By Jen Wilson
I took my kids to the local children’s festival this past week. Because of their age gaps, they aren’t too hard to keep track of. I let my almost-11-year-old go off by herself twice, with strict instructions about meeting places and where she was going and where I would be waiting for her. I could barely breathe until she was back in my sight, but she wants independence and I’m working on giving that to her, within reason. My five-year-old is quite the rebellious, strong-willed kid, but she doesn’t like being too far away from me. If she wanders off, it’s never purposeful.
My one-year-old is a different story. He thinks it’s quite hilarious to take off and make me chase him. He follows me absolutely everywhere when we’re home—even to the washroom, where he thinks unrolling the toilet paper is quite the fun game—but when we’re out, he’s gone. I brought my Boba carrier along, as I quite dislike pushing a stroller in crowds, and my son loves the Boba. Most of the time, though, he wanted to walk.
As we passed the hundreds of other kids, I did what I usually do, which is to check out other people’s strollers and carriers. (What? I’m curious!) I saw something else, though, too: Harnesses. Like this one.
I’ve always found these harness things kind of strange; I remember my younger sister being tethered to my mom by a hand harness when we went to the West Edmonton Mall one year when we were kids. It’s not like I don’t see the value in, you know, not losing your kid. But at the same time, I’d just feel like I was walking my kid like I’d walk my dog. (Which, actually, my five-year-old daughter/puppy would quite like.) I have to say, I’ve never used one of these—maybe it’s one of those don’t-knock-it-till-you’ve-tried-it things.
The Jeep Puppy Backpack Harness, $18, available from toysrus.ca.
How do you prefer to keep track of your toddler or preschooler when you are in a crowd? Have you used a harness on your child? Did your kid fight it, or did he like it?
Jen Wilson is a married mother of three super-awesome children—two girls and a boy—who range in age from 1-11. She enjoys photography, organizing, reading, TV, and sarcasm. She drinks her coffee black and dreams of one day owning a dishwasher. You can also find her on her blog, Hey Mrs. Wilson, where she has been writing about life in Saskatchewan since 2004.
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