A Leash For My Toddler. Totally Crazy? Or Crazy Brilliant?
As I am typing this post, I can hear my mom saying, “You will not put a leash on my granddaughter,” and I will admit that before having children, I always looked at those types of restraint devices with the slightest bit of judgment. “Well if he was able to control his child, they wouldn’t need something like that…” or “You would think she would avoid doing anything that makes her child look like a pet…”
But you see, now I have a child, and I live in New York City, and I only have two hands, when I really need 16, so the leash or “child safety tether” as it was called in a recent episode of Modern Family, is starting to look like a reasonable solution to the problem of an unreasonable toddler.
Within the past couple of months, Ellie has decided that under no circumstances does she want to be restrained by her stroller. Now, there are pros and cons to her aversion to the stroller, the main one being that when we take the subway, I only have to schlep her up and down the stairs, instead of her and a pretty damn cumbersome stroller. But…and there is always a but folks, she is now 19-months-old and has a mind of her own, which means that whenever I try to get her to hold my hand for more than 15 seconds, she begins to scream, “No, no, no, no, noooooooo!!!!!!” while ripping her hand out of mine.
Honestly, if I were an onlooker, I would think that someone was mugging this child and trying to steal her Cabbage Patch Doll. Aside from the embarrassment, and the frustration this evokes, it also makes me reeeeeaaaaal, reeeeeaaal nervous. Ellie doesn’t fully understand the dangers of getting close to the end of the sidewalk and I live in New York City where the pedestrians are only slightly less dangerous than the cabs and bicyclists. Everyone needs to get somewhere quickly, and it is very easy to knock over someone that is only 30 inches tall.
I understand the importance of discipline and teaching your children how to behave and follow directions. But I also really appreciate a good safety net. And that’s what the leash would be, IF, (I said IF mom) I chose to use it. It would be a, “just in case Ellie ripped her hand out of mine and I couldn’t grasp it again before she put herself in harms way” tether.
Like Cam also said on that episode of Modern Family, “Ya know, if I thought it would keep her safe, I would have a kangaroo pouch sewn into my midriff.”
So what are your thoughts? Is a leash for a toddler totally crazy? Or crazy brilliant?