To All the Ones I’ve Mocked Before…

Dear Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies,

This isn’t easy for me to do, but I would like to offer you my sincerest of apologies.  For so long, you had been the object of my judgment and scorn.  This surely would have kept you up at night, except it was that special kind of silent, passive-aggressive Midwestern scorn.  So you never knew that all this time I thought you were a bunch of lazy jerks.  “Look at those lazy jerks!” I’d say (under my breath, of course – because you know…the whole ‘Midwestern thing’).  I’d pass by you and your tethered offspring in public places and imagine smugly asking, “What breed is he?  Did he come with all his relevant AKC paperwork?”  I’m sorry, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies, but I can be a dick like that.  To me, that weird little child-harness represented the ultimate in parental failure.

And then I had a baby.

And then that baby turned into a two-year-old.

A two-year-old who scales walls like Spiderman on Pixie Sticks.


I had you all wrong, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies!  I get it now!  You weren’t lazy at all.  Was early man lazy when he invented the wheel?  Was Stephen Hawking lazy when he built a keyboard that lets him talk like a space robot?  Hell no!  They took stock of their situations, and through sheer gumption, tipped the scales back in their favor.  You recognized similar hardship,

and responded with what is essentially a dog-harness with a plush animal on top – a solution elegant in its simplicity.  And then, I can only imagine, you sat back and had a hearty laugh at parents like me; hurtling after our children as they lay waste to any and all non-baby proofed spaces in their path.

It’s from Target, so it must be normal. Right?

The mind boggles at the world of possibilities suddenly available when the feral toddler is contained.  Oh the places we’d go!  Faberge Egg museum?  Sure!  Knife-throwing convention?  Sign us up!  Just think of the life I haven’t been living!

In closing, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies, I humbly ask your forgiveness.  While I may not be running out to purchase an Elmo-themed restraining device, I feel like I understand you now.  I promise, no further judgment from me.  And so, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies, I leave you with one final request:  the next time you find yourself at an outdoor café, leisurely sipping Chardonnay with the leash tied to your chair, please, pretty please, have a drink for me.


Jeni Kramer