 4-H ribbon
5. A book about the Titanic - he is fascinated by it and loves history so he thought that it represented both!

I He was happy with his choices!

Off to day 2 and he heads and the second he gets off the bus that afternoon I attack am casually waiting to here how his "sack" of things went only to be met with this conversation -

Me: "How was school today?"

Cole: "Good"

Me: "How did your get to know me bag go over?"

Cole: "Good - people had lots of questions about the livestock"

Me: "Cool - like what kind of questions?"

Cole: "Well Dillion (whose Dad is a vet!!!) asked if we had ever had swine flu!"

Me: "And so what did you say"

Cole: "Well what do you think I said???  I said 'NO We don't have swine' !!!!!"

My jaw dropped, I did the whole palm to forehead smacking thing, I stared at him in dumbfounded awe and then in a rather high pitched possibly somewhat panicked voice I said:

"ummmm what?  Yes we do what do you think all those animals are down at the barns?"

Cole: "HOGS MOM!"

Me: still in a somewhat high pitched voice  "They are swine - HOGS ARE SWINE!" 

Cole: "I have never heard Dad say 'I am going down to feed the swine!'"

And he walked away - not once offering to pick my jaw up off the floor, not looking back to make sure I was still breathing, not once giving any thought to the fact that he had just given my pride a direct kick - well in the castration area, which he knows all about but not that hogs are swine -


  1. Ok, I am giggling! This is just too funny. Looks like there is always room for learning even for us farm kids. Hope you and your kids have a great school year.


  2. "A rose by any other name smells just as sweet." or is it "Never assume because it makes an ass out of u and me." You gotta just love your kids some days despite it all. Giggle! It's amazing what does and does not transfer. Remind me to tell you off-line some day what words Hannah has "assumed" she can use because Daddy and Mommy use them. OYE! I'm sure Cole has it all figured out now. This might be one of those moments you go find Chris, and let him do the explaining so no harm comes to anyone ;-) I have to do that with Kendal and math. She thinks I'm nuts and I speak in Swahili. Steve comes in, says the same thing, and it's perfectly clear to her. Kids....like I said, you just gotta love 'em some days despite it all ;-)

  3. I just laughed so hard... He won't be living that down anytime soon!

    My dad had a similar crisis when my sister and I were growing up... He not only ran nothing but John Deere on the farm, but also restored antique tractors and one day my sister asked him what color John Deere green was...

  4. You have to admit that is kind of funny, Jent! Out of the mouth of kids. I am sure our parents could share something similar about us.