The End of the Line

At some point every young child has to learn that their parents are the absolute authority. A contest of wills, so to speak. I believe that it sets the tone for the majority of their relationship. In my household, that contest usually happens when the child is between one and three years. With some children it seems to last an entire year. When the child grows to that point (known to some as the terrible twos) Wife and I must be firm, but even I was unaware of just how firm we could be.Leashed

#6 is just conceding to our authority, while #7 has just started to resist. And so, he foundEnd of the line himself in the middle of a forest tied to a tree. Now it sounds worse that it was. If you have read my last post, then you know we had just been camping. It just so happens that was the time #7 chose to be… uppity.

I have heard someone say that a one year old shouldn’t be expected to respect boundaries. Well, I say that if there is a newborn in the picture and a slue of siblings that



need tending, then he’s going to respect boundaries real quick. And those boundaries include, keeping within sight of his parents (meaning keeping out of the road or out of the forest), and keeping out of the fire (meaning keeping all limbs out of the campfire no matter what.) And that combination led to the leashing of #7 to a tree.

He screamed at his mother. He screamed at me. He screamed at

And Fro

And Fro

the leash and the tree. He stretched the tether as far as it went and screamed. He swung to and fro like a pendulum and screamed. He wrapped the leash around the tree and attempted to pull it over, and when that did not work he screamed. When the other children came over to play around the tree with him, he

ran to the end of his line and

And the tree did not move.

And the tree did not move.


No matter how hard anyone tried to distract or comfort the little boy, he would not be soothed. “Liberty before security” apparently is his motto. While I might encourage that attitude later in his life, right now father and mother know best. He’ll see it my way eventually.End of the line


*No children were harmed in the writing of this post. #7 was released upon the return to his natural habitat.*

6 thoughts on “The End of the Line

  1. Yikes. I had a leash when I was a kid, it attached to my wrist and looked like a telephone cord (the curly kind) but it was to keep me from getting lost in malls and stuff… I was (still am) quite the wanderer!

  2. I don’t have much of a problem with a tree tether at an active campsite as long as it’s not the usual, but for special circumstances. We spend a lot of time in a playpen — which apparently is now considered border-line abuse as well.

    Also, we used one of those monkey backpacks with a leash when we lived in Brooklyn. It allowed my 16 month old to walk without toddling off into traffic. He got to feel independent while I didn’t have a heart attack overtime I blinked.

    • Be assured, leashing children to trees is not normal, even in my house. What made it so funny to me was that I woke up from a nap to find him screaming at the end of his rope.

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