Traumatizing the Youth of America
Jay and I are both animal-lovers, so it's really no shock that Bean is as well. From the time she could crawl, she's been chasing both dogs and the cat all over our house. I try to encourage this love of the wild kingdom whenever I can. Unfortunately, our house and schedules don't allow for the type of menagerie I would like to have, but we do what we can. We watch Discovery's Animal Planet, we have a family pass to the zoo, when she gets old enough I plan on taking her with me to volunteer at the Humane Society, etc.
Recently an opportunity to expose Bean to another approach to animals presented itself. The State Fair is currently going on here in Indiana. And could we really call it a State Fair if it didn't cause some type of life-long trauma in the kids?
Bean was most excited about seeing the horses. Before we had even parked she was yelling that she wanted to see horses NOW! She was singing a different tune when we actually got in the draft horse barn. I don't think she realized how big horses actually are, and it was overwhelming for her. Not to mention the crowds, the heat, and the stink. She took it fairly well in stride, though, and even started to put her hand into the horse stall to pet the horse...
...at which point my over-protective mother instinct kicked in. I pulled her hand back from the bars and said the horse might bite her. (I know it probably wouldn't have, but it's the same principle of petting a strange dog unless you've asked its owners. You never know what an animal might do. But I digress.) Bean screwed up her forehead, looked at me, and asked "Horse bite?" I told her, yes, it might. She looked back at the horse, then back to me, and her eyes got as big around as saucers. Her leap in logic became apparent when she asked me, incredulously, "Horse eat?" At that point I started laughing too hard to reassure her that horses are not merciless child-eaters. And from that point on she became petrified of the horses. At least, the real ones. She didn't have a problem with the horses on the carousel...
And that was our year at the fair. I wonder how much it's going to cost me when she tells this story to her therapist years down the road.