Intended shot? The dogs staring at Munchie. The captured image? Cullen’s giant tongue licking Munchie, right in the eye. (Well, really… licking his entire face.) This isn’t the first time that I have grabbed my camera to capture an adorable moment and ended up with something unexpected. In fact, just moments earlier, we were at the barn. I was getting a picture of Munchie, in his stroller, parked next to a calf. As I snapped the photo, the tiny cow decided to lick Munchie’s toes. I don’t know why animals are finding my baby so very tasty today. As long as they just lick and don’t try to take a bite, we will be fine. He didn’t seem to care… and I wiped him off pretty well. Aunt Lizzie gave him a bath later… which was a good call on her part.

I like that Munchie is spending time around animals, even if he does get licked from time to time. I think it’s good for the animals and good for my kid. The last thing I need is a child who is afraid of household pets and barnyard critters. We will teach him early to respect animals, how to interact with them, how to set some boundaries with certain creatures, how to be friendly… and then later, we will teach him the irony of a cow trying to take a bite out of him… a conversation we will share over a nice juicy steak, I’m sure.

Some people are super hesitant to introduce their babies to animals. That isn’t the path we have opted to take. I think you need to use some caution… like… don’t take your kid to the zoo and chuck them in with the lions… but be reasonable. We want Munchie to enjoy animals and not fear them… which is why we are introducing him to animals while he is little. Now that I think about it… this same approach might be effective for certain family members, too.