Off The Leash

Look at this cute backpack I got for Dash.

IMG_2528Awe.  It’s so cuddly and he just loves it.  Here’s another shot…

IMG_2523What?  What’s that strap hanging off it?  Uh, yeah… I’m not sure ?…  It just came with this extra piece…

Okay, okay, it’s a leash.  But we prefer to call it a Snuggly Chaos Management Buddy.

You know, there was a time when I had no idea that a baby “leash” was such a controversial item.  I got one for Beau when he was a toddler and I was taking him to the airport.  I was worried about him running off or getting kidnapped while I was dealing with luggage or plane tickets.  REALLY?  Not wanting to lose your toddler is controversial?

Well, apparently there is a school of thought promoting the idea that children should LISTEN and BEHAVE.  Interesting, right?  Apparently there would be no need to restrain these small people, because just the sound of an adult’s voice would stop them dead in their tracks.  It sounds like a promising theory, but personally I would like to see further research on the subject, particularly in regards to 18 month old boys.

The other objection some have to the Chaos Management Buddy is that “Leashes are for dogs and children aren’t dogs.”  I totally agree that children are not dogs.  I have had both children and dogs and they are not the same thing.  For instance, children climb things where as dogs do not.  They both have about the same risk of running into traffic or biting someone.  So, no, I would not compare my dear child to a dog.  He is more like a spider monkey with a hint of wolverine…

Just kidding!  But joking aside, back when Beau was little, I was a lot more concerned about inviting public scorn for trying not to lose my child, or for making any other unpopular parenting decision.  I wouldn’t want some strange person who knows nothing about me or my situation or my child’s temperament to think I’m a BAD parent!  How awful it would be if they judged me!

But by now I have more or less gotten over that.  (Or at least become desensitized to it?)  I do what I feel is best for my kids because I know them best.  And I know not everyone is going to agree, which is FINE because I’ve seen that things work out okay when I go with my instincts.

Still, being a parent is a lot like wearing a sign that says “Open For Public Criticism!”  Whether you’re the mom running frantically after an off-the-leash toddler, or the one trotting behind an on-the-leash toddler, or the one who is having all the exits shut down because she has no idea where her toddler is, you can be sure there is someone standing idly by, shaking their head in disapproval.

Let’s see… We have the Old School Folks who reminisce about the days when you could just go chop a branch off a tree and beat your kids with it.  Then there are the  Paranoid Vigilantes who are standing around watchfully with CPS on speed dial.  And don’t forget everyone’s favorite parenting critic, The Perfect Mom.  Bless her heart.  She is more than happy to take a break from flash card drilling to tell you in excruciating detail How You Too Can Be Awesome.  She has time to do this because her children are plowing through a midmorning snack of Doritos and Coke.  Awe, Perfect Mom, it’s okay.  Nobody’s really perfect!

They all mean well.  But sometimes it does get old!

SERIOUSLY, if the worst psychological damage my child incurs is because his mother was really worried about him getting lost in a public place, then I think we are going to get away with a really cheap therapy bill.  Thanks for all the well meaning opinions, but we are doing okay.  Everyone is happy, and Dash has no idea his Cuddly Buddy carries a stigma with it along with an small pack of washable crayons.   And the best part:  I didn’t lose any kids.


Wait, there’s only two here… Has anyone seen Beau?



  1. So cute! And good for you for doing what you feel is best.

  2. My sister and I have “enjoyed” this same controversial discussion- with one more added element of fun. She has a child, and I do not. Which of us is pro-leash, do you think? I AM. For a woman with a particularly rambunctious toddler, she is surprisingly against the idea of leashing her to prevent the little… Angel? from running off to goodness knows where. Frankly, I’m not convinced that my husband does not consider this idea when he is with me in the shops. Oo, what’s over there?! Leash the boys if it keeps them safe. Nevermind the naysayers.

Speak Your Mind