Saturday, April 12, 2008

Walking the Toddler

Okay, I have finally done it. I have succumbed to the insanity of trying to keep track of The Disappearing Toddler in public places, and I have purchased The Toddler Leash. Yes, I, who used to judge parents whose children were restrained by such archaic methods, have attached said yoke to my wandering offspring. The good news is that 'they' now make them look less "harness-like" and more "backpack-like."

So, yesterday, I strapped The Puppy Backpack onto The Disappearing Toddler and set out on foot in… the mall (gasp!). I am pleased to report that it went very well. She loved having The Puppy Backpack on and walked quite confidently beside me for at least 15 minutes. Her confidence grew with each step she took, and that, of course, meant the "wandering offspring" instinct had engaged. As she crawled between racks in the department store, meowing, I valiantly attempted to convince her that the mall was NOT the place to be a kitty, gently tugging on the "leash" to encourage her to GET UP OFF THE DISGUSTING MALL FLOOR BEFORE MOMMY GETS OUT THE LYSOL.

All in all, she did very well curbing her wandering instincts, but the kitty emerged again in the Food Court… gross. Whereupon, being Mother of the Year, we ate our food without disinfecting our "kitty." - I should probably make the doctor's appointment now and save myself the surprise later when my child develops a strange case of Ewww in a day or so, huh?

I did, however, learn something about our offspring that has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me, the parent: with three children, I have gotten so used to their gear that I have designed my plan of attack around it. For example, diaper bags and purses are not separate items in my house, but one unit. Therefore, my "purse" is large and cumbersome… which isn't a big deal when at the mall with a stroller! So, we left the diaper bag/purse in the car and put necessary items in pockets. Umm, well, we didn't have a pocket big enough for a diaper, so of course, The Disappearing Toddler required one of these desperately while in the mall. Oh, and by the way, strollers are also useful in Food Courts for managing the many beverages and foodstuffs that must be carted to – of course - an inside table of the Dining Court depths.

Overall, a productive and not entirely painful step in my journey as a parent. And I even learned something – again, because I am apparently a slow-learner (refer to previous post for "deranged" note) – if you are dumb enough to judge another parent for his/her choices, God will give you an intimate understanding… by blessing you with a similar scenario that will lead you to make similar choices. Thanks, God, for yet another opportunity to appreciate how little I know about parenting! (smile)

Have you walked your toddler today?


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