The leash I wanted was in fact sold at Target in the USA and not in Australia. I hate getting URLs confused and thinking there is a fantastic selection in my local store when really there isn’t. Never mind, I shall endeavour to navigate the internets more sensibly in future.
There was a lovely monkey backpack style leash in my local Target (after an inordinately long search!) and we decided to bring him home. We spent yesterday playing with the monkey, napping with the monkey and having dinner with the monkey. The monkey was a hit, they were the best of friends. I was hopeful that by having fun with the monkey and being comfortable with him as a toy first my son would happily wear him on his back too. That is not what happened.
The first time I tried to put it on my son he shrieked and screamed and told me it was Owie. He threw a very similar tantrum to the ones I was hoping to avoid by allowing him a bit more freedom whilst still keeping him close enough to me to make sure that he was safe.
So I did what any mother would have done in my situation, I put the leash on myself. I tickled the monkey under his chin and we shared some very giggly secrets. It worked perfectly, my son was now desperate to have the monkey on his back.
We tried it out in public for the first time today, we walked to a restaurant from the car. It felt too much like a leash to me as we made our way down the quiet street. Him trying to run free and me trying to pull him back all the time like you would a disobedient dog. I felt uncomfortable and it wasn’t really working out how I had hoped. On the up side I was able to help break or soften any falls that he took.
In the end I settled on still holding his hand but having the leash ready in my hand too. That way he walked closely to me but on the odd occasion that he made a wild and unexpected dash to meet a bird I hadn’t noticed we had a safety net.
So the leash in review is that it really doesn’t work as the only means of reigning in my son but it very definitely will give me a heads up when he is about to take off into oncoming traffic and may well help me keep him alive.