I loved all the harness comments. I’ve really been thinking about it and here is what I’ve come up with…
1. Yes, of course, it is about Sweet Boy’s safety. But it isn’t ALL about his safety. It is also about convenience for me. I admit it. I hate fighting with him to stay in the stroller when he really wants to stand behind the stroller and push it. I’d rather let him push the stroller but know he is connected to me in case he starts to wander away.
2. Sweet Boy doesn’t like to hold hands in public places. (Just like a man, I know.) He views hand-holding as an excellent reason to throw himself towards the earth. Call it an experiment in physics and gravity. Very educational, yes, but it might be difficult to explain the dislocated shoulder (really, he throws himself at the ground so dramatically) to the ER attending as a science project. And, again with the selfish mommy thing…. I’m tall. He’s short. Trying to hold his hand for long periods of time is uncomfortable for both of us.
3. I don’t buy the whole “it is demeaning to treat your child like a dog” theory. For one thing, my dog is treated like royalty. He has nicer toys, better treats and fancier shampoo than any other member of the family. Issues of manners, control and restraint are for his safety and happiness…. I’m ok with applying that theory to my child too.
4. And if you really want to make that point…. Criticize me when my child is eating dog food, chasing cats & playing in the dog waterer.
5. Note that he responds to the commands sit, stay and foot, please.
6. Am I ready to handle the stares, comments and criticisms of perfect strangers? Back to dog analogies…this is a long one….. when Gunnar was a young dog I lived in Boulder, Colorado. (PC capitol of the world) Gunnar is half Jack Russell terrier which means he has a strong neck designed for shaking rats to death. This means taking him on a leash and expecting him to be responsive to normal “collar rules” is unreasonable so I bought a “haltee” dog halter. It looks kinda like a tiny horse halter and works by tipping the dog’s nose down when you pull on it rather than by trying to restrain them from the neck. Neat. Works like a charm. No more sore arms from sawing on Gunnar’s neck trying to get him to heel. No more listening to him make choking, wheezing sounds while he tries to drag me along. (The dog thought I was the slowest human on earth and that he was doing me a favor by dragging me places.) The haltee has some other unintended but interesting results…. People wouldn’t let children come up to my dog because they thought it was a muzzle. Anyone who criticized me for muzzling my dog or for taking a dog who required a muzzle to a public place was told that, indeed, the dog could still bite them…. Get a little closer and test the theory out. It didn’t really bother me because I think people should in general assume a strange dog will bite their child and proceed accordingly. I was more than happy to explain the contraption was actually very humane to anyone who seemed genuinely concerned for Gunnar’s welfare. I can’t count the number of times I had to show concerned but unobservant individuals that, yes, the dog can actually pant & drink while wearing the haltee. Just another example of how being a dog owner prepared me for parenthood.
7. I hate to brag (oh, you know I’m lying…) but the kid is advanced…..well, he’s physically advanced. The prehensile lizard brain…the one that has all the preservation instincts…. It isn’t so well developed. He loves to run. Playing “chase” is a fun game and Sweet Boy doesn’t understand the concept of “dangerous” places yet and, honestly, I’m in no rush for him to learn that lesson.
8. It doubles as a backpack. That means he can carry his own snacks & sippy cup & sunscreen stick. How cool is that?? I promise right now to not let it become my purse…. I vow I will not put my wallet, lip gloss or sunglasses in Sweet Boy’s backpack.
9. I’ve really been thinking about appropriate situations for child restraint. I don’t plan on tethering him to the clothes line any time soon… although radiator installation plans are in the works so I will have something to chain him too when he is a teenager. I don’t think a leash is a replacement for proper supervision… but I do think it might work out the next time we are in a large crowded place.
10. Hello?!?! Where's the hate? Surely someone has something negative to say? Come on. Bring it. I need to hear the criticism as well as the support. Although, of course, if you present the criticism in a nasty manner I promise to be nasty right back.... it will be fun.