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You Didn't Fool Me

Kidleashmonkey_1You thought I'd be fooled by your Indian silk hair wrap (read: crappy bandana) made by poor women in underground shelters. Maybe you thought I'd be distracted by you hemp capri pants, jingling anklet, or jesus joggers. Or perhaps you imagined I'd be blinded by your long grizzly arm pit hair staring at me through your strategically holed 100% organic cotton t-shirt.

But, you obviously didn't know who you were dealing with, because no matter how you dress it up - in this case as a cute monkey with a furry tail, sweet little ears, and a convenient little zipper pouch for all your soy nuts and bongs - it was still a LEASH that I saw on your child.

And that, my crunchy poser, is just plain WRONG. You might as well just go drink some milk, eat a hot dog, and throw on a polyester suit. Actually, that would have been a better choice.

Is it really that hard to drink your wheat grass extract and chase after your child? Do you really need a free arm to roll your naturally grown tobacco in 100% recycled paper? How much time does it take you to change your washable sanitary pad?

You are a disgrace to me and my twice removed granola cousins. Shame. on. you.


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I am actually on line right now to buy a leash for my 3 year old. He is very hyper and a very fast little runner. A few times we have been in the situation when we are outside and he starts running for the road. He thinks its a game and laughs when I yell at him to come here. The problem with chasing after him is he thinks we are playing chase and it will only make him run faster away from me. So then Im stuck. What the hell am i suposed to do when my son is near the road? I have to just stand in place and wait for him to see that im not chasing him and its not a game then he usually comes back. So to prevent that whole thing from even happening I want to just get a leash. I think any mother in that position would want to get a leash. It is very scary when your son is darting for the road and there is nothing you can do to stop it, because chasing him only makes him run faster.

Personally I'll never leash my kids. My voice is my leash and it has brought my son to a screeching halt when he was about to walk into someplace dangerous.

I do think the leash craze is by and large paranoia, and another sign that we've collectively gone overboard. But in a country where things like Dodgeball gets banned, I'm not surprised that these things have become all the rage.

Hi I know people have a strong reaction to the harness/leashs. I hated them too. But my baby is partialy deaf & she is delayed in walking. The only way she will walk unaided is the harness. She feels secure and can explore without holding my hand. She is in physical therapy & we have tried everything. We have enough on our plate without a guilt trip. Practice what you teach and If you can't say anything nice Dont say anything at all. And by the way the dirty looks you give to the parents-- the kids can see and understand them. Ugly Looks and Mean Words are MORE HURTFUL to a child than a simple restraint to keep children from getting lost or hurt. Have an opinion but respect a parent's right to do the best thing for thier child-- We dont love our children less & sometimes we just dont have a choice. . .

This is the most pathetic blog I have ever read. And believe me, I am hooked on every parenting website there is. It's funny how all these catty moms on here are acting more immaturely than their children. You teach your children not to make fun of others, but then you make fun of other moms who use harnesses? Come on people...It's better to be safe than sorry. And just because your child is on a harness doesn't mean he/she is "unlawful". It means their parent is allowing to use their muscles in a safe way instead of being stuck in a stroller all day while mommy runs errands. I think that is more cruel than using a harness if you ask me.

Kristen - you have a perfect, perfect, spoiled child! I'm sooooo jealous. Mine is only spoiled with one perfect. PLUS she's just not beautiful enough for a sicko to come and steal her away.

Life is just so unfair sometimes.

This is the very first time I read one of these blogs. Yes, it is upsetting! Not the leash idea but all of you people making judgements on others. Lazy parenting? Cruel? Nannies? WAKE UP AMERICA!!! GET A LIFE besides insulting, judging, interferring in other people lives. Find something else to do with your time. Lazy parenting? Who is spending all their time on the computer to point fingers and place judgement. Some people who don't even have kids!!! Stop the madness!!! It is people like you I need to keep my son away from. I am currently looking into a leash for my child. The reasoning is not bad parenting. My son is the most friendly, best mannered child around. I do not want instill fear into this innocent boy. Unfortuately there are sicko's in the real world, people! Sicko's who would snatch up my beautiful boy without a second thought. Instead of insulting people who feel obligated to get a leash. Think about your child, your perfect, perfect, spoiled child who will one day find her/himself without you, lost. People Get off of your high-horses and take a wiff of reality!!! I am wasting my time here.

