Saturday, June 19, 2010

To Leash or Not To Leash -

Mollie writes:

I hadn't even considered a leash until I was pregnant with Roger and shopping for maternity clothes.  I had taken Peter to Mall 205 and was in the maternity clothes store, dressed down to my undies, when Peter decided to make a break for it.  Lucky for me, the staff there was used to mommies and toddlers, and an alert sales person grabbed Peter before he could disappear into the crowds.  From that date forward, I clothes shopped alone.  It was safer for the kid and I deserved a little solo time!  But those leashes . . . what a mixed message!  I couldn't bring myself to buy one, and didn't want to use it.  But who doesn't worry about all that evil out there?

Once Roger was born and we'd survived Peter's hernia surgery and Rogers encephalitis, John and I decided that we needed some time off.  Roger was 11 months old and Peter was age 3.  John had a meeting in Fort Lauderdale Florida, so we decided to include Peter and myself in the travels.  Roger was newly on anti-convulsants and we decided that he could sit out this trip and stay with his grandparents.  The planning began for John, Peter and I to go to Florida.

In all the news reports we'd hear about Adam Walsh.  Just watching his dad, John Walsh, on TV talking about what a dangerous world it was and how devastating the kidnapping and murder of his son was would freeze me in my planning.  I worried about taking Peter someplace strange to us, in airports, amusement parks, large hotels.  Florida seemed like a dangerous place for kids, so I planned appropriately.

Included in my planning was one of those little leash contraptions.  I packed it in our carry-on luggage for the time at the airport when we were easily distracted, the times at amusement parks and hotels where we'd be temporarily busy with the minutiae of travel, etc.  I remember it to this day, it was all fabric, very harmless looking, cheery and yellow and 100% cotton.  Surely it wouldn't be a problem.

We didn't have Peter wear it until our plane landed in Fort Lauderdale.  He wasn't pleased but he put up with it.  He wore it in the taxi, and through our check-in at the hotel.  He wore it up to the room and I took if off once the door was closed and locked.

The next thing I remember was the toilet flushing.  And a manly little flush it was!  I never saw that leash again and I never bought another.  Peter had spoken.

We did learn to travel with a little more confidence.  Somebody may steal our passports, carry-ons, luggage or purses and we were ok, but our kids were always safely on one hip or another.  And if you are seriously thinking about your child's safety in an unknown destination, well, there are Millies and Mollies out there, waiting to spoil the little mites in your absence.  But Peter made it clear to us, leashes were not an option!


  1. I have such a problem with those. I've had a problem with them since I say a pre-teen with one on. Being talked to like an animal. There have been reports of children being tied to the clothes line or porch with these things. I think they are the worse thing you can do to your child. But that's just my two cents worth.


  2. Leashes are, like most of these items, helpful if used properly. I had kids who didn't want to hold my hand. Kids that were too big to be carried everywhere, or not enough hands to do it. So, they had a choice--they could either hold my hand, or they could wear the tot leash. More often then not, they chose the tot leash. It allowed them 3 feet of independance, and gave me peace of mind. Likely, the preteen mentioned was either being abused by his parents or they were trying to prove a point with him. Obviously this scenario is the extreme and should not be used as the standard.

  3. I agree completely - and I really like your idea of giving the KID the choice between hand or leash. I need to remind myself of what I always tell everyone else: Whatever works for YOUR family is the right thing to do!


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