But as the Offspring Formerly Known As Resident pointed out, just wait till those kids figure out that all they have to do ... is take off the backpack.
I've never leashed a kid, although I came very close to doing so after the OFKAR and I became separated in a mall when she was about two years old. We were in a craft store which had a little table set up where kids could colour and mess with crafty stuff. While she coloured, I turned the corner to look for something in the next aisle. I swear my back was turned for no more than 15 seconds, but when I turned back, the table was empty.
Have you ever had a child go missing on you? It is the single most devastating blow that I can imagine. Even now, seventeen years later, I can still feel utter panic punch me in the gut when I recall the moment that I realised my child was no longer in the store.
It was a rather large mall, set up in a star pattern, so it was impossible to know which direction she had gone, or if she had gone alone. Happily I found her a couple of minutes later, being comforted by the information booth lady, where I raced to after I realised that I would need help.
We sat on a bench and hugged and cried for several minutes. The guilt lasted much longer.