Friday, September 4, 2009

Bringing up baby.

I remember being at Disney World when I was about eight years old and seeing this little kid on a leash. I thought it was about the most horrible thing I'd ever seen.

Now, I wonder if the idea isn't verging on genius...

We're about to renew our annual passes to Disneyland (don't hate) and I'm trying to figure out the Baby G situation. The last time we went, he was maybe six months old and slept through the whole thing. Now he's almost two and he's crazy. He's not bad, but he's busy. He goes everywhere at a dead run, his legs a blur of Goldfish-fueled motion, and he gets into everything.

EVERYTHING.

As if that wasn't exhausting enough, he started climbing things this week.

Fantastic.

I have no problem strapping him into a stroller and he's pretty content to stay there as long as we're constantly moving. But Disneyland is a unique challenge because you can't have strollers in line and sometimes it's a twenty minute wait.

He doesn't stay still that long. Ever.

And he's at the age where you can't just call him back when he darts off. He gets so excited and distracted by bright shiny things that you blink and he's disappeared, haring off after something and he's already got a thirty yard lead on you.

That simply isn't going to work at Disneyland and I don't think it's fair to tell Lil J that he can't go just because Baby G doesn't understand the psychology of lines.

It occurs to me that the leash, er--harness--is a much better solution. It allows him greater freedom of movement and it gives me greater peace of mind. He can roam in a controlled radius and I can let him, and both of us get what he want. That way he's not stuck in the stroller or fighting to break my hold (he hates holding hands).

All right. What do you think? If I'm willing to ignore the hostile stares of judgmental strangers, should I go the harness route?

Please, I'm tired. Parent for me.

26 comments:

MommyJ said...

Like you, I remember thinking they had to be the worst thing ever. Then I met my nephew and realized that if his parents didn't use one, he would be lost, for sure. The kid has no adult awareness, just runs off which ever way he pleases with ZERO regard for who he might be leaving behind. We went to an amusement park with their family and I was amazed at how quickly he could get away. Now I totally understand why they put him in a harness. For him it was a matter of safety. They love him too much to lose him!

I say, if you feel like it's your best option, go for it.

evitafjord said...

I got one after my then-2yo son wandered off at the zoo. We got the kind with the stuffed animal backpack. He loved it and the judgy-ness didn't phase me because they aren't the ones who are going to have a heart attack when he takes off again, and he will. (well, he would have - now he's almost 5). I guarantee those same people are going to judge harsher when the kid actually does go missing.

Don said...

The only ones who judge have never done the two-year-old thing, I'm quite certain.

Harness that bundle of energy and have a blast.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

"goldfish-fueled motion"-- ha ha,that's great.

Just get one, but make your husband hold it. :)

wonder woman said...

I used to judge people who used leashes. Then I had toddlers.

I saw a 4 or 5 year old at Walmart the other day with one on. I have to admit that I thought it was a bit ridiculous. It's just walmart, for goodness sake. And not even a Saturday afternoon. And he was old enough that he should've been able to mind his parents.

But I realize that I don't know that boy's, or his parents' circumstances. They may very well have had a legitimate reason for harnessing him.

At any rate.......I think a busy 2 y/o at Disneyland is the reason harnesses were INVENTED. Honestly. I wouldn't think twice if I saw that.

Alecia said...

I've seen kids at least 6 years old with harnesses at Disney World!!

For a 2 year old, I think it's a great idea! There's so much for them to look at and get distracted by....at least with a harness, they can move around a bit. And those cute ones with stuffed animals would be great! My 5 year old uses her monkey harness on her dolls and our dog now. It's still getting use!!

April said...

I'd go for a choke collar. One yank and he'd mind for sure. It may leave a few marks, but if you all go dressed in gothic style it will blend. :)

Amateur Steph said...

I say go with the harness. I too thought those were awful, until I became a mom. Then I realized they're to prevent catastrophes.

