Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unleashed

Okay, time for me to rant. You may want to sit down for this one.

Who am I kidding? We're all sitting down. Half of us haven't gotten up in the past five hours.

So, Susan asked me if I wanted to go to the mall with her.

Then she told me the answer was yes.

This struck me as kind of funny since I was pretty sure my answer should have been no, but who am I to make my own decisions?

That's what wives are for.

(Author's note: I hope you laughed at that because I'm going to be sleeping on the couch)

Anyway, as we walked around the mall, something caught my eye. A mother was walking through the mall with her son who looked to be about 3 years old.

Why was this worth discussing you might ask?

Because she had the child on a f--king leash!

A leash. As in a length of rope attached to her child.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Seriously, is this something we're doing now? Did I miss the memo where it was okay to treat children like pets?

Sure, it helps keep your child safe in a crowded area. It keeps them from getting lost.

Do you know what else keeps that from happening?

GOOD PARENTING!

All you have to do is watch the kid. Just watch them.

Do you see your child?

If you said yes, then your child is fine.

If you said no, then go find your damned child.

But why even bother to watch your child when you can just reel them in any time you feel like it.

Who needs good parenting when you have a harness and a length of rope?

Uh oh, Billy went out of sight. Better reel that fat bastard in.

Speaking of which, given the current epidemic of childhood obesity, what the hell is a leash going to do?

You can pull as hard as you like. Your buffalo of a child ain't coming.

I guess you could just follow the leash until you find them. They probably didn't get far.

Hurray! The leash triumphs over actually taking care of your kids again.

Let's not even consider what wearing a harness and leash in public is doing to your child's development.

Do you know what happens to kids who wear harnesses when they're children?

The become the teenagers that wear leashes.

Yeah... Them.

Good parenting there, mom.

The part that really bothered me about the whole thing was the harness itself. The whole thing was designed to look like a teddy bear wrapped around their kid.


Do they think this is fooling anyone?

Oh, that's not an act of terrible child neglect. That just cute is what it is.

Putting a teddy bear on the harness doesn't make it any less demeaning.

Actually, it makes it a little more demeaning because now you're suggesting your kid is too retarded to figure out they're wearing a leash.

Kid>> Wow. This sure is an awesome teddy bear.
Kid>> Strapped to my back...
Kid>> And attached to twenty feet of rope...
Kid>> Nope. Nothing wrong there.

Listen, we all know it's a leash. You can call it a harness or a safety restraint or whatever. You can wrap it in teddy bears or Hello Kitty or whatever other bullshit you think is a-goddamn-dorable.

It's a leash.

You have your child on a leash.

Screw it. Let's just go the whole way with it. Forget the leash. I say we start using choke chains.

One good yank and it'll be easy to find your kid.

He'll be the huge lump lying on the floor gasping for air.

Now, that's parenting.

49 Comments:

At 8:19 PM, Blogger David said...

AMEN!
I could not have said this any better.

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger Tony said...

hrm... *waits two and a half years*

[GM]Dave: "We need a f#@!ing leash for this thing!"

All the parenting in the world doesn't stop a three year old from being phenomenally good at bolting the *second* you take your eyes off them. That, and it's usually pretty hard to hold their squirming little hands without being on the verge of crushing them into a ball of pulp.

Now, I'm not saying leashes are a substitute for good parenting, which is a concept I'd agree is mostly lost on this country (buffalo comment was great). Take a look at bash #777977. However, they might be somewhat practical for a day out at the mall (which hasn't happened in months), and especially when (you know females) they've got entire department stores in bags hanging off their other hand. Add in a little overprotectiveness/paranoia, and a leash would probably seem reasonable. Besides, it's not like the little thing's going to remember (unless they're 10, which, scarily, might not surprise me so much anymore). No matter which way you put it, though, you're right... they look pretty shitty to be in.

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Kitty said...

I have to disagree with you there. I was traveling in the airport alone with my 2 year old son who also loved to run. I was trying to carry the diaper bag, my purse, a stroller and a car seat. Airports are crowded with that much to juggle, the leash I got for my son came in handy. It let me be able to dig through my purse for all the identification I needed, my tickets and what not.

