I am about to admit something so earth shattering that you may never look at me the same way ever again.
I have opinions.
Holy fuck a duck, I know, right? I am willing to bet I’ve had opinions for my whole life, or at least as long as I can remember. I have changed my opinions over the years, too, as experience has dictated. As a parent, something really annoyed me today and I was pretty surprised at myself. The topic: leashes for children.
As you should know, San Diego Comic Con was this weekend and it draws something like 80 million people (citation needed). Lots of people bring their kids because like most comic book conventions, it’s expanded to pretty much everything under the sun for both kids and adults. I vicariously attended the con via Twitter feeds of people that I get all fan-girly over. And then I saw these two tweets:
As we all know, you can’t really read too much into things, but in my great big opinion, that last tweet is pretty snarky and mean spirited. From someone who does not have children.
Now, I absolutely admit that before I had a child, I thought the same thing:
I thought it, but I also was not on a public forum telling people all about things I had no idea about. After having two kids, my opinion has changed. I don’t leash my children because I don’t have a reason to. Yet. However, I will say that I still harbored self righteous thoughts after my son was born. We can just hold hands! Right? That’s what a good parent should do, right?
And then one day, the Mr, my son and I were walking into a store, probably Wal-Mart and we all held hands. Then, boom, he shook free from both of us at the same time and bolted. It wasn’t busy and there were not any cars at that moment but it was a total heart attack moment. This never happened again, but both my husband and I had the lightbulb moment of “oh, THIS is why people leash”. And this is with two adults and one scrawny little kid. Now I have two kids, 4 and 2 years old. If one bolts, what do I do with the other one? What if I’m in a crowded place? What if someone grabs my kid?
In other words, I understand that the majority of the people who leash are scared that something will happen to their kid. Most of the Twitter replies said as much. The thing that irked me was that this is the opinion of someone who does not have kids and it had a very demeaning tone which frankly disappointed me. I know, I know: this guy doesn’t give two shits about my asshole, I mean, my opinion. And he’s human and has an opinion. It still got me all ruffled up. This NY Times article kind of summed it up for me.
FYI, I still hold tightly to some of my pre-child opinions:
1. Do not take your infant to the movies. Taking your well behaved toddler to a G rated film is okay. I do not want to see people having sex while a baby screams his lungs out. I can get that at home and not pay $25 for the priviledge.
2. Do not take your infant or your toddler or your ill behaved child to a nice restaurant. Get a babysitter or something. Go to less fancy pants restaurant. It’s a special occasion and you want your kids to celebrate with you? Really? Are you going to split a bottle of wine with them, too? Go to Red Lobster.