By this weekend we'll have a pen, if not two, of beautiful little brown calves and more arriving every day. I feel both excitement and dread.
Last week I realised that calving was imminent and I still wasn't ready. It's very easy to put off until winter, what should have been done when all the calves were moved outside in the summer. So, the sheds were cleaned out, sprayed with antibacterial spray and filled with fresh straw. The feeders were disinfected, scrubbed, rinsed and fitted with new teats. There's still a bit of cleaning I'd like to do, but essentially, we're ready.
Mother's guilt.At this time of the year I look at the months between now and Christmas stretching before me and I feel tired. In that time all the cows will calve, they will be mated again, paddocks will be worked up, crops will be put in, silage will be cut. It's a lot for one man to do on his own and I know I have to kiss goodbye to Daddy doing bath times and to Miss Three having uninterrupted play.
If I'm honest, the thing I find the hardest about this part of the year is dragging a small girl with me as I try to do all the things that need doing around here. It's not just the super power that children have of slowing everything down to snail's pace, especially when there's a lot to do. It's also the guilt of taking her out in the rain and when she just wants to carry on with whatever project she has going.