Today Twig and I were walking at a local outdoor mall when we saw something black and furry scamper in front of us. We were walking down some outdoor steps to the main level when she spotted the little animal. With such excitement she shrieked, "A lizard!" It didn't take me long to realize it was a rat.
I have to admit this was not an easy sighting for me. Totally gross little creatures with long tails and beady eyes right in from of us, but I couldn't bare to take away her pleasure in that moment. I explained that it was either a mouse or a rat -- she decided it was a mouse. She said, "Mommy, how exciting -- a mouse!"
Everything is new to this kid. Even seeing a live mouse only feet in front of her is a thrill. I played along. After all, I did have pet mice when I was little. It was later, when I had a cat that brought me a dead mouse, that I stopped liking mice. When we got down the stairs, the mouse/rat ran in from of some tattooed Russian guy -- he jumped and freaked a little. I laughed (inside, because he was potentially scarier then the rat) at how that big grown-up was so afraid of what was such a sense of wonder for my little girl.
Twig is big on "why" these days, so when he jumped she questioned why. I made a quick decision to shrug off his jumpiness. There will be plenty of time in her life to take on other people's fear. For right now, I want to keep her wide-eyed innocence intact just a bit longer. I am all about honesty, but not at the cost of her imagination. A few weeks ago, she asked me when she was going to get a baby brother or sister. I told her a baby can take a long time to make. She paused to think and then asked, "Where do we make a baby? In the kitchen?"