I’m sure that by now you’ve all seen the video clip of the mom dragging her child through a store on a baby leash. And I’m sure you’ve all formed your opinions.
The first thing I thought of was, I know that feeling. I’ve never acted on it, but I know that feeling.
When we had our first baby, we bought one of those cute little hot pink baby harnesses when our baby began walking in earnest. We got it for our first trip to Disney World with her as a walker. We weren’t afraid she’d run away, because that just wasn’t in her nature. We were afraid she’d be taken from us, if our eyes left her for just a moment.
Remember now. We’re older parents. And this was our first child. Novices, and all.
Anyway, she looked adorable scampering around at the end of her rope, and we looked young and fresh, because we had no idea what lay ahead.
I didn’t have the good sense to realize how good we had it, and that Emme was a model child. Then we had Cailey. No child harness could have held her. Even if we tried.
And then there was Jensen. Who would have fashioned any child harness thrust upon him into a weapon, and then tied his poor unsuspecting parents up with the business end of it.
I’ve written ad nauseum about our public adventures with Jensen. Especially at the library. I wanted to share yet another incident that just may surprise you.
A couple of days ago, we all piled out of the van for our biweekly pilgrimage to the library. The girls usually dart ahead of me on the sidewalk, while I maintain a death grip on Jensen. Because in days past, if I had let go, he would have ended up in the water reservoir on the library property, wrestling with the resident alligator.
I wish I were kidding.
Somehow Jensen slipped past me and was keeping stride with his sisters. I hollered for him to come and hold my hand, while praying to God to save me from yelling in public, breaking into a run, and being forced to save a perfectly innocent alligator’s scaly life.
Jensen looked back at me over his shoulder, “MOM, I know where I’m going!” And with that, he pulled out in front of his sisters, and led the way into the library.
And then the strangest thing happened.
He stood in line quietly with his siblings. He didn’t fall to the floor. Or scream. Or curse. Or disrobe.
When our turn came at the circulation desk, he stepped up quietly and (except for a well placed elbow jab to Cailey) stood next to me while I picked up our books.
Then with no meltdown whatsoever, he walked beside us, of his own accord, and climbed back into the van.
I told his how proud I was of his behavior in the library. And he just smiled and said, “I wuv you mommy.” And then in all caps he added, “ NOW CAN I HAVE MY GO-GURT?”
I’m pretty sure that the circulation desk clerk phoned into the police that someone had just used a stolen library card. Because there’s no way they would have believed it was really me and my entourage.
There is hope on the horizon. Now if I can just remind myself to let him have wings.