Saturday, March 11, 2006

Walkies*

Not by any stretch of the imagination would I ever be considered for Mother of the Year (or Month, Day, Hour, ad nauseum), nor would I want to. I mean, think of the pressure to outperform yourself the next time if you were considered the Wonderful now! I just don't have that kind of drive.

Aside from the times I like to either threaten X that I will nail his shoes to his feet if he "takes them off one.more.time" when we go on errands; or asking if he wants to take a Ho-Ho/Pepsi break with me at 10 minutes to bedtime, I think I'm doing an O-K job. And let's not consider the ten month period after he started walking where he was rarely seen in public without one, if not two, prominent bruises on his forehead due to the propensity he had in letting his big ole' melon head capsize him into the nearest solid surface, as I consider that my "gimme".

So when I saw this type of thing on a child during today's trip to a museum, I really had to wonder at the parenting competency level around me. I fervently wanted to give the care-giver the benefit of the doubt as my sister had to use one when she traveled Internationally with her 6 month and 2 year old...alone...with layovers in London, New York and Chicago. I made fun of her, but realized that she had to not only juggle her two children, but the carry-on luggage for herself and the kids (3 months stay in the States = lots of luggage), and an infant carrier.

When I first saw the girl wearing the harness, it appeared grandma was the one holding the leash. OK, so grandma is one of those overly protective type and the kid's mom figures what-the-heck since no one will know it was her kid on the leash. Wrong. Apparently, it was a family outing: grandma, mommy, and girl. OK...so maybe it's because bringing a stroller can be rather cumbersome and she doesn't want her traipsing off into Indian Artifact exhibit and tearing apart a head-dress or eating moon rocks. Oops. Nope. Museum lends out strollers...for free. And then get this! Along comes grandpa, pushing a double-stroller and holding a baby. So, now you're telling me that three physically-able adults (grandparents weren't much into their 50's) do not have the attention span and necessary coordination to take care of two small children, one of which could only escape by either rolling or even possibly army-crawling her way out of sight and the other just barely tottling? Can you imagine the chaos that ensues when just ONE of these people has to go to take a piss?

X did not seem to take much notice of the dog show (sans *Barbara Woodhouse). He was too busy trying to stick his finger in the pencil sharpener in the activity center or slurping the water that had pooled in the drinking fountain because the drain was clogged with sunflower seed husks...swear.to.god.

16 Punches:

At 5:45 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

That poor child in the ad looks like some sort of nerd baby from Iceland. Maybe leashes are the in thing there.

I saw someone with a kid on a leash once and he got on all fours and started barking like a dog until his mother was so embarrassed she took it off.

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous lala said...

so with you on the slurping the water! I found Jack trying to eat an icicle the other day but not a CLEAN one.....

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger One Mother's Journey said...

That is really creapy. My kids always held my hand - it was the husband (my ex) I should have tried to keep on a leash. hehehe
That poor kid.

 
At 5:11 AM, Blogger DrSpouse said...

Sorry but I think these are a good idea! I see these four-year-olds in pushchairs and I wonder when they will ever be expected to walk on their own.

"Reins" were very popular when I was a small child and, in situations like museums, supermarkets, or busy roads, I'd much rather see a child in one of them than have a buggy bashing my ankles and making it hard to get down narrow shop aisles..

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Catizhere said...

I always feel like I should run over and "release" the poor kid like some crazed p.e.t.a fanatic....

Run Away!! Be Free!!!!

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Catizhere said...

NOT that all P.e.t.a. supporters are fanatics mind you, just the ones that commit criminal acts & break into labs to release hundreds of Norwegian RATS!! or a hundred guinea pigs eewwww

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous mm said...

Not that I know anything about what it's like to be a parent, but thing scares me.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger LeggyP said...

That's one of the few pre-parenting rules about parenting that I haven't broken. You know, those things you say before you actually have kids. I'll never...
Well one of mine was "I'll never put my kid on a leash." Proud to say that in all the 5 years of the Cutie Pie's existence, he's never been on a leash.

