What is it?
I never never thought I'd put a "leash" on my kids, and yes I called it a leash.
Even with strong resistant Rhys I could control the safeness of a walk. There was a few times I would have to grab him up into my arms but by the age of three he was constantly safe not to because he knew not to.
With the girls, I thought I had two hands and if I had three of the kids Rhys is responsible enough to help.
So what has changed?
Gwen is a runner, and unlike her older brother, in a loud parking lot she can't hear me. She won't keep her hearing aids in a parking lot and can't wear them in the van so they come out before she goes outside. I had a day picking up Rhys with the girls were Gwen bolted on the road. I didn't have enough arms to run after her with Avery or the speed with Avery in my arms.
It was the scariest thing to happen since they came home from the NICU.
I still wished to teach Gwen safety instead of relying on a leash. But no matter how many times we tried she will bolt with no warning.
As a mom, it is terrifying. My child can't hear me, she can't detect were all the traffic sounds are coming from, and due to this tendency to run she is at a major risk.
So what to do, even with the knowledge of the backpack harnesses I couldn't bring myself to do it. It took the panic of almost loosing her and talking about my fears with other moms.
Gwen's SLP summed it up the best- you've done so much to give her the best in life and fought for her, give her this extra protection until she can trust herself in a parking lot.
Got her a little pink backpack and she loves going around with it,today was the first time we used the harness part. She was a good girl and held my hand the whole walk into audiology she had a harder time going back to the van but she was getting tired.
|"Avery ook my ears!"|
It was such a relief that I could let her walk and that she could do it safely.
Yet I still got looks.
People who like me thought that its a crutch, maybe they thought I was lazy. I too had the reservations of using them. But you know what? Gwen was safe, independent and I didn't loose her to a preventable accident.
So judge away, but my baby is safe.