I've got a new sidekick when it comes to morning chores.
I can't even utter the word "outside" unless I have her completely bundled. Otherwise, I'll be attempting to dress, shoe and bundle a baby squirming and wailing at the mudroom door, eager to break free from her indoor jail.
Some days, we can't even be bothered with shoes. I'm lucky if I can get a sweater over her head and a hat secured under her chin before she's pushing through the door.
She often brings her morning banana. I try not to think about where and how many times it is dropped. And what bits of dirt and whoknowswhat that cling to it. Or which animals she's offered a lick before taking another tiger-sized bite off the end.
Instead of lugging her on my hip, we've discovered the garden cart makes a pretty convenient way to trek back and forth to the chicken coop.
I put her on the concrete pad in front of the coop while I work.
She sits in the pile of chicken feed like it was a sandbox created just for her. The hens eye her cautiously, pecking around her, as she tries to feed them from her chubby palms. This must be why the hens follow her around so closely. They know she offers food.
I collect eggs, check on the babies, freshen up water, and throw clumps of soft, fresh green grass into their pen.
When we cross back over the little wooden bridge on the way home, she is thrilled by the water running under our feet. I'm amazed at her ability to perch on the very edge of the bridge, crouched down, babbling at the water. I miss that kind of flexibility and balance. She's telling me a lot of things about that little stream. I talk back to her like I understand every word.
Eventually, I convince her there's more to see on the other side of the bridge. But before she hits that slippery, muddy patch, I swoop her up and plop her back in our farmer's stroller.
Her favorite friend blocks our path with a croquet ball in her mouth. A leaf dangles from her lips. She's relentless.
If I'd let her, she'd stay out here all day. The only way I can coax her back inside is to bring the dog and a small furry kitten with me. She finally follows, waving goodbye to the crowd of animals gathered around her, like the queen of the animal kingdom.
I peel off layers, wipe her runny nose and notice her muddy sleeper-feet. And she's gone again. Disappearing into the belly of the house. Following the dog. Calling for her sisters. And I'm left to hang up sweaters, shove hats back in the basket and pry the barn boots from my feet.
The house feels warmer now than it did when we first set out this morning.
So does my heart.
20 comments on “A warmer heart”
Ah, this is so beautiful! Makes me long for a little space for my boys to explore!
I know it can be hard to do chores with the “help” of small ones, but at the same time, what a sweet way to start your day.
Thanks for sharing.
Love her hat.
How sweet! My toddler loves being outside too and is always “waiting to break free from her indoor jail.” I love it 🙂
I love those little helpers and the quiet moments shared. I have to admit, though, it looks a bit cold!
Lovely, just lovely! I so miss this age. Bless you for enjoying it.
Lovely!What a gift each morning (aside from the mess, of course!)Animals and children- there is such a connection.
My toddler likes to “command” our chickens. Just love having a morning helper 🙂
What a beautiful way to start your mornings, truely times to be treasured xx
Love the ‘queen of animal kingdom’ description – I can almost see her wave at all the animals around her, with a serious face but a happy heart. I think my boy is roughly the same age :), he tries to ‘help’ too.
love that picture with Ariel! 🙂
Oh my goodness. What a beautiful morning. I hope to one day have mornings like that. For now, I’m content with my two little helpers as we mosey through our little home.
Delightful story Molly! You’ve made this suburban girl long for the smell of hay.
Some days I miss my small people being tiny.
Great pictures, Molly, made me wish I could join you and Birdy! I seem to recall a post of yours, not sooo long ago, where you started with almost the exact same sentence, on the lines of: “I have a new helper with the morning chores”, featuring Elizabeth. I looked for it under Motherhood and Life on the Farm tags, but couldn’t find it. But it’s there, I know it is!
I needed that.Thanks.kk
She is adorable. Is that a baby version of the Wurm pattern. I made that for my husband and it is his all time favorite hat.
Lovely! Just yesterday, I wrote about candling and packaging eggs with my toddler’s help – real, honest to goodness HELP. It’s not a bad life for farm kids, aye? Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos & words.
wow I’m such a fan of your site and those pictures are darling. I’m now a new twitter and facebook follower. I’m excited to see your future posts. I’d love for you to check out one of my two blogs, mainly my busy bee famileee baby gear site. like, I said, I’m a fan!!!