Personally, I am not a fan of reins for Smalls.  Then again, I am not a great fan of leads for dogs either.  I would rather take my dogs to somewhere they do not need a lead and can run free.  Of course, if I am somewhere that my dogs cannot run free then I put them on a lead.  So, perhaps, I should take the same approach to Small reins.  But I don’t.

The reason I don’t is that I am fast and agile.  There is no way a Small is going to escape from me.  I can swoop like a hawk.

My dad can’t though.

My parents came to visit and offered my wife and me a rare opportunity to have some time together, without Smalls, by taking them into town, to play in the park and have a look in the shops.  Hooray!

We repaired to bed [so tired] but half an hour later the phone rang:  Small 1 had run off and could not be found.  Grandad had been left in charge and was walking to the playground, pushing Small 2 in his buggy whilst Small 1 walked alongside.  Suddenly Small 1 had bolted, laughing over his shoulder expecting grandad to give chase like daddy always did.  Grandad was left with Sophie’s choice, did he abandon Small 2 in his buggy and chase down Small 1 or chase after Small 1, pushing the buggy but knowing he would be a lot slower than the rapidly disappearing Small 1?  He hurried on as fast as he could whilst pushing the buggy but Small was incredibly fleet; he had rounded a corner and was already out of sight.

You can imagine the panic.  We were in the car in moments, tearing towards town, scouring the streets for any trace of Small 1. After ten minutes of fruitless searching in the town we split our efforts.  I raced back to the house on foot, following the route I normally pushed the buggy, in the hopes that Small 1 was making his way back home.  Meanwhile my wife hurried to the police station to report the incident.  And found Small 1 sitting behind the desk eating a bag of crisps!

Small 1, having realised that grandad was not chasing him, had started to walk home.  However, when he came to a road he had stopped because he knew he should not cross roads on his own.  He had sat down on the pavement and waited for grandad to catch up.  Before grandad could catch up, a well-meaning elderly couple had come along and escorted Small 1 to the police station, where the nice policeman gave him a bag of crisps.

So, what had been learnt?

  • By us: not to send Small 1 out with his grandparents without reins.
  • By grandparents: not to offer to take Smalls out ever again.
  • By Small 1: if you run away you get to meet nice people, some of whom may give you crisps.

Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.

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