Er…I meant a “child safety harness” — I wouldn’t want to get anyone’s panties in a wad by suggesting my son is something akin to a dog because I used the “L” word.
Can you tell I’m feeling a little um…defensive about this topic?
Honestly, I don’t understand why child safety harnesses OR leashes are such a freaking hot button issue. People put their babies to sleep cribs (WITH THOSE JAIL-LIKE BARS! OMG!) and are willing to strap their kids into carseats and strollers for safety reasons without hesitation. So what’s the difference exactly?
It seems to me that if someone is concerned enough about their child’s safety that they are willing to brave such harsh judgment and scrutiny from gawking onlookers who know nothing about them or their child, they must be a caring and presumably decent parent.
So why AM I willing to brave such such harsh judgment and scrutiny anyway? What pushed me to the bleeding edge of parental sanity and into the realm of kiddie bondage?
Let me tell you…
My son (2 yrs) is a Houdini. And a runner. And a handjerker.
Get your mind out of the gutter!
What I mean is that he’s very capable of breaking free of my hand when I’m holding it (and then he runs like the wind, giggling maniacally) or he’ll allow himself to drop and hang by his arm until it feels like I might pull it out of the socket and I look like I’m abusing him when I’m totally NOT!
P can also wiggle out of a 5 point stroller harness as well as a waist-strap in a shopping cart which then frees him up to stand in the cart and even climb out if he so desires. And he DOES desire…
And yes, if I had absolutely nothing else to do when I go out in public but stand next to the cart or stroller and stare at him, waiting for him to activate his special escape powers, then sure I could make sure none of the aforementioned ever happens.
But I can’t. I have things to do when I leave the house. I don’t load up the kids (plural, which means I have TWO kids to watch over) and go places so I can stand guard over my son and get absolutely nothing accomplished.
Unfortunately, being a mom doesn’t mean I get to stop grocery shopping or running errands or walking on sidewalks near busy streets or in parking lots or anything else — although I really wish it did.
My other child needs some of my attention, too, so no, I can’t “just watch him better” to make sure my son doesn’t pull any of his tricks. To me, suggesting that it’s just that simple implies a certain lack of experience with children and what caring for them actually involves, which is a LOT of patience, as well as the good sense to know when regular safety measures (i.e. hand-holding and safety belts) aren’t quite safe enough.
So I’m thinking of getting one of these contraptions. It’s definitely a leash of sorts but it’s disguised as a cute little backpack so as to fool onlookers and spare myself some stinkeye.
I get to hold the tail of the monkey, which is a little weird, but it looks less bondage-y and leash-like than those other harnesses.
Come on! Help me out here, will ya?
I have no idea how my son will react to wearing one of these but I have a feeling he’ll be jerking on it until he gets used to it and probably fussing a lot, too.
Trust me, neither of those things is particularly appealing to me but chasing my son through stores, schools, libraries, parking lots, sidewalks and other places or having one more well-meaning person tell me that “allowing” my son to stand up in the seat of a shopping cart is dangerous (NO! Really?) like I APPROVE of it or something is even less appealing.
So even if you think I’m the worst mom on the planet for considering a leash (one in disguise, no less) wish me luck! I’ll report my findings, for better or for worse, after I purchase the Necessary Evil and we have a chance to use it a few times.
Oh, and just to provide a little perspective, read THIS and then tell me I’m a bad mom. (Thanks to Tracey for the link and for allowing me to instantly feel better about my parenting choices and skills)