My mom had leashes for my brothers. (Identicle twins). There were four of us all together. I remember the twins were about three when she got the leashes, she'd put them on them in the commisary and the PX. My brother was 9, I was 6, and the twins were 3. That's a lot of kids for one person to look after while she's trying to buy groceries.
I had a leash for my son when he was about 3ish. I remember the first time I was going to use it, we were going to the mall and he said, I'm a dog? I took it right off and never used it. BUT, just one kid is even hard to watch. I remember we were at walmart once and it was me, my husband and my son, he was about 2 at the time. We were all together, he darted behind a shoe rack and we went straight for him and he was GONE. That quick. He had doubled back or gone under a clothes rack or something. We had to get them to call a Code Adam and had the entire store searching. Found him in the purse section shopping for a bag.
I am not against leashes, or strollers or emergency beepers (I have one, it go's on his shoe and if I can't find him, I push a button and an alarm sounds). Before you have children you see things and you think:
"that kid is WAY to big for a stroller" or "I would never carry my kid when he's that old" or "My kid will never behave that way". And then you have a kid and things change. Your thoughts, your opinions... and amazingly you grow a huge patients. You don't see yourself standing in line and thinking "somebody smack that kid!", now you see yourself laughing at some other womens childs antics. And when you see a really filthy kid in a shopping cart with holes in his knees, you don't think things like "Give the kid a bath and buy him some clothes". You think more like, "Man that kid has had a good day!" and maybe something, "He's going to leave a ring in the tub"...
"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"