Here, Maite built a structure for Cesar to play with his animals. It’s interesting to see the different ideas people implement with the same building materials. Our previous structure had steps and bridges, this one has a yard and gates. Playing with different people, Cesar comes into contact with different possibilities, different expressions from which he can learn, grow, develop and make his own.
I’ve been walking by a tub of wood cut offs from various projects in the shed for a while now. Each time glancing and wondering if there’s anything we’d be able to use it for with Cesar. The last few days Cesar has been playing a lot with his plastic animals, where they do all kinds of things in a little lego house we have. Seeing the blocks again, I figured it would be nice if we had a more expansive house available for him it to play with the animals. Most of the blocks had the same width or height since we use the same type of wood for most projects, which made them nice candidates to stack and create little structures with.
Here we made a little structure with steps and ‘bridges’ that the animals travel over. Cesar’s giving Wildebeest and Zebra a tour.
I often wonder if Cesar is getting enough ‘stimulation’, if he’s happy with the activities and things available for him to play with and explore. But perhaps that’s just because I am still looking at everything from my own point of view, what I find interesting and fascinating as an adult. Where I often have to push myself and breathe through resistance in playing with him, because what we’re doing doesn’t fall under my category of ‘fun’. Accumulate those moments where I’m the one not having fun and not directing the experience, and soon enough I think he must not be having fun.
It’s in those every day, ordinary moments I realise how much I still need to work on myself, how far I have removed myself from my own innocence as life, how much of my adultism I still need to deconstruct.
Cesar decided to hitchhike along in the Bakkie while many were busy doing firebreaks in what we dub “the big field”. Every year during winter time which is our dry, and so also our fire season – we burn the edges of the farm in the case of fire breakouts, so that the fires can’t travel from field to field, farm to farm – which can happen quick when it’s dry and windy. The whole process took a bit more than two hours, which we observed mostly from inside the bakkie, watching what everyone is doing, explaining what each person’s role is. Oh, and fitting on sunglasses he found in the bakkie, insisting that ‘upside down’ is really the right way one should wear sunglasses.
Making seedrolls for the birds using toilet rolls, peanut butter and wild bird seed. These will go to the birdfeeder in front of the mainhouse. Earlier he picked berries from our bush and went to place them for the birds. When he is eating fruit and doesn’t finish it, he’ll ask to give it to the birds or chickens. I enjoy doing these little activities with him where he can practice different skills and have an outcome that has application to our living environment. In school we learn so much knowledge and information that has little to no relevance to our every day, all of which is soon forgotten once we’ve passed our tests. Education and learning, should be a natural extension of living, a source of enhancement for our personal development and mastering the art of living a life that is best for self and all.
Cesar totally loves the tractor. He has a few tractor toys of his own he likes to play with – but nothing beats the real deal. Whenever we go about walking around on the farm, he keeps his eyes open for any bakkie or tractor action he can get into. When he was more of a baby, he didn’t like car rides, now he can’t get enough going places by car and pointing out every single truck and bakkie. We make a game out of it to catch and count the trucks and to name the colours. Learning happens everywhere!
Cesar filling up the water bath for the horses. First Quizzy the little Welsh pony came along to drink from the little water that Cesar had already filled in the bath. Then Sagon came along and decided to chase Quizzy away from the water so he could have the bath all for himself. Even though Quizzy already moved and was waiting his turn, Sagon would throw ugly faces at him and pull his ears back at him. Each time Sagon got snappy Cesar would lift the nozzle of the water hose and spray some water in Sagon’s face who would get all confuzzled and then mind his own business again. I find it fascinating to see him play with these animals several times there size and having no fear when it comes to pushing their buttons. Sometimes I wonder who’s parenting who
Today Cesar and I went and gave some of the trees a ‘poo blanket’. We each
had a bucket and he insisted on wearing one of my (way too big for him)
gloves. We’d fill up our buckets by the carport, by hand or with some of his
beach toys – carry them to the orchard and spread the poo around the base of
the fruit trees. When it rains, the fertilizing properties of the horse poo
compost will trickle down into the earth to provide the fruit trees with the
nutritional elements they need this summer while they grow. Over the
compost, we will also place a layer of mulch from old stable bedding hay,
which again provides extra nutrition when it rains and will assist with
keeping the earth moist by the tree, as not as much water will be able to
evaporate on the hot days. The mulching also helps with keeping weeds at
bay. Cesar enjoyed every step of the process, but unfortunately it was a
very hot day and we only got two trees done before he insisted we stop and
seek out the shade. We’ll be doing this little activity every day, as I’m
always looking for new ways for Cesar to learn, explore and discover, to
contribute to farm activities and use up his abundant toddler energy.
#trees #fruittrees @DesteniFarm #figtree #mulching #summer #rainseason
#compost #horsepoo #fertilization #toddler #toddleractivities #farmlife
#motherhood #parenting #parenthood #mother #orchard #nature #motherearth
Living on a farm you really get to question the desire for an ‘aesthetic’ environment vs an environment which reflects living. In Belgium I grew up in an environment where everything was orderly, organised, clean and where it is part of the culture to spend money and maintain a visually pleasing look. The thing is that this ‘look’ which we’ve defined as visually appealing demands a certain degree of inertia – where in order to maintain how your environment looks, as little as possible should happen inside the confines of this environment and/or specific diligence is needed to erase any and all evidence that such activity or movement took place. So everything you do or think about doing, is always done within the consideration of what this going to do to my visually appealing environment. The emphasis is placed on maintaining a look one lives in. On the farm, I’ve learnt to place emphasis on living and what repercussions this has on the aesthetics of my living environment comes second. The joy and pleasure of having furry, drooly animal friends supercedes the side effect of a small desert forming inside your house from all the dirt their presence brings with them. The joy of being able to express yourself freely with drawing materials on a massive floor supercedes having an aesthetic picture to look at which gives you a momentary experience of satisfaction and achievement – to only then all other moments fear losing this picture you created for yourself. How much of life are we forgoing for the sake of looking a particular way?
I still often have to pull myself out of my old mindset, where I instinctively want to say ‘no’ to what my son is about to do – but then I have to really ask myself: is it really that harmful? Is it really such a big deal? Are we in a position to work with the consequences (eg repaint the walls if time comes that we need to move)? Am I saying no out of convenience or is there a real limitation in place? In how far are our own beliefs and preferences shaping and molding our children?