Living on a farm, a Wapakoneta Elementary School first-grader helps feed the calves and pigs and even gets to drive a Ford tractor.
âItâs not fake, itâs real,â Tyler Houser says. âItâs like 10 feet in the air. Iâve been driving it for a year and a half and Iâm pretty good at it.â
But heâs quick to note he doesnât drive cars, just the tractor around his familyâs rural Wapakoneta farm.
With it, he fills in holes, covers spots, picks up rocks and uses the forks to lift straw bales for bedding.
Tyler still rides with his dad in the sprayer and loves it when he drives fast.
âItâs pretty fun, especially when we get in a dust tornado,â Tyler said.
He said he looks forward to being old enough to plant and spray by himself, but he realizes he will need help when heâs first beginning to make sure heâs lined up straight and knows what to push.
He and his older brother feed the animals from a four-wheeler with one driving and the other riding on the back with a bucket of grain.
âI remember being on the
See FOOTBALL, Page 5A
farm even when I was growing up,â Tyler said.
One of the middle brothers of four â Keith, a third-grader, Grant, 5, and Daron, 3 â the son of Laura and Aaron Houser said he likes it that way.
âItâs cool,â Tyler said. âI didnât want a sister.â
In addition to working on the farm, the brothers all like to play on the farm. They really like to play farm, with one being the farmer and the others being the farm animals.
âI like being the farmer, swatting my brothers, the animals, if they donât move like I tell them to,â Tyler said. âI give them a smack on the butt.â
The boys also play Army, taking advantage of some pretty clever hiding spots.
âI like to hide back where all the stuff is,â Tyler said. âMy brothers get so confused when I hide there that they could end up looking all over the county.â
They also play hunt deer, elk, moose, wild hogs, bears and sometimes mountain goats using a fake rifle that sounds like a real gun.
Tyler plays baseball and basketball and in one more year he can play football, which means no more being waterboy for his older brotherâs team.
âMom thinks I would be a good safety because Iâm fast and crazy, a wildman,â Tyler said.
He said football is going to be his favorite sport.
Tyler watches football on TV, but said while his mother wants him to like the Ohio State Buckeyes he likes the Michigan Wolverines. Sometimes he also watches the NFL and cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
âThey have really good players and have made it all the way to the Super Bowl,â Tyler said.
In baseball, Tyler said he likes winning and creaming the other team while he enjoys playing with some good teammates in basketball.
âIâm going to keep playing those three sports,â Tyler said. âMy mom doesnât want me to do wrestling, but I want to, I think it would be fun lifting people. Weâre not allowed to do that at school but I wish we were.â
In school, Tyler likes math because when they are done with problems sometimes they get to play games and count coins, but lunch and recess are his favorite âactivities.â
Tyler said the family has a lot of plans for the summer, trips to Michigan to see the sand dunes and Wisconsin for his dad to eat real cheese curds.
âMom wants to eat them every day, but they have too many calories,â Tyler said.
He said they are taking part in a weight loss game and have to eat and drink things with zero calories.
During the summer Tyler said heâs also going to go see his first 3D movie and maybe make a trip to Iowa to visit one of his fatherâs friends. They often swim at the Wapakoneta WaterPark or go down to the beach at Indian Lake.
âWe might go see Mount Rushmore and to see the Badlands,â Tyler said of the two national parks in South Dakota. âI have no clue what that is.â
Tyler enjoys listening to music on his fatherâs truck radio or his momâs iPod, especially songs like âOlâ Redâ and âWe Didnât Start the Fire.â
Tyler said he likes âOlâ Redâ because itâs funny and âWe Didnât Start the Fireâ by Billy Joel because it is really cool.
âMom brings her little I thingy (iPod) and puts on Rush, but I get annoyed,â Tyler said. âThatâs her thing not mine.â
His favorite foods are corndogs, hotdogs, corn on the cob, sweet corn off the cob, and pizza, as long as the crust isnât plain bread, but stuffed with cheese.
With his brown eyes sparkling, Tyler said someday, in addition to farming, he would like to be a professional football player â a safety.
âYou get more teammates than little kids, you get to play with like 40 people,â Tyler said. âYouâre always on TV. Itâs a really fun sport and those people who play for the NFL are big and really tough. I want to be like them.â
With Motherâs Day Sunday, Tyler said his mother is so great because she doesnât care how late they sleep in on the weekends, even if one time his father was very disappointed in all of them for sleeping in until 9:30 a.m.
He said he also realizes the hard work it takes to put up with all those guys in one house.