Before I became a parent, I was a judger. I remember one instance in particular, in an airport, when I saw a mom holding her son by a leash, A LEASH. Okay, it was connected to a sort of cute monkey backpack, and wasn't technically a leash, but I clearly remember thinking "Jeez lady, can't you just keep track of your own kid?!".
Enter Talley. My almost two year old. She is sweet and adorable and bright and lovely and loving to all of her brothers and sisters. She is funny and loves to dance and love Bubble Guppies and would probably walk over hot coals in order to watch Frozen even though she's seen it a thousand times.
She is also a total maniac.
Put her in a shopping cart seat? She freaks out and screams. Try to shop without her in the cart? HAHAHAHA. Good luck with that. Unless you like chasing a chunky blonde Tasmanian Devil through the aisles while trying (and failing) to maintain your composure. She likes to take her clothes off and run nude in the yard. On a playground she will find the most dangerous spot to be and try to jump off of it with her arms spread. She is a daredevil with a capital D.
Which brings me back to the child leash. The other day I was just trying to buy breast pads at Target. That's it. That's all I needed to do. And I had Talley with me. Who refused to stay in the cart. So there's me, with the baby in a carrier, and Talley is now taking each and every sippy cup off of the shelf one by one and stacking them in a giant pile and the thought popped in my head "I need a leash for this kid".
Did I buy one? No. I'm not quite there yet. I will try to ride out this phase (PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS JUST A PHASE OMG) and will skip the leash for now. But I really, really wish I could go back and eat my words when I judged that parent. Besides the fact that they were in a very busy and full of strangers airport, and that they most likely had a plane to catch, and maybe, just MAYBE they had a "runner" like Tal is, and maybe searching for a missing toddler in an airport wasn't their idea of fun?
If I ran into those same parents with the leash today and I was in a busy airport with my chubby blonde maniac? I would probably ask to borrow their leash. Put yourself in their shoes next time you want to snark on some parents, because it can bite you in the behind when you have a similar kid situation of your own. Now I hope you'll excuse me while I go search Amazon for a cute, pink Peppa Pig "child leash" ;)