Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mating Season

I debated on whether or not to share this, because, by sharing, you would obviously see what a mess I am making of this parenting gig, and how my children are going to turn out to be, well, strange. I don't think other parents have to have these kinds of conversations, and if they do, then we need to get together and compare notes.

I don't even know where to begin, except to say that Older Girl has become obsessed with animals of late. It started at the end of the last school year, when every book she checked out of the library was about endangered species, and she would fall asleep on a pile of her Ranger Rick magazines every night.

To get even more specific, she is obsessed with horses. I think everyone, at some point in time, has known a girl who was horse crazy. They drew horses, and read about horses, and knew how many hands high an American Saddlebred was, and took riding lessons, and so on. Well, that is my Older Girl. She doesn't walk anywhere, she gallops on her noble steed. All of her books for her school reading list have a common theme: Misty of Chincoteague, Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka. She whinnies.

Since she is a voracious reader, Older Girl has read a few factual books about horses, in addition to all of her horse novels. And that has lead to talk of mating and breeding. She doesn't exactly know what mating entails, and I'm not about to get all explanatory on her if she doesn't specifically ask me. However, lack of knowledge never stopped her from expounding on any subject. She told her brother that several of her larger toy horses had mated and that's how she got so many breeds of small toy horses. Naturally. I've also seen her walking through the hallway with a stuffed horse clenched between her knees. When asked about it, she explained that she was about to foal. Of course.

But tonight, I had to draw the line. We were shedding our coats after coming home from children's choir, and I noticed a bulge in the waistband of her pants. When I asked about it, she lifted her shirt and showed me the head of a tiny stuffed horse that was sticking out of her pants. She had tucked it in her pants for choir, because, as The Boy would say, she was a "fregnant horse." That's when I had to firmly tell her that, under no circumstances, was she allowed to tuck any more animals into her pants before church. (File that under: Things I Never Thought I Would Say.)

Please tell me she is not the only one to do this kind of weird stuff.


  1. i bet that did sound odd coming out of your mouth! i'm sure there's nothing wrong with her - at least she loves to read and gather facts about her current obsession. hopefully this will just foster a love of knowlege on many subjects, not just pregnant horses. ;-)

  2. that is such a cute story... I was horse crazy too, just reading that list of books your daughter loves makes me all teary!

  3. Ivy used to randomly 'breastfeed' her baby dolls when Gabe was a baby. It didn't matter where we were...at the grocery store, at the mall, at work (i worked in daycare so i could take her with me)...she would lift up her shirt and pull her baby doll to her as though she were feeding it.
    Your girl is completely normal...they just mimic what they THINK is going on. I learned that the bigger deal I made out of it the more she wanted to know WHY she shouldn't do it. I certainly didn't want her to think breastfeeding was bad, just as I'm sure you don't want yours to think horses having babies is BAD. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it and just make sure she understands that stuffing objects into your pants for church is just as objectionable as standing up in the pew and doing a jig in the middle of Mass...it's just kind of frowned upon ;)
    I will admit, though, that it gave me a good giggle ;)

  4. Anonymous1:13 PM

    i definitely used to pretend that i was pregnant by shoving stuffed animals down my pants. and see? i turned out normal! *wink*

  5. Oh no, it is SO not only Older Girl. My oldest is 9 and is so enamoured of horses that rarely does a conversation go by without comment.

    L also runs like a horse, is "fregnant" like a horse (no stuffeds at church, tho), plays horses at school and gets all her friends -even the boys- involved, she DRAWS horses a LOT.

    She has taught all three other kids in the family to do the same. It will not end in the near future.

    meg m - my kids also imitated the BFing and I thought it was very cute. We did have the "not in public for indiscreet children" talk very early on.

  6. Oh Aimee - take it from your "spazzy" younger sister that Older Girl is not weird at all.

    I mean, you do remember the fact that I thought the word refrigerator was actually said as "refrigeratorin" and that that's exactly how I said it until I was like 12. Oh yeah, and that when I was a kid I thought everything on my left side represented "bad" and my right side was "good" so everything I did that I wanted to go well I had to initiate with my right hand...who knows what I was thinking with that one!

    And hey - you still love me, even if I am just a smidge off of center! Julia


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