I traveled back east to visit relatives recently. Normally traveling entails an arduous sequence of airports, bad food and constant personal space invasions (and please? Stop farting on the airplane – we can’t pinpoint where it’s coming from and publicly humiliate you, but YOU know and it’s not funny, especially after your noxious cloud makes its third trip through the recirculated air filter), but this time I had something to entertain me…the general public. Everywhere I turned there was another blog topic waiting to be explored. It was like Christmas morning!
One glaring example of the burnedoutmama eye candy before me? Kids-on-a-leash. I thought this trend had died down after the substantial amount of social pressure applied by, um, everyone….but boy was I wrong.
Nothing screams incapable parent like a chest harness (a.k.a. leash). The child-as-pet concept disturbs me on several levels, not the least of which is the opportunity it provides moms to avoid keeping their kids under control. Kid Leashes are the training wheels of parenting. They allow moms and dads to forgo, well, parenting, in favor of having one less thing to worry about (losing the kid or actually having to be responsible for the kid?).
And just when I thought the leash itself was disturbing?
I saw the mom with the belt clip.
That’s right, folks. Not only can you leash your child…you can also clip your end of the leash to your belt loop for hands-free parenting! This frees mom up for all sorts of activities, like snarfing a fast food burger, texting or picking her nose.
Tired? Temper tantrum brewing? Not to worry…a simple hip thrust will get your sluggish toddler moving again. No need to put down your Venti Frappucino with extra whipped cream and caramel or cut short your response to the chain text about Your 10 Best Qualities (respond quick or you’ll have bad luck for a month!). With a leash and some power in your core, you won’t even have to speak to it (uh, I mean him/her).
A message to the moms with kids-on-a-leash: your choice to harness your child may have some repurcussions, short- and long-term. You look like an incompetent fool and your child looks like an animal. If he does not end up emotionally broken by this public display of dominance, your child, upon achieving some awareness of his surroundings, will eventually insist on freedom outside the six-foot radius of your person. When this happens – and he becomes old enough to understand what you put him through – he will harbor resentment.
Still not convinced it’s time to lose the leash? Not to worry…we can still benefit from this concept. You see, by the time your child is grown and has kids of his own, someone will have probably invented a leash for those pesky wandering old people.
And believe me, he paid attention to your parenting choices.
I can’t wait to see you at the mall 25 years from now, attached at the hip to your adult child during your golden years, asking permission to use the bathroom and getting a little tug if you linger too long in the Yankee Candle store. After all, dignity must be set aside for practicality (and laziness), right?