A while back, I spent $350 on a fire hose for fast, easy filling of the 75 gallon water tubs that sit in each of the corrals. The garden hose thing always took forever, so I replaced the garden hose hookup in the irrigation system with two inches of "hold-on-Nellie!" The girls loved it, and it made their chores take less than one third of the time. Problem was, they got careless with the hose and I would often find it inside the corrals where the mules were using it for a stomp n'chew toy. At first, the warnings to the girls were gentle, then more forceful--I will not replace that expensive hose. Remember what it was like without it? Put it somewhere safe when you are done with it so the mules don't ruin it!
Nothing seemed to persuade them--sheer juvenile lack of concern and forgetfulness on full display. Time to lay down the law, (pause here for effect...) pater familia's law. So here's the deal, I say a couple of weeks ago. Next time I find the hose inside the corrals, we'll put it away for a week and remember how nice it is to have it. I PROMISE that I'll do it! I add for emphasis. Well I'll be hanged...tonight I go out to do my chores in the pouring rain, and see the mules playing games with my swank hose again!
Bracing myself against their wails with a smile, I started working on a batch of hot chocolate for them for afterward. Then I grabbed the camera for a couple of shots and went out to carry a couple of buckets myself. We don't have a garden hose that will reach across our acre, so it has to be hand carried for the coming week, starting tonight. Bucket by bucket, one step at a time--a real piece of work. If you must know, I'm not feeling the love. They never met a worse Dad, they ASSure me. Whatever life I added by breathing that sweet, rain-scrubbed desert air tonight was certainly cancelled out by the daggers I caught for dishing out this little lesson.