Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Best Five Bucks

After a very mild winter by Chicago standards, spring has sprung unbelievably early.  I'm used to wearing sweaters through April, mind you.  The past few weeks it's been pretty gorgeous and almost every afternoon I take Kendra outside to the park across the street to walk around, discover the world and just get a good dose of Vitamin D the old-fashioned way.  This massive park is why we chose this apartment, after all.

However, we ran into a significant glitch pretty quickly in this ritual.

Kendra is fiercely independent.  She can do it herself, thankyouverymuch.  She didn't do much cruising along furniture and she cried every time we tried to hold her hand to help her to learn how to walk.  So, good luck trying to get her to hold our hand now that she can walk pretty well.  If I steer her head the way I want her to go, she almost always responds, but she will not hold my hand.  Not on your life, mister.

One of the first times we went outside, she was standing beside me when we got to the door of our building.  However, in the time it took me to put the key in the lock (about 4 seconds), I looked up to see that she was nearly at the corner about to walk into the street.  And she's not even running yet.  It completely freaked me out because while we don't live on a major road, there is plenty of traffic, especially in the afternoon.  

Luckily I had enough time to sprint to her and keep her from getting to the crosswalk, but it still terrified me to my core.  I didn't take her out for a couple of days after that.

But the next time we were out shopping I found this:

Yep.  It's a dang harness.  With a leash attached.  And it's the best $5 we've spent since she started walking, I'll tell you.

The first time we used it in a crowd of people, we got mixed reactions.  I heard a group of kids say to each other, "Is that kid on a leash?" and we were getting plenty of funny looks.  But then as a mother walked by with her two children she said to me, "I need one of those!" I felt a little better.

At the end of the day I decided that I'd rather be a neurotic mother who puts her baby on leash than a crazy one who went off the deep end after her baby ran out into the street or was kidnapped or something awful.

So, I don't mind if people judge or give me funny looks.  It doesn't bother her and it gives me peace of mind.


Jacqueline said...

Makes a lot of sense to me. Simeon has one that looks like an animal backpack and he loves it. So does Kristina.

Danielle said...

You gotta do what you gotta do. Sometimes I think I need 3 of them-- but then I'd look like one of those city dog-walkers or something.

Lybi said...

I have a friend who had 3 kids REALLY close together, and she used to use 3 of those things at the same time. I did look kind of funny, but at least she never lost one of her kids! They were really big into running away.

Sometimes I've heard people say (with a huff) that it is like a leash, but honestly, she would've had to stay home all the time. I've used them before, particularly in crowded places like airports. Necessity! It can lead parents to do all kinds of odd things.

Belkycita said...

I'm pro leash!! we have one and the same we get funny looks... but you know what?
I haven't lost my kid at the mall, zoo, or another crowded area and that makes it all better!

Plus, man I like to be in control!
.......or at least think I am :-(

Laura said...

Isn't it funny - the things you NEVER thought you'd do/buy/say always come out in parenting. My friend has a rule in their family that only one child can cry at a time. Pretty logical, from my standpoint now; but I can't help thinking that while I was single in college I would've NEVER thought I'd have a rule like that!

Love the harness! Better safe than ... anything else! Cute face, Kendra. :) We have a houseful of independent girls too - each independent in their own *slightly frustrating* way. (hee,hee)

Peterson Family said...

You know I have thought about getting one of those and I have also heard some people say that putting your leash on a child is treating them like a dog (this was over ten years ago when they looked more like a leash). You know you are completely right, I would rather have my child close than have her running through the store hiding from me (which she does all the time). I really am going to invest in this contraption, for my daughters safety and for my sanity as well. I absolutely LOVE it!

Treader said...

I feel you, Ashley. I keep telling Abe I'm gonna use a leash on our kids. He thinks I'm joking, but I'm serious!