Surrey is a tough kid. She purposely aggravates her sisters because she thinks it’s funny. If something is in her way, she just plows right through it. Do not get between her and a bowl of cereal that she wants. In short, she will fuck you up if you can’t get with the program.
Except if you’re a farm animal. She is absolutely terrified of you if you are a farm animal.
We found this out during our annual trip to the petting farm. Phaedra, Bella, and I LOVE the petting farm. We’ll pet and feed those animals all day long. It’s all I can do to keep Bella out of the pig pen, and Phaedra would totes help me sneak one of the goats back to the car to take home. We love animals. They love us.
But Surrey? She’s never never been an animal person. As a baby, she would cry when dogs approached her, sniffed her, or just looked at her from across the room. She doesn’t cry about them anymore, but she’s still not really interested in hanging out with them. When we saw the demonstration from the wild animal guys at the school spring fair, Surrey was unimpressed by the live crocodile wandering around on the floor near our feet. She wouldn’t even touch the chinchilla. Who the hell can resist petting a chinchilla? So naturally, I just assumed that she was over that whole “afraid of animals” thing.
We were so wrong.
We’ve taken Surrey with us every single year, but this is the first year she was allowed to roam freely instead of observing the animals from the comfort of the umbrella stroller that gets used exactly once a year, usually at this outing, when I park the car and think, “Oh shit! Did I bring a stroller?” The farm layout was a bit different this year, letting us walk past the alpaca pasture and feed them some of the Super Vitamin Carrots that I purchased for $20. I assume they were special in some way, because I paid twenty fucking dollars for four trays of what looked suspiciously like regular old carrots. We walked past a cranky alpaca who just sat and stared at us, ignoring our offers of Super Vitamin Carrots. I did the visual headcount that a mother of three or more children does every thirty seconds when out in public with her children. “Okay, there’s one, two… where’s Surrey?” I looked behind me, and there was poor Surrey, standing just beyond the alpaca. I noticed he was now standing up and staring at the small human who wasn’t holding Super Vitamin Carrots. She looked from him, to me, and back at him, shifting her weight back and forth between her little feet and wringing her tiny hands. “C’mon, Surrey!” As if she was going anywhere near that asshole alpaca (that she believed to be a llama because The Emperor’s New Groove is on an almost constant loop at our house).
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MOMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!” she wailed. “I TOO TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARED*! DAT YAMA TARES MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!”*(“Tared” = scared, “Yama” = llama.)
And thus began what must have been for Surrey a jaunt through a house of horrors. She was afraid of every single animal we encountered. Pony?
“I NO LIKE THOSE PIGS! THEY TAWWY!”
“Yeah, I yike dese baby chicks. Wait, is that a rooster I SO TARED OF DAT ROOSTERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!”
Phaedra and Bella had the time of their lives, but I spent mine trying to keep track of them while carrying a 35 lb hysterical preschooler on my hip. She cried because we walked past the tawwy donkey. Then she cried because it wasn’t her turn to ride the tawwy pony, and she really wanted to wear the helmet. Then she cried because it was her turn to put on the helmet, and then she cried because I tried to put her on the tawwy pony (which she insisted that I do). Then she cried because she didn’t get to ride the tawwy pony, and then cried again when I asked her if she wanted to get on the tawwy pony (while standing directly in front of it).
Thankfully, we made our way to the entrance because everyone had to go potty all at once. On the way out of the front office, where the nice lady behind the counter issued a refund for Surrey’s pony ride, I asked Phaedra and Bella what their favorite part of the visit was. “I liked riding the pony!” said Phaedra.
“I really love that pony, and the sheep!” said Bella.
“Yeah, and I WUV the pigs!” said Surrey.
I shit you not.
“Surrey, you loved the pigs?!” I asked her.
“Yeah! And the sheep!”
“Surrey, did you like the llamas?”
“No, I no like those tawwy yamas.”
“Should we come back next year?”
I was wondering what exactly she was going to talk about in therapy when she got older. Mystery solved!
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