I was able to put the car seat in the stroller and let him run along with me to get some energy out and make it across the airport in time for us not to miss our connecting flight. I do not know about you, but I find it hard to keep a diaper bag and a purse slung over my shoulder, and steer a stroller with one hand and hold the hand of a toddler without crashing into a ton of people.

I agree that I would never have used them all the time, but I used one at that trip through the airport and it made things a little hassle free. Especially since for some reason a pregnant white woman traveling alone with a small child seems to set off every security flag in an airport.

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger Echinate said...

The leashes aren't exactly a new thing. I have home video of myself running around as a kid with one on, and that would be some odd 20 years ago.

Whatever works I figure.

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Allison said...

When I was a child, my mother handcuffed me to my baby brother's stroller everywhere we went.
The handcuffs were made out of velcro.
Yeah. They weren't too effective once I hit, um, five.

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Yeah, this has been around forever, but I think it became a big think about 10 years ago, I saw them everywhere back then.

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger Nikko said...

when I was young I had a "leash" of sorts. it was a wrist band with a plastic coiled line that went from my wrist to my parent's wrist. as I vaguely recall (the last time I wore it was probably around 4 years old), and to my parents' reinforcement of the memory, I enjoyed being tethered to my parents. I hated getting lost and seperated from them. So when we went to busy places like the mall or something, I wasn't as scared because I knew where they were.

Though, with a design of that type you saw today, I may not quite agree with it. And honestly, sometimes, I wish they would put some of those ankle biters in choke collars. may not be the most humane, but at least they'd behave if nothing else works!

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Yeah...I got into a very public shouting match with the last guy I saw toting his 5 year old daughter around on a leash.

My kid is three, and she'll disappear in a FLASH if you take your eyes off of her for a SECOND in the grocery store (usually heading for the shoes over in the clothing department). Know how I handle that? I watch her. I let her run and chase her around while my WIFE does the actual shopping. If we happen to be out somewhere where I'm the one shopping, then my wife does the toddler chasing. If we're outdoors or in a really crowded place, then my daughter understands that she must hold one of our hands until we tell her it's okay to let go.

You know. Parenting.

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger Dock said...

Fair enough.

But as a single mother, I can tell you it is a lot easier to use a leash. ^_^

 
At 12:39 AM, Blogger Kenny said...

I never understood the leash. If you don't trust your kids to stay near you, don't bring them. Yes, I knwo there are times where you can't leave them by themselves, but isn't that why your parents demanded you get it on to give them grandchildren?

As long as you have friends or relatives, it shouldn't be that hard to find someone to watch your kid(s) for you. If you have to take them with you, teach them not to be stupid.

 
At 2:07 AM, Blogger signup said...

I'm glad to say it didn't happen to any of my family that I'm aware of. A leash on a kid?!

I've heard of it before, but never actually seen it in action. Of course, things I have seen in action since moving to Virginia Beach include way too old kids with bottles and pacifiers. I'm not talking three and four years old...I'm talking 5-8 years old! Occasionally, some of them were even older.

That is equally messed up in my mind.

 
At 3:12 AM, Blogger RurouniZanza said...

Hmmm agreed, but kind of surprised you didn't give her a "kind" comment face to face in front of the whole mall.

And on an unrelated note. 68.3% of your readers can't access your blog from work tomorrow because it has been blocked for containing foul language.

Viva la alcohol on a leash!

 
At 3:47 AM, Blogger Sechakecha said...

I saw a grandfather walking his granddaughter a few weeks ago in the mall. Only, the kid had fallen down, was crying, and the grandfather was dragging the kid along the floor of the mall, either not realizing it or not caring. People suck.

 
At 4:19 AM, Blogger JAFO said...

