Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Leash Law

Kids are fast... WAY faster than you think they could be and suddenly you're chasing your kid through a shopping mall or into the street while your heart momentarily stops. Never before did I understand the purpose of those funny toddler leashes. I completely get it now. Still, though... It's a leash. I don't care if you put a stuffed monkey on a backpack with a tail handle. It's still a leash. I'm not opposed to other people having kid leashes just as I'm not opposed to other people owning minivans. It's just not for me.

Maybe I feel like tethering my kid is admitting that I can't keep her in one place. I'm not saying I can, of course, but I like to think I can come up with other ways to keep her from taking off. Bribery, for example. I'll do what I need to do to get my daughter to eat her vegetables, hold my hand, and use magic words. The key for me, though, is to look like I have everything under control. I'm fully aware that most of us are making it all up as we go, but something about the pretense makes me feel more competent. If I use a toddler leash, the gig is up.

I'm pretty sure Emily is already on to me... A few days ago I tried to get her to follow me by saying, "Bye! See you later!" and calmly walking away. Emily gave me a sweet smile, a wave, and said, "Buh-bye!" Nice. A 2-year old just called my bluff. She knows I'm not leaving and she's giddy with the prospect of being chased. So, what's worse?? The mom who drags her kid through the mall by a leash or the mom who chases her toddler into a Nordstrom dressing room and pulls her out from under an occupied stall? I'm leaning toward the first and I hope you'll agree. I also owe you an apology if that was you in the last dressing room stall on the left. Sorry about that!

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