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Single-handed exploration

Yesterday I was at the Morton Arboretum with Charlie and friends, and discovered something about having adventures with a one-handed child.  Although it wasn't until reflecting on it later that I realized what had been happening.  Most parents of kids this age hang on to the kid by grabbing a hand or wrist, while the kid uses the other hand to explore, pick up sticks, splash in fountains, etc.  But with Charlie, when I would grab his hand to keep him from toppling into ponds and/or running off, he would no longer have the option of touching anything.  He was pretty frustrated, and I had to relocate him to an area of the park less full of attractive hazards. Putting him in the hedge maze and letting him run without holding him worked out fine, but he would have had more fun by the pond if I could have hung onto him while he splashed.

So I'll be buying one of those harness leash things...oh, am I gonna get some dirty looks from drive-by mommies!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
The sensible ones will see one hand and go "Oh...right."

Then you can legitimately nuke anyone who pushes it. :D
Jul. 27th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
I still need to work on my immediate-reaction skills, though. I'm always thinking of exactly the right thing to say like a week after the event. I'm still burning up about the store cashier who said "aren't you too old for a pacifier?" to him, but at the time I just said "no, he's just 2." When I should have said "aren't you a little old to say rude things to other people's children?" or something like that.
Jul. 27th, 2010 11:32 am (UTC)
You should see the reactions of some people to discovering Kathleen nursed all of our kids to the age of 3.
Jul. 27th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
my kids were born with all their medically expected limbs, and they still wore one of those harness leash things on occasion. They LOVED theirs (it had Elmo, a favorite, on it), and I like the security it gave me in crowded places...where you don't always want the kid to have to walk with an arm over their head forever (cuz man, I'd get tired of *that* in a hurry) but there are too many people around to keep a satisfactory eye on a fleet footed short person.

I got dirty looks. I don't really care. My kid and I were happy, and they should be glad I wasn't holding onto and dragging a frustrated, howling toddler.
Jul. 27th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
They seem very practical, particularly when there are more of them than of you. I will just have to keep myself from saying "giddyup!" and "heel!" etc.
Jul. 27th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
If anyone judges you, they're the idiots.
Jul. 27th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
This is true. There is, unfortunately, not a shortage of idiots hereabouts.

Strangely, people currently give me dirty looks and unasked-for advice not so much because of the interracial thing or the limb difference thing, but because he is big for his age. People think he is 3 or 4, which means I obviously have been raising him in a small flannel-lined box in the closet, since he still wears diapers and uses a pacifier and only says a few words.
Jul. 27th, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
I think the harnesses are great even for kids with two hands. It lets them have a little more freedom than holding their hand, but you can still keep a hold of them.
Jul. 27th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
I love those little harness combos. I wish my mom had had 'em when I was a kid; it would've made walking home from the vegetable market much less awkward, with more hands free all around.
Jul. 27th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Why would they give you dirty looks? We used those for our first two kids. They're great.
Jul. 27th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
Because leashes are for dogs, because he should already know better than to go running off, etc. I get dirty looks and the occasional outright query just for letting him have a pacifier--not from everyone, but there is one knows-better person in every crowd.

(edited for spello)

Edited at 2010-07-27 03:20 am (UTC)
Jul. 27th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
Gabriel is *9* and I still don't trust him not to go running off. He's severe ADHD and does a marvelous imitation of Kiki the Ferrett at times -- OHHH, shiny! When "Shiny!" is at the edge of a cliff, right next to (or across) the road, etc.
Jul. 28th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
I was just going to comment that I sometimes wish they had harnesses big enough to fit ADHD 5 year olds, for the same reason! Every time I go out with him I pine for the days when I could use a harness to keep him from running into traffic.

Marydell, I wish you good luck. I must say that I didn't get anywhere near as much flak for the harness/leash as I expected. I hope you have a similarly good experience.
Jul. 27th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
Pish tosh. People who glare at that are eeeedjits. I actually have gotten more approval than disapproval when I have M out with his beloved clippy. (He used to have a clippy bear, but that got left behind, and now he's got a clippy monkey.) I hear from grannies who used one on their kids, or even a few seniors who remembered their own.

Even with two hands available, M prefers the freedom the leash provides. It makes walks much more pleasant when he can be guided gently, and he can still hold my hand if he wants more security. He brings the clippy to me when he wants to go for a walk, and has done so from the time he was able to walk.

The main people who object tend to be people who never had kids.
Jul. 28th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
That makes sense. Bobby has a puppy backpack with a leash attached at the appropriate spot. (It snaps around the chest, so the arms aren't really integral in keeping it on.) I think it's this one. It works pretty well, though it's not retractable except by wrapping it around your wrist. Most of the advantage is that he actively wants to wear it, because puppy.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


Mary Dell

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