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Kim said...

I saw that you made a comment on the Steadman's site. Thank you so much.

 
At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a parent with a significant visual impairment, I cannot keep track of my 2 y/o running around unless my husband is with us and I don't always want to keep her in the stroller. So I'm shopping for a harness to allow her and I some freedom together. Oh, the visually impairment is a result of having a stroke in both optic nerves 9 days after she was born. I, too, swore I would never use such a device, but sometimes life happens and we must adjust.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger DD said...

If you are coming to this site via Wikipedia or Answers.com, note that this post should not be taken in no way, shape or form as an "argument against the use of a harness". It was a post written following an observation made during an outing with my own child.

I find the use of this post in the links by either of these sites a complete disservice to those of you who are seeking an intelligent and well thought-out debate, because obviously this is not it.

I would highly recommend you follow the link in this post that goes to a follow-up on this subject.

And if you want my professional opinion of the harnesses? I think they suck. MOVE ON.

 
At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if I understand correctly, you think it looks bad (perhaps even uncool)? Isn't that a very poor argument for not using what is in effect a saftey device? Has your toddler never pulled his had out of yours and made a dash for it. Now imagine that the object of interest is on a road... We have twins, and I can tell you that no one can pay attention all the time, and even if you are, if you are too far away to do anything, then it could be too late.

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger DD said...

My observation had nothing to do with how the leash looks. It could be covered with Z-crystals and faux fur for all I care.

My point with this post is that there were three abled-bodied adults for the one leashed child...in a museum...in a rural community. No one was plowing through the hallways on a motorized wheelchair.

If you read closely, you will see how I found the use of the harness completely appropriate for my sister during her travels overseas.

People, stop taking this post as a personal dig at your choices. If you read this and your knee-jerk reaction is to defend your choice, then you obviously have some issues with your personal decisions and confidence in such.

I did not create the link from Answers.com or Wikipedia (which I was able to edit and remove). Unfortunately, I have not been able to make that change over at Answers.com. Again, your irritation regarding this post should be aimed there and not here.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Stace said...

Please, if people are going to criticize those of us who do use safety harnesses on our children could you try to comment on something other than the same, tired thing? (you know, where you say that we're treating our children like animals, etc.)

Because you're right, in a sense I am. I put my dog on a leash so that she can't run away, I don't lose her, & so she doesn't get hurt by someone or something. Now if I do that for my dog, why would I do any LESS for my very own child?


Oh, & I've been out with my 18 month old son (who hates sitting for long periods of time & being in his stroller), my 21 year old sister, and my mother & if he wants down then he knows he has to wear his harness b/c all you have to do is turn your head or get caught off guard by something & off a kid can (and sometimes will) go! Besides, it's not their responsibility to make sure he doesn't wander off or go off to "hide" - he may think he's just playing a game but he's a baby & all I know is that I turned my head & suddenly my baby isn't with me & I don't know where he wandered or if someone took him.

It doesn't matter how many people there are, where you are, or how rural something or someplace is. My #1 concern is my son's safety & wellbeing... & it always will be.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Stace said...

Catizhere said...
I always feel like I should run over and "release" the poor kid like some crazed p.e.t.a fanatic....

Run Away!! Be Free!!!!



Catizhere, are you a parent?

Either way, that has to be one of the most irresponsible & ignorant things I've heard in quite awhile.

Why refer to the child as "the poor kid"? Why do you automatically assume that they're uncomfortable or being hurt? You'd rather we let our children run away & be free then use something to help keep them near by & safe?


I'm sorry but your "comment" is just.... well, wow....

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger DD said...

Stace - yes, I can vouche for Catizhere and state that she is indeed a parent of one beautiful toddler girl and a brand new baby boy.

May I recommend to all of you who come here in a huff about this to go here:

http://tko.typepad.com/tko_more_or_less/2006/06/no_208_walkies_.html

Thank you, and have a super, duper day!

 

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