I predict I'm going to cop a bit of abuse for this one, but I'm doing it anyway because...
A.) This is my blog and I can say what I like (insert 4 year old child symbol with hands on hips and tongue poking out)
B.) I've had a grumpy week so why not end it on a grumpy note?
C.) I *think* some of my lovely readers might just agree with me. I hope so anyway.
Ok so some of you might remember THIS post of mine a while back? Where I mentioned buying a little backpack harness for my sweet Tinker. Well I ended up buying the Panda. Tinker absolutely loves her "Pahndah" and it means that shopping with her is no longer a battle. Strapping her into a pram meant she would sob hysterically begging me to let her walk. Unfortunately she refuses to hold my hand for more than 30 seconds so letting her walk basically means letting her run in front of cars. So not going to happen.
With her little Panda on she can toddle beside me and touch things, pick up leaves, pat the dogs as we walk them to the park. You get the picture. I hold the end of the Panda's tail and she toddles in front. No dramas, no tears, only little chuckles as she trots along enjoying our walks.
Recently I read an article written by Wil Anderson, published in the Sunday paper and HERE on his blog. It really upset me so I decided last night to shoot him an email. I'm not normally one for wasting my time with such bickering but having been one of "those" people mouthing off about parenting before I actually had my daughter, I thought I should give Wil the benefit of the doubt and offer him the chance of enlightenment.
Here is a paragraph taken from his article:
I mean what is next? A collar with a bell and their phone number on it? Or why stop there, if you are that worried about them going missing take them down to the local vet and get them microchipped.
I’m sorry, but every time I see this it makes me feel uncomfortable. Surely a child is not a dog, despite how tempting it must be when they go to the toilet on the carpet to grab them and rub their nose in it.
So for me, the leash is one step too far.
How are you going to exercise your child, take them down to the park, throw a stick and get them to fetch? (Or will they be too busy sniffing the other kids’ bums?)
Then it’s only a small step to tie them to a pole out of the front of the shops while you duck in to grab the newspaper, and when they are crying too loud just put them in the backyard with a squeaky toy and a bone.
Again, I stress that I am not a parent, but I hope that if I am lucky enough to be one I will teach my kid boundaries and not just tie them to a rope and five them a three-metre radius.
I mean if you are that worried about letting them out of your sight then why stop at the leash, why bother even cutting the umbilical cord in the first place?
Then they will never get too far away, and for fun you can bounce them up and down like a yo-yo.
In fact while I am on a roll, maybe it is time we considered bringing in a parenthood test before we let people breed.
Here is a copy of the email I sent him:
Hi Wil, I like your blog and I really enjoy your column in the paper.
Your piece about "baby leashes" really irked me.
I thought I might invite you to spend some time walking with me and my toddler. I'd like to see how you manage without the "leash". Seriously.
I live in (my suburb) Sydney and my daughter is 17 months old. See attached. Really cute, really sweet but full of beans.
She won't hold my hand for more than a minute. She will throw herself on the floor and scream hysterically and then sob for 15 minutes if I do not allow her to walk.
So I let her walk and she runs off. She is too young to be trusted to walk on her own, she will run in front of cars. The "leash" is the only answer. This is her "leash" it is a backpack one: http://www.goldbug.com.au/collection.php?s=56
Let me know if you are up for the challenge. It might be funny.
He replied this morning and this is what he said:
hey carolyn,yeah that column has certainly divided people. and certainly i have had some negative feedback (admittedly only from people who use them, but they- like you- have explained their reasons why).all that said, i must admit that my position remains pretty much the same. i acknowledged in the original column that i am not a parent i think it's fair that we all have the right to have our opinions. it doesn't make your decision wrong, but it's also okay for me not to dig it. and i don't dig it.all the best,wil
So what do you my lovely readers think? What should I have sent in reply? This is a copy of my reply:
Fair enough Wil. It was just pretty harsh, what you said about needing a license to parent. I certainly know all about bad parents having been a Children's Court lawyer...I'd love to hear your suggestions though, an alternative? Perhaps the prison on wheels- The pram?Strapped into a pram, my sweet little Tinker will sob hysterically. She misses out on touching leaves, picking up sticks, running up to our dogs and generally toddling about. It seems such a cruel thing to do, but perhaps more palatable for the nonparent to see a hysterical child in a pram than a happy one in the backpack harness.Carolyn