Michael: So, I looked it up online and it turns out there are quite a few people vehemently opposed to toddler backpack leashes.
Me: Yes, it is hard to believe that leading your child around like the family pet would be such a polarizing issue.
Michael: We're still getting one...
I imagine every parent (let me rephrase that, 'new parent') looks forward to the day that they see their child gaining more independence.
I prayed day and night to see Henry walk.
And God listened. And Henry walked.
Now I pray night and day that Henry will just sit in his stroller.
Let me set the stage for you:
Last weekend at the Dixie Classic Fair. (You already know this is bound to get good.)
We had two strollers.
Adeline slept in her stroller and just enjoyed the general splendor.
Henry, on the other hand;
Lost. His. Damn. Mind.
To his credit, I imagine the whole thing was very overwhelming.
(You know how science teachers put a camera on a little bean sprout and record it growing and then you watch it grow in fast forward. When you take a two year old to the fair you can look in their eyes and watch the seed of ADHD sprout and quickly take over their brain.)
Two words: crazy eyes.
Alas, the county fair is not exactly the time and place you want your child to exercise their growing love of independence.
i.e. refusing to sit in the stroller.
I am all for Henry walking by himself. BUT. He looks at his feet when he walks. He walks into walls. He walks head-long into groups of people. (Further evidence that 99% of his genes came from me.)
He is easily distracted:
"Oh a stuffed banana, Is that something shiny? Oh a rock, I'm going to pick it up and put in my pants, OH MY GOD a basketball!, Is that an inflatable Dora!?, I see a man with pizza, I want pizza, Oh, there's another rock, I'll put this one in my pants too. Is that a slide. That woman has blue pants, I'm going to touch the blue pants. Stuffed monkey, stuffed giraffe, stuffed pencil, STUFFED PICKLE. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.)
And then we saw fluid start to leak out of his ears.
We said, "You have to hold our hand, Henry."
We said, "You have to hold on to the stroller, Henry."
Henry heard, "Run like Hell."
It was a good thing the midway was so loud, because Henry's screams as we tried to force him back into the stroller might have really gotten on people's nerves.
Picture a giant squid with rigor mortis.
Nearly impossible to jam in a stroller with out some faintly disturbing cracks and pops.
Don't worry. Only slight bruising was sustained by the handlers.
We left feeling defeated.
Saying to ourselves, "Well, this will be fun...in five years."
No, we don't want to leash Henry. But what is one to do?
I hear that "leashing parents" are bad parents. We don't try hard enough. We don't teach our kids the correct way to behave.
We don't "reason" with them.
Doy, Why didn't I think of that?
Reasoning with a two year old is highly effective.
I figure leash opponents are either,
A: Not Parents.
B: Much better parents than me.
So, please. Sing me the song of your people. I'm listening.
In the meantime, please ignore that little boy at the fair who wants to feel your pants, steal your pizza, beat you about the head with an inflatable whale and show you a rock he just extracted from his diaper.
My sincerest apologies.