Yesterday my mom and I were in Old Navy doing a little shopping. Normally, I hate Old Navy. I promise it’s not because I’m a clothing snob. 90% of my wardrobe comes from a mixture of Sam’s Club, Target (not the cute stuff) and The Good One’s school fundraisers.
As you can imagine, I’m quite snazzy.
While at Old Navy, I found these pants and shorts that are easily the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn. They have a wide elastic waistband and when you put them on, it feels like heaven is caressing your butt. So if you can get past the fact that you’re now sporting elastic-waisted pants that are likely incredibly popular with the retirement village crowd, you will thank me for helping you find the most comfortable clothing ever made.
So, as usual, that is not even a little bit related to the point of my story.
While in Old Navy I got a phone call from The Beast’s preschool. I always get a knot in the pit of my stomach when they call because I figure one of a few things has happened:
1. They lost him. This has actually happened. They eventually found him hiding under a table eating one of his classmate’s cookies.
2. He escaped out of the window. This has also happened. His classroom, thank God, is on the first floor of the building. His teachers had the window open because it was such a beautiful day. He, being an evil genius, saw the escape route, climbed a bookcase and was out the window before his teachers realized what had happened. Fortunately he was quickly apprehended and returned to his class. I kind of expect this to happen again in the future but instead of a preschool it’ll be a jail, and instead of teachers finding him it’ll be prison guards.
3. He’s run away from the playground and jumped into the lake. This has NOT happened, but I figure it’s only a matter of time.
Well, his teacher called to tell me that they were going to take a bug walk and they were concerned about him running away from them because of his nearly superhuman speed and his desire to perpetrate all manner of evil. Honestly, The Beast alone in the woods could mean forest fires. You really never know.
His one teacher told me that The Beast’s other teacher had a backpack harness and they wanted to know if they could put the harness on The Beast so that he didn’t run away from them near the lake.
Now, I have no idea how you feel about harnesses/leashes. Before The Beast I was very anti-harness. It thought it looked funny and I didn’t understand how parents couldn’t just force their child to stay with them. I threw about phrases like “Children aren’t animals” and “That’s inhumane.”
Karma, being the psychotic bitch that she is, remembered these statements of judgment and decided to bludgeon me with them.
So, I adopted The Beast and realized that sometimes, even if you’re the most awesome mom on the earth (if you discount the heavy reliance on tequila and the desire to smack your child in the head with heavy cookware), you cannot make your children listen to you.
Virginia Slims Man and I talked about harnesses and leashes, and I just can’t bring myself to buy one. I am not judging you if you use a harness. I WAS judging you about 4 years ago, but now I get it. And honestly, if toddler shock collars were legal, I’d be all up in that business.
I told The Beast’s teacher that she could put a harness on The Beast so that he didn’t kill himself in the lake or start a forest fire. I’d rather pick him up from school alive than dead. And since I have no idea how fast his teachers can sprint, I didn’t trust that they’d be able to catch him if he decided to go for a swim.
My mom and I got a big kick out of imagining The Beast with a backpack harness.
Way back when I liked my pets and didn’t fantasize about them being carried off by large birds of prey, I had this dog. Her name was Scout and she was a sweet dog, but she had this penchant for running away from us when we’d go for walks, so we’d put her on a leash. The instant that leash was attached to her collar, she’d throw herself on the ground, roll onto her back and become a large, fluffy, white sack of cement.
You could not get her to stand up for anything. She would let you drag her around by her neck, but under no circumstances was she going to condone this humiliating ritual of control by walking while being attached to a leash.
I kind of expected The Beast to be like this.
When I picked him up at the end of the day, I asked his teacher how the walk went and she said that the other teacher was only kidding about having a harness. So I asked the other teacher and she said, “I would never put harness on him. I just told him he had to hold my hand and he did fine.”
So I still don’t know how The Beast would do with a harness.
As we were walking to the van, we walked by a mom who was getting her twins out of her car. They were about 18 months old, and low and behold, they each had a harness. The little girl twin sported her harness proudly, like it was a designer purse.
The boy twin screamed like he was being assaulted, threw himself on the grass and became a sack of cement. He absolutely refused to stand up with this leash attached to his cute little monkey backpack. His mom tried to drag him by the backpack but he just screamed louder. She eventually picked him up and carried him into the school.
So I think I’ve decided against a harness for The Beast, because as bizarre as it looks to see a kid walking while attached to a leash, it looks even weirder to see a kid being dragged by a leash.
And I feel relatively confident that The Beast would be a dragger.