This may be quite a controversial post for some to read and a long one, but I promised raw & unfiltered content… so here we go!
Why I wear tennis shoes:
I get comments on my attire A LOT. I am THAT mom who wears tennis shoes all year round. Through rain, snow, or sunshine my tennies are out and about. While other moms are dressed in cute heals, flats, uggs and the latest fashion accessories, I am rocking my tennies with every outfit.
From the moment Apollo figured out how to run his life forever changed. The amount of joy running gives him is indescribable – he LOVES to run. Apollo loves running laps, in circles, loves running from his sister, but especially loves running from his parents – and he is FAST.
You might be sitting there thinking, but KayLa, if he loves to run, why not let him run? You see, Apollo is VERY trusting – too trusting and he has no concept of danger or fear in the slightest. From my viewpoint, Apollo seems be motivated to run whenever, wherever he wants without any fear of consequence. I think you know where I am going with this… Apollo being a runner and very impulsive means that I NEED to be ready to run after him at any given moment. He will run out into the street, in front of a car, and not give it a second thought. Apollo’s love for running and no fear of consequence means that the cute shoes are put aside and my tennies are on as a precaution – for now at least.
Why I use a child leash in public:
The fact that Apollo is a known runner (is nearly 50lbs, strong and FAST!) and safety is of utmost concern, then it should come as no surprise that I am THAT mom that has her child on a leash attached to her wrist when we are in public. Using a leash has not only been deemed necessary by the healthcare professionals in our life for safety measures, but using one makes ME feel better knowing that if Apollo tries to run from me that he can only go so far.
For those that have asked or are wondering, why we do not have him hold our hand – Apollo’s sensory processing challenges means that he cannot handle being touched by another person unless it is HIS IDEA, no hand holding, no hugging, nothing without permission. Trying to hold his hand during an already stressful situation typically triggers violent and aggressive behaviors. If using a leash meant that you would likely have a happy vs. horrible outing, which one would you choose?
One additional feature that I cannot go without mentioning is this harness has a lock on the chest clip, so for those with children that are strong and can easily break free from other leashes, give this one a try. Apollo has not been able to get out of this one – so far.
You can find the exact leash we use here.
Why I purchased a double stroller:
There are days when Apollo will happily walk beside me as I push Athena in the stroller & there are days where he refuses to walk all together – there really is no in between. This stroller is not only inexpensive (in my eyes), but folds up easily, is compact, and an all around LIFE SAVER for our family! On the challenging days, when walking is not working (i.e. Apollo has thrown himself on the ground in the middle of a crosswalk and is refusing to move), this stroller allows me to keep both Apollo and Athena safe and secure – while both facing opposite directions – to avoid fighting. Before this stroller, my choices were to either carry Apollo while pushing Athena in the stroller or visa versa. But since Athena is typically already in the stroller, I usually end up carrying Apollo. As previously mentioned, Apollo dislikes being touched unless it is his idea, and has difficulty transitioning between people and activities, so spontaneously carrying him to a more secure location usually leaves me defenseless against violent and aggressive behaviors.
*Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of Apollo using the stroller at this time*
You can find the stroller here.
Wading through the criticism:
“Don’t judge my path if you haven’t walked my journey“Unknown
People can be bold, judgmental, and rude, especially when it comes to situations that perhaps they have not experienced and therefore cannot understand to the full extent. Knowing that Apollo’s a runner, and failing to dress appropriately and use proper safety gear out in public is unacceptable. To me, a child being attached to a safety leash is not hurting anything but the eyes of others. If keeping Apollo safe means that I have to wade through the criticism of others, then I will gladly do it.
The only time judgement from others really hurts my feelings, is when it’s vocalized to or in front of my children. Raise your hand if you’re a parent that enjoys being undermined in front of your kids? Now, I am usually the first to accept constructive feedback, but please consider doing so away from little listening ears. Just because a child cannot vocalize what they understand, does not mean that they lack the capacity to understand.
It is OK to disagree with another person’s parenting style! You are not into child leashes? Great! I was not a fan of them either, until Apollo’s running caused serious safety concerns. At that point in our life, our choices were to never leave the house without help, or use a leash out in public and we chose the latter. You think it is inappropriate to wear tennies in the winter and all year round? Cool! I actually really enjoy having the opportunity to wear weather appropriate shoes, however I have found that my tennies give me better traction on the off chance that I do have to run after Apollo. Anytime you do not prefer what a person is wearing, kindly look elsewhere. The person might be having a really rough, or off day, and any feedback might be too much for them to handle.
Wrapping it up:
Each family, each child, each person is unique. I know that seems cliche, but it’s true. It has taken me a long time to realize that what works great for me, might not work great for someone else, and that it’s ok. In a world filled with so much negativity choose to be kind.
* I apologize for lack of pictures, I have not been able to get a good photo of Apollo wearing his leash. He rarely sits still long enough for pictures anymore. I will edit this page and upload pictures as soon as I get some! I appreciate your patience! *