Thursday, July 3, 2014

So we bought a leash for our kid...

Ever since Kidlet started walking, life has gotten easier and easier for me.  Where I once carried him up and down the stairs to our apartment--with a full bag of groceries, no less--I now merely assist him as he studiously takes on the stairs.  Where he once gazed blankly at me when I asked him to put the clothespins away, now the light of comprehension goes on in his eyes and he looks around for a clothespin and puts it into the bag.  Granted, he's 19 months--so it'll be a while before he'll be able to manage more than 3 or 4 minutes of this at a time--but I'm getting the impression that 90% of good parenting is making a habit out of as many things as you can, so that later, when he's an impossible little sh*t, he'll at least be an impossible little sh*t who picks up after himself.

But for now, he's a good kidlet, he really is. Going across the street to the C1000 is a normal thing for him these days.  He knows to stay on the sidewalk and not wander into the bike path.  He knows that when we get to the zebrapad he needs to hold my hand until we're on the other side--coming and going.  He knows that Mommy gets a shopping cart, and that he gets to ride in it, although sometimes he chooses not to and merely--without being told--holds onto the cart and walks next to it while I get the groceries.   If he wanders off, calling him is usually all I need to do to get him to come to me.

In other words, he's not the kind of kid that runs about screaming and making life hell for everybody in a 3-mile radius. So you might be wondering why, then, did I get him a leash?

Not for trips to the C1000, of course.  But one of his favorite things to do is to hold onto the back of the stroller and push it while I steer from above, which serves the double purpose of tiring him out so that he naps for two hours every day.  And something that's been happening a bit more frequently than I'd like to admit is that he'll let go of the stroller to pick a flower or something, and I won't notice because I'm scanning the sidewalk ahead of us for other people and dog poop.  He's surprisingly good at slipping away unnoticed, even when it's just the two of us--and sometimes I'll turn around and he'll be four or five steps behind me.  I'm not a paranoid parent--I'll let him wander quite far away from me if I'm watching him, but you can understand why Kidlet suddenly materializing a good 10 feet from where I thought he was can be a little disturbing, especially if we're in the city center and the demarcation between the pedestrian walkway and the "road" for the buses can be a little vague.

The ladybug is a little backpack, just right for storing a packet of baby biscuits and the leash.  It seems a little small for him, but he has yet to voice any discomfort and he seems to love the attention he gets from it.  A lot of elderly people stopped us when we were in town the other day, some of them laughing at the sight of a kid on a leash, others reminiscing of the time they were little and their mothers put them on leashes.  It does exactly what it purports to do--let you keep tabs on your kid without having to hold onto him every minute, which is exactly what I wanted when we bought a leash for our kid.  

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