Friday, March 29, 2013

Daphne in the barn

When I was pregnant with Daphne, I got asked the same three questions by everyone: When are you due? How are you feeling? Do you know what you're having?

By the end, I was ready to have a T-shirt printed that said: My due date is 12/16/12. I'm feeling great. No, we don't know if this baby is a boy or a girl.

That way, instead of having to answer all those questions, I could just point to my belly and save both myself and the asker a whole bunch of words. (Yeah, I know asker isn't a word. Questioner is a word, so asker should be, too.)

Now that Daphne has been here for a couple months, I find myself answering a different set of questions: Are you back out in the barn yet? Do you take your babies to the barn? Is Daphne sleeping through the night yet?

sleeping baby all bundled up in winter clothes
Daphne sleeping in the tractor during her first official trip to the barn.

Q: Are you back out in the barn yet?

A: Yes. I've been helping outside for a couple weeks now. My 'maternity leave' (although you can't really call it that when you're a dairy farmer, because there's plenty of inside farm work to do while you're recovering from childbirth) ended up lasting longer than I planned because both Daphne and I got sick.

When I go out to the barn, however, is whole different question. Most days I end up heading out when Daphne is ready for her morning nap, around 10 a.m. Some days I go out earlier. Some days I go out after Dan gets home from school. Maybe someday we'll settle into a new schedule, but for now every day is different.

Q: Do you take your babies to the barn?

A: Yes, I take my babies to the barn with me. Dan and Monika both spent lots of time in the barn as babies and toddlers (see this post and this post) and Daphne will, too. But between both of us being sick and the awfully cold winter, I did wait until Daphne was a little older before I started bringing her to the barn.

baby bundled up in carseat, sleeping in barn
Daphne sleeping in the barn.

Q: Is Daphne sleeping through the night yet?

A: No. But she probably would be if I didn't let her take a four hour nap in the barn during the day. This is one of those cases in parenting+farming when you have to choose the lesser of the challenges. Do I let Daphne sleep in the barn during the day so I can get my chores done? Or do I keep her awake longer so she sleeps at night so I can sleep through the night? I decided that it's easier to nurse her at night than it is in the barn.

Before we know it, sleeping at night will be a challenge of the past, Daphne will be chasing after her brother and sister and then we'll be answering questions like "How does Daphne like kindergarten?" and "What are you doing now that all three kids are in school?"

Maybe then I will get a T-shirt printed with the answers.

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