Sunday, January 16, 2011

Animal Farm

This blog is not a reference to the George Orwell novel I was made to deconstruct and reconstruct in my youth. Nor is it a reference to some less-than-savoury websites that came up on the internet during a search for the above mentioned George Orwell novel a few years later...

CP has a habit of making animal references in human situations. It's not just him. I am led to believe that farmers everywhere do this too. It's a coping mechanism I suppose. But sometimes it really makes me wonder. Most of the time CP manages to offend through his use of these references. He honestly doesn't mean to, but as you will soon see, it's very hard to liken ANYONE to a farm animal without some offence being taken.

The other day he used the phrase 'same bull, different cows' to explain the familial structure of some friends of ours. Whilst there is nothing remotely unusual about 'same bull, different cows' (I come from a family not completely unlike that), the animal reference makes the people we were discussing, sound something more like a bunch of wild and uncouth animals who simply wander from paddock to paddock, sampling the goods so to speak... and then, god forbid, ending up with children from goodness knows where.

When I was pregnant with all three children, CP constantly referred to me as 'an old breeder cow.'

It's bad enough that's that's pretty much exactly how you feel sometimes when you are pregnant, but to be told that on occasion is like a big red stamp being plastered on your forehead. Even worse, whilst I was 'the old breeder cow', CP managed to liken himself to the 'stud ram' or 'proven sire.'

What this means in the animal world is, I am one step away from being sold to the meat works, whilst CP will be sold off to the highest bidder for his amazing potential. Funny that...

When I was in labour with Darcy (CP missed Olivia's birth) CP was in the room with me. I am, of course, a complete freak of nature in this particular situation, and do possibly resemble some kind of animal. It's not something I'm proud of. When Darcy was delivered, CP got straight on the phone to call his parents.
"We've got one on the ground!" The midwife overheard and giggled a little.
"Yep, Jess is no longer in calf." Hmmm. Nice. My insides have been turned outside, and as I lay there recovering, I was still nothing more than an old cow... Not the 'stateliest mare.'

Then when I was breast feeding, I was constantly likened to 'an old milker cow'.

In fact, as I write this, I am checking with CP to find out if there are, in fact, any 'kind names' for female animals. Things that would be the equivalent to 'stud ram' or 'proven sire'?...  It's looking grim on the female front. Nothing I would be happy to be called yet.

CP often refers to our children as if they are animals too. When they are sad, he likens them to a 'poddy calf, looking for it's Mummy.'

Sometimes he even has the audacity to whistle at them. Thankfully, as they have gotten older, his whistles are met with "I AM being good Dad! Stop whistling!" (by Olivia), and "Stop whistling at me Dad! I am NOT A DOG!" (by Darcy). Children after my own heart. I think I grew up on too much Sound Of Music to put up with any whistles in my own house.

But while we're on the subject of using animal references to describe people, I suppose it's only fair to CP if I confess to my own interest in doing this. At Christmas time (which we spent with my family on the coast) there was a little friendly competition between CP, my sisters boyfriend and my brother. I referred to the three of them as having an 'alpha male dog complex.'

They seemed to like this analogy though, and after much chest beating and fist pumping, it was decided that CP could no longer be the alpha male, as he was more like the neutered old dog... poor CP.

I'm still not actually sure who the alpha male is, but apparently it's not CP. At least none of them resorted to marking out their territory where we were staying.

Maybe it's not the animal references that bother me so much... Maybe it's the fact that I am referred to as being 'old' all the time?

Oh to be young and at the top of my game again...

Signing off,
'The Old Breeder Cow' (aka, the devoted wife of 'Old Neutered Dog').


  1. Hey Jess, I think I met CP's female counterpart when I took my first baby for his first post-natal child health care visit. The nurse referred to me as a Jersey Cow! Luckily I understood that Jersey cows give high quality milk or I would have been quite offended.

  2. I should also add that CP mostly uses these as terms of endearment... as you mentioned Helen, a breeder cow and a milker cow are far more useful to a farmer than a barren cow... I see his point. It's just a funny way of getting there... xxx

  3. Hi Jessie, I love it. I will remember all those terms for Kate. I'm sure she'll appreciate it when she's next in calf. : ) Hope you high and dry in the floods.


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