Curb Your Toddler

The family is heading to Disney World next week and I can barely contain my excitement and fear. It may be the land where dreams come true but some of those dreams are nightmares. There will be dozens of diversions to attract my three year old and what kid wouldn’t go darting into a crowd towards a magic carpet ride? In my pre-vacation panic I’m asking myself the not-so-age-old question: “To leash, or not to leash?”

With the latest cover of TIME magazine mommy- judgers are out in full force.  I remember as a teenager I scoffed at any mother that would put a leash on their child. I thought  “God you can’t make your child stay near you? Way to go.” Of course now I know how dumb I was – As if my poufy bangs weren’t enough of a sign.

The idea of a leash is so alluring now.  Ali can walk around comfortably without me going into panic mode any time she wanders three and a half feet away. It also seems so much more comfortable for her - At least her arm wont go numb as she reaches to hold my hand for hours. Also, it’s hot in Florida; do I really want to hold onto tiny sweaty, sticky hands all day?  Well yes I do, but I’ don’t think my toddler wants to hold on to mommy’s sweaty sunscreen hand all day.

To my delight, there have been many advancements in children’s leashes. One is an animal keychain that attaches to your child and sends a signal to a parent’s receiver. When the child wanders away the receiver goes off alerting the parent. Sounds genius right? WRONG. By the time the parent is notified that the child is gone, the kid is too far away. Now you have to go running after her holding a Doppler radar like you’re on some sort of scavenger hunt – Pass.

What about the fanny pack dinosaur leash? Who invented this? A blind nun? Are you kidding, who would ever want to be seen in matching fanny packs? What are we 60 year old twins? I’m looking for discretion when I leash my child, I don’t need to be a fashion victim too. Vom in my mouth.

If I were to decide on a leash it would be between the backpack and the “Toddler Tether”. The monkey backpack is cute. It looks comfortable and could be mistaken for a children’s backpack. Plus it’s punny – get it, “monkey on your back?” I don’t think that little joke would ever get old with me.  I also like the handcuff looking thing, probably because it seems the closest thing to holding hands. Except now we’d be shackled together like fugitives. Plus it reminds me of the vintage leases that looked like phone cords with Velcro attached.

Ultimately I don’t think I’ll be leashing Ali any time soon. Although I will most likely be jealous of someone who has the guts to leash up. I should just insert a microchip into her brain and I’ll sleep easy for the rest of my life. At least I wont be getting up in the middle of the night and checking that she’s still in her bed.