I put my kid on a leash. Like a dog. And I pulled back when he was going the wrong way.

And we had the best public outing ever.

So all you holier-than-thou mothers who gave me the stink-eye at the zoo, suck it. You don’t have a kid like Simon, and if you ever do, I hope you discover the leash.

I could tell which parents had dealt with the likes of my two-year-old, because they’d look at the device with amazement, checking out how the little devil skittered from place to place unfettered but for a quite relaxed mom following his lead. One dad asked if they make double versions. I told him to just get two! Just like walking two dogs!

If you asked me two years ago if I’d buy a leash for a kid of mine, I would have given an enthusiastic “No!” But that was before I met Simon. He hates the stroller, and I used to spend half of every outing fighting with him as he arched his back and screamed. If he wasn’t strapped in, he’d run. Usually straight for the nearest car.

Before, I secretly thought that kids like Simon were that way because of how they were raised. And I still think that’s true to some extent. But I have raised him the same as my other kids (except I’m stretched pretty thin these days), and he turned out LIKE THIS. Which is always moving, often throwing fits, sometimes biting, usually hilarious and occasionally really super cuddly. Which is nice, and why I’ll keep him around.

Even if I have collar the little sucker.