After our trip to the zoo this weekend, I am seriously considering a kid leash for Lena.
What? Did that just come out of my mouth?
I've always thought they were barbaric, lazy parenting devices. But then, I've never had a kid like Lena. We call that a paradigm shift.
The problem isn't just that my sweet little Lena is kind of wild, although that is part of it. She is a darter. A run-away-er. A hider-and-thinks-it's-funny-er. I've even hidden from her in a public place (where I could still see her) to see if she panicked when she couldn't see me. She was totally oblivious and laughing herself silly. That scares me to death.
The pinnacle was at the zoo on Saturday where she continually ran away from us every chance she could. Once, near the polar bears, she let go of my hand and bent down to look at something. I looked down at her and then looked back up at the polar bears for exactly 2.3 milliseconds, in which scant amount of time she managed to run about 100 feet away and around a corner. Seriously, she could have broken Olympic time on this sprint. I thankfully caught a glimpse of her pink coat and bouncy piggy tail rounding the corner just in time to see where she was and run after her like...well, like my kid had just run away from me at the zoo toward a crowded bathroom.
So here I am, at a kid leash crossroad. Just the thought of it evokes an old SNL skit from the Mike Meyers days. I'm not really one of those parents who coddles her kids. After I've told them 1 zillion times, I'll let them fall down a couple stairs to teach them that lesson, or lay down and tantrum at the zoo. I don't run to their aid every time they trip. I make them pick up their own toys and help me clean up messes they've made. Sam even sets the table sometimes and helps me wipe up his pee when he misses the toilet. I want them to learn the right way.
But when it comes to a wild darter, a run-away-er, what lesson can I teach her here? I want her to experience some fear when she does it, but not at the expense of some wackado grabbing her or her getting lost or wandering into the polar bear feeding area at the zoo. And I don't care what anyone says, you CANNOT keep your eyes on them all the time. You just cannot.
So would a little wrist leash as a back up to my eyes, only to be used at the zoo or the fair when she's in a darting mood, really be all that bad? I don't think I could stand those terrible harness kind, but something she couldn't wiggle her tiny wrist out of that hooked onto mine wouldn't automatically submit my name to the who's who of bad, lazy parents, right?
I reiterate, ugh.