One of things that drives Heather and me nuts is seeing people in Los Angeles walk their dogs without a leash. While this may be fine to do in a rural or suburban area, it is pure madness in a big city with cars constantly zipping by. Rigby, as a result, never goes outside without looking like this:

Mike and Rigby

Sorry, Rigby. I know this cramps your style with the hip L.A. dogs, but it’s for your own safety. The thing is, while Heather and I agree dogs should be on leashes, there is a type of leash we most definitely don’t see eye-to-eye on… a kid leash!

Between Heather and myself, I am the more protective parent of the two. This is ironic because I grew up with a very overprotective mom, and I promised myself I wouldn’t be like that when I became a parent. I’d say, “I’m going to let my kids go to sleep-a-way camp, walk to the mall, get in the car with strangers…”

But then I grew up and had kids, and suddenly I found myself freaked out by what this messed up world could do.

Heather, on the other hand, grew up in a relaxed suburban town where all the kids played together in the street, and their parents left their front doors unlocked most of the day.

So it was these disparate upbringings that colored our opinion of the kid leash when we stumbled upon it at Babies R Us. Heather immediately decried it as “redonkulous,” and said she’d feel like she was treating Annie like our pet if she used it.

I, however, thought about the annoying habit kids have of trailing away the second you take your eye off them, and thought the kid leash wasn’t such a bad idea. I tried to convince Heather we should buy one – you know, just to have in case we ever needed it – but she wouldn’t have it.

“What about at a crowded mall?” I asked. “You might be looking at shoes and forget about Annie for a second and then look back and… she’s gone. You want that?”

“Shoes, Mike? Really? You really think I’d LOSE MY CHILD because of shoes?!”

“Possibly. If they were on sale.”

“I’ll be sure never to take Annie to Payless then.”

“You act like there’s not a gigantic pile of shoes in your closet. Seriously. You can’t be trusted around those things.”

“Look, Mike, if you want to be that guy at the mall, go right ahead. Just don’t expect me to go with you.”

Our conversation only got more heated from there, and ended with me saying that “I bet the Internet would side with me on this.” Since, upon reflection, I realized that’s probably far from the truth, I decided against asking you to weigh in on this (unless, of course, you agree with me..ha).  Instead,  I want to hear about how parents out there manage to keep from butting heads with their partner over how to keep their kids safe. My hope is that I will be able to keep Annie safe… and my marriage together!