I have never understood the judgemental attitude people have about leashes/harnesses. One word: TWINS. Mine are still not quite walking, but I have a sneaking suspicion that one of my boys will be the type to run the other way when I'm attending to his brother. And if I decide to use a leash to protect him and my sanity instead of using a stroller (which, BTW, offers considerable LESS freedom than a leash) when out in public, I will have to endure the judgemental stares and comments of people who think like you. Fortunately, I value my children's safety more than I value a cheap opinion that costs you nothing. Forgive my tone, but I'm frankly just tired of this type of judgement from other moms. That said, I respect the fact that this is your blog, most of which I have enjoyed, and I know I am free to move along.

M&Co: you can get the leash with a monkey pack at The Baby Boutique, where it's called a 2-in-1 Harness Buddy.


my little comment here better not get lost on your damn novela of responses..

damn woman. like i always tell hillary...you SNEEZE around here and people flock to clean up after you.

do i need to get some babies up over at my blog to get the kind of attention you do or WHA?!

youre a rock star. just so you know.


Of ALL of these comments...and I have read every STINKIN LAST ONE. HOLY SHIT WOMAN YOU ARE POPULAR.

I completely agree with Krista.

(and I'm kinda infatuated with her too...she is my knitting goddess...and her children are heaven...and her husband is hot(he reminds me of FINANCE)...and well, she just flippin rocks)

I am not offended by the 'leashes'. But lord knows I have my own 'leash'ish reactions to things. *ahem* PORN!

so. perhaps you were a we bit judgemental. i do it all the time. I think it just felt so raw to your readers coming off the heals of that last 'kum-by-ya' post you had...about why everyone has to be so judgemental. we all contradict ourselves from time to time...

i appreciate that you can be honest about your feelings here...you dish it out, and you are able to hear the criticism. you take everything tounge in cheek...and thats how you get people talking.

its all about engaging us all in discussion. sharing opinions. and trying to be as considerate as we can about things that are personal to us.

now. excuse me while i go for a 'jesus jog'.

I think leashes are great! Muzzles too!

That's probably why the Government made it so I can't ever reproduce...

C'est la vie.

Oh man where can I get the leash with a monkey pack thingie on it? Mine was just a plain old blue nylon one. Picture here: http://myowncircleofconfusion.com/100_0206.jpg
I'm brain dead and can't remember how to do a linkie thingie; must be the sinus meds.

I love this picture cause I think it makes him look like a pointer. And ain't nothing better than a good huntin dawg.

I can understand why you're upset about this leash, Kristen. I mean at least have the decency to dress it up with some sequins! My baby has a matching hat to go with her leash and people think it's the cutest thing when I take her for walks around town. I even taught her to pee on fire hydrants! She's still having some trouble keeping up with me when I take her jogging, though. I think she's just lazy...

How sad it is when irony is lost on the easily offended.

Listen people -> Granola Lady + Kid Leash makes NO FREAKING SENSE!! Tree huggers are NOT supposed to leash their children, quite simply.

This post was neither intented to take a stand on leashing or the parenting skills of the unnamed poser, but merely to remark on how very ironic the situation was.
And ya kow what, Kristen? It just made me laugh out loud AGAIN.

Sheesh...valume anyone?

When I was reading this (hysterical) post I was thinking "oh man, can't wait to see the comments!" Just what I suspected. I had a flight vest on my son recently and I was so afraid people would think it was a leash. B/c I so care what people think :)

I just wrote a post also that touched on the subject of leashes and how I was against them but Jesus sometimes my heart can't take much more and they don't seem so bad after all! I did manage to only offend 1 reader though :) I do imagine there are children and situations that may warrant the use but I don't think I could use one. Never know I suppose. Still, it was a great and funny post. I love when people aren't afraid to post what THEY feel on THIER blog. I got blasted once b/c I "judged" another ghetto lady wearing her baby totally inappropriately. Who frigin' doesn't judge?? I am trying to get better though.

Krista, you are cool. I think that was the best comment.

It's fiunny, I was one of the first commenters on this post and didn't think much of it (in terms of it being controversal). I just enjoyed your humor. But then, who knows how I would have reacted if I were a parent who does indeed use a leash.

