Why I am cranky tonight?

No, not because I had a dentist appointment today and my mouth feels like I got sucker punched by a masked man.

Because Monika is cranky. And when Monika's cranky she won't sit in the car seat or the stroller without crying - only the front carrier will do. There's nothing enjoyable about feeding calves with a 15-pound weight strapped to one's chest. My only consolation is that maybe the extra effort will turn me back into the strapping young lass I was in the years B.C. (before children).

And because Glen is cranky. The head gasket on the 560 picked today to crack and now the old girl won't run right. Glen says he's done had it with that tractor. Unfortunately, we can't trade it in without fixing it (the checkbook says, "Ouch!") and this isn't exactly the best time to be looking for a new tractor (the checkbook says, "Ouch! Ouch!").

And because Dan is cranky. We had a great time in the barn tonight - despite Monika's fussing. Dan was all about "help. Dad. chores" and "help. feed. babies". He pushed feed around as we cleaned up refusal and poked at the bubbles made by the calves as they suckled their bottles. Then, when we came in, Dan decided he wanted "more. outside." When I told him we were all done with outside until tomorrow, the dam broke. It's hard to believe how long he's capable of carrying on about two-year-old injustices.

I could list off a dozen other reasons - there's a pile of dirty dishes on the counter, the folded laundry is still sitting on the table, we haven't finished mowing the lawn, and so on - but I generally refuse to let things like that have any bearing on my happiness.

No, this was just a case of 'when nobody else ain't happy, mama ain't happy'.

Then, like the shifting wind pointing the weather vane in a new direction, a new day comes and yesterday's tears are forgotten.

Why I am smiling tonight?

Because Dan is smiling. He won his contest with Annie to see who could crawl under the bulk tank and catch Milo, the orange kitty, first. And then he got to "ride. skiddy. daddy." And when we came in for supper he took a bite of his pasta, grinned and said, "mmm. good. mom."

And because Glen is smiling. There's nothing seriously wrong with the 560; she just needed a little TLC from the tractor doctor. (The checkbook is smiling, too.)

And because Monika is smiling.

I never really tried to imagine what farming with children would be like before we had kids. I'm beginning to understand why: no visualization, no education, nothing can prepare you for the roller coaster ride of life with kids and cows.

To paraphrase a line from The Prophet: "Those things in life which bring us the greatest woe are also those which bring us the greatest joy."