Kidding begins here in three weeks (give or take a few days). As the time draws closer we find ourselves staring at the goats.
Out doing chores this morning and while the goats were eating we stared at the does' bellies. Watching.Waiting. And then we saw it. A bump here, a roll there. More bumps and rolls as the baby goats paddled around inside their mommas bellies. We could see larger rolls and then the smaller bumps of knees and little hooves. Squeeeeee! So cute.
But of course, the bellies aren't all we stare at. We are checking hoo-haas for any signs of discharge, we are looking at growing udders and feeling them to see how they are progressing. Our neighbors probably think we are crazy. But this is a farming community with lots of cows getting ready to calve, so maybe they don't.
And while we watch, we worry. In fact we experience a great deal of anxiety. What if there are several babies and they are all tangled? What if there is only one really big baby that will be hard to get out? What if ... ?
This is why Women Who Stare At Goats have no finger nails and thinning hair. We chew our nails down to a nub and we pull our hair out in a combination of anxiety and frustration when our does stand around as their due date approaches (and sometimes passes) and they happily chew their cud while we wake at every little sound on the baby monitor-the other half of which is in the barn- and make multiple treks to the barn throughout the night to check on them. Which inevitably ensures that they will kid in the afternoon while we are already out there, completely rendering the late night trips from our warm bed to the cold barn totally useless.
Despite all of this, we will go through this again next spring, and the one after that, and the one after that. And each year we will once again join the ranks of Women...Who Stare At Goats.
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