Now that I see everyone elses comments I have to laugh. When you have alot of readers like you do, someone is always going to get mad when you voice an opinion.

Its YOUR opinion though, and that's what blogs are. People writing about their loves, their opinions. Sheesh. It's a PERSONAL blog for Christsake. Anyway, it makes for good reading, and I hope you didn't feel bothered by the accusatory comments. Maybe they opened your eyes to things you hadn't thought of. Who knows.

Your post was judgemental. Of course it was. Because you are a human, and like everyone you make judgements. The icing on the cake is that you make it funny. The difference between you and some other bloggers is that you are just sassy enough to post yours, and that's why people love reading your site.

You might make a judgement one day that pisses me off. That's fine. I'll keep reading. We can't agree on everything. But your writing style is funny, and sometimes sassy- and your readers love that about you. We have to accept that even if sometimes we don't agree wtih your judgements. You can't read along and chime in whole heartedly when you agree, and then freak out when you don't.

(Not that anyone really freaked out here or anything, I think the people who disagreed were mostly respectful, but it was just a thought)

You are so funny. I come from the land of leashers...the UK. Oh how we love to have our kids on leashes or "reins" as we called them. What are our children anyway....bloody ponies?
Babies get harnessed (as if for a bungee jump) into strollers... you would die!
Once I had to lasso my then two year old to the stroller but it was ok since she was a Cowgirl and it was Halloween.... oh and there was a reason too....
She had bitten three kids in a row!

Who needs a leash, mine are always hanging off my purse or my now way stretched out pockets.

A-ha-ha! See, I am opposed to the leash thing too... in theory. However, remember that karma thing you mentioned? With the torturous art class and the wallet playing and all those other everyday karmic parenting things? Yeah. So right now I figure I am blessed with a well-behaved child, but at any time I could get stuck with (either this kid or the next one) a WANDERER! And in my household that could end up being a stubborn willfull wanderer, as well. Perchance in unsafe places.

And then I'll be all about the leash. (so I can't judge)

Lisa B: Good lord, those people with the shitty, inattentive nanny need a new nanny, not a new leash! While some of the posters here make good (enough) cases for harnessing their toddlers, I've yet to hear a good case for keeping on a caregiver "who could care less."

Funny post, Kristen!

But there's one thing I just can't wrap my head around... they have granolas in Mississippi?

Interesting post. I am a young deaf mom... I have a hard time hearing my kid if she takes off. I lose her in a second all the time in my own home. I don't have a leash nor would I use one now... but I can see the value of it if I took my babe to a very busy place. Try not to be too judgmental. You never know. Maybe that Mom has a disability that restricts her from hearing, seeing or running after her kid.

Try having very active and spirited twins as a single mother and then tell me again how cruel leashes are. I guess you think it's better to let babies run off into the parking lot or street than to be contolled by a parent who is trying to corral two toddlers going in the opposite direction at the same time.

Judgemental much?

My little man and I went to the zoo a few weeks ago. We saw a few of these "leashes" around. I'm lucky. My little man is pretty good in crowds but I do think some people need something like this... As there was this nanny who took three girls to the zoo. She was so busy kissing and flirting with her boyfriend that she didn't notice the youngest one (who looked to be about 2) wondering to the left, as they were about 40 feet ahead of her and wondering to the right. I kept watching this... And the nanny had NO IDEA that the child was getting farther away. Didn't even seem to be looking for her even... Until, I herded the sweet little girl back over to her...

So in that case, I support someone "leashing" the child. It could be alot safer for the little one. Especially when the caregiver could seem to care less.

Too funny! I love the gladrags reference! Sadly my one and only wants to leash our kids. Oh what a war, oh I mean compromise, child rearing will be.

ack, could I have made any more mistakes? Typing too damn fast again!

While I have never had to use one, I truly think that they are okay for certain situations. My parents had one for my sister for when they went somewhere extremely crowded - a small child can slip their hadn out of your easily, and in a crowd, if you have a kid who insists on walking, it may be safer. And as some people noted, their are kids who are runners, plain and simple. I agree that for everyday purposes, teaching your child to stay close and keeping your eyes on him/her is the right response, but in some cases... Hey, you might think it's bad parenting to leash, but you'd think even worse of them if they lost their kid, wouldn't you?