Personally, I like the leashes. No, I don't have kids. What I have is the desire to walk around the mall or any store for that matter without be accosted or having to side step carpet apes. The sugar induced mania that causes children to act very much like ferrets on crack cocaine is enough to make me want to walk up and stab the parents in the eye with a bus. Good parenting aside, which is sorely lacking in this day and age already, the current system actually prevents parents giving their misbehaving rugrat a very much needed smack on the ass when they start running around the store like a freak.
Seriously, people let the TV raise their kids, mainly because it keeps them quiet while they try to figure out how to pay all the bills, get the housework done and still maintain a relationship with their significant other. One too many episodes of Dora the Explorer and the kids think its cool to take off and have an adventure. Its considered "wrong" to spank kids in this day and age, which I personally disagree with. I don't condone beating the crap out of them (most of the time) but seriously, when the little goofballs are playing with rat poison/matches/stove/paint on living room carpet/daddy's palm pilot and hammer...etc, they need to be made aware of the wrongness of their behavior...if its repeated, smack that ass till they learn to behave.
Leashes are a good way to keep less tolerant people from booting your child across the damn department store because they have ran into them for the 50th time. A leash will also help keep said booted child from sailing to far. Or if restraint is had from booting the kid, it gives me something to follow over to the idiot parent who's drooling over some shiny bauble somewhere and boot them in the head for being retarded.
Much love for your blog Dave. I truly enjoy reading it.

 
At 5:03 AM, Blogger Stefanos said...

you know what would be a GREAT match for that leash? walks on the park. Just throw all these diapers away, saving money in the process, and just take your kid(?) out for a walk in the park and let it take its No 1&2 there. How about taking all feeding responsibility off as well? Get two little plastic bowls from your local supermarket and fill them up with water and food that can last for months!!
CONGRATULATIONS you just invented a new species!! A talking dog who is gonna live for 70-80 years, pay its taxes and go poopy in the park!

 
At 6:24 AM, Blogger Katrina said...

the leashes are great for children who are autistic, especially, or hard of hearing. if a child darts, they aren't always going to hear you tell them to stop. and personally, i'd rather see a kid on a harness or leash than one in traffic, especially if i'm driving.

 
At 7:17 AM, Blogger RamblingDreamer said...

My husband and I are good parents. We watch our child when we're out. If I'm shopping, he runs around the store with her. If he's shopping, I do the running around. It works well.

But, that being said, there are times when the "leash" is handy. If I'm alone, and need to pay attention to what I'm doing (such as talking to a cashier or filling out paperwork), the "leash" is a great help. She's a very active two-year-old, and wants to be running everywhere all the time. She's too young for a "No, just sit down" to keep her there for more than two seconds, and she's too big and active to want to stay in a stroller. So it's helpful to have something there to keep her in check when there's no other help available. Do I recommend it all the time? Of course not. My husband and I are perfectly capable of watching her. But in certain situations, it's a life-saver - perhaps literally.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Aredia said...

I think there are times when it's appropriate, like, for instance, the airport lady, and things, but, I dunno... not for an everyday venture.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Holly said...

I totally agree with you...yes, children run around, yes, they're hard to keep track of at times, but honestly. There are probably some people out there who use these to effect, but the fact is that most people who use leashes are using them instead of parenting. Makes me mad.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Alison the Amazing Thief said...

LOL As said by a man who doesn't have a three year old. Sometimes a good leash is pure genius.

I sometimes take mine to the stable with me and when she doesn't listen when I tell her running around the big horsies is a bad idea I tie a horse lead line around her and problem solved. No worries about expensive and traumatic hospital visits.

I think a leash is a great punishment for a child who thinks bolting away from their parents is funny. If the kid runs away they deserve the leash. I'll take embarrassed or possibly mentally damaged over dead, crippled or stolen any day.

But yes, I agree, they look funny but chances are the kid had it coming.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Leut said...

I'm pretty indifferent when it comes to the Kiddo-leash.

Could it be said this is yet another symptom of people becoming more lazy in the ways of parenting? Could it be said this is another cause of what is percieved as each generation is becoming more pussified (wussier? sissio-conditioning? democratic partified? /shrug)? Could it be that it is funny to see a little kid running at full steam only to get yanked out from under his feet when he reaches the end of the leash at a full and very sudden stop?

