Most baby products are as useless as a nasty mother-in-law.
A baby changing table is less like a means of changing a baby safely and more like a big thing that takes up space in the baby’s room and holds stuff you don’t really need. I think I used ours twice. The high chair was discarded in favor of letting the baby sit on the couch with a bib. I tried putting my baby in a snugli but my back said this was so not happening not then and not ever.
After years of children, my husband and I have decided on the best baby product ever. That is the baby leash. The leash consists of an adorable stuffed toy dog, two straps to attach it to the toddler and a leash. It is the world’s greatest baby invention.
Oh the car seat rules for safety. The stroller beats carrying a struggling toddler, a twenty pound purse and the ten library looks I labor under the delusion I’ll read one day. Baby spoons have proved surprisingly versatile both for letting the toddler feed herself and removing the last of the peanut butter or tomato sauce from any jar. The boppy got me through my first painful weeks of nursing.
But nothing, nothing, NOTHING beats my baby leash. My youngest is cute. She’s also under the impression that life should consist of knocking things off the shelves, saying hello to every single stranger on the planet, eating anything she finds on the floor and attempting to run into traffic. She can say please and thank you and charm everyone she meets with her smile. What she can’t do is figure out how to hold my hand or that the big giant car about to come barreling down our street isn’t her friend.
For that I have the leash. My glorious, glorious leash. My margin of parenting error. She gets to explore the front yard. I get to make sure she isn’t being hit by a school bus. Thanks to the baby leash I can take her to stores, avoid losing her in the mall and let her slide down the local hills when it snows with mommy in tow behind her and no trees for us to crash into.
For some reason this particular piece of baby equipment is controversial. Over the last year and half since we bought it, we’ve repeatedly had dirty looks thrown our way, obvious muttered comments and outright nasty remarks about lazy parenting. I am at a loss to understand the viewpoint on this one. And I get much of the criticism of many other baby products.
But this one? Are you freaking kidding me? Are people crazy? Why is the sight of a small child holding my hand the source of all that is good in the world but the sight of a toddler tethered to mommy in other ways really bad?
I suppose I should hold her hands but she looks at my fingers and just giggles. Carrying her is about as possible as carrying a hissing cat. She tolerates the stroller for about ten minutes, undoes the straps and crawls out with a gleeful look on her face. The leash is the only way I can get baby and anything else done at the same time when outside.
The truth is that toddler have no sense of self preservation at all. You could put them on an island and the sand crabs would beat them. Hell the crab grass would win. They’re cute and remarkably endearing but that’s about it for survival skills.
So baby leash it is. The toddler’s happy. I’m happy. And those who think I’m turning my daughter into a puppy all I have to say is woof. A very happy and safe woof!