27 July 2011

A Little Child Will Lead Them

Earlier this week the cat attacked Emmaline. At the risk of sprouting warts on my chin and talons in place of my not-so-manicured nails, I'm glad she got hurt. The two shallow scrapes on her arm were a lesson that was long overdue.

Let me qualify this by saying that Crake did not object when she chased him in circles around her bedroom. He did not hiss or spit when she tried to pick him up like a stuffed animal. He did not raise his hackles at her attempts to use him in place of a pillow. But when he was done with all this and had retreated for quiet under her crib, she crawled in after him and he thwamped her a good one.

I saw it happen and she totally deserved it.

The truth is we have been lucky with the patience of our feline family members. Even Scout, despite her inability to refrain from chewing every baby toy in sight, has been willing to put up with quite a lot.

The result, unfortunately, is that Emmaline has failed to learn what all children must.

"Crake bite you!" she proclaimed with no small amount of surprise, brandishing her arm to prove she had been hurt.

"Crake scratched you," I agreed, hugging her for the approximately thirty seconds it took for her tears to stop. Then, "Why did he scratch you?"

Emmaline whimpered and took a deep breath, "No chasing cat!"

Then she brightened.

"Band-aid?" Em suggested.

The trauma, it seemed was over but the lesson itself was learned. The following night Scout made an ominous rumble when Emma threatened to interrupt the meal she was making of some rawhide. Emmaline immediately looked up questioningly.

"Scout bite you?"

"She could bite you," I warned. "Step back. She wants to be left alone."

Emmaline did. This alone was groundbreaking since she usually has quite a different approach.


  1. The "Pet Question"...always one of the first toddler decisions by parents: My favorite pooch, Molly the Dalmation, was seemingly fine with Elisa's arrival and subsequent months of growth and displaced-from-the-dog interaction play. But one day, during a stroller stroll, time usually spent with Molly in the water, I heard the snarl, that unmistakable expression of resentment and territoriality. The next morning, Molly had a new home with, yes, a fireman.

  2. Emmaline is ADORABLE!!