All I can say is that I had no leash. And I think I have just enough control over my insanity.

Of course....it might jsut be easier to just try to have ugly kids. No one tries to steal those.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger AndrĂ©as said...

Freak on a leash \o/

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger Atomic Skull said...

"Have your spouse watch him"

Some of us are single parents.

"Have your relatives watch him"

Not an option for some of us.

"I got in a public shouting match with someone because I decided to stick my nose in where it doesn't belong"

MYOB

 
At 7:14 PM, Blogger Robert said...

The shouting match started because I witnessed the poor kid hitting her head on the floor because she hit the end of the leash and was yanked off her feet.

I'd like to see YOU try to "MYOB" in that situation.

No matter how you try to justify yourself, a leash just isn't a viable replacement for loving parenting and teaching a child self discipline. Single parent? So $%@^ what? I go shopping alone with my daughter all the time, and in spite of being not quite three years old, she always listens well enough for me to keep her manageable.

Kid wants to run? Let 'em run for a while! Follow 'em around and laugh at the kid's antics while keeping them out of larger bits of mischief in the store. After a while they'll settle down and you'll be able to do your shopping with them either holding your hand or sitting in the shopping cart, leash not required.

 
At 12:18 AM, Blogger Subaru said...

Long time reader, first time poster.

I created an account solely to reply to these comments.

After reading this, I realize that parents are children who are merely smarter and stronger than those who have just been born.

Thank you Dave, for making this entry, thus revealing just how many people are far too willing to "punish" their children just because they, the parents, can't or won't teach kids the right way of self discipline. I am not judging anyone from here, I'm just sayin'.

I just hope you're brave enough to sleep in your own bed tonight. From one man to another, pride is more important than sex.

 
At 2:01 AM, Blogger TallWhiteNinja said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:02 AM, Blogger TallWhiteNinja said...

Modern America: people would prefer to do what's easiest for them rather than what's best for their children.

 
At 4:07 AM, Blogger RurouniZanza said...

Alright, I had to make another post due to other posts, specially by the whiteninja.

Amen to you... Think about it, technology makes things easier for us and we as humans become more lazy and less responsible.

Loose your keys? whistle and it'll beep to you.

Many other examples can be made, but the truth is that parents are becoming lazier.

Kid wants to play? give him a videogame and put in a room and forget about him/her. Hey, maybe your kid will find some sharp things to play with, sounds like fun.

True, I can see why a leash would be helpful to you... but what the hell happen to those elastic wristbands that kept you together?

I helped raised my brother since he was born and I have gone on many walks with him when he was little in very crowded places.

Yeah, he ran away sometimes, well guess what? get your lazy ass on the move and chase after him/her. Good work out.

And if you are too lazy for that, the hold your kid's hand at all times.

Final word is... you chose to have the kid, so don't make it easier on you for a few minutes while it can cause some permanent physical or psychological damage.

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Subaru said...

Moreover, if one is so dismissive of the real posibility of psychological damage, consider...

Today's freely inflicted psych damage for the sake of the child's safety, could result in this when they grow older:

Child: "You...remind me of my father. *pulls knife* I HATED MY FATHER."

Yeah.

Scoff if you will, but until we know EVERYTHING about psychology and how individual people react to certain things, we can't be sure that they will recover from what they do.

Moreover, if one is so blase about the possibility of mental harm to a child on this issue, they might decide to compromise it further on other issues in the future.

Maybe you're right, but maybe I'm right too.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Atomic Skull said...

Yell your heads off all you want the leash has been around for 30 years it's here to stay and there's nothing you're going to be able to do about it.

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger Subaru said...

Look, genius.

What might be a minor indignity to you could be a genuine spirit breaking humilation for the child. You can lah dee dah all you want about people being too sensetive, well who effing cares, you can't do a thing about that, and if it's your child, you have to be mindful of it.

I don't really care if your kid grows up to be The Joker, but if you do, then you should quit being so quick to say "I'm willing to cause them some psych damage in order to protect them."

