Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Children on Leashes

A child on a leash seems to me the ultimate sign of parental defeat.  To be reduced to keeping a small human at the end of a rope attached to your wrist says one of two things: 1. you have absolutely no semblance of control left, or 2. your child is truly an animal.  Neither reason is appealing. 
Do we really live in a world where we have to harness our toddlers and clip them to ourselves?  I find that this practice is not only embarrassing, but also potentially dangerous.  Heaven forbid that you wander into one of those Cabbage-Patch-Doll-style sales and the leash gets caught in the cross fire.  You and the unsuspecting child could be literally dragged through the aisles.  Or, perhaps my favorite of all leashed children locations, what are the dangers of attaching yourself to your child on a ski slope?  You see this with alarming regularity.  I suppose the idea is based on some notion of safety, but quite the contraire is the actual result.  What are the chances of that very leash clotheslining a fellow skier?  Quite high, I would say.  And once again, you find yourself and the animal-child dragged off to your doom as a result.

The child leash is so wrong, I don't see how anyone could have ever thought it was right.  


Kristie said...

Last weekend I became the proud owner of two wrist leashes and two body harnesses (First, because three wrist leashes were not available, and second, because right now my darling son is way more interested in sitting in one place investigating the nuances of small bits and pieces rather than toddling or racing around).

That being said, I would be willing to bring my sweet 18 month old triplets over your home and drop them off for a few days. ;) I have heard heard/read the leash peeve from a variety of people over the years but not, surprisingly enough, from mothers of triplets or higher order multiples. I don't believe my control is in question, although the prospect of my children actually being little animals is now answering a lot of questions I have had over the last 18 months. . .

I have been a therapist for some of the most severely behavior disordered children, adolescents, and adults for almost 20 years, and one of the compliments I have received more than a time or two is my seemingly patient and unperturbed countenance. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of structure, consistency, and behavior mod methods to teach my little animals to follow directions and learn to be responsible wonderful human beings. That being said, all bets are off when the triplets invade.


Kristie said...


As one might guess, and much to my mortification, one of my daughters first words was 'no'. :o But how we could have escaped that with three babies and two doggies in the house I am not sure. Another favorite is my husband's personal favorite, head-shaking with 'huh-uh!' He began laughing uncontrollably when he saw our daughter doing a passable mommy imitation. There is also random finger-wagging amidst screaming, crocodile tears, and assorted toy-throwing, toy-snatching, and toy-head-bopping. And with all that their pediatrician and all who see them out and about proclaim how they are the happiest and most well-behaved babies! Yes, I am informed that I am very lucky. . .

Lucky but either not resourceful enough or, perhaps, incredibly resourceful. Perhaps there will be people who see daughter number three with her leash on her wrist and label me as one of those bad mommies; however, until I can figure out how to hire an nanny with graham crackers and cheerios for wages (In our one income home) then it is off to the stores we go with me, three babies, one stroller or wagon, and a set of leashes. Since we have no family or friends to help out and my husband works an hour from home, by the time we have supper, story, and bedtime, a trip to the store sans babies fits somewhere in between more laundry, more dishes, and more etc.

Employees and customers at our regular shopping venues have seen us grow since it was just my gigantic belly, and they will see us winding and tangling with all the leash messiness that will surely ensue, but since I have two hands to hold onto baby hands, and three toddlers who are not into the reasoning phase of development I will be unashamedly unembarrassed by the fact that my racing darting adventurer, who wrenches her little hand from my vice-like grip like an escape artist, is safely getting from the van to the door without being smooshed by an inattentive driver.

Some might suggest the answer is keeping them tied down to their stroller until they can 'behave', but since they LOVE outings, have awesome happy outlooks during out errands, and need all the practice they can get with their walking I find it difficult to justify that they have to sit still when neither they nor I are bothered by our new arrangement.

Now, since I was up until 4:30am last night working on things I don't have time to do during the day since home is a leash-free zone, and we have just learned how to scale the play-yard, I need a snack, some peace and quiet (HAHA), and a nap. I would be eternally grateful if you do a little training with my wild animals so I'll be over in a jiffy if you can send us directions! :D

P.S. Should I bring the leashes just in case? Or is that so wrong? ;)