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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Child is on a Leash!

I was made aware of a controversy today and I feel compelled to chime in. Apparently a Mom in Georgia has been arrested and is being prosecuted for pulling her child, on the floor, through the aisles of a store on his "monkey leash." After I saw the video, I immediately knew that the charges were unfounded.

Robby also has a monkey leash. I was hesitant to go the "child leash" route, but I found that I had no choice. Robby is fast and agile. I am slower and not nearly as swift. He can dart in and out of tight spots and can burst into a sprint on a dime. I cannot run in my "everyday" leg and I am limited by my prosthetic.

I was walking with Robby last summer when we were on vacation, and he dropped my hand and started to run. I ran after him, but he was quick. Before I knew it, he was headed straight into the middle of the road! Thankfully I managed to catch him before anything worse could happen, but I decided then and there that I needed to keep him on a leash.

I never thought I would be one of "those parents." Before I became a Mommy, I would see children wearing their little leash backpacks and shake my head. I am embarrassed to admit it now, but I was judgmental. I attributed the need for a leash to inattentiveness or poor parenting. Oh, how experience can change an outlook!

Robby is on a leash for his own safety. I simply cannot keep up with him. I suppose my prosthetic provides me with a more "valid" excuse, but I don't feel that I should require one. Perhaps we should not be as judgmental.

Back to the video of the child being pulled on the floor, which sparked the controversy. Robby loves his monkey leash. One of his favorite "games" is being pulled along the floor while wearing the backpack. We've been known to "sweep" the hallway playing this game. I have never played this game in public, but I can see how Robby might want to initiate it.

Being pulled is fun for kids. The child in the video was not being pulled maliciously and was carefully maneuvered around obstacles. I feel sympathy for this mother and her family.

Robby will continue to wear his backpack. He tells me that he is going to be a "good boy," but he is three and cannot be trusted yet. I would rather endure the looks from judgmental teenagers and 20 somethings and keep him safe. After all, loving and protecting your child is a parent's number one priority.

1 comment:

  1. Okay Peggy you are right on the money with this observation and both my daughters will be looking for said leashes when they have children. In England everyone had leashes for their child (we called them harnesses). I had four children in four years which left me with a newborn and 18 month old in a double stroller and two little girls 3 and 4 in harnesses (leashes) as we traveled everywhere. In England we used the trains a lot and no one wants their child to fall onto the tracks. My daughters are 21 and 22 and both are well adjusted and never felt like they were neglected or abused because they wore safety harnesses. When we moved back to the states I got horrible looks and comments about treating my child like a dog but every time I saw a child not on a harness dart into traffic or get lost my girls would tell me "that kid should be in a harness" even they knew it was for safety and ignored judgmental folks but I think you are smart to have Robby in a harness for more reasons than that you are slower than he is :o)