I had to share my experience with the dreaded child leash. I always thought it was strange and somewhat twisted to see a child on a harness. But then I gave birth to triplets and thought Id never be able to venture out without six little feet pitter pattering off in different directions. And I didnt venture out aleast not without our triple stroller.

Then Sesame street came to town when my trio were 18mths old, I couldnt deny my sweet babies that experience! (thankfully I have pics to prove it cus they dont remember a thing from it now!) Only thing was, I couldnt take the stroller into the stadium, so I broke down and decided to buy the harness, for fear of some freak running off with one of my babies! Anyways, I found the harness's at Wal-mart for $5 , they even had Elmo on them! I was sold! I should have maybe practiced before we left the house, cus my trio looked like a pack of puppies! I felt like such a fool and they got all tangled up and one fell down . Needless to say it was pretty embarassing! We finally made it to our seats and Ive never used them again! Those harness's collected dust until I sold them to another sucker! ;-)

I did however instill the fear of some stranger taking off with them so they better not run off out of my site! And that seems to have done the trick. Also they hold each others hands and it keeps us all together.

So Ive been there tried that and even though it wasnt for me, Im not so judgemental to snub my nose at those who do choose to leash up their kids . I actually think their a really great thing especially for those excursions to places where a little one could easily lost in a crowd of strangers, it happens!

And to be offended by the association to a dog on a leash is stupid. Most people who leash their dogs do so out of love and dont want their dog to get run over, lost or mauled by another four legged friend. Isnt that the same reasoning behind leashing a child? For their safety and that paticular parents peace of mind?

Is a parent lazy for choosing to use safety gates, outlet plugs, toilet lid locks and other child safety devices? I dont think so. Its simple, whatever works for you and your child than do it.

Would you rather see a parent with a toddler on a leash.
Or see an out of control parent running and screaming at their toddler through the mall to "STOP JR COME HERE!"

Your blog is really great by the way!

I would never use a leash for my children but OH MY GOD. My tot likes to hold the lead on our jogging stroller and walk beside me. She does look like I've strapped her along and people are probably posting pictures of her on their blogs! Yikes!

wow, i made the cardinal mistake of posting without reading all the comments first. LOADED TOPIC, so it seems.

it turns out i am LAZY!!! COOL!!! Finally, some VALIDATION for what I knew deep down to be true.

seriously--i want to say that debates about child-leashes vs strollers, co-sleeping vs crib, CIO vs attachment-parenting, etc. all these things are completely ideologically/culturally situated.

call a crib a cage, and we've got a debate on our hands. (and some people do. well, i "CAGED" my kid too folks)

call a "leash" a means for kids (especially sprited ones) to transition from stroller to experience some freedom walking in the streets, and suddenly we can think differently about it.
i made a joke about yanking my son, but for the most part it was completely fine--it saved my sanity and gave him that extra inch he needed. and i was in an environment where it was not frowned upon at all, which made all the difference.

leashes connote pets, so we think of them demeaning. to me that's just as much semantics as calling a crib a cage, or a car seat a "restraining device"

seriously, don't knock it till you've got a 2 yr old with a penchant for dashing into traffic, and who goes ballistic when "tied down" in his "ambulatory prison/restraining device..."

am off to think what medieval torture device i can think up next for my boy.

and kristen--you my girl, girl;-)

The thing that bothers me in the comments is the whole: if you use a leash you are a bad parent polarization. I doubt its that black and white, people. That said, I do think this post was pretty fcking funny.
Personally I don't like them--I think it's the association with walking a dog that bugs me--but I'm not going to assume that the parent is a jackhole just for using one. I'm too busy trying to stop my two monsters from tearing up the store to pay much attention, honestly. ;)

as a child leashed myself (we called them "reigns") i sometimes wish it was far more socially acceptable here. in the UK it's still rampant, and thank the LORD. When i took my 2 yr old for a visit (solo) to nanna and grandy, i forgot how the sidewalk is about 1 foot wide, and that traffic squeezes on narrow curvy by at thunderous paces. so what did i do? i got me a leash for my boy (who freaked out in a stroller) and we hit the streets looking like a women strolling with her blond monkey pet. we LOVED it. the thing has not seen the light of day since i got back the states for fear of being bludgeoned.

