Kids … I Guess Some of Them Need Leashes.

7 Nov

We were out and about at the zoo, and I saw it. I didn’t think anything of it. I’d seen it before …  at the park, at the aquarium, at  the supermarket. Maybe I’d become immune to the insensitive nature of this new parent gadget. Maybe I was too busy trying to make this zoo adventure more exciting for my own kids to care what someone else was doing. But then I heard it.

The lady.

“What the hell is that?”

“What?”

“That. That thing  … Is that a !#%^*! leash for a kid?”

“Um. I guess. I don’t know what it’s called. I think it may be called a harness.”

“It looks like damn dog leash and it sucks. That’s just wrong. It’s wrong. The kid is not a dog. Don’t ever buy that.”

Now usually when someone tells me “don’t do this,” or “don’t do that,” I usually raise an eyebrow and tend to ignore them.

But this was pretty amusing. My dude was irate. He went on and on about the leash. He couldn’t believe it. He was getting pretty upset at this lady’s parenting skills.

Now as a mom, I try not to judge another mom’s parenting skills. We have it hard enough judging ourselves we don’t need the extra outside help. What we need is to stick together. So I really didn’t say anything. I just took a quick glance.

Every parent has a different rhythm, a different style, something that suits them, and maybe she needed this so-called kid leash to let her kid run around, instead of wanting to chase after him. Maybe she wore the wrong shoes for that. Maybe she’s suffering from arthritis in the knees and can’t make a mad dash for her kid. Maybe her kid liked the furry little back pack and it kept him mobile. Maybe it was a compromise, being able to walk around, but still having a little control over him. Maybe it was just a way of avoiding a tantrum. Maybe she didn’t want to lose her kid, although it wasn’t crowded at all today. Maybe he wasn’t feeling like cruising in his stroller. Maybe she was just being lazy. I don’t know. I didn’t ask. All I could say was that every parent is different.

We all have good decisions and bad decision, but we do what we think is best for our kids and our families. Now with that being said, would I have bought something like this? Probably not. The kid leash isn’t really my thing.

My kids run around a bit, but they always stay close. I put the fear of “the stranger” in them so when we’re in a I-can-lose-my-child-if-I-look-away-for-a-second kind of place, I usually wear running shoes and keep both eyes wide open. They’re usually holding onto my hand, but if they’re not, they tend to respond quickly to the get-over-here-right-now look or to my “mom” voice when I call their name. You know …  that “mom” voice. Most kids in our family and our friend’s families respond to this “mom” voice — even the really “energetic” ones. That’s just how we roll. So we’re not the kid leash kind of people.

But I guess it is kind of a weird thing to see, especially for dog people like ourselves. The only time we see leashes is when we’re out walking the dog. But, hey if it works for some people, it works for some people.  I tried sharing that mentality with my dude, but he just wasn’t having it. It looked like he needed some chocolate to calm down. Luckily I’m always packing.

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8 Responses to “Kids … I Guess Some of Them Need Leashes.”

  1. bgddyjim November 8, 2012 at 12:22 AM #

    I have a bit of a different take on “the leash”… 9 out of 10 times you’ll see a boy in the leash. In a just world the leash would be viewed as disgustingly sexist and horribly evil. You could throw every sexism cliche in the world at that one.

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

      Ha! You know what … I haven’t really noticed that, but you may be right. Either way I’m not a big fan of it.

  2. The Wanderlust Gene November 8, 2012 at 12:46 AM #

    On the other hand, I remember – I’m sure it’s a real memory, not just memories of parent talk – being on a leash, alright, harness, when Ma and i went out and about when I was a just up from toddler! It gave me freedom, I think because otherwise she’d never have allowed me to meander on my own, and that’s what i’ve always loved to do. It was 60 odd years ago, when girls were still a bit precious, but I don’t know that the kids have changed that much.

    I guess your boy hated the idea of being controlled – what was he like at staying close by when he was a littl’n?

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 7:25 PM #

      My son is still young, he’s four years old and he pretty much keeps close by. He’ll go running around ahead of me when he sees his favorite animal at the zoo, but I always have an eye on him and besides he does plenty of running around when we play sports on the field so he doesn’t feel the need too much to run wild when we’re in public places

  3. TBM November 8, 2012 at 2:26 AM #

    I was never leashed but I did have a habit of following the wrong legs out of the store. Worried my mom sick. Once she had the entire store shut down since I was with the wrong legs. I soon learned to look up and make sure the right head was attached. BTW I still wander off and the better half always rants and raves about this. If I see something interesting, I just stop and don’t say, “Hey hold on a minute. This pigeon is fascinating.” Then the better half would rant and rave about looking at a pigeon. I’m not painting a good picture of the better half. Trust me, living with me is not an easy task. Of course I can say the same thing 😉

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

      Falling the wrong pair of legs HA! That’s classic, I can imagine that freaked your mom out. Yeah hand holding is imperative when there are massive strangers around, like at amusement parks or something.

  4. island traveler November 8, 2012 at 4:27 AM #

    My son had them most carzy terrible two’s and three’s beating my friend’s kids but never in my wildest dreams will I “leash” him. I did see it then at the mall or park . I guess everyone has their version of what a good, safe parenting is. I felt but for your dude. When I see a parent furiously verbally mad to their kids in public, I too need some candy bar so I won’t react. Great post!

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 7:28 PM #

      Yeah I agree with you. I’m not a big fan of the leash and wouldn’t do it myself, but hey…every parent is different and if it makes their kid safe well it’s all good.

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