I know, I know, I could be opening a big ole can of worms with this post, but that is ok. I'm confident and happy with my choice as a mother!
I have what is called in Motherhood land 'a runner' a very, very fast moving little boy who is still learning boundaries and dangerous situations. He is not yet two, and has been walking over half his life, and is quite proficient at it. I, however am getting less proficient in my walking skills as this baby sinks lower into my pelvis and gives me that ever so attractive pregnancy waddle. Running is out of the question, unless a life or death situation presents itself, of which I've had a few in the last weeks where I've had to sacrifice my own health and wellbeing to chase down a runaway toddler heading towards a parking lot or a waterway.
Today I opted for the leash. It is a very discreet leash. It' s attached to a very cute Monkey backpack by Skip Hop, but it is a leash, or you may prefer the word tether or harness. Whatever you fancy. But it is what it is.
I had to go to the shops to do a big grocery stock up, so I strapped the backpack (with tether) on the little man and off we went. Crossing the road was a breeze. Walking through the shopping centre and avoiding the aptly placed Thomas the Tank Engine ride was easy as pie. Getting him to stay with me whilst I wrangled the trolleys that always seems to jam together, was no problem at all. We wandered around the shop, me feeling confident and in complete control. I found I was able to communicate more, and Ezra was learning to listen more, because he was still close to me. I was able to teach him to hold onto the side of the trolley whilst we shopped, rather than chasing him down the aisles, getting angry and frustrated. Of course he still tried to grab everything, but that I can handle.
Actually, everything was going swimmingly. Until he plopped down onto all fours and began crawling down the aisle, whilst barking. Yes, Barking, like a dog.
Insert mortified Mum face.
Can you imagine? My little boy, growling and barking down the aisles, and theres me wondering if I should just let go of the leash or just bust up laughing, 'this looks really bad'. It isn't the first time he's acted like a dog, in fact copying the dog is one of his favourite things to do, including trying to lift his leg to pee on trees, and eating food with his mouth straight off the floor.
In reality I think it was quite hilarious, and I had tears of laughter streaming down my face when recounting the story to my Mum when I got home. Of course he decided to do that, of course he thought it was appropriate supermarket behaviour. But, at the time I did not want anyone thinking that I was treating my child like a dog. I had to keep repeating ' quick get up, onto your feet, stop that.' It happened multiple times, during our little shopping trip, I'm sure we helped some other shoppers to brighten their day just a little.
But, still in this post for some reason I feel the need to justify it, so annoying. I really believe that you just have to do, what you have to do as a parent. Nobody knows your child like you.
So, have you used a toddler leash before?