Last Sunday, Ed and I watched IN AMAZEMENT as Emmy stooped down to pet the black and white cat lying in the grass. Not only did she pet Kit-Kat, her aunt and uncle’s cat, but she knelt down next to the cat and positively stroked her fur again and again.
This from a child who has been scared of living animals since birth. When she was a baby, Emmy would cry if Kit-Kat looked at us through the picture window. That thin layer of glass wasn’t enough to protect her from the black cat.
If we were taking a walk and she was in her stroller, we would have to cross the street if a dog approached. When Emmy was walking, I would have to pick her up as soon as she saw a dog. Dog owners would try to sway her over, telling her their dog was really friendly and wouldn’t hurt anyone. I knew better than to say anything; Emmy would not be persuaded.
Emmy needed to decide in her own time that cats and dogs aren’t scary. Nothing we told her was going to push her into liking them. They were bigger than her (dogs) and showed her sharp teeth (Kit-Kat). In her mind, there was no reason NOT to be afraid of them.
She wasn’t about to cave into peer pressure. She wasn’t going to stroke a dog’s fur just because other people told her to. She knew her own mind, and knew she wasn’t ready to pet cats or dogs yet. Slowly, carefully, she made the decision for herself, and when she was ready, she went up to Kit-Kat and petted her. When we see a dog coming, she doesn’t beg me to pick her up anymore. She is still very cautious with dogs. I view this as a good thing. We have also told our children not to pet a dog without asking the owner.
Yes, Emmy is stubborn, but I view this stubbornness as a good trait. I’m hoping as she grows, she’ll make up her own mind and be smart about her decisions instead of bowing into peer pressure. I won’t always be around to pick her up when the dogs come around.
I think she’ll do just fine!
Linking up with Melissa – Peanut Butter in my Hair today!