There is seemingly an inordinate number of dairy farm families that have a lot of girls, and we are no exception. My wife and I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters. While many theories abound, it is my belief that our success with sexed semen on the farm, has also found success in the farm house. I have been asked on occasion when we are going to “try for a boy” and it always seems like an odd question to answer, but I’d like a moment to share with you what life is like with three daughters.
Living in a house with 4 women isn’t always sunshine and roses. For the uninitiated, life with a house full of women looks like this. I typically need to move a minimum of three pillows in order to sit down or go to sleep. Girls also love smells, and not boy smells. There are usually 14 candles lit on any given evening and contrary to most public perception it is not a memorial. Every candle has fun names like “an autumn walk in the rain through the trees,” or “Spring flowers with notes of honey and citrus.” There has yet to be candle made of freshly mowed first cutting silage or turned over dirt in the spring. The smells don’t stop at the candles, my shower used to contain one giant bottle of Mane n Tail that worked great for hair, armpits and every other corner of the body. Not anymore. My shower now consists of shampoos that sound more like dessert than shampoo. Shampoos with names like Wild Berry Orange Peel, or Coconut Mango Passion. It doesn’t stop there. For 26 years of my life I thought that there was only one moisturizer for cracked hands and feet. The moisturizer with a ringing endorsement from farmers and cows all over the country. Bag Balm. Now my cabinet consists of Private Island Secret Sunrise, or Tropical Morning Banana. The smelly soap marketing game looks fairly simple actually. Just pick a color, your favorite tropical location and finally a fruit. Boom, congratulations you’re in marketing.
Life with daughters is challenging with moments of brevity. It was a couple years ago where we were in the throes of trying to potty train an obstinate three year old. Out of the corner of my eye, I witnessed a scurrying three year old heading into the bathroom, and showed up just in time to see her standing in front of the toilet peeing in her pants and standing in a puddle. After chastising her for a clear inability to use the toilet, Mrs. Faber walked in and looked me in the eye saying “easy there hot shot, you’re at about 80% yourself.”
Life with daughters has been an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The maternal instinct in my daughters has taught me that spending the extra time to feed the struggling baby calf is worth it. They have taught me to view every cow as a mother who needs to be treated as such. Seeing the farm through the eyes of a 6 year old provides moments of joy. Moments where my daughter proudly stated that she knows which baby calves are girls, because they are the ones with eyelashes. This was the same girl who, after dropping beef cows off at the auction barn and sitting down for a donut, asked how many cows we traded to get her donut.
Life with girls is unique and special. My girls make me a much better, kinder person. So when I get asked if we’re going to try for a boy, my answer is no. I’m a girl dad.