Friday, May 2, 2008

Did I Shave My Legs For This?

I began my day with a nice shower. This is not a practice that I take for granted. Many times my personal hygiene plans are derailed by a baby who wakes up too soon, a phone call that changes my schedule, or a lunch that needs packed. And with two small children in the house, it's always risky to step into the bathroom for 15 minutes and leave them, in all their imaginative and exploratory glory, unattended.

That risk is doubled lately because the two-year-old is potty training, and the cost of taking a shower may be a 15-minute cleanup and a load of laundry.

Happily, we were all clean and dry when I emerged from the bathroom.

That changed about an hour later.

Having finished seeding the barley, my husband has now switched back to ranching mode, and he discovered a sick calf this morning. He enlisted my help to doctor the calf. He was not specific about my duties until well into the operation, and wisely so, because I would have refused to leave the house had I known my fate.

The calf in question was bloated. I took one look at his soft, tufted ears and felt a wave of motherly compassion. I was willing to do whatever was required of me in order to make the cute creature well again.

My husband began to talk to me in code. I asked him what the plan was, and he said, "I'm either going to rope it or chase it into that deal over there, but it's not ready yet, so don't let it go past the gray gate."


Given the fact that there were three gray gates in the direction he was pointing, I was a little confused. I meandered over in that direction and stared blankly for awhile, and then I came back out.

"Are you going to help me catch this calf, or are you just going to stand there?"

Ah, of course. We're catching the calf.

I missed that memo.

So we chased the calf around in circles for a bit until he climbed on top of the manure pile. My husband roped him. The calf took off like a bullet. Somehow the calf ended up close to a post, and Shane wrapped the rope around a post. I helpfully stood a good distance away from the calf so as to avoid contact with his rear hooves, which were flailing and kicking like mad.

I suggested another rope to restrain those flailing legs, but my husband poo-pooed that idea. (You'll understand that bad pun very soon.)

He grabbed the calf, flipped him over on his side, and grabbed a rear leg to restrain it. Then he looked expectantly at me.

I looked back and shook my head. There was no way I was going to shove the tube down the calf's throat. With my luck, I'd hit the wrong hole and fill his lungs full of mineral oil. Nope. Not going to happen.

But that meant I had only one other option, and it had to do with the back end of that calf.

I suddenly found my freshly-showered self sitting on the manure-laden ground hanging on to a calf's back leg with all my might. And, as the medication was injected and the tube inserted, I found myself a bit too close to the business end of that calf, which was now spraying excrement in my general direction and flicking it into my freshly-washed face and hair with his tail.

When the doctoring was almost over, my husband decided that he should go get a longer tube to insert into the calf's stomach and relieve the gas pressure. He told me to go ahead and wait there while he went to the shop to retrieve it. I glared at him through the manure coating on my eyelashes.

He returned and tubed the calf again. I was still hanging on. And glaring.

At that point, he decided that the calf may have an infection. He figured he might have to go get him another type of medication. He told me to be sure not to let that calf go while he went back to the shop. Again.

At this point, I noticed the two-year-old was in the adjacent corral. She wasn't wearing shoes. She tried to climb the fence to get to me, but I yelled gently explained that she needed to stay away.

She busied herself playing in the feed trough.

After what seemed like years, Shane returned with the new medication, administered it, and told me to let the calf go.

I was happy to see his behind getting farther and farther away from me. He didn't look nearly so cute anymore.

I went to check up on the toddler at the feed trough. I was expecting to find some leftover grain in the trough since she was so interested in its contents.

Instead, I found this.

Water, a block of wood, and a chunk of dehydrated manure.

As I picked her up, she exclaimed, "Look, Mama! I put dat tow poop in dere!"

(For those who don't speak Toddler, that translates to "Look, Mama! I put that cow poop in there!")

You could say that my morning was really crappy.


Brother in Christ said...

Shane oviously needs a doctorin' vest. They make really nice vests with pockets for medication, syringes, pills.....the whole works. At least this way Shane would not only be warm, but stylin' as he made several trips to the barn for the things he forgot to put in his vest.

As for holding on to the calf's hind leg, you are supposed to put your foot over the pooper so when the excrement comes out, it deflects off the sole of your boot. Sometimes it works....sometimes it doesn't.

I'm glad you got all cleaned up for the calf. I'm sure he appreciated that.

Pony Girl said...

Hee Hee! Great, funny, Friday story. You are a "pooper trooper" and I hope you got to take another shower! ;)

Mum-me said...

Oh my goodness.

I can't think of anything else to say, except, maybe someone should come up with a design for calf-size disposable nappies? Or at least some type of deflector shield? Or maybe a space suit for farm wives to wear when undertaking this kind of operation?

Oh my goodness.

Bill Harshaw said...

You're almost as good as mother nature in making beauty, or at least funny, out of crap.

Dawn said...

I was right with you on the "how hard it is to shower and shave your legs without the world falling apart" segment of your post. But...

I am so sorry. I have to confess my very sick sense of humor. And the fact that I chuckled at your story.

I do hope you were excused to take another shower.

Hope your weekend is enjoyable. And cleaner!

Blessings! Dawn

Treasia said...

What a wonderful way to start out my day this morning. Ha. Ha. So sorry but it was funny. Maybe next time you need to shower in the morning you should just put on a bathing suit instead of clothes.

Anonymous said...

ROTFLOL! I'm sorry I couldn't help but chuckle at your story today! I hope you were able to get yourself another bath and one for the little one. I hope you have a better weekend.


Andrea said...

Oh wow, that was a fun morning! I must say you are much braver than I am. I am so scared of cows, calves, anything of the bovine kind. I hope you were able to shower and get to stay in there for longer than 15 minutes!

Julia in Sweden said...

Oh my, being a farmers wife sure takes a strong stomache! I have my old bikers helmet in storage, want me to send it? It's that kind that shields your whole face.
Oh, and yes, I'm off the diet. Again. Still haven't baked the cookies, but I'll get around to it, believe you me :D
To add insult to injury my beloved significant other bought home a new scale last week. And it's not the kind you weigh food on either.
I absolutely love the blue hat your girl wears in one of your photos. Have you sown it yourself?
Take care, and hopefully the rest of your weekend will be less crappy...

Jenny said...

Someone forgot to tell the guys that we aren't mind readers. LOL! My husband is like that, too. Just a couple weeks ago we had that SAME thing happen in the pen with a horse and he yelled "are you going to help me catch him or not?!".

BTW, hi, I'm Jenny. I'm also a farmer's wife raising 4 kids in the country. Love it! Love your site, glad I found it this morning.

Mikey said...

Lol, I'm pretty sure we have carbon copies of the same child... the other post about the bread in the morning, sneaking outside when you told her not... oh yeah. We get a lot of that here. And let's not even talk about poop. Ugh. Too much of that here too

Rose said...

Good thing you have such a great sense of humor girlfriend! You are a trooper and I am sure your husband appreciates you for it.

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