I got a fright a few weeks ago when HRH ran off on me. He wasn’t being naughty and he didn’t understand the implications of what he was doing. He was just doing what we always do. We collect HRH from school, we walk out the school gate, down to the Lollipop Lady, cross the road and to the car. He got almost as far as the Lollipop Lady.
He is so routine driven that he did exactly what we always do, but the possibility of injury was there. He has a strong affection for manhole covers and double yellow lines. Many, many parents collecting their children from the school treat the Lollipop Lady as target practice and do not drive with any consideration to the number of children around. Need I say more?
Luckily we had been working with HRH on using this:
We call it his Agent Oso Backpack and had it around the house for several weeks for him to play with and get used to. Just a few days before he made his dash he had started using it outside with The Royal Advisor working her magic. After that frightening incident (for me that is, he was fine!) I popped it over his head for the school run the following day and it went like a dream.
Now, here comes the exciting bit. I have been to the shops, with both children, on my own and I didn’t get stressed and HRH didn’t run away. All of a sudden I see this whole new world opening up before me where I can go outside and be relatively relaxed. He really likes the ‘backpack’ and is in the habit of holding my hand while he wears it so our shopping trip was an absolute pleasure. We strolled around the shop for about 15 minutes and he pointed out his favourite letters (W and O) whenever he saw them and, all in all, it was a very dignified experience.
I am going to make an effort now to test him more with the harness and then I can start jiggling his routine around a little and expose him to new situations more often. I might even manage to get out for a cup of coffee!
The harness is available in Argos for about €18. Thank you Elaine!
*photo credit google images