Problem Solving 101 for Farm Kids

My Generation

Say you get yourself in a bind. Say you need to find a way out. How does a farm kid solve a problem like that? Read on!

Published on: May 2, 2013

Yesterday, I was in hammer-down mode to get my flower beds cleaned off, ornamental grasses cut down, roses, trimmed, etc., etc., before the impending cold and rain set in (again). After the kids got home from school, eight-year-old Nathan assessed the situation and sensed an opportunity.

"Mom. Do you want me to hook up my wagon to my four-wheeler and haul this stuff off?"

And just like that, it was as if eight years of food, water and shelter had finally paid off.

I told him, "Absolutely, buddy, that would be awesome." Because there's little more our farm boy enjoys more than being useful and four-wheeled power. We got him this little dump cart for his birthday this winter, and it's pretty much been his favorite gift ever, if for no other reason than because he can help.

The hitch and pins in question, in cleaner and newer and not-lost days.
The hitch and pins in question, in cleaner and newer and not-lost days.

So Nathan commenced to loading up what I'd cut down, then proceeded to convince me he could haul it over to the hillside to dump it.

A little while later, he returns on the four-wheeler, sans wagon. I didn't even get the words out.

"Well. I had to unhook it to dump it and, well, I dropped the hitch pin. And, well, then I dropped the other pin (hairpin). And, um, well, I can't find them."

That's about right. So we hopped on the four wheeler together and slowly rode over to the scene of the crime. We spent awhile looking in the tall grass, to no avail. Sensing the opportunity to develop some problem solving skills, and quite frankly, a little teaching opportunity, given the fix he was in, I asked, "So bud, how do you plan to get your wagon back up to the house?"

I expected some hemming and hawing and a suggestion that I go get Dad's truck to load it up. But he didn't say a word. I continued looking through the grass. He walked over to the four-wheeler, dug around in the front compartment, pulled out a screwdriver, and held it up in front of me.

Well, I'll be darned. That's a pretty good idea. And he was pleased as punch with himself.

Just like that, I knew it: this kid's gonna be a farmer.