Farming is a never-ending learning process. Whether it is learning how to deal with changing weather patterns, a new pesticide or seed genetics, there is always something new.
One of the biggest things I have learned to do this fall is adapt to a potty-training toddler riding in the combine.
Last year, he was still in diapers, so it wasn’t a big deal just to stop and change him if he was wet. This year, though, he decided that it was time to use the potty. Now, I’ve learned to stop the combine and get him down to the field as soon as I hear, "Ah Daddy, I pee!"
Pull-ups are helpful but not as easy to change as a diaper when you’re out in the field. Luckily, he thinks it is great to pee in the field.
I’ve also learned to make sure I have extra supplies in my truck: snacks, extra wipes, pull-ups, pants. Sheilah usually sends him with a Daniel Tiger backpack full of the necessary supplies, but I have walked out of the house a few times with nothing and haven’t realized it until the little guy says "Daddy? Num nums?" Then it hits me: I didn’t bring any snacks.
Cole loves riding in the combine, but I only take him when mom’s list of requirements are met. What are the requirements? I have to have cell phone service, he has to be in a car seat, no harvesting steep areas or overly muddy fields, and she prefers if someone else is there, too, running the grain cart or moving the truck. She is a big safety advocate.
The bad part about having a little helper? Breakdowns. Sheilah has heard a lot of "Daddy combine broke mommy" this year. Good thing he knows what a wrench is!
I have to say, I never knew how much having a little boy around would change my world or make me adapt to things in a different way. It may be a little more time-consuming to have little helpers, but that is time I’m willing to take to make memories for all of us.
I can only imagine what it will be like when little brother is big enough to come along, too!
Sheilah and Mike Reskovac and their sons farm near Uniontown, Pa. Check out all of their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" blogs.