At the park......Nicklas was off playing when Joshua ran off.

The head penis person and I have been debating (read…disagreeing) about this for about a month now.  I once thought I was a parent who would, in theory, be dead set against harnessing (or, as some call it, leashing) my kid EVER.  I never outwardly condemned or criticized parents for using one of those child harnesses….I just thought I would personally never be one of them.

That is….until the wee little penis person finally found his footing and learned to walk.  Or more accurately….RUN!  He rarely ever simply walks.  He’s fast and he’s knows it.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that he’s very much aware that mommy is getting older and more tired moment by moment.  And he is happy to use this to his advantage.


A baby harness looks nothing like an actual leash.   They make them look like cute little backpacks in the shape of puppies and monkeys and duckies.  There is a five point harness that keeps your child safely in it and there is a strap that is connected to the backpack and can be held by the parent.  They are cute and cuddly looking…..But there is no mistaking that the child is clearly harnessed to their parent.


And so as I began to contemplate the very idea of using one of those baby harnesses for the small penis person, I find myself taking my cues from my little one.    I know that he’s not very happy about sitting in his stroller when we’re out and about.  And I can just see it in his pudgy little cherub face that he would love nothing more than to be free to roam.  The issue I’m finding trouble dealing with is how to allow him the opportunity to roam freely and safely.  Did I mention how very fast he is???  His little legs rattle against the stroller as he kicks and twitches, just itching to get out and get moving.  His thoroughly inquisitive and he wants to investigate every aspect of his world…no matter how big and scary it is.  He is fearlessly unafraid…..while I am generally petrified of what will happen if he’s ever left to explore without me nearby.


Generally, with the head penis person on midnights, I am the sole person responsible for transporting the penis people on outings.  The zoo…..the park…..walks….shopping trips.  And as any mom with children….or several children….knows, traveling ANYWHERE with kids and attempting to keep them safely corralled is, at best, an effort in futility.  You could have 15 eyes and a head that swivels 360 degrees and the speed of Superman and I can assure you it still wouldn’t be sufficient in properly safeguarding your child at all times.  And mine takes the skill of bolting to a whole other level and laughs maniacally when you tell him to stop.  Therefore, I am generally only comfortable with keeping him tethered safely in his stroller or a shopping cart.


But I’m also very much wanting to encourage his independence and curiosity.  I’ve never been one to think that keeping kids strapped in to some sort of contraption at all times was very intelligent either.  And so I find myself in a personal clash with my two selves….the mom who never thought she’s be the mom to harness her child…..and the mom who wants to let her small child to be able to wander and explore while still within a safe reachable distance….and tethered to ME so that there will be no momentary dash from the wee one that will leave me regretting my decision to ever allow him the freedom in the first place.


Now, as previously mentioned…..Jeff and I are on opposite ends of the pendulum on this.  He thinks I’m contemplating a jaunt into the bad mother ‘hood by even entertaining the notion of this.  He says children are not dogs and shouldn’t be treated as such.  He is concerned about the looks and comments that will come from other people if we did this.  He’s worried about “future Joshua” looking at pictures of himself one day far away from now and wondering why his father allowed his mother to leash him like a common house pet.  He is also, in part, succumbing to peer pressure.  My MIL is also very much against harnessing children.  She says she raised five kids without harnessing any of them and she can’t figure out why I think its a good idea.


What I would love to do is to allow the nay-sayers an afternoon with my two children on an outing.  One child (6) has ADHD and is constantly in motion and requires a lot of mom’s concentration and the other (almost 2) is simply just really small and really really fast and also a little mischievous (in case I hadn’t mentioned it previously).  I am in no way implying I don’t have good parental control over my penis people, nor that they are horribly misbehaved.  But they are children and they are very active little boys.  And I am one mom who is often very very tired and nearing forty and not quite as quick on my feet as I used to be.  And every time I pass the display that holds the harness in the store….I am positively tempted to buy one and hide it and use it only when I’m out with the kids on my own.  And then I’m left wondering……why is it that I should feel ashamed to want to protect my child in any way that I can??  Why am I letting others dictate to ME what I think is best??  The simple answer is this…..because I’m concerned that I’m letting my own misguided fears take control over this.


And so I’m curious….how do you other moms feel about this issue?? Would you or have you harnessed your child?  What do YOU think when you see a child in a harness??  Please weigh in…..I can take it!