Udo is too big for a stroller; Udo is four. I know he's too big, because I get a lot of that "look" from other mommies, which is a cocked-eyebrow/sneer sort of look which says, "Well, aren't just some kind of a lousy mother with a great big kid like that in a stroller?" I get this look a lot.
However, Udo also thinks it's high-larious to run away from Mommy. Udo thinks that Mommy should operate on Udo's timetable, and not her own. So when Mommy tells Udo to "just stand still and wait a minute," he gives her a black look and pisses off to do whatever it is he's itching to do.
This is why Udo has a leash. Udo got a baby leash last weekend, because we were on the way to Swirling Vortex, Inc.'s annual company picnic at a local amusement park. I didn't particularly want to lose Udo in the crowds (although there are days…), and as I stated, he's too big for a stroller.
We purchased the baby leash at the K Mart, and I strapped Udo up in the parking lot.
"What is this seatbelt?" asked Udo, frowing. "I don't like this itchy seatbelt."
"This is a seatbelt for naughty boys who don't listen. Naughty boys who don't listen and run away have to wear an itchy seatbelt," I told Udo.
On the way to the park, Udo sat in the back seat muttering to himself, as per ususal in the third person.
"This is a seatbelt for naughty boys who don't listen. Udo doesn't like this itchy seatbelt for naughty boys. Udo wants to take it off."
Once we were in the park, Udo temporarily forgot about the itchy seatbelt, what with all the merry mayhem and chocolate-y joy. I did not, however. Let me tell you something about child harnesses and the reactions they elicit: they piss people off. Evidently some people, and I'm guessing childless people who have never dealt with stealthy, willfull four-year-olds, have some kind of ethical problem with leashing up a child.
I have one thing to say to these people, who glared at me all Sunday afternoon: YOU JUST KISS MY ASS!!! I'll bet you'd be the first ones to call my skills as a parent and worth as a human being in to question if old Udo over there were to slip my grasp, run away, and end up so much child-killer fodder. So fuck you and your looks self-righteous reproach, you sad, barren gits!
Eventually, the novelty of the park wore off and Udo began to notice the itchy naughty seatbelt again. This is mostly because he kept making attempts to run away, which were thwarted by the leash. Udo would make a mad dash, reach the end of the tether, and be jerked backwards. I'm guessing this is uncomfortable, and probably a little humiliating to boot.
It was a hot day, and Udo got tired from all the walking and sweaty from the itchy seatbelt, so I threw him a bone and removed the harness. He promptly ran away, of course, because he is Udo and "naughty" is what he does.