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Minivans and Child Leashes: A Mom of Two’s Best Friends!

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If you asked my friends to describe me they would say that I’m pretty quiet and soft spoken, so imagine their disbelief if they saw me the other day in a busy parking lot chasing after my two-year-old screaming like a banshee and being “THAT MOM”—you know the one you swore you would never turn into (the lady with the sweat pants, pony tail, no makeup, shrill scream, and wild children)—yes that lady is now me!  


It had rained all day and Brendan, my eldest son (two) was super excited about the puddles in the parking lot and he wrangled his hand out of mine and ran over to one and jumped in it while I frantically tried to catch him because we were in a parking lot and at any moment a car could have zoomed around the corner. Granted, I was at a strategic disadvantage as I was carrying my six-month-old son (Liam) in his baby car seat and am still perplexed by this whole two kid thing! I got a hold of Brendan and as we spotted our car which was parked on a huge hillside he started screaming “hill mommy, hill!” and tried to get away from me yet AGAIN. I knew that at any second he would just roll into a ball and bounce down a 100-foot grassy hill. So of course I started yelling again, scooped all forty pounds of him up while still carrying his brother in his car seat as I ignored the stares and glares from strangers as we all piled in the car and high tailed it out of there. I never like to be “on display” but have realized that now that I have kids it’s impossible to not be a spectacle whether I like it or not! Needless to say we all got in the car intact and all was well but on my drive home I saw a lady walking her Boston Terrier and I started thinking hmmm maybe I’ll get a leash for Brendan. And I stopped myself and thought, did I really just consider that? I did and with a straight face, too. 


Now that I’m a mom I realize I am turning against everything I so smugly thought I would never do (this was of course BEFORE I had kids). I used to see mothers at amusement parks and grocery stores with their little ones attached to them by a leash and would think to myself “why in God’s name would you do that? They are kids, not dogs.” But I guess I never really thought that one through too well because if I had just asked any mother of a toddler she would have pointed out that kids and dogs indeed share many of the same characteristics at times. Everything from biting to scratching to unpredictable wild behavior like “running away!” which is why some overtired and stressed out mom probably just decided one day “I’m going to attach this kid to me so he/she doesn’t run into traffic, away at the store, or I’m just too darn tired to chase them anymore” and the child leash was born! 


And then just last month my husband and I turned against everything we stand for and bought the dreaded … are you ready for this … MINIVAN! Up until the moment we walked into the dealer I was adamant we were not getting a minivan. I had it all planned out—we were going to get one of those snazzy GMC Acadias or Chevy Traverses and we would still be cool—one last shred of coolness we could hold onto. Sure, our former dining room where we used to entertain is now a crumb-filled playroom, sure, my clothes are covered with spit up and are outdated, but come hell or high water we weren’t giving in. So do you know what we did? We took the minivan for a test drive, realized it made sense and was practical, and drove it home right from the dealer. How did that even happen? I don’t even know who I am anymore. But just between you and me I really do love the minivan—it has made life simpler and easier to transport the kiddos around.


So I haven’t yet bought the leash yet but Brendan’s not “off the hook” yet. Once Liam starts walking and these two get out of hand I might just have to get one. If you’re out walking your dog or at the grocery store doing a little shopping and you see me, be sure to smile and wave. I’ll be the one with the two little boys on the double leash!

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