(i will say that my personal memory of the leash was consistently straining against it, but my boy soon got used to being yanked dangling off the curb--it became our little game).

I just saw a leashed child the other day and wasn't really affected by it, which would not have been the case a year ago. I realized then that it was yet another example of how I've changed now that I'm a mother myself. Basically, I'm one hell of a lot less judgemental. Though I, like Mom 101, have a delightfully well behaved 9 month old (!!!), for some reason I can totally understand the loss of control that would lead one to snap the ol' harnass on Junior. Of course, I hope to God I never have a child so lawless as to need one. I just have this paranoid feeling that any judgements I pass now are going to come back to bite me in the ass with child #2.

Wow-who knew the leash would create such banter?? Well, I belong to the group that has a spirited child. Need I say more?My first NEVER even though about leaving my side, whether my eye was on her or not. EVER. My second would run across a freeway without a second though if she had one single second of me not watching her. Come to think of it, she'd do it even if I were watching her. And with her strength and nimbleness, she'd drag me along with her. I've never "leashed her" but I'd thought about it. God, at least the leash gives the kid a little excercise, unlike strapping into a stroller. Happy, active kid means Happy Mom. I don't see how that's a bad thing.

LMAO - "Known Bolters"

I love it. :)

I didn't say she started Mommy Wars. I said that this kind of Mommy oneupmanship and judgementalism is what *starts* Mommy Wars. Jeez, a week ago, everybody was all kumbya about empowerment and solidarity and feminism now you all are ready to fricasee leashers on a spit. Seems kind of hypocritical to me.

My kids are older now, and stuff I used to think was like...earth shatteringly important, doesn't mean squat now. I just don't see the point in getting all worked up over someone taking a measure that is designed to keep their child safe.

Beating a kid, sure. Screaming obscenities at a kid. Absolutely. Leashing a kid (especially a known bolter) not so much.

I despise those things. But I do think some kids are safer on them. I would love to argue this one, but I've seen that it goes no where. I will say though, I'd never do it.

Oh my.

I'm going to venture out on a limb here and suggest something that might be miscontrued as sacrificial mothering, but it's actually intended to be rational and logical.

Along the lines of what Felicity said, we may need to adjust our own expectations as to what can reasonably be accomplished with toddler(s) in tow. Or what is a reasonable destination for an outing. Or what is a reasonable distance to maintain between you and your child, sans leash or other means of restricting the child's movement. Or what is a reasonable level of attention to pay to the whereabouts of your child.

And when children are old enough to understand and obey direction (such as hold my hand, stay next to me, don't touch, and so forth), we may need to be prepared to issue ultimatums and act on them. Even if it means that our fun is curtailed or our agenda is postponed.

Because it's our job to teach our children. Teaching requires consistency and repetition. It's frustrating and it takes time, but it's necessary.

I would never put my kids on a leash, but I do wish parents would put THEIR kids on one.

I meant "too." I was an English major for goodness sake...

I really just don't see the point of the leash. Beyond it being demeaning, it just doesn't seem practical. You still need a free hand, and if you pull to hard to keep them from danger or whatever, they're going to recoil and get hurt. A dog can handle that, but a kid can't. And wouldn't the leash just trip up other people who are trying to get by? It's just stupid for so many reasons.

WOW----you started Mommy Wars 2!!!!

I brag (yes, I admit that I brag!) about how well behaved my daughter is but there are times (getting more and more frequent these days) that I find myself thinking about leashes. Then I realize that she is a child, not my family dog, and that tying her to me via leash will not teach her manners (do not run through the store and dont run away from Mommy) and respect (listen to what Mommy and Daddy tell you) responsiblity (when you misbehave there are consequences to yur actions) and all those other lessons to be learned.

Honestly, my hubby and I were commented just the other day that even though personally we dont like the leashes, now that there is a 2 year old among us, we understand them a little more.

So, while I do not use the leash with my daughter and if asked I express the opinion that she is a child not a dog and therefore does not belong on a leash, I can sympathize with the need for the leashes for some children.

Wonder what Mommy Wars 3 will be about!??!!?

I was in the mall a few nights ago, and saw a parent with one of those restraints on his child. Guess what? The kid knocked over a whole pile of glasses on display. Thankfully, they were plastic. Wow, that leash did alot of good.

