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Another date

September 14, 2009

This time, it was just the critter and I. I offered Kyle the opportunity to join us at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, but oddly, he declined. He was even more firm in his decision after I tried persuading him with the promise of two. full. barns. of yarn vendors. How puzzling.

So I took the other boy of the house hostage (he’s not smart enough yet to know he should have protested), strapped him to me, and tromped around the Jefferson County Fairgrounds all day.

Mostly, I carried him in the Ergo and got all the looks I always get. Yeah yeah yeah, he’s big. He can walk perfectly fine. But he hates the stroller in large group situations (would *you* really want to be strapped into a chair that puts you at butt level to a bunch of strangers?) and he hates holding his hand above his head to hold mine even more. The Ergo is comfortable for both of us. So hush your strange looks, everyone. We won’t be using it when he’s 12. Probably.

First, we hit the sheep barns and watched some talented, hard-working young people showing their sheep. I have absolutely no idea how the judges could talk for so long about their choices in picking the best animals, but they sincerely seemed to see a difference between all those identical sheep.

Then we found the herding demonstration area. There were no demos going, so T tried his hand at herding from outside the fence. He did awesome – truly a sheep whisperer. Look at that neat little bunch of sheep. I am so proud. He could grow up to be a border collie!

The sun was hot so we headed inside to watch the Ultimate Sheep Shearer. He’s always at this festival. Every year. He’s a sheep shearing god. He has clearly been shearing sheep for at least 12 lifetimes. I’d never thought of shearing as something to be breathless over, but he’s that good.

T could have watched him giving “haircuts” all day, but I moved him along to the lamb area. Once he saw those lambs, he took off. Mama who? He ran repeatedly from one section of fence to another, trying to get his hands of some soft lambiness wherever he could. Never once looked up for me. Um, yeah. Still working on that attachment thing.

My extroverted son then walked right up to the *6* year old who was working to feed the sheep and asked if he could help. The kid was amazingly gracious and explained he had just finished putting the last of the hay out, but that he’d show T how he feeds the lambs. He led T by the hand to the area where he prepared a bottle of milk, and then held up a lamb for him to pet before he fed it.

This kid was phenomenal. I asked him how much work it was for him to care for his animals, and he explained to me how he drops his backpack inside the door when he gets home from school and heads straight to the barn because he has to feed his lambs every 2 hours. He feeds them again after dinner. That kid is a good egg. Smart and hard working and sweet and SIX. T wanted to go home with him. I wanted to take him home with *me*. But that sort of thing is frowned on.

We rounded out the day with a quick walk past all the vendors pushing their luscious yarns of all colors, weights, and textures. I couldn’t not walk through those vendor barns, but I had to keep singing to myself, “La la la la la, I can’t SEEEE you, you pretty yarns….you’re not really there, and I certainly don’t neeeeeed yooooouuuu…..” When the devil, I mean, a kind old woman offered to show me how to spin, I ran screaming from the barn, “I will NOT begin another hobby that I have no money and no time for!!!!”

I escaped the festival without a single bit of wool or knitting/spinning/weaving gadgetry on my person. (I hired someone to smuggle it out for me. I’m waiting by my open window now. Kyle’s a light sleeper, but when I hear three owl hoots, I’ll slip out the back door for my 3 cases of yarn, dozen rovings, and new thousand dollar spinning wheel.) Just kidding, Kyle. No purchases. Really. Miracles never cease. But I’m not making any promises about next year.

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