Opinion

OPINION: I swore I would never use a child harness

YOU know how you know it all before becoming a parent?

You know what kind of parent you will be, how you will teach your kids to behave, what you will and won't do to your kids.

I like to think I knew enough about becoming a parent to never put those rules or pressures on myself.

Instead I had a best-case plan. I didn't want to use a dummy but I would. I wanted to breastfeed but would use formula if it worked out better. I would try to get my children to self settle/sleep in their own rooms, etc, etc.

The list is endless.

But, despite all this, there was one thing that I swore black and blue I would never use - a child harness.

Even after I had my first child I could not see why you would put a child in these, even those cutesy ones that they make look like little backpacks.

What is wrong with holding their hand? Leashes are for animals.

Then I had just one child who loved to walk but was happy to stay close to Mum and Dad.

He sure is the most persistent and stubborn child I have ever come across.

 

Now I also have a devil child, (I mean lovely little boy) who will run as fast as his legs will take him, in whatever direction he thinks is more likely to offer him an escape to anywhere but where he should be.

And he is getting too old and far too heavy to be restricted to arms, strollers and trolleys.

The tipping point came last Sunday when I took my boys to see Bananas in Pyjamas and Santa at Hinkler Central Shopping Centre.

This year it was one parent per family, but I decided to be brave because I knew my boys would like it. And it was indoors so surely I could manage it.

I had only been there for about 10 minutes when the first thought of calling my husband to come and get Master T (the so-mention devil, I mean lovely, child).

I took him in the stroller, because I knew that I would need some sort of restraint, and a trolley would be too big with all the other kids and families there.

As we settled in for breakfast I got him out to sit on my lap to eat, but no sooner than he felt those restraints lift he began squirming like an award-winning contortionist in an attempt to get down and be free.

After a minute of trying to get him to sit, and a few slaps in the face (him to me), I promptly strapped him back in the stroller.

This little dance (in and out of the stroller) between the two of us continued for the next hour while we waited for the entertainment to start.

Finally, I thought, he would be distracted enough to be held by me.

And he was. For about three minutes.

Each time I would try to put him down, he would try to get away.

I tried holding his hand or a piece of his clothing, but each time he throws himself on the ground and rolls away, out of reach, then jumps up to try to make a break for it.

He sure is the most persistent and stubborn child I have ever come across.

Our supposed-to-be-simple outing had left me frazzled and worn out.

Which brings me round to the harness. Because now I get why someone would put that on their child.

Not only do I have my sanity to think of, but his safety, and also that of his brothers.

I don't even want a cutesy backpack one. Give me the strongest one you can get.

Topics:  columns opinion parenting



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