On the drive there, Uncle Bri and I reminded JD and Shane that they needed to hold our hands and not run off, no matter how excited they got when we entered the Pit Party and saw the trucks, clowns, drivers and more.
They listened well, holding our hands in the parking garage and crossing the street with us. We stopped in front of the building and snapped a few pics.
When we entered the venue, I told the boys to stay with uncle Bri while I retrieved the tickets from Will Call. Next, we joined a big line of people that were waiting to enter the Pit Party. The boys played around, in our view.
That’s when I saw it. Cringe.
A little boy, about JD and Shane’s age … on a leash. It wasn’t a backpack leash. It was a leash fixed around his wrist. The mom and dad were waiting in line with him and there didn’t seem to be any other kids with them, but who knows.
All I know is what I saw. The boy flopping around like a distressed puppy … trying to get off his leash. He even ended up on the dirty floor, crying and rolling around. Brian and I both couldn’t help but watch, then look at each other and (shame on us) laugh a little. JD and Shane noticed and my gem of a kid, yelled, “That boy is on a leash like Max (our dog), mommy!”
And that basically sums up how I feel about leashes and kids.
Leashes are for dogs—not kids. On the same note, there have been plenty of times that a leash would have come in handy with JD, as I’ve certainly chased him around Target or kept him fastened in his stroller in the airport, even though, he could walk and follow directions. The words, “Are you trying to get lost?” and “It will be scary if you lose me” have popped out of my mouth on many, many occasions.
Still, my feeling on leashes is that they protect our children too much. For the most part, JD follows directions and certainly listened and stayed close to me or uncle Bri at Monster Jam. I think it’s because I give him space to explore, walk a few steps away from me, but always in my view. I let him fall down and make him get back up.
Quick story: When we were in Disney Aulani I had to step away for a press meeting. I left JD with uncle Carlo. When I returned I found Carlo at the pool on a lounge chair and JD … no where. I panicked! “WHERE IS MY BABY!”
“Oh! Take it ease,” Carlo said in true godfather form. “Kid’s getting an iceeee!”
“OMG! You let him go alone!?” I said, storming off to the ice stand, but my sweet boy was on his way back with an iceee the size of his head.
“I never took my eyes off him, Christine. Relax!” Carlo said.
“I’m a big boy, mommy!” JD said proudly, then dug into his rainbow mountain of ice!
It definitely freaked me out, but it made me realize that I need to give JD a little room so he knows how to handle himself when I’m not next to him. I don’t keep him on a leash, because that would mean one day I’d set him free into a big, scary, unfamiliar world. Like letting a puppy out of a cage for the first time. Nah, not for us.
How do you feel about leashes on kids? Do you leash? I welcome all opinions and ask that you respect mine. Thanks, guys! XO
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