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toddlr-tethrs-msg - 4/29/09


Use of tethers/"leading strings" to control toddlers in period and the SCA. Child safety line.


NOTE: See also the files: child-tags-msg, children-msg, teething-toys-msg, toys-msg, child-wagons-msg, baby-slings-msg, Childs-Seat-art, Kindergarb-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: "Michael Squires" <mikes at cs.indiana.edu>

Subject: Re: Small children at Pennsic

Organization: Indiana University Computer Science, Bloomington

Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1993 16:21:12 -0500


STEWARTL at wood-emh1.ARmy.MIL (LOU STEWART) writes:

>Aethelynda mentions wanting a leash for her little one at events.  Reminds


I know that these were called "leading strings" in the 1700's and suspect

that they are quite period :-).


Mike Squires (mikes at cs.indiana.edu)     812 855 3974 (w) 812 333 6564 (h)

mikes at cs.indiana.edu          546 N Park Ridge Rd., Bloomington, IN 47408



Subject: Hyperactive kid, yo!

Date: 7 Feb 1998 06:32:47 GMT

From: arialhakon at aol.com (ArialHakon)

Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


>I was wondering if there was anyone else out there with a hyperactive

>child (no, I don't just mean "busy" or "active", I mean clinically



>I would love to find someone else to discuss how you handle events with

>your child.  Clinton is 2 1/2 years old and a handful at the best of

>times, but we don't want to stop going to events, and we can't just ship

>him to Grandma's house for every event.


>Claricia Nyetgale

>Caldrithig, Skraeling Althing, EALDORMERE!


I have a boy, now almost 9, who has been in the SCA since day 1 (I threatened

the Kingdom Chiurgeon that he needed to brush up on his in-field delivery

techniques).  My son is hyperactive, although currently he does not have the

medical diagnosis (we are in the process of getting him diagnosed as such, but

so far everyone agrees).


First rule of thumb, don't be an officer or volunteer to do any activity in

which you will not be able to "run after" him at inconvienient moments (I had

to step down as Chatelaine, because even if I stopped to talk to a "newbe", he

was off and running....no gate duty either).




Fourth...one word...."leash".  Our Nordic ancestors were wise when they

invented "leiderhosen"....basically leather pants with built in suspenders to

which they would sometimes attach a leash and "stake the kid out" in the shade

while they worked nearby.  Some people freak at the thought of putting a kid on

a leash, but I find that it is more effective than putting a kid in a playpen


when you do this....is also great for cruising merchant row, although it is

best to get a "babysitter" for those times, so you can actually GO INTO the

tent without having to grab both hands of the kid the entire time.....(yes,

been there, done that....)


Fifth, get a "portable playpen" to use as a bed.  Even at this age, the sides

make a kind of boundary which takes a while for him to get over, so you have

time to realize the kid is up and can "corral" him.  It also makes it a little

easier to do the time-out thing.




There are a few more suggestions, but this is getting too long. E-mail me if

you want.


Arial Haakonarstedir



From: Cam Battaglia <momma_cammie at yahoo.com>

Date: July 10, 2007 2:53:47 PM CDT

To: "'Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.'" <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] OT?: SCA baby


> Elisabeth B. Zakes wrote:

> Get a body-harness leash for the toddlers, especially for large events

> like Gulf War. You'll probably get some grief about it, but the value of

> being able to ensure your child cannot disappear in the blink of an eye is

> incalculable. The child feels a lot of freedom, being able to explore a

> bit, and you have control over the child's distance from you. You also know

> the child cannot slip between two people and vanish.


Just remind them that "leading strings" were definitely used in period ...

for many of the same reasons that are mentioned above.  I used them with not

only my own 2 sons, but with all 9 of my nieces and nephews ... and I can

proudly state that I have never been the panic stricken person looking for

her infant/toddler in a crowd!


Ly Katrina Alyse Argo

Protˇgˇ to Mesterinde Annes Clotilde von Bamburg

Proprietress, Barefoot Boxes/Longship Furniture



From: Cam Battaglia <momma_cammie at yahoo.com>

Date: July 10, 2007 4:20:46 PM CDT

To: 'Stefan li Rous' <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: RE: [Ansteorra] OT?: SCA baby


One quick reference is on Wikipedia at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leading_strings and shows a picture of a child

with "leading strings" attached to their clothing.  Not quite what we have

today, but along the same line.  The picture is dated "1658", which puts it

only "slightly" past period ...


I will have to search for others, which might take some time.


Ly Katrina


-----Original Message-----

From: Stefan li Rous [mailto:StefanliRous at austin.rr.com]

Ly Katrina Alyse Argo mentioned:

> Just remind them that "leading strings" were definitely used in

> period ...


Could you, or anyone else, give some more information about this

period use or pointers to pictures and such? I'd love to add such

material to the children-msg file in the Florilegium.





THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

     Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas



From: "Cam Battaglia" <momma_cammie at yahoo.com>

Date: March 2, 2008 1:46:47 PM CST

To: "'Stefan li Rous'" <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Cc: "Annes Clothilde von Bamburg" <annescvb at gmail.com>

Subject: RE: 'leading strings' for period children


<<< Did you happen to find any more examples of these "leading strings"

being used for children in period?

   Stefan >>>


HL Stefan,

It would be my great pleasure to assist you with this endeavor.  Here are a few possibly useful links which I have found in my research.  Although my children are grown men and long gone from my house, I do remember what it was like when they were young...and the looks that I received when I took them out in public to stores with their "leading strings" on (yes, I used them with my two boys!).  It was my long departed Mother that told me about them as well as their historical use in our family.  She was of German/French decent and her mother was from "the Old country":

1.    A sketch that Rembrandt did in 1645 showing an old woman with a child on leading strings from the National Museum in Stockholm: http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/rmbrndt_selected_drawings/child_and_old_woman.htm

2.    An article from Historical Boy's Clothing: http://histclo.com/style/skirted/dress/lead.html

3.    Painting by Abraham Bosse - "Le Cabinet d'un homme de loi" - is showing leading strings trailing from the garment of the child in front.  http://expositions.bnf.fr/bosse/grand/440.htm

4.    A link to a painting by "Peter Paul Rubens, with his wife