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Leashes For Kids Are Looking More Appealing …

gymoMy kids make every workout an adventure, because sometimes just getting my kids into the gym and out of the gym is the hardest part of my workout. Before my son could walk, I would take the double stroller in, which kept both kids contained until I got to the child care center. But now that I’ve got two capable walkers, it seems silly to haul out the stroller just to get in the gym. Instead, I look like a totally crazed lunatic who can’t keep my kids under control. Truly — I’ve seen staff look at me like I’m a loony toon. Leashes for kids have honestly never seemed like such a good idea.

A few things make our gym excursions interesting adventures. On the way in there are flowers, which means, MULCH. (Seriously, look at all that mulch in the above picture, a toddler paradise.) My son loves him some mulch, so he must stop at least once and grab two handfuls of mulch to throw onto the sidewalk. I’m sure the maintenance people just love that. Then there are bike racks, which my kids think are tunnels built just for their tunneling pleasure. I’m totally fine letting kids be kids, but after a few passes through the tunnel and at least one tear-inducing head bonk, I’m ready to move along into the gym.

After using the child care center’s bathroom every single day for months straight, last week my daughter suddenly developed a fear of the toilet there. So the other day, I was trying to encourage her to sit on the toilet while chasing my son around the bathroom and trying to prevent him from splashing in the second toilet. I went back and forth between the two several times before my daughter decided the other toilet would be better. Then my son was crawling out of our stall, into another stall … and I was definitely ready to leave them both in the care of responsible adults for my workout!

Twice, on the way out of the gym, Owen has taken advantage of any split-second distraction to head for the men’s locker room. The locker room doesn’t have a door, so he’s able to enter with no resistance. I’ve been extremely lucky that I’ve been able to grab him before he’s turned the corner to no-woman’s land, but I dread the day I have to yell at the men to cover up so that I can come retrieve my son.

Last week I did a really hard treadmill run. It was more than four miles and some really serious inclines were involved. I was pretty spent. After my son had already dispensed copious amounts of hand sanitizer from the automatic dispenser while I tried to get a coat on his uncooperative sister (a failed endeavor), I wasn’t feeling like I had much control of anyone. My mom instinct told me that Owen was going to make a beeline for the men’s locker room, so I picked him up to carry him while my daughter ran ahead. Ran ahead and turned a corner while I told her to wait for me. I sped up to catch up to her, which was her cue to run faster. I really like to not look like the crazed lunatic they already think I am, so I really do try to keep my kids under control, and her speeding off was not helping me make that case for myself. So she makes a run for the front doors and I finally catch up to her thanks to the fact that it’s a double-doored entrance (the men’s locker room could learn from that …). My phone goes skidding across the floor; my son’s shoe falls off.

Next to “Mom who doesn’t have it together” in the dictionary, a picture of me.

You know what is not super fun to do after a tough workout? Chase one of your children while carrying the other one while the world watches. I was so mad I pulled out the big guns: Revoking Jake and the Never Land Pirates privileges

It’s one of those things: Yes, it might not have been the biggest deal that she ran ahead at the gym. It’s a safe place, she didn’t make it outside, and I highly doubt she’d run into the parking lot. But it’s one of those situations that you have to make a teachable moment because there are times when it’s really dangerous to run ahead and get out of the line of sight. Plus, um, yeah, I’d like to look like slightly less of a crazed, overwhelmed mom. Just once in awhile.

Do you ever get those looks from people when your kids are being little monsters? Better question: Have you tried a leash? —Erin

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