Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why I Keep My Toddler On A Leash

1 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
I'm quite certain a lot of that title didn't need capitalization, but here we are and I'm out of white out.

I keep my toddler on a leash.
Yes, I'm one of THOSE parents. I see the looks you throw my way. I see the literal DISGUST aimed at me when you see and my Baby D wandering around the festival. Tied up no better than a dog, forgawdssake.

"Who DOES that?!?" You ask yourself. The answer?

ME. I keep my toddler ON A LEASH.

Before you throw up a little in your mouth from my lack of ability or desire to control my child otherwise, let's take a quick looky-loo into the life of Baby D and her Momma.

Exhibit A: My child is one sneaky, deaky, mischievous little thing. Wonderful, but sneaky and deaky. And mischievous. Don't forget that part. And curious. (Unrelated side note: spell check just made me realize I have been misspelling and mispronouncing mischievous all of my life).

Exhibit B: My child is small in stature, standing at approximately strangers' crotch height. This makes her hard to spot in a crowd, with her face in incredibly bad placement right now.

Exhibit C: My child is sofa king FAST. I can sense your eye roll. But I assure you that in a short distance sprint, she would kick your ass, and she would deliver your ass back to you in the can of whoop ass that she opened in order to destroy you in the sprint.

          Exhibit C-1: I learned as soon as she was mobile that wedge shoes, high heels, heeled boots and flip flops are never, ever an option. (For me! Yes I leash her, but I try not to dress her in high heels. Usually). I am both injury prone, and slower than her, even on my best days. A rubber soled shoe, ninja-like reaction times, and sprint training is the only way to go with Baby D.

          Exhibit C-2: I live on a hill. Baby D is smart enough to never have the desire to travel uphill. If she is given enough space to squeeze between me and the car door, she will unfailingly sprint the kilometre down the road to the park. Downhill = increase in speed = Mommy heart attack.

Why I keep my toddler on a leash: To guarantee we will see each other even after we've completed the daunting task of navigating IKEA. Visible here: a quick "I'm not moving" break.

Exhibit D: My child suffers from a hearing disorder called "THE TERRIBLE TWOS". This is a widespread phenomenon worldwide, and is compounded by Exhibit A. I may scream "Oh MY GOD, STOP! Cars! DANGER!!" and while she turns her head to display the curious gleam in her eye, she can often fall down, fall off the curb, or interpret that to mean "Hey Baby D! Run as fast as you can away from Mommy! Good job!". This can have serious, serious, even fatal consequences. People in British Columbia are terrible drivers to start with, with a penchant for hitting and badly wounding or killing pedestrians.

Exhibit E: My child is my friend and little monkey nut. I carry her when she wants carrying, but part of the disorder mentioned in Exhibit D parlays into her needing to "do it myselfs!". Which means no hand holding. And the S, D & M in Exhibit A.

Exhibit F: My child completely loses her shit when you try to strap her in a stroller.

So, if you take into account all of these exhibits, I can assure you I am not a lazy parent. I don't walk around with her leashed while I surf Instagram and only acknowledge her when she barks for a treat. You may think I look like a jackass. I don't care. If it means that I keep my daughter, my world, safe from cars and sickos in the world, then go ahead and judge.

It's worth it to know she is as safe as she can be beside me. And not in traffic. And not in the arms of some sick, opportunistic sonofabitch. She does get freedom everywhere it's safe. But a festival, a busy street, or anywhere else I deem to be an at-risk situation requires me to do my job as a parent: keep her safe and loved.

I rest my case.

Also: I'm tired.


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