Reggie this summer, Monica Bretherton photo
It's that time of year...weaning time. I'm actually a bit late this year, as Reggie was born in June and is now almost exactly 6 months old. But, there was no rush and while his mom is certainly ready, his Aunt Addie was not! Annie and Reggie have been out with Addie, who is very involved in Reggie's upbringing. Annie has enough experience that she lays down the rules and then doesn't worry too much. Addie though...well...if she was a human, no doubt she'd be considered a 'helicopter' mom. She herds Reggie around, watches over him while he sleeps (which is cute) and is very, very aware of his every move. This wouldn't be so bad, except that I usually put whatever youngster is closest in age in with the almost weanling (if there aren't two babies that year), so they can hang out together, play and keep each other company. It usually works very well. I tried that with Scooter this year, figuring that as he was Annie's 2010 baby, it would be a no-brainer. Nope. Annie was pretty much ok with the idea but Addie was SURE that Scooter did drugs and watched online porn. Poor kid. First time I turned him out with the other three, Reggie comes trotting up to him, all ready for a buddy. Addie noticed and came charging over, teeth bared, ears back. Scooter, being a reasonable young man, ran as fast as he could in the other direction. Addie cut Reggie away from Scooter's terrible influence and drove him back to his mother's side. Annie watched this entire performance, but didn't really move. She's ready to be done with the whole colt thing this year.
So, I left Scooter out there, hoping Addie would realize he was a good kid. He tried to talk to Reggie a few times, but was emphatically driven off. He stood as far from Addie as he could until I brought him in.
We tried the next day. Same drill.
And the next.
So, I decided to change the game and put Reggie out by himself, next to Annie and Addie. No problem. Addie even left the fenceline with Annie. I guess if Scooter isn't there, then it's ok.
I'll keep them separated but next to each other for a day or so, then start moving them farther and farther apart, until one day, Reggie and Scooter will be happily playing boy games, without female supervision. At that point, Reggie is a 'weaner' (weanling) and will start to learn all the things that a well brought up youngster needs to know.