The Christmas tree patch where we bought our tree had a petting zoo among its other attractions. My toddler was so excited to pet the animals; more so than the other times we’ve gone to pet farm animals. He was the only kid in the area too, which was unfortunately small and tight. He kept bugging the llama, giving it “pats” which I guess became stronger pats near the thigh and abdomen. The llama finally got tired of him and bucked his legs, pushing LO down to the ground. Of all the places on the ground that wasn’t covered with a soft patch of hay, that was where LO fell. Oh, and his face… his pout just stayed there on his face, and you could see the confusion, the embarrassment, and the hurt that he felt (more emotional the physical I would guess). It was like, “Why did he do that? What did I do to the llama?” He finally belted out a loud cry.
I brushed him off and gave him a hug. I wish I just swooped him up right away but I finally did and even then he also seemed mad at me. Maybe because I wasn’t around to prevent it to happen? My husband told me to try to get him to pat the llama again (with me holding him and supervising of course) so that he isn’t scarred forever. He did, but he was now in a bad mood and clung to his dad the rest of the time.
Later that night during bath time, my husband told talked about the situation again, phrasing it like our toddler tickled the llama and the llama flinched and accidentally pushed LO. LO laughed at that so hopefully he doesn’t hate llamas or petting areas forever. It was unfortunate that it had to happen too because that was the most excited I had seem him with petting animals. He would even gather the hay on the ground and try to feed it to the animals, thinking that that’s what they ate. He also was just running after them, patting them. I guess he was too aggressive for their style.
We’ll take him to another patting area next time, hopefully he’ll be older and gentler, and I of course will be more watchful of him and the animals.