Yesterday I took the kids to a birthday party at a house with a pool, so Henry got hist first swim, however brief. With me alone with the three kids, and fewer people than might normally have been around to help keep them from drowning or exploring the woods, it was interesting.
Valerie, for instance, took off into the woods, followed by Sadie, to explore, and I became aware of this in “but they were nearby a minute ago” fashion when one of the other adults went chasing after them. No sign of poison ivy yet. I ended up down in a hollow, carrying Henry in one arm, fetching Valerie and carrying her out in the other arm, while cautioning Sadie not to come down there after us. Valerie is our naturalist, totally drawn to vegetation and woods, and even things like rocks and bugs.
Sadie starred in one of the most comical scenes I have ever seen. She wanted to use the bathroom, so we dried off and went into the house. In the kitchen, near the bathroom, there was a big gray cat. She shrieked and yelled “a kitty!” Before you could blink she was standing on a chair, cowering in fear and screaming. I told her it was just a cat, quite amused, and said “see, hi kitty” bending down to offer my hand to the cat, who decided it was time to leave the room.
That was probably an expectations and startlement thing as much as, say, fear of cats. She then couldn’t bring herself to go, especially given it was a regular toilet with no insert, since I forgot to bring it. Which didn’t stop Valerie in the least, when we were in there to get suits on. On the way out, I pointed to Sadie the cat’s food dishes that were a sign of, you know, a cat living in the house.
It was just so funny.