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Atomic Skull said...

Spanking kids and sending them to their rooms might "humiliate" them too.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger JAFO said...

Like the man said (I am assuming he's a man...i've been wrong before) We don't know everything about psychology. How's this for a flip side thought.
Case#1: Child gets lost in a store. Has to wander around for an hour feeling lost and alone, finally gets found and either hugged or spanked for getting their silly ass lost and making the parent worry. Child grows up to be afraid to try new things, to really "think outside the box", hell, they might piss themselves and fall over into the fetal position anytime they get lost or go "off the map" as it were.
Case#2: Child is on a leash. Learns not to go running off, sooner or later, due to their sterling behavior of not going flying up in the air like charlie brown trying to kick a football, they no longer have the leash and know well enough to walk next to the adult. Their learn to play by the rules inherent to the system in which they were born and now live. They learn that good behavior is treated with more liberties and bad behavior has consequence. They don't have abandonment issues because, let's face it, their parent cared enough to hang onto them whether by holding their hand or their tether.
What is the greater indignity, walking on a leash tethered to the person who loves you, or having your ass reddened in a store, surrounded by strangers staring at you getting your hide tanned for being an idiot.
No, the parents are not letting their children run loose, they are keeping them close at hand while they are out taking care of business. They are not causing that child to follow along on all fours, nor are they making them eat out of a dog dish. They're being responsible. Is it any different than giving a hyperactive child ritalin? Is that not a chemical leash? Is it not a form of control over that child because they have no other options? It absolutely is, but it is also a necessary fact of life.
I would much rather have a child out there feeling a little humiliated for a short period of time until they learn how to behave in public properly, than to see these same kids cut loose and running amok. I am also pretty sure that the wild and out of control behavior isn't going to end there. But that would be more speculation than I feel like putting in print at the moment. Any way you look at it, having your child on a leash is not against any law. You may not agree with the ethics of it, but until there is a supreme court ruling on tethering your child, accept the fact that there is nothing you have to say that is going to change what people do in this regard. You don't have to like it, but you would do well to mind your own business when passing them in a store. Go start some shit with an Emo or a street mime. Those people have problems.

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger TallWhiteNinja said...

Just think for a second about why you're using your leash/spanking your kid/sending them to time out or whatever. Are you doing it to a. keep your child safe/make sure they grow up with a proper moral compass (whatever you believe that compass should be) or b. make your life easier by removing an aspect of dealing with your child. If you can honestly, fully answer a, do your thing. If your main motive is b, you might want to think about what you are doing.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Subaru said...

You bring up a very good point, Jafo.

If they made a law banning it under pain of fines and jail time, it would stop.

And so if we would stop out of fear of the law, perhaps it is not so neccesary after all.

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Jafo, your argument invalidates itself by leaving out major variables.

I have only one more thing to add before abandoning this discussion as moot:

Ethics and moral issues aside; if putting a child on a leash were REALLY all that effective, don't you think you'd see MORE people doing it?

My own experience says this simply isn't the case. I generally encounter maybe ONE parent with a child on a leash for about every five trips out (shopping, recreation, whatever). That's a pretty darn small frequency and doesn't take into account whether or not I'm seeing the same parent and child multiple times. I submit that leashing a child for any "reason" is, by and large, viewed as ineffective and frowned upon by a clear majority of parents.

 
At 2:23 AM, Blogger Psychosys said...

Kitty said:"I do not know about you, but I find it hard to keep a diaper bag and a purse slung over my shoulder."

Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but I really, *really* don't see [GM]Dave worrying about slinging his -purse- over his shoulder.

Dear Lord.

 
At 2:46 AM, Blogger NynjaSquirrel said...

Yes, leashes suck - they're far too long and allow a child way too much freedom. Tie them to the underside of the shopping cart and that way they'll enjoy a whole new experience - whilst not being underfoot for the rest of the mall.

 
At 4:37 AM, Blogger Caramis said...