Jesus joggers are Birkenstocks.

And speaking of Jesus, who knew so much pent up angst about leashes?

Hooray for controversy!

Not having kids, I have always hesitated to pass judgements on parents who use those leashes, but I can't imagine ever using one. Especially after seeing someone yank their toddler around on one. Good lord.

Dog? No...child...wait, DOG?!!!

Pay attention to your kid, then you won't need a leash. LAZY parenting.

Maybe the leash makes you feel better in a crowd. I'm not sure. But it's a LEASH. LEASH.

How about, oh, I don't know...not walking while talking on your cell phone and stuffing your face...and instead, walking and WATCHING your kids.

Rant over. I think.

Oh yeah, and especially if you've ever been out at a busy place with two active toddlers who don't want to be in a stroller? It's not as easy as you might think.

I have used one of those before, and not because I felt like my kid was a dog or that I didn't want to hold his hand. But when I'm in a super crowded place, like a state fair, or airport, and my two year old absolutely refuses to hold my hand because he wants to be independent, I will resort to one of those. And I have no shame, either, because I'd rather know where my kid is than have him run all over the place or have a tantrum because he doesnt want to hold my hand. But like I said, it's usually only at really crowded places. I wouldn't use it to go for a walk! :)

I wanted to add that the comments here, while they don't upset me personally, do make me a little sad. The blatant judgementalism and the assertion that people who do things not in keeping with one's own view should not be allowed to have more children, is the kind of thing that spawns "Mommy Wars" and divides women. I wish it didn't have to be that way with women, but sadley, I think it always will.

I'm probably gonna get flamed for this but I don't have an issue with leashes.

I've never used one but I can already tell that my second child is gonna be a wild man when he starts walking and I'm not ruling the leash out for use in places where his safety might be an issue, like walking on a city sidewalk where moving cars are 8 feet away.

Strollers are not always practical and my son is so big and strong, carrying him while he bucks like a bronco isn't particularly practical (or safe) either.

I don't own a leash and maybe I never will but I'm not saying "never" just yet.

Okay...flame away :)

We all have those things that we say about parenting, and then when we're actually living it, we realize how naive we were. This may not be one of yours, and I truly hope it's not.

I felt exactly the same way when I had one very well-behaved child. I thought they were horrible and demeaning and just WRONG.

Then my spirited child, aka "the bolter" was born, who also would not sit in a stroller once he learned to walk at 10 mos. He tipped himself over twice before I resigned myself to the fact that the stroller was going to have to go bye-bye. Since I couldn't conceivabely carry him and since I also had a four year old to keep track of...well, my only alternative was the leash, if I ever wanted to venture from our home again.

He was happy, I was happy, and best of all, he was safe. I got plenty of looks to be sure, but after chasing him into traffic more than once, while my heart was in my throat, those looks really didn't phase me.

Course, I coulda just "popped him on the butt" until he got it into his head not to run from me. Whaddya think?

(btw..this is all very good-natured. I'm not offended by your post at all. My spirited child has beaten that right out of me, and I've had to eat my *own* words more than once in regard to parenting him.)

Still waiting to learn what a jesus jogger is. (Taps foot.)

My little brother was one of those dart-away-and-disappear kids. He always rode in a sling or a backpack when we were out and about. Maybe I was misinformed, but I thought that was one of the best uses for slings and backbacks: hands-free hanging on to squirrelly little ones!

Children put on leashes makes me ill. Let's hope she doesn't have another one...or else she might have to hire a dog walker.

I don't like them either, although I have understood the choice to use them in particular instances.

Briefly, my first kidlet had an unfortunate habit of dashing into dangerous places, like ponds in the public gardens. He was only 18 months old and I tried the wrist to wrist leash.

It felt so yucky that I just started a practice of always wearing my sling. If he couldn't be safe holding my hand he went in the sling. Strollers or backpacks would work, too, depending which means of transport is considered less torturous by the parent and child involved.

I (and my granola cousins) share your outrage.

Funny post but ..Oh. My. God... am I with you on use of leashes. They should be banned. There are many other ways to keep your child safe.

