Yippee! Yee Haw! And a hearty Hip Hooray! It’s finally happened! That elusive developmental milestone so hankered after, dreamed about, longed for; the one thing that marks you out as one of the big kids:
Farm Girl has a wiggly tooth!
This tooth thing, when you are six and three quarters, is a huge deal, dinner time conversation acknowledged. With the exception of The Farmer (whose teeth all but leapt out to the point that he swallowed the first two in his sleep), all of us could remember the agony of classmates younger than us smiling that coveted gap-tooth grin while our pearly whites remained stalwartly affixed. Oh, the agony of having teeth that made you look like a baby! Curse the unfairness of being let down by a body that doesn’t understand appearing older is everything.
But not anymore for Farm Girl!
“Excuse me, Doreen,” all spark and fizz, she approached one of the Children’s House directresses (she is now a primary student, but such a triumph obviously required registering with her first ever teacher), “look at my tooth!” And of course the wonderful Doreen, the first person other than one of us to slap a plaster on a stubbed toe and hug away her tired-girl tears, was full of admiration, delight and joy at this wondrous occurrence.
“What you need,” she sagely concluded with a wink, “is a nice apple.”
Which segues quite satisfyingly into the telling of another developmental milestone attained on the Homestead this week.
At the risk of offending and alienating some of you, our modest but highly valued audience, it’s all to do with The Man, trends, a heap of spin, a sprinkling of broken dreams and the realising that all that glitters is not…well, get the idea.
Two of our number have an eye for the top shelf when it comes to techie gadgetry stuff. One in particular aspired to owning the latest and greatest with such passion that the Homestead decided to stump up the required (sizable) sum to celebrate this Homesteader’s milestone birthday, which just so happened to occur on the same day as the gizmos much lauded world-wide release.
This device, when it arrived an agonising fortnight later (you would have thought “they” would have had more confidence in their own advertising frenzy and ordered in more than three units, The Bean Counter was heard to mumble) was a thing of wonder! It would have been easier to list what this miraculous marvel couldn’t do! Coddled in its protective this and strengthened that (all of which was purchased separately) it was cradled in loving hands or cossetted in zipped, snug, cushiony jacket pockets to be taken out and gazed out on a regular basis , but don’t get us started on that.
Until one dark day as it was being employed to converse in lolroflomg-ese, one of the tasks it was assembled for, the proud owner noticed something happening to this prized possession. It was bending, bowing, arching in front of their very horrified eyes. Cue google search and fast, which revealed a plethora of similar stories from all over the globe. Time to ring The Man. Of course he’ll fix it; he is all that is good and honest and right in this world, a hip, trendy, cool guy who cares about his customers. Remember that documentary we saw?
It quickly became apparent that this was a job for a Homestead elder, one well versed in talking the talk and sorting the wheat from the chaff. However, having spent more than two hours talking with first Alaura (“I’m sorry, what is the device doing? Bin-ding? Your accent is very difficult to understand” – just quietly, getting what you were gabbling about wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either) and then Abi (“oh, that number you have doesn’t seem to match the model number you quote. What have you got wrong there?”) in California and then “Ma’am, what you need to understand….” Ivy in Manila, it was pretty obvious The Man didn’t want to know. Sighting a small scratch, caused by a clumsily ill aimed plug into the audio jack by the looks of it, the warranty was declared null and void. The older and more cynical of our number muttered darkly about manufactured faults, clever warranties and the art of butt covering and the Bin Ding Device owner acknowledged The Man has no loyalty and very quietly stopped worshiping at the fruity altar of St Steven and All MacSaints.
While we’re on the subject of developmental milestones, a few words about our expectant mother/s: they’re still expecting. Could it be the Homestead is situated on some weird time-space loophole/portal/black hole that extends goats gestation? Could it all just be (ho ho, how often have we heard this one) gas? Are they not getting enough exercise? The right food? Enough sunlight?
At the end of the day, it’ll sort out. Like Farm Girl’s wiggly tooth and the birth of another’s healthy skepticism, the ducks finally laying and the garlic sprouting, being part of the anticipating audience is way more difficult than for those going through it. Geraldine and Leia radiate goaty contentment as they continue to swell, muse, ruminate and gestate. They’re not watching the weeks pass by and worrying; it’s only we watchers who are impatient to reach that milestone hovering on the horizon.
Things happen when they’re ready…sure as God made little green apples.