Do you like animals?

I can’t remember when was the last time I went to a zoo. I don’t think I was an animal kind of child growing up and I still am not as an adult. But I do think they are cute and would cuddle with a friend’s pet. I do, however, want sweet pea to like animals. Babies and animals just go together, don’t they? She likes those animals in her books and are curious about the dogs we see outside albeit being very cautious in her approaches. So it was high time we took her to the zoo now that she’s over 1 and able to walk with assistance.

Last night, I suddenly decided that instead of the zoo, we’d take her to the petting farm. They have weekend morning on the farm from 8am. An instimate setting, I thought, might help her warm up to the animals better. So there we were, out in the dirty melting snow at 8am, treking on foot and by bus to the much anticipated farm in the city. It turned out to be quite a cozy place, with bunnies, guinea pigs, hens, reptiles, chinchilas, turtles, fish… Forgetting that I wasn’t even an animal person, I got totally excited and immidiately proceeded to bring sweet pea into the bunny house. Oh dear, was I wrong about her! She totally recoiled and started to cry. But they were cute, fluffy bunnies! I showed her how gentle they were by caressing them and letting them feed from my palm. The hubby and I spent 15 patient minutes trying to help her cope with her fear of cute fluffy bunnies. Alas, she did not soften. We had to take her out and try our luck with other animals.

Did she warm up to any of them? Nope. She did find something she liked though: the lock to the bunny house. She fiddled with it insensely and fussed everytime I tried to take her away. It was just high enough that she couldn’t reach it without my carrying her. And it sure wasn’t much fun to carry a heavy toddler fiddling with a dead lock, while all the live fun animals surrounded us. She even got tantrummy when we finally decided she’d played too long with the lock to justify the $25 we paid to have her pet the animals.

It really made me think. Growing up in a city, there’s a lof of things that just don’t come naturally unless the parents make an honest effort. She still doesn’t even like grass since we don’t go to the park often enough. I loved growing up in the outskirt of a city where nature was abundant and I roamed freely with my friends all day long. I would love for her to experience the same joy that comes with befriending nature.

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