Ode to Kiddie Leashes

Twas a fortnight ago in my van-a-mini/I became witness to a modern day pity/A spunky, young, vivacious lad/Tethered to his woesome dad/To my wife I groaned out a "Sheesh!"/"Look at that kid! He's sportin' a leash!"
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Twas a fortnight ago in my van-a-mini
I became witness to a modern day pity
A spunky, young, vivacious lad
Tethered to his woesome dad
To my wife I groaned out a "Sheesh!"
"Look at that kid! He's sportin' a leash!"
We shook our heads with a tut and a tisk
For shame to degrade a minor flight risk
My light turned green and without seeming perturbed
The father tugged gently to keep his son curbed
Danger averted the boy returned to his play
Of chasing around litter in every which way.

We drove round the corner and found suitable berth
For docking our transport's considerable girth
Unclicking and relocking in grimaced faces
We secured our babe's stroller in five different places
Next out popped our 5-year-old with beaming aplomb
Who then patiently waited for the hand of her mum
And way on back secured in the third row
Our little imp sat clad in hand-me-down clothes
She thrashed like a bronco penned up in the shoot
But when unharnessed she paused -- all innocent and cute
I extended my arms and beckoned her near
She bolted like a mare smacked hard on the rear
I shouted, "She's loose!" my wife I beseeched
Who locked down the doors before our tot breached
With a titter and shrug she conceded the loss
I then scooped her up reaffirming who's boss.

I held her close when we then crossed the street
Repeating the dangers of trafficked concrete
As a dad I know I can can cheat with TV
Sneak the kids cookies or have them outdoor pee
But when it comes to safety I don't budge an inch
Just ask my eldest, she knows I'm a grinch.

Our family friendly joint had just opened for din
And along with the elderly we shuffled on in
I held our imp close till we got to our booth
The waiter brought over a seat for a youth
Eying the straps she started flail
Knowing her freedom was under assail
"I'm a big girl daddy! No high chair for me!"
My wife gave the nod so I let the imp be
With her rump in place the countdown began
We'll cajole with her crayons... at least that was plan
But she had determined before she'd ingest
A jaunt round the tables would surely be best.

And off she ran like a car with no brake
A trail of giggles lay way in her wake
And fearing every imaginable harm
I bolted up too and reached for her arm
The rest of the meal she sat on my lap
One hand on her waist, the other my wrap
Scarfing down grub at a dizzying rate
I pondered my sorry parental state
We've tried that and this to keep her from fleeing
Maybe this is just the core of her being?
Sense is not common when you're only three
There's too much to do and too much to see.

Carrying her out from our sup while squeezing in fear
I thought of that dad who I had snubbed with a sneer
And mused was it really so bad to tether your tot?
Especially when traversing a packed parking lot
And though in the end it's still not for me
To all other dads I promise to thee
Should you opt to leash your fleet-footed brood
I'll respect your choice and won't react rude.