Rein ’em in?

Reins. I have mixed feelings about them. Now Grace is getting frighteningly independent, they are of course a much better option than her running off. My Mum always swore by them and I can just about remember having them on and no psychological problems have manifested as a result (although friends may query that statement!) There is however, that nagging little feeling in the back of my brain that keeps telling me I have my child on a dog lead which feels a bit wrong. But what do you do when the second you put her down she’s off at a million miles an hour, always in the wrong direction? We call out and encourage her to follow us as she stands and looks blank from the scary amount of distance she’s managed to cover.
 “Come on Gracie, this way poppet! Over here! Yey! Come on there’s a good girl, with Mummy and Daddy, this way!”
We wave, we head off in the direction we wish her to follow, we bang our knees encouragingly, beckon her
enthusiastically and in general, look like a couple of d****. All the while Little Miss stands and stares before laughing blatantly at our futile efforts and running off in the opposite direction.
Wrist straps would appear to be the work of the devil. We tried them and it resulted in a stroppy toddler sitting herself down on the floor and refusing to move until it was removed. The over the arms and across the chest ones are ok, but only if you can get them on her (a task on a par with putting Spanx on a jellyfish.)! The best compromise we have managed to find is a little lady bird shaped ruck sack that she LOVES wearing which has a strap and handle for Mum or Dad to hold that she doesn’t really notice if it’s needed.

We have also discovered a way to make her hold hands – something that you can  NEVER usually get her to do. It’s a handy trick, but it comes with its own inconveniences. Husband and I have to take a hand each so she’s in the middle, and do a “OOOOONE, TWOOOO, THREEEEE, WEEEEEEEEEE!” and swing her up and forward on the “WEEEEEEEEEEE” This is THE only way she’ll hold hands with us and it makes conversation pretty difficult. On a walk the other day it went something like this:

Me: So how was your day, babe?
Hubby: Bit crap really
Me: Why what happened?
Hubby: Nothing in particular just. . .
Hubby: . . . just same old sh**
Me: Ah, bummer.
Hubby: Yeah, sick of dealing with a load of c…
You get the idea. What can we do? I guess the ruck sack shall prevail. Incidently, I never have tried to put Spanx on a jellyfish – in case you were wondering.


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9 responses to “Rein ’em in?

  1. I love reins and I’m a big advocate of them, hence the competition on my blog. However, I know exactly what you mean about the dog-lead comparison. I’m going to keep my eyes out for one of those bags; they seem like the next step up from reins.

  2. We have the cow print version of that backpack and there have been plenty of occasions that I have considered it a life saver, literally. My son would run off without any sense of danger and would not return when called. End of the day it’s a safety issue.

    He’s now just under three and a half and has just becoming willing to walk beside us without it on. We haven’t really changed anything, I think he’s finally realised that if he stays by us he can have a little bit of freedom. Early days yet so the backpack is still in my rucksack most days we are out but it’s only been needed once or twice.

    From other parents I know with ‘runners’ they have found that the situation seems to improve with age. Until then do whatever you have to to keep them safe.

  3. each to their own – reins didnt work for me but my childminder swears by them – so while the kids refused to wear them for me they did for her!

    oh the joys….

  4. We do the ‘holding hands wheeeee!’ too. Works every time. Sometimes. just sometimes, you win 😀

  5. You’re right, the top priority has to be safety. I guess your other option is only to let her walk where it’s safe. So in the buggy when you’re by a road, in a crowded shopping centre… free walking when you’re on a safe path, in the park etc.

    It does get better as they get bigger. We bought a wrist strap last week and to my utter surprise my son (nearly 3) likes it and actually asks to wear it if we’re walking by the road. I was planning to use it as a ‘punishment’ but actually it’s been more “are you finding if hard to stay next to me? Would you like the wrist strap?” and he says yes!

  6. I never really went for the reins idea, although my mum was a big fan, I guess I just like to do the opposite to her 😉
    seems so long ago now since mine were at that defiant I’m going to run in the opposite direction stage, I can’t really remember what I did, maybe I just didn’t venture out!!

  7. think of the big forearms u’ll get if u keep up the 1,2,3 weeeeee antics-they’ll grow too large, and and out of proportion. i say get the child a lead, well, it’s not a muzzle for f***s sake…!


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