Tuesday, 11 December 2007


What an incredibly stupid invention reins are. Although I have never felt the need to use them with Michael, family have been repeatedly extolling their virtues. Michael has always been very good when we are out and about. He happily holds my hand and doesn't run off. Because of the potential danger of his hand slipping from mine by a busy road, I caved in this afternoon and took Michael out for a walk with reins that were included in a safety pack I bought months ago. I say again, what an incredibly stupid invention.

Firstly, I think they are demeaning to him. It felt like I was walking a dog and not an intelligent and interesting little boy. As I was locking the front door, he couldn't understand why his little legs were going like pistons but no progress was being made in moving forwards. Secondly, he had no idea which way I was expecting him to walk so he was doing his best to veer into every kerb and driveway that we passed. I then had to tug on the reins to keep him on the pavement. This reinforced the feeling that I was walking a dog. When he walks holding my hand, I can easily and gently correct his direction. At some point he realised that if he stumbled, then the reins would take his weight. That being so, he no longer felt the need to put his feet back on the ground when he tripped. He was left dangling from the reins having a whale of a time. The last straw came when we crossed a road, he stumbled again and the bloody reins snapped. Why on earth would you make the clips from plastic? Michael was now quite content to walk without holding my hand but because the reins had snapped this wasn't an option. The journey home became a mini battle of wills.

Stupid, demeaning product.

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