I know I am judgemental but come on if you want a leash, buy a dog. Or a monkey. Or a really cute pig.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the leash for my own kids. Although my little Rosie at age 18 months, with not a compliant bone in her body, would be a great candidate for one -- she goes boneless when you try to carry her, runs in the other direction when you call her, wrestles her little wrist out of your hands, and just generally wreaks havoc wherever we go. I am desperately hoping she'll outgrow it, but for now I burn major calories wrestling with her.

HEY -- maybe the solution is obedience school for toddlers? It's not as far-fetched as it might seem. If kids can wear leashes, why can't they learn to heel on command?

(please don't flame me, people. I'm trying to be funny. You can leash all you want.)

I have never and would never use a leash on my child but I do put him in a stroller when I go walking. Some say that is the same. Is it?

My sister used a leash on her child for a while. I thought it was funny but her child didn't seem to mind.

Everyone has their reasons for doing what they do.

Just chiming in with my 2c...simply to add that I too don't like leashes. I don't like 'em for my dogs, or my kids, or myself.
I like the post & found the comments...interesting.
As a young mom when I had DD, I simply *gave up* doing things that would lead to her running away from me. Grocery trips were limited to 10 minutes or less, for example. I became very thin that way!

Are those things widely used by neo-hippies? I didn't know.

Anyways, "washable sanitary pad?" is disturbing me. Ew. Do people send those out to a service like a cloth diaper service? Just wondering.

I hear you on this one (and other posts too but this one really struck home). My BFF had her baby a year before me and when we went stroller shopping together she found one of those leash/muzzle combos for her little guy and you'd swear she'd found a hundred doller bill on the ground the way she rejoiced. She started jumping up and down and saying "thank God, I've been looking for one of these since he learned how to crawl - can you believe people think these are cruel?". My response was just to stare - what could I say? At the time I didn't have a baby and I didn't know "better". Anyways she too is a granola crunching organic everything kinda lady and I must say that I'm still miffed at her leashing choice. Her boy isn't out of control but she insists on keeping him on that thing. Sorry to rant on your comment section but it just brought that all back. Love your blog - I read it daily.

Wonder if she teaches him to bark like a dog too? Having my oldest two only thirteen months apart I did my share of chasing toddlers through the mall and playing peekaboo with them in the clothing stores through the racks. And while I liked the idea of being able to harness my brats, I mean kids, I had too much self-esteem to actually collar and leash them. So I did what any self-respecting mother would do. Put them in a stroller or just chased after them while yelling out their names.

Some people's children...

I hate'em too. The truth is, if you teach your kids to respect you and listen at home, in general they will listen and stick with you out in public. Sure, there are moments when one and two year olds will dart off. But that's why you hold hands in busy situations or use a stroller. I agree that moms of triplets (or more) may have reason to use these things. But I still prefer strollers....

Mary, mom to 8, including 2 who are 2-1/2 months apart. I've had 4 kids under age 8 for a decade.

Come to think of it, you really shouldn't judge. Maybe he wasn't a child at all but a miniature serial killer on his way to trial and that wasn't a harness but some sort of newfangled, high-voltage body cuff.

It's possible. I'm just sayin'.

I used to feel the same way you do about child leashes and think that any parent who uses them is just plain lazy and is totally destroying the child's independence. However, that was before I had three preschool boys (one with ADHD)of my own all day every day. Sometimes I do secretly long for a leash, just one, because it is next to impossible to fill a cart in the store with three little boys and groceries and get any shopping accomplished...of course, I would have to add to that a straight jacket because they just keep grabbing stuff off the shelves! I tried a stroller, but once boys (mine, at least) hurdle the developmental milestone of walking, they rival Houdini at their ability to escape. Anyway, if you think about it, a stroller is just another method of confinement and control. So are the seats in a grocery cart. The solution for me was just to never ever leave the house with all these kids unless we are going somewhere they can run freely. It is a practical solution, but boring being cooped up all the time. And probably denying them of excellent developmental opportunities like all the new words I would teach them if I had to chase their butts around the grocery store.

My kids are two years apart and when I was largely pregnant with my son, my daughter ran away from me and down the street as soon as I put her down in the driveway. I ran --er, waddled, as fast as I could down the street after her, conscious of the fact that I wasn't supposed to be running do to my placenta previa and that my fucking pelvis was going to crack in two if I didn't stop, "running" after her. But she wouldn't stop.

