Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Age of Exploration

To Leash, Or Not To Leash?
That is the (very debatable) question.

After getting off work, we gathered in the Volks and headed out to run some errands. We would eventually end up at Sports Authority for Pieter to check out some new running shoes. Yes, that's right, I said running shoes! Now normally we would put Lola in a cart and wheel her around the store, but something possessed me, and convinced me otherwise. I decided I would let her show me the way around the store, and show me the way she did. She walked and walked around the store like she owned the place. I then realized that we had reached that dreaded fork in the road when a parent must decide whether or not they would jump on board and get their (very much independent) babe a harness. I must admit that I was 100% against them during my pregnancy. I considered them unfair and degrading to the child. I hated the idea of it, having your child at the end of a line. I felt like I wouldn't need to resort to that kind of restraint because I would, in fact, be an exceptional parent. It isn't the fact that I am lacking in the parental supervision department, but I feel, at times, that Lola is a little too curious and strong-willed all at the wrong times! I don't want to restrict her from exploring her surroundings by keeping her locked up in her stroller, and these days, it is pretty normal for her to fuss and try to break out when she wants to be on her own two feet. So I was wondering, do you think all the negative thoughts about using a harness or leashing your child is because most out there do, in fact, look like something you would put on your beloved pet? And if that were the case, would you be more inclined, and confident, to use one if it had an entirely different look to it? After really thinking about it and talking with friends and family members, and Pieter of course, I think I've made my decision and may try this one out. Pieter isn't 100% on board with it, but I'm hoping I can change his mind.

I feel that I should make perfectly clear that I don't, in any way, want to take from Lola's independence or restrict her from exploring her world. I think it's important for her to be able to be part of the outside world. I want her to be able to take in everything she can from plucking every blade of grass or picking up every rock or flower she finds along our walks. That kind of stuff really matters to me. But I also want her to be safe, and I want to be completely confident that in this new stage of wonder and exploration, Lola can do that, and I can worry a little less.


jenny baker said...

i've never been a fan of baby-leashes. i saw the parents as lazy or controlling or overly protective. but strong-willed kids need to learn the importance of boundaries and rules of safety. audrey already fusses in her stroller. she has a 15 minute tolerance at best before she gets bored. i know she's going to go want to explore and run around as soon as she can. i'm a little torn now, i guess we'll see what natural boundaries audrey possesses. let me know what you decide!

Hannah Sivilay said...

I hate them....seriously I do. However, I think they do have their time and place at Fairs, Disneyland, and airport type situations.