I’ve written about judging other moms before I became a mom and then eating my words. Well, it’s happened again…baby leashes. Which, now that I have purchased two and am re-framing them in a positive light, we will henceforth call harnesses.
2006: “What kind of mother puts her baby on a leash!?” I asked, childless.
2007: “What kind of mother puts her baby on a leash? Just hold his hand!” I commented wisely, Stephen in tow.
2010: “What kind of mother puts her baby on a leash? Can’t you control your child?” I asked, wearing Adrian in a sling and holding Stephen’s hand.
2014: “Where can I get one of those baby leashes?” I asked, grabbing Reid and then running in the opposite direction after Will while shouting at Adrian to get out of the street. “Oh, they’re called harnesses now? Good to know.”
Until now, I’ve kept them contained in their double stroller, but since they have started running at super sonic speed, they aren’t content in the stroller for long. But let them out…and…let me illustrate:
Eric and I went to buy some living room furniture. The babies were in their stroller and Adrian walked along with us (Stephen was at his grandparents’ house). This worked well for about five minutes. Every time we stopped to look at something, the babies cried and kicked and fought to get out of the stroller. They were so insistent, we decided to release them. They instantly disappeared. Will ran in one direction, climbing couches and tables like a monkey while Reid ran the other way, giggling as Adrian chased him through a maze of furniture. We collected everyone again, but no sooner did Eric say, “what do you think of that one?” and I turned to look and…poof. Down to one baby in sight. We could barely keep track of them, and that was with two of us. We ended up wrestling them kicking and screaming back into the stroller, but the stroller HAD TO KEEP MOVING AT ALL TIMES or tantrums would ensue.
I realized my only choices, especially if I was by myself, would be to keep them strapped in the stroller, or have harnesses. At least a harness gives them a little more exploring room than the stroller! So I went to walmart and bought two very cute baby harnesses.
I tried them out for the first time when I took all 4 boys to the park by myself. I put the little backpacks on, but didn’t end up using the *ahem* leash part much so they could play on the playground. Any time someone looked at me, I felt obligated to explain: “I’m just experimenting with the whole leash, I mean, harness thing! It’s a new idea! I just bought them. It’s been really hard to keep track of them while I’m also running after their big brothers…I have four boys you know…so yeah…it’s for their safety really…” One grandmother encouraged me that I was doing the right thing, and a dad just looked confused, probably wondering what the heck I was talking about.
Instead of continuing to apologize unprompted and explain myself when in public, I declare here, to all of you, that yes, I am going to harness my babies. It really is for their protection, so I don’t lose them. And I’m hoping they like it better than being tied down in one of those super restrictive rolling torture devices you call strollers!