Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The difference one year can make.

when is the right age to introduce children to animals?

For the past three years my family has been taking a mini-vacation to Indianapolis for Memorial Day weekend. My husband goes to the Indy 500 with his uncle and some family friends while I get to visit with extended family that we do not get to see very often. We stay with my husband’s aunt and uncle who own a couple acres in Indy as well as a pony, a horse, some dogs and a cat. It is a regular petting zoo for my toddler who wants to touch everything.

Last year we got the bright idea to have our one-year-old ride the family pony. We put the saddle on the pony, the cowboy hat and vest on my son, and whipped out the camera for what we thought was going to be an adorable picture. Yeah right!

William had no desire to be anywhere near the pony.  He clung to mommy for dear life when placed on the saddle and cried inconsolably as we led the pony around the yard. Let’s just say that this was not a fun experience for my son.

I did not believe that William would be interested in visiting the pony, horse, and cat in the barn this year after the fiasco of last year and his traumatic riding experience. I was not going to be that parent, you know the one that forces their child to do something they have tried once and are clearly terrified of doing. I was not going to mention the option of visiting the barn or riding the pony on this trip. Apparently my husband was not on the same page as me. Like many times throughout our marriage, I assumed my husband knew what I was thinking. My husband is not psychic so I am not quite sure where this whole assumption of knowledge comes from for me. That in itself is a whole other post all together.

After a quick trip to the store I come back to find that not only has my husband put our son back on the pony, but my son liked it! To top it off my husband, who never takes pictures, captured the moment on film. I have a picture of my son happily sitting on the pony! Isn’t it crazy the difference a year can make?

child riding on a pony

I guess the idea of reintroducing my son to a previously traumatic experience was scarier for me than it was for my husband. Kudos to my husband for taking the initiative to retry something scary and turn it into something fun. I also appreciate that he had the foresight to capture the moment on film so that I didn’t miss out.

I guess this means I am going to have to buck up and give some other previously scary experiences a second try. Yikes!

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