Russell’s Imaginary Hired Man

The toy dairy farm in Russell's room, where Feedwagon Guy works.

His name is “Feedwagon Guy.”  And lately he has been hanging around a lot.  Russell has had him as a hired man for about a year now.  This afternoon he came running into the kitchen screaming about a bug on the floor.  (The child has an aversion to bugs, but that’s a whole other blog posting.) He told me that Feedwagon Guy didn’t want to suck it into the chopper (see this posting if you don’t know what that is) and that I needed to get it out of the way.

You see, when Russell isn’t out helping on the farm, he’s pretend farming in the house with a multitude of toy farm equipment.  Lately, his imagination has been in hyper-drive.

Russell's indoor farming on his hands and knees.

So, after I took care of the bug, I asked him if Feedwagon Guy was his hired man.  His response was, “Yeah, he has a new house, it’s really nice.”

So I told him he must be paying him too much.

I then asked what Feedwagon Guy does on the farm: “Sidedresses and whatever I tell him to do.”  Hmmm… Russell the preschool manager, I guess.

Even Hazel already knows how to "drive" a tractor and make tractor noises

Farming in his pajamas

He has “farms” all over the house, the kitchen, the dining room, entryway… just this morning he blockaded Hazel out of the laundry room with laundry baskets so she would quit crawling on his imaginary corn.

He has a toy dairy farm upstairs in his room.  One day Lucy brought up a manure spreader and tractor, he told her that he doesn’t need a manure spreader upstairs because all the manure runs downstairs… geessh!!  If he was older, you’d swear his farms really existed, the way he talks about them.

"Hauling manure"

Helping outside on the real farm... watching a chopper box unload from the safety of the pickup bed,

Pretty sure I have a future farmer on my hands.  The other day I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up.  He wasn’t sure what I meant, so he wanted examples…I purposely didn’t say “farmer.”  I suggested doctor, lawyer, mechanic….his response?

“Oh, you mean like a farmer?”

“Yep.”

“Oh I’m gonna be a farmer.”

We’ll see what the future holds.  Like most parents, I’m faced with the dilemma of pushing vs. discouraging.  I don’t want my kids to feel pushed to do something, and on the other hand I don’t want to discourage them either.  I’d be tickled pink to see Russell, Lucy, and/or Hazel become farmers or somehow involved in agriculture, but I don’t want them to feel like they have to.

I cherish this picture. Russell has been farming since he was in diapers. The skid loader he's playing with was a toy that Justin had when he was a kid. Farming must be a genetic trait, scratch that, it IS a genetic trait!

It’s so easy to unintentionally impose your will on a child and ignore what they are really passionate about.  I’ve seen it throughout my life, before and after I became a parent.  I just hope that simply being aware of this makes it easier for me to see my children’s true passion and to guide them through life to a rewarding future, wherever it may lie.

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One response to this post.

  1. I love this post! “Oh, you mean like a farmer?” haha! Too cute! Little boys are sure precious. You’re very blessed!

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