Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Parenthood and Ponies

I was the sort of parent, who loved to have my kidlets home with me. We took them everywhere with us, involved them with the things we did, both off the farm and on, and spent time with them. I had every intention of going back to driving truck after our son was born, yet couldn’t do it. My truck sat there in the yard until one day, hubby said, “I guess we should sell your truck, eh?”

“Um, yes?” I wanted to stay home with our son, and besides, there was another one on the way. After the girlchild came along, I wanted nothing more than to spend the days with them.

I’m that parent who hated when the kids had to start school. The boychild didn’t make that any easier. When he started kindergarten, it was only every second day, but those days were torture. I didn’t have time to stand at the end of the driveway and bawl my eyes out when he got on the bus. I was far to exhausted from dragging him all the way up the driveway. He didn’t want to go to school, no way, no how. I had to hang onto his little hand as we walked, and when I say walked, I mean imagine dragging a stubborn, little donkey along. The whole time, he’d be telling me most plaintively, how much he didn’t want to go, how much he was going to miss his little sister, and that he wanted to stay home with us. The bus would come, I would physically pick my child up, and set him onto the bus. The bus driver would hang onto him as an older child came to get him, the door would close, and they’d be off. I would feel so bad that my little boy was crying because he didn’t want to go, only to walk back to the house and see tiny sweetpea standing at the window, bawling her little eyes out, because she wanted to go with him. I couldn’t win for losing. I have to say, I dreaded those days, and though I did everything to make it better, like have him ride his pony to wait for the bus, he continued to hate going to school. On cold, winter days, I would throw his clothes into the dryer to make them warm, before he had to get dressed. Of course, I had to do the same for sweetpea’s pajamas. Anything her big brother did, she had to do as well. They were so cute and loved the warm clothes.

Sweetpea put on her hot pajamas and hugged her little self, “Mmm, these have wonderful insulating qualities, mom.”

She was three years old. What a kid.

It didn’t help that I was more than willing to keep them home with me. Any reason pretty well worked. Oh, it’s really cold out. The bus could get stuck. You’d better stay home. Oh, you’re not feeling well? Let me feel your forehead. Maybe you’re coming down with something?

My little girlchild surely was paying attention, because one day as he got ready, very slowly, she put the back of one hand to her forehead then said as dramatically as any stage actor, “Oh no, my head feels very sweaty. I think I’m coming down with the floop.”

From that time foreword, the flu became ‘the floop’ in our household. The following year, the boychild still hated going to school, while his little sister couldn’t be more excited. They went on different buses, as she was going to kindergarten in one school, and he was starting grade one in an another. The following year, when they were both in the same school, it became so much easier. I still kept them home on hot days when kids should be swimming, not sitting in school. We still took them with us on roadtrips, and they never suffered at all in their schooling. The world is a classroom, and they learned so much from our travels and adventures. Every year that they were in elementary school, we took the horses and ponies to give all the children a ride. Those were special times. Given the chance, I’d do them over again.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB