Mama Moments

Snake Encounters 101 – The Preschool Version

snakeBefore we went on our back-to-back family vacations, my husband decided to have a little talk with our son about snakes. I’m so glad he thought of it, because I just figured it was intuitive that one should run very fast and very far when encountering a slithery serpent. As it turns out, that’s apparently not how it works in the adventurous mind of a four-year-old boy.

After explaining that we would be spending some time by the water and in the woods, my husband asked our son quite simply, “What do you do if you see a snake?”

His answer was, quite simply, “I kick it.”

Calmly, his dad explained how dangerous snakes can be and that we should quietly and quickly walk away from a snake should we happen upon one. He also explained that most snakes mean us no harm, but if we startle them in the wild they might bite us because they are scared. So again he posed the question, “What do you do if you see a snake?”

His answer was, “I step on its head.”

A bit flustered, my husband re-explained the whole reason a snake might bite someone if caught off guard. Again came the same question, “What do you do if you see a snake?”

His answer was, “I jump over it.”

Okay, so completely frustrated now and trying not to show it, my husband explains the whole snake encounter in a different way and suggests that if he should come upon a snake he should immediately show Mom or Dad and let us deal with the said serpent. I’m thinking this is pretty clever, because it gets our son away from the snake and alerts us to its presence. Go Dad!

So one last time, my husband asks, “What do you do if you see a snake?”

His answer was, “How do I pick it up?”

Mom and Dad are both freaking out a bit by now and when I asked why he would ever pick up a snake, he shot me that “duh” sort of look and simply said, “How am I going to show you the snake if I don’t pick it up?”

, , , luckily we didn’t see any snakes.

 

photo credit: Rhabdophis subminiatus, red-necked keelback – Kaeng Krachan National Park via photopin (license)

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