I have always been pretty opposed to and critical of the "harnesses" parents use to keep physical control of their children. I don't like the way it looks or the physical restraint aspect of its purpose. For years I have said, "I will never put our children on a leash." Fundamentally, my position remains the same. However, since my son turned one and started to walk he is all over the place. He is a typical, active, physical boy and I love that about him; he provides a stark contrast to our more docile daughter. However, his "boyness" is also exhausting and frustrating when I am trying to get things done and done quickly. I have never considered a leash more seriously than I did today after taking him to the mall for a "quick" trip.
I mistakenly thought it would go more quickly without the stroller. I was very, very wrong. The plan was to run in and return a few things, try a couple of things on and then leave. As I tried on clothes he was trying to escape under the dressing room door. He wanted to walk and would dive out of my arms everytime I tried to carry him. Had he wanted to walk in the same general direction I needed to go it would have been a non-issue. But he wanted to go the opposite direction, of course. Between carrying my purse, shopping bags, holding my daughter's hand (who by the way was perfect all day shopping), and chasing him down I was praying for the end times to commence. Needless to say very little of what I needed to do got done.
Then I saw a man walk by with his daughter on a leash. It is funny to me how they try to make it look less like a leash by dressing it up with a cute little fuzzy animal on the back. It's still a leash, people. In that instant, my moment of weakness, I thought about offering the man all the cash in my wallet in exchange for his kiddie leash. I thought of how easy it would be to keep tabs on my active son. He couldn't run off or fight to get away. When I went to try things on I could tie him to the rack in the dressing room and I would not have to worry about pulling him back under the door. The moment of weakness passed and I gathered up my things and left. But, man, it was sure tempting.
After a quick stop at home I attempted to brave it and head to another mall. I learned from my mistake and brought the stroller. It was a much smoother trip. Lesson learned!