Today's topic of conversation: leash kids. This is nothing new - they've been around for years.
If you're not exactly sure you know what I mean, a few seconds of logical thinking will lead you to the right conclusion (or you can just take a look at the image on the right). That's right - kids on leashes. Kind of like dogs on leashes, only instead if K-9s, we're talking humans here.
The reason I bring this up is because yesterday, as I was on my way to work, I got stuck behind a pack of leash kids. It was obvious to me they were apart of some kind of daycare program. There were about eight of them, accompanied by two adults, and some simple arithmetic will prove that some sort of organizational device was needed for this bunch of rugrats. Two adults means only four hands for eight kids, hence the need for the Jon and Kate Plus Eight hoop-style leash I witnessed. Now this I find acceptable, particularly because the kids weren't restrained at all, but were instead holding onto a hoop that guided them along and made them easier to herd.
I understand I'm a little naive here and that there may be a perfectly good explanation for the leash kid phenomenon. Still, most of time when I see a child strapped up in a fluorescent harness, I feel an overwhelming sense of pity. Why can't mom/dad/nanny just hold onto the kid's hand, particularly if there is only one kid - not eight - to keep track of? Surely some traditional hand-holding would do the trick, as well as foster that essential, warm and fuzzy caregiver-child bond. I mean, if you were a kid on leash, would you not feel a little confused/degraded that both you and pet Fido were toted around in the same way?
And leash kids are taken to a whole new level with the advent of Smart Target's Kiddo Keeper, which is basically the equivalent to those alarms you can buy to locate your keys or TV remote. The Kiddo Keeper Web site, in fact, also markets the product as a way "to monitor valuable properties or pets" - see? Umm - wow. Whatever happened to actually paying attention to your little one? At first I got a little concerned when I read the article that led me to the product, which at one point describes the Kiddo Keeper as akin to an electric dog collar that will shock your kid if he/she wanders too far away. Then I (once again) realized how gullible I am.
While I doubt any formal studies have been conducted on the outcome of people who were/weren't raised on leashes, I do have friends of both varieties, and they've all turned out well. Heck, my brother-in-law was a leash kid, and I won't hesitate to say he's quite an admirable fellow.
I suppose some kids are just that rampantly wild that they must be restrained somehow. I'm hoping Baby Lump doesn't turn out this way. So help me if I have to resort to treating my kid like an animal, or worse - a set of keys.
Oven Timer: 23 weeks, 1 day