DeNae said...

Tie him up. And then leave him home.

(Maybe I'm not the best person to ask...)

CountessLaurie said...

Harness away and whack the judgers. Baby G will have fun and you will have fun whacking people. Or is that just me?

Seriously, do it and don't worry about it.

nano*ink said...

absolutely, yes!!
Do they have ones where the lead goes in and out?
I think they are very smart for a 2-year old. It will keep you sane, maybe!

Kimberly said...

I think if there's anywhere in the world you're going to be judged the least for using a harness it's in a line-up at Disneyland with an obviously energetic two year old in tow. Whatever it takes to keep 'em safe, right?

nano*ink said...

Also, just ignore him when he screams at Disneyland and put on a beatific smile... : )

Stephanie Faris said...

Don't they have the ones that attack to their wrists? I used to argue with people who complained about the harnesses being too much like "treating your kid like a dog." I said, is it better to just let the kid run wild? It's usually uninformed young people complaining about it. I know some parks (Disney may be one?) have tracking bracelets you can put on your kids. Anywhere in the park you can look at a map and see where your child is. I think that's more for older kids though?

Stephanie Faris said...

I meant ATTACH to their wrists. Sheesh. My brain is mush. Sorry!

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm not a hater of the harness. I have a nephew who (at 4 years old) is a bundle of fire. Nuclear Fire. Nuclear fire ON fire. His parents would have a dead kid if they hadn't harnessed him at Disneyland.

Becca said...

And so, once again, we must ask ourselves how much we care what people (who have never had kids) think of our decisions. Personally, I'd rather see a happy, tethered child than a screaming, ranting, fit-throwing mother with hands raised to a little backside (oh, sorry - am I projecting again?)

Enjoy the happy place with your little men, and wave to Woody and Jessie for me!

Amber Lynae said...

I agree with the other comments. It is so scary to even think about your little boy getting away from you. A harness would be a good safety measure to take in such a crowded park.

LisAway said...

I think I'd had enough experience with kids the first time I saw them that I thought they were genius AND awful all at once.

Again, I don't get the judging thing. I'll bet I've missed out on LOTS of that stuff since I came here when my first kid was 10 months old. So weird.

Emma said...

I never thought I would get one until I to have a 2 year old who is busy and will not hold hands

So I say saftey first and do what you need to do!!!

Heather of the EO said...

They make those cute backpack ones...I think they're at Target. It kind of just looks like a multi-purpose tool, you hardly even notice it's a leash...er, I mean...harness.

Go for it.

Eowyn said...

My husband wouldn't let me, or I'd have had one. That's my take.

Kazzy said...

It allows him some freedom he doesn't get in a stroller. Sounds good to me. When my kids were little those harnesses were just coming out, but I think they are great. Hey, it used to be that nobody used seat belts either, until someone thought it up!

Baak Talk said...

I remember thinking the EXACT same thing. When I was a teenager I saw a kid on a "leash" and thought, "How awful, I will NEVER do that!!"

Then I had Kierstin who HATED her stroller and did not like to stay next to me. I did buy the safety strap, is what I called it. I told her she could wear that and run a little around or be strapped in the stroller and go nowhere. She chose the latter and it worked well. We got to the point when she hated that too. I told her if she could stay next to me and not wander off she could get off that too. She learned real quick!

Now, they have these cute little backpack ones with the safety strap attached. So the kids think they're getting a fun backpack to put all their fun goodies into. I see them everywhere at Disneyland.

Emily said...

I used to think it was borderline neglect/abuse to put your kid on a leash.

Now I'm a mother.

I'm pretty sure the only people who will stare at you are peeps with no kids. Who cares what they think?

Other parents will smile and nod at you when you walk by with your leased up kid because THEY UNDERSTAND.

Have fun!

Kaylie said...

Go for it. If it's a choice between your kid getting run over or lost and a leash, well...You do what you gotta do.