Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leash Law

I think this might be a controversial issue...but I was just wondering what the consensus was on harnesses for toddlers??

I know that it's a sensitive topic...I'm not sure I understand why. To me, it is a safety issue. I have purchased a stuffed animal/backpack combo with a strap for me to hold on to and I used it once while traveling to see my family near St. Louis. I was just concerned that while toting my daughter through the airport, she might want down to wander on her own and it's just too big of a crowd to let her do that. I used it for a total of 10 minutes maybe. During that very short time, I felt like I got some strange looks...I think I even overheard a comment.

Sooooo, let's just say that you have a rowdy, rambunctious, independent daughter that likes to explore. What do you do? Stay home? Try to keep her from scrambling out of a cart or stroller whilst she is screaming bloody murder?

She says: "Walk, Mama."

So, I let her. And she runs around and away from me with an impish grin as if to say: "Come and get me."

I'm just at my wits end! We were at Target today with my grandma and, needless to say, grandma got very worried. The friend we were with said she'd never Matilda act like this before.

Normally, this would not be an issue because her dad manages her when we're out so that I can browse. He chases her through the store. I know that's tiresome for him, too...

I have no idea what to do. She LOVES her freedom. I want her to explore...just not go too far. I don't know if a "leash" is the answer or not...

Of course she's not a dog - - she's my daughter. My brilliant, energetic, independent daughter.

Really, who am I kidding???? She'd be mad as hell if I had the harness on her anyway. I guess I answered my own question...


Natalie Young said...

I've used a harness for both my boys at different times. Once we were in an airport...Me pregnant with Rebekah, two boys, and a flight delay where we had to get off, go to a different gate, and my stroller had been gate checked. I had them each on a harness. To make it funnier, I was walking next to a lady walking her dog. :) I got lots of positive comments each time I've used it. I say use it. Is she old enough that you could give her the choice of the "leash" or a stroller/cart? Soon she will be big enough that she won't run off...she'll want to hang on the end of the cart...and precede to get off while you are still pushing the cart...and then complain when you run into her. Can you tell I've done that before? :)

Natalie Young said...

I had another thought...what about one of those wrist things, one is around your wrist, there is a stretchy cord, and one around hers? Do they still make those?

Momo said...

Thank you, Wooden! I feel soooo much better knowing that a fantastic mother like you has used it! It's worth a shot maybe, right?

Leighann said...

I have purchased both a wrist leash and the Eddie Bauer "monkey backpack" from Target. We have used the monkey backpack quite a bit for both children.

When my husband takes my daughter to Illini games, we always use it. Can you imagine losing a 4yo in a crowd like that?

And we see countless families walking to the game with them on.

I also use it when we go to crowded places.

I was nervous at first because I was afraid of the reaction I would get. But I have to say that I have had so many people tell me that they "appreciate" it.

For us, my children are given more freedom by using it. They learn to stay close, but they are allowed a certain amount of distance to explore.

And as long as they think it's fun (that's why we started calling it the "monkey backpack") they will go along with it.

I also hear that it's very acceptable overseas.

I say use it and don't think twice about it.

Leighann said...

Oh, and my daughter is also a "brilliant, energetic, independent daughter" like you described yours. And she likes it. Just make it fun for her to wear.

And the Eddie Bauer one from Target, the tail (leash) comes off. You could start by letting her wear just the backpack around the house. Maybe even putting a small toy in it. And then once she sees how cool it is to be a big girl with a backpack, start attaching the leash and head outdoors.

Momo said...

Leighann: Thank you sooo much! I really value your opinion. You are such a fantastic mother! AND we actually have the Eddie Bauer doggie backpack. We'll see how things go!