I finally caught her and vowed that if I had to duct tape her to my body, I'd do it. I went out the next day and bought what I like to call a "special bracelet". It slips on my wrist and is velcroed down on hers. So it's a leash, but not a harness leash.

That being said, I have no problems with parents who choose to use harnesses. My mom was one of them. And I loved that thing. Apparently, I called it a "husso" and would hand it to her when I wanted to go for a walk.

Maybe that's why I hate dogs so much now.

(Addendum to what I said below: obviously, this does not apply if you have multiples, multiples jacked up on sugar or if you yourself are under the influence of noxious substances. In which cases, leash away.)

I don't know anything about child leashes. They certainly look silly.

What are jesus joggers?

I can totally appreciate everything that the dissenters here are saying - such a parent is making choices/taking action to protect their child, keep him or her from bolting into traffic, that kind of thing - but STILL. As other folks have said here - a child is not a dog.

Whatever happened to holding your child's hand?

If you can't be bothered to hold your child's hand - if you need some kind of pet-training restraining device instead, presumably so that it can be slipped on your wrist, thereby freeing up your hand for cell phone/latte/PETA pamphlets - then, sorry, Kristen is right. There is something wrong with you.

C'mon latte man. Can't you sniff out the irony? :)

And Fyregoddess... Absolutely. Flip through my archives and you can read about plenty of my bad choices.

I never could stomach those things. Glad to see I'm not the only one. I'll see some idiot parent in the mall with a leash on their child and I'm sooo offended somehow.

(Hope you're wearing your flame-retardant suit today)

I hate those leashes. Truly. It always reminds me of that opening scene in Sound of Music when he calls his kids with dog whistles. While I understand why some people might need them, ie people with six more children than parents to watch them, it still seems to me like it doesn't teach your child to obey you. It just puts a bandaid on the situtation. Like, if the leash isn't on then it's okay to run wherever you want.

But what do I know. I have a perfectly behaved, never disobeys, always charming and polite 9 month old.

But dude, don't pick on bongs.

I can only assume that you have never had a child who ran into the street. Hopefully, you've never had to deal with a child who ran and HID the scond your back was turned.

It always blows my mind that people assume that parents who use leashes are lazy or poor parents, when the reality is that there are a lot of children who cannot be chased or who shouldn't be chased.

Do you live in an urban area where cars drive 40+ mph outside your house or in an area with signs posted "Children at play"?

I've had to deal with children who ran the second whatever adult in charge's back was turned. I have had to deal with children who would wait for an opeing to run off and hide in department stores or any crowded public place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for you, all of you, that you've never had to deal with that. But until you do, I strongly suggest that you not put down parents for taking care of their children, even if it's in a way you disagree with.

Quite honestly, I'm sure there are plenty of things you do as a parent that others would find worthy of negative judgement.

Children are not dogs. They can be taught, can reason, can understand better than any dog can be taught or understand. I hate hate HATE those leash things! They make cutsie ones for dogs too, and it's STILL A LEASH! If that woman didn't want the trouble of chasing after a child, she shouldn't have had a child. What happened to holding the child's hand or strapping him in a stroller? Or here's a novel idea: TEACH him to stay close! He can do it, if she'd just let him. Looks like the gene pool needed a little chlorine in her case.

Now this is wholly unfair. While I understand that you are picking on one particular person, your stressing (and seemingly blaming)this deplorably lazy parenting "technique" on people that give a hoot about the environment is just as "plain WRONG" as she is for using it.

I hate child leashes. My parents used one with me until I was 3 - only back then they weren't padded - it was leather and dug into my shoulders and resembled one of those harness leashes they use for big dogs. I hated the thing, and I still remember the way it felt when it dug in...

I vowed never to use one of those things on any of my children - and I didn't.

When my oldest child was young, I saw a sort of alarm system, where the mother wears one of the radios, and the child wears the other. If the child gets more than 5 feet out of range, an alarm sounds so the mother knows to start looking for her child. I though those were insane too. Call me crazy - but my kids never got 5 feet away from me, let alone more than that when they were little.

Oh my god!

I hate those things! It's such a funny sight though, to see the kid all smiley, going about his (limited) business.

An abomination! Even I, a mere closet tree hugger, would know better!!

LMFAO, Kristen.

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