Psychosys, first off if any of the last few posts over the last couple months are any indication of what is happening at [GM]Daves house. i would venture to state that he might be holding a purse quite often, and i am sure Susan is nice enough to color coordinate with daves outfit at the time while hes holding her purse.

as far as the rant goes... 30 years yall say.. interesting... this all may be my fault.. way back in my childhood almost 40ish years ago i lived in california. during the nice summer afternoons when i was between 4 and 6 (yes this went on awhile) i would go out into the front yard.. turn the dog loose.. put on his collar and chain.. sit next to the road..

and watch cars go by..

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Zombie said...

I, for one, prefer using a leash on kids.

They can't move around as much. It keeps the meat tender.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Atomic Skull said...

In regards to the woman who had her child on a leash while pregnant and at an airport. The question that needs to be asked here isn't whether the leash is acceptable. The real question is why she isn't at home and barefoot.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Atomic skull is just BEGGING to be fed to Jormy....

 
At 7:30 AM, Blogger PhiPhi said...

I am normally home and barefoot *grins* I was not this time because my grandfather was in the hospital and wanted to go and see him and spend time with him and let him see his great grandchildren before he passed. My husband, who works, couldn't take as much time as I could. I had to fly alone.

And I know Dave wouldnt normally hold a purse, but I am sure he is accustomed to it. Every married man holds a purse at some time.

I was not saying he should, I was just pointing out that there was a time in my life when I needed my young son leashed because I could not devote both eyes and arms and feet to watching him. It was the only time in my life that I have used the leash.

And as to the guy who talked about how great he and his wife are and they are parents and responsible and all that BS - yeah must be nice to have a husband who goes with you everywhere. What is he unemployed that he and his wife manage to do everything together? Or is his wife so much of a twit that she can't manage the grocery store on her own? She needs a big strong man to corral the kids? Maybe he is just so whipped that he follows her around like a puppy on all her errands?

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Melli said...

I know I'm coming late to this party but here's my take on toddler leases:
As the mother of an adventurous, mischevous, hyperactive almost-2-year old, I LOVE my daughter's leash. It's a little monkey backpack with a long tail that I can hang onto.

Yes, we are teaching her to hold hands and to stay with us but she also has the attention span of a gnat and loves to take off running. The running is ok if my husband and I are out together but it's so NOT ok when we are alone!

Psyclological damage? I'm not worried about that. It's not like I drag her along, we walk holding hands and I have the leash around my wrist just in case. (She is freakishly fast!)

I regularly have parents of young kiddies stop me to ask where I got the leash. I wish more parents would use them. My worst fear is that she wanders a few feet from me and I never see her again. I'm willing to use whatever tool is at my disposal to prevent that from happening.

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

*ahem* Leashes/harnesses have been around at least *40* years, because my parents have home films of me & my brother running around with them using them.

The real irony? If those kids had been *off* leashes, Dave would've been bitching about how loud & noisy & uncontrolled those kids were as they ran around all over the place.

As tony said, just wait 2 & a half years, Dave. Leashes don't replace good parenting, but they sure as hell HELP the good parents STAY good parents.

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger Valinnut said...

One time i actually saw a parent on a bike..with his kid..running behind him..strapped to him with a leash.

Once more:

Parent on bike
Kid running

madness...

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger jenmai89 said...

Okay just to take a perspective. You are hilarious. and i agree. I am 19 and my parents never used a leash on me. I got lost in a store many times, because i was curious. I learned that getting lost is bad. I dont think that a leash would have damaged my psyche but i do think they are rather silly. i turned out fine, i may have been a hastle but i learned to obey. Getting lost is scary. And no getting lost did not affect my ability to try new experiences. I think that perhaps this matter is one of opinion and really we will probably never agree on it

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger JAFO said...

Actually, quite a few posts ago, there was the fateful cry from Dave to have some wild child leashed.
I can not recall the exact post, but I'll dig through them and get the name of it. I want to say it was an 06 post, but I may be wrong.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Vince said...

HAH! [GM]DAVE HAS DONE IT ONCE AGAIN! You, sir, are the epitome of rants both witty and true!

 

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