A daddy blogger named Clint Edwards shared a photo of his daughter, Aspen, wearing a leash. To accompany the photo, he gave the most succinct explanation of why he uses the "backpack safety harness" that you'll ever hear, short of "because I felt like it."
And although the reaction was mixed, as it always is—with plenty of people on the side of easy internet outrage—Edwards was actually shocked by the reaction to his honesty.
Thousands of people could relate.
We were at the farmers market. No shame. I put this kid on a leash.
She's a wild child, and this thing has already kept her out of the road and from sticking her hand in an ice cream machine, along with keeping me sane.
The real difficulty with having a wild child is that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Because the fact is, if I didn’t put Aspen on a leash while at amusement parks, the zoo, a crowded mall, or the farmers market, she’d be the lost child announced over the intercom. She’d be the kid popping up in every Facebook feed for wandering into a shopping center parking lot, unattended. She could be the child climbing into the tiger cage. Because I can't, for the life of me, keep her from moving. Her curiosity is incredible, and for only having a 12 inch stride, she moves faster than any Olympian.
And sure, I get dirty looks from strangers. In fact, I'll probably get some "I'm the perfect parent and this is why you suck" comments on this post. And to you I say this, " I'm keep this kid safe while maintaining my piece of mind, and that is 100% worth it." Because the reality is she'll calm down. She'll figure it out, because all kids do. But until that day comes, I'm going to do whatever I can to keep her out of danger, even if it means a leash.
Frankly, he uses the leash with his three-year-old because it helps him keep track of her, and it helps keep her safe and out of trouble. The dirty looks? Those are worth it.
But Edwards acknowledged in his post that he'd "probably get some 'I'm the perfect parent and this is why you suck' comments" on the post. And, doggone it, those lovely commenters did not disappoint.
"Putting your child on a leash says a lot about your knowledge of parenting, discipline and unrealistic value of safety parameters and you should be judged," wrote one troll. "Toddlers as early as two years old, understand easy commands, empathy and cause and effect."
"You've just kind of got to blow through that," Edwards told ABC News about the backlash. "I was surprised as many people felt the same as I did."
Read more from Clint Edwards over at his Facebook Page, "No Idea What I'm doing: A Daddy Blog."