It’s often said you can tell you’re over the hill when “happy hour” means it’s time for a nap. Now I’m not claiming to be over the hill, but I’m creeping up the hill. The hill has entered the building. The incline is getting steep and my ears are popping.
Let’s just say I’m far enough on the hill to look down and think “Wow, I can see my house from here.”
I hate hills.
And yet, I am officially the kindergarten teacher of a farm full of 4 year olds. Except that in addition to being immature, sloppy, and having the attention span of a newt, they all weigh 1,000 lbs. So when one of them is too busy staring at their friend in the hallway and runs into you, it’s a 1,000 lbs. RUNNING INTO YOU. And stepping on you. And biting you. And stealing your baseball cap off your head. . . .
I swear I caught one of them eating glue the other day.
Even the 6 year olds think they’re 4. It’s like they’ve regressed through osmosis while sharing the swings at recess.
They play tug of war with their blankets, breakfast is a competition of musical food buckets, and they practice karate over the last piece of hay. Apparently interrupting nap time is a Class IV violation.
I try. I swear I try. But when the gelding thinks farting during attendance is funny (and it does make the girls giggle), how am I supposed to maintain one iota of control??
And don’t even start on the hormone changes. We’ve got the night time slumber party of fillies talking about their first period, a paddock of geldings trying to sneak in and scare them with a flashlight, and a yearling who’s voice is changing and has NO idea what those things are that sprang from the surface down there, but he’s pretty sure it makes him the world’s most interesting man.
Somehow, amidst all their shenanigans, these kids will learn their ABCs before vacation. If not, it’s Summer School for the lot. And then I’ll REALLY have my hands full.
Oh dear, gotta run; one of them just pulled the fire alarm.
Jennifer Shattuck is a North Carolina eventer whose farm, The Grove at Five Points, is located near the Carolina Horse Park. “I have two 4 year olds I’m prepping for the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover, and along with the ever-in-trouble Cottonpickinwabbit and some training horses, there is always action.” Keep up with their adventures (and misadventures) via Jennifer’s blog here.