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