Friday, August 5, 2011

I love kiddie leashes

Yup, I said it.  I'm not ashamed of it - I love my kiddie leash.

What prompted this declaration?  Well, I was reading the paper this morning, and someone had written a letter to the advice column lady about how they had seen a mom with a toddler on a leash (or harness, if you prefer), and they thought that it was "disgusting," "abusive," and from the "Stone Age" (direct quotes).  Clearly this person is not a parent of a toddler!  So I felt the need to express my opinion on the subject (and it's my blog, so I'm allowed to do that!) ;)

I'll admit, before I had kids, I too thought that leashes for children were a bit inhumane.  However, now I see them as a god-send.  We have one for Annika that looks like a puppy/backpack.  She likes wearing it, and it benefits both of us.  She gets to run around and have more freedom (as opposed to being stuck in a shopping cart or always having to hold my hand), and I have the peace of mind that she's not going to run away or get hurt.  Of course I still keep an eye on her that she's not getting into trouble (and I always take her by the hand when we're around traffic), but it definitely makes things a lot easier, especially now with another kid.  The leash has come in handy so many times - I'm glad that I got over my initial discomfort with it.

I think what made me the most upset this morning when reading that letter is the harsh judgement of the writer towards the mom.  What business does she have judging someone else, especially someone that she doesn't know at all?  It's not like the mom was hurting her child - she was just trying to keep her child safe, and doing what she thought was best.  It reminds me of a quote I came across a while ago:
There is always one fact more in every man’s case about which we know nothing.
(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest)
If we weren't so quick to judge, if we actually took the time to find out that "one fact more", who knows what we could learn about those around us.  We might even find out things about ourselves we didn't know before.  So this is my challenge - to myself and to you - try a little understanding first; don't be so quick to judge.  Because next time it might be me, with my kid on a leash, that you're judging.


Sheldon Dueck said...

Not a fan of those myself, but I suspect I may change my tune as well when we have our girls home...

I have nothing to add other than the statement that I got from a guy a few weeks ago while walking my dog... He had 3 kids walking with him, and all 3 of them were on that type of a leash. I smiled at him, and said hi, and he said "I don't agree with this method, I think it's not right, and my wife made me do it"... I had not said it, nor implied it with my "Hi".... I just kinda nodded my head, and left the scene. Just thought it was funny story that you reminded me of when you posted this :)

pam said...

Ha! That's awesome, Sheldon. :)

Liane said...

I loved Janelle's puppydog backpack lease! She liked having her "puppy hugging her".

I support them when used properly. Tie your kid to a parking meter or sign post while you go in an shop - that's a different story!

Gin said...

Not being a parent of a toddler but an aunt to an escape artist when he was younger, they're the kindest thing you can do for yourself and the child. I really like the ones that they have now with the puppy's, etc that are part of them. When I see a parent use them, I thank God how much that parent loves their child! (Oh, my goodness, I just sounded like my mother!!)

Melissa said...

I love this post Pam. LOVE IT.
It's so very true about making judgements, we don't have all the facts, and trying to gain perspective from another persons standpoint is a very humbling experience.

I have never had Sydney on a leash, but I would say that Annika looks quite happy in these pictures. In the end there is always one more fact isn't there!

Thanks for challenging me with this today!