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Man vs. wild pits Mom vs. kids

The Oehlschlager men have been doing this “go-out-into-the-wild-and-survive” thing a few times now.

They cleverly call it “Man versus Wild.” (Like the popular TV show.)

We girls aren’t invited (not that we would want to go out in the middle of nowhere with no tent and sleeping bag and limited food and water).

So we are left to fend for ourselves and the young’uns at our respective homes.

And this time around was no piece of cake (for me and my brood). Literally, it was my worst parenting weekend since becoming a mom of four.

I can’t pinpoint the reason why, it was just the perfect storm of a significant mood-altering weather change, lack of sleep and the kids missing their Dad.

While my children go to bed earlier than most (tend to rise earlier, too) and are, for the most part, ingrained into a daily schedule, this weekend-palooza sent even our most obedient child into a tailspin.

There was an enormous amount of unbridled, never-ending energy and curiosity from the youngest, fight after fight after fight with the two middles and an emotional roller coaster with my oldest bookend.

And Saturday was the most beautiful day, too. Sorry to say I didn’t enjoy it.

I remember watching the clock tick away. To survive and make it easier to swallow, I mentally broke the days into little segments: breakfast, lunch, nap, bed. Done.

But done took so long to arrive.

And then Sunday finally came.

I woke early (mainly because everybody else did) and went to the kitchen to rustle up something to keep the children’s mouths occupied.

I could barely keep my eyes open. The fuse on my temper had long been burnt through. I was literally a worn out, useless shell of a body. But, Matt was supposed to return before lunch.

“I can make it just a little bit longer.” — Me to myself.

So, I bet you can guess what happened next.

The cattle got out. Of course.

It was like jumper-cables re-electrified the “I-can-do it”-attitude I had long lost amidst the terrible weekend.

“You can do this, you’re a real farmer now,” was the dialogue between my brain and my scrawny muscles as I high-tailed it down the driveway.

I looked ridiculous, but I ran anyway. Cows (money) before beauty (pride).

After fetching some grain, opening a gate to run them through and running back up to the cows, I realized I might be in over my head.

With the amount of attention my weak and pathetic “scow” and a bucket of grain brought, I KNEW I was in too deep.

They started running, so I did too!

While running (literally for my life) toward the open fence, I saw four short-people faces plastered to every open window on the west side of the house, and I realized, this IS probably how I would die.

In giant black Mucks over my neon pink pajama pants with greasy, barely pulled back hair and leftover mascara smudges under my puffy sleep-deprived eyes.

Yep, this would be how my last moments would be played out. A crazy mess till the end.

But at least this crazy mess got the cows back in AND is still alive.

I had a little skip in my step (mainly vibrations from my pounding heart) as I walked back up to the house.

The kids were waiting to congratulate me. (They were all amazed, too.)

I guess when you can successfully corral a few wandering cows, that does make you a real farmer (at least in a pinch).

— As seen in the Lawrence County Record

Categories: Life on the farm


My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

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