Look Where Judging Got Me!


What kind of mother would treat her sweet, beautiful baby like a dog?

Why would you put your child on a leash?

Is it so hard to hold his hand or push him in a stroller or just carry him, for goodness sake?

That was me, judging others.

I stood in line at the fair, holding my sweet toddler girl’s hand.  She stood next to me, chattering happily and never wandering too far.

She was the kind of baby that we could take to the movies and she’d just sit and watch until she fell asleep.

We had no problem in restaurants.  She was perfectly content to stack creamers until our food came and then she ate whatever we gave her.

Other parents just don’t know how to teach their children properly.  MY daughter would never run screaming through the produce section of Meijer.

And then… because God has a sense of humor…

we had…


The boy came out 50% bigger than the girl had and he looked like he’d gone 10 rounds with the heavyweight champ.

Look out, world! He’s here!

Right away, we suspected this kid was different.

The boy walked at 8 months, 3 days.  At 8 months, 4 days he started getting in serious trouble.  He is especially attracted to cups full of hot coffee which he, invariably, pours all over himself and the floor.

If he manages to get in the kitchen he will, in 30 seconds time, empty every drawer, pour the dog’s water out onto the floor and sit in it, yank all the magnets off the fridge and kick them under the stove and pull the sharpest, most dangerous object he can find out of the dishwasher.

No problem.  We put up a gate.

Did I mention how clever the boy is?  In a few days the gate barely slowed him down.

We put our breakables up on high shelves.

He would drag chairs from the dining room to climb on to get them.

He’s only 15 months old!

The girl was just taking her first steps at his age.

Lock up your daughters!

He rides pretty contentedly in the plush limo stroller that Grandma and the Aunties bought him when he was still a bean… until he doesn’t want to ride any more.

Now, I don’t blame him.  I wouldn’t want to sit in a stroller for half my life either.  So I get it.  But if we let him out, he’s gone.  Just… gone.

The boy is totally fearless.  It doesn’t matter that he is surrounded by strangers or that there is a truck barreling down the road or that a growling, drooling dog three times his size is running straight toward him.

Fearlessness has led the boy to have an impressive series of “shiners” in his short life.

Nothing will get in this boy’s way!

And he’s fast!  Maybe it’s just that I’m older and fatter now than I was 8 years ago, but I don’t remember it being so hard to catch my girl.

The girl loved to be held and cuddled.  She still does!  If it were up to her, her Daddy would carry her everywhere.

The boy doesn’t want to snuggle.  He wants to explore! He wants to touch and smell and taste.

Oh! Taste! Did I mention that the boy puts EVERYTHING in his mouth?  I don’t mean in that normal, “babies put things in their mouths,” sort of way.  I have actually had people ask me if he has some sort of oral fixation.

At least, in this instance, it was food that he was putting in his mouth. And in his hair. And all over his clothes. And the wall.

So I think you’re getting the idea.

Little Hippie Baby is a charmer.  He’s smart and cute and a blessing to our family.

But he’s.. he’s… just… so…. well… he’s a BOY.

Like Dennis the Menice

Why are you STANDING on the horse, son?

And now we are planning our trip to Disney World.  (4 days, 22 hours.  But who’s counting?)

When we’re walking any great distance he’ll be in the stroller.  But what about when we are standing in line?  And let’s face it… that will be 1/2 the day.  He can’t be in the stroller.  He’ll scream if we try to hold him.  There’s not a chance he’ll stand next to us and hold hands.  And if we let go…. Lord only knows where he’ll run off to!

So we bought a leash.


Yup.  Now I’m that mom.

I’m the  mom who can’t take her baby to the movies.

I’m the mom who’s son throws food across the restaurant.

I’m the mom with the kid on a leash.

The leash attaches to a tiny dino-backpack. That will be a convenient place for us to keep band-aids and other first aid supplies. You know. Just in case.

But it’s only because he’s such an extraordinarily wonderful little boy that I can’t bear the thought of losing him.

So please don’t judge me too harshly.

My beautiful boy!


22 responses »

  1. No judgment here, believe me. I think child leashes are wonderful for both children and parents. I have never understood why more parents don’t employ them especially in crowded areas like malls, airports and fairs. This makes their children safe and isn’t that the real purpose?

    Lovely children.

  2. Definitely no judgement from me. My son was into everything and would wander away as soon as I let go his hand. I had him in a harness for my own peace of mind, and the first time I put it on him and we walked intto the shopping mall he got down on his hands and knees and crawled along growling at passersby, who gave me odd looks but I didn’t care. Growling or not, at least I knew exactly where he was!

  3. Your boy sounds a lot like my daughter – she is very active. The first time my Dad held her in his arms (she was around 7 months old) he said: she is just like a boy! And this is kind of ironic because I always wanted a girl in the hope that she would be calmer and easier to deal with than a boy. Well, I got a very smart, happy, energetic, and adorable girl who acts like a boy and is fearless. I am now expecting again – I sense it is a boy – and who knows? He might just be calmer! 😉

  4. this is HILARIOUS, and I fear that it is going to be my reality soon…though Potamus likes cuddles, he is also very curious and is especially attracted to full dog-bowls of water and Cutco knives in the dishwasher.


    But I’ve never judged the whole leash thing. As the older sister of a very…independent younger sister…who would routinley let herself out of our house, down the street and (unbeknownst to the neighbors) into their houses to play with their kids, a leash was a MUST growing up. In fact, there was a point where my mom had TWO leashes because of how Houdini-like my sister was. She even walked away with a strange man at her elementary school and my mom caught her right as she was getting in his car! Eek!

  5. None here either. I was chained to the clothesline in the backyard and harnessed to my bed in my youth and I survived. I mean…I don’t have any issues…well…a few tiny ones…lol

  6. I was a leash Mom when my kiddos were little. They all were okay with it. The one I used attached to a belt with a little fanny pack on it that I encouraged them to keep something that belonged to them in, so it made it fun to wear. Also, not having to hold the hand of an adult (which for a toddler means reaching above their head the entire time – uncomfortably tiring!?!?) allows the child more independence really – for walking or moving in a more normal posture and pace for the little person that they are. And when my child hides amidst the densely hung clothes in the spiral clothes rack, I’ll know where to find her!
    I remember taking our dog for dog training. My 3 year old daughter loved going along on her leash learning to “heel” and “stay” as we participated in class. 🙂

  7. Hahaha I love this. And such a good point about criticizing others. I’m guilty of it too, and then it inevitably circles around. Oh well! We’re big enough to admit when we’re wrong! And your lazy hippie baby is awfully cute. I think you oughta keep him 😉

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