Taking the turtle in stride

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers



This weekend we discovered that the baby is officially upright enough to ride in the backpack carrier -- huzzah! LOVE the backpack carrier! -- and we embarked on a leisurely walk around our neighborhood, glorying in the Seattle sunshine that we haven't seen for several rain-soaked weeks. Riley, our 3-year-old, galloped ahead of us shouting "FOLLOW RIWWY" and stopping to inspect and blow on any seed-headed dandelions (which he calls "candle flowers", could you just die).

When we got to a nearby small park, there was a gigantic tortoise in the grass. Really! A tortoise. Its owner, a man we've encountered before, was standing nearby as the tortoise slowly traversed a hill, smiling with what I can only describe as paternal turtle pride. He informed us the tortoise's name was Timmy, and that she was a female.

Timmy is maybe the biggest damn specimen of her kind I have ever seen. Her armored shell is wide enough for an adult to have a seat, her prehistoric legs are massive and sturdy and covered in giant scales. She cruised along the lawn, snacking on leaves, and I held Riley's hand as we approached to get a closer look.

I expected him to FREAK. OUT. I expected squeals of excitement, loud exclamations over the exotic beast, possibly even fear and cries of NO LIKE IT MOMMY. Instead, he informed Timmy's owner with a matter-of-fact-air that hey, there was a TUTTLE right there, and then he pointed out our Labrador and announced that right THERE was our DOGGIE!

And that was about it. No particular surprise whatsoever that there was an insanely huge turtle trudging along like some sort of living fossil, just . . . hey, there's a tuttle.

I sort of love this about little kids, that their worldview is so unpredictable -- where on one hand, things like tricycle-sized turtles make perfect sense, and on the other, woe to all of mankind if you serve up their milk in the GWEEN cup instead of the BYOO one.

Has your kid ever reacted to something in a way you never would have guessed, either by being under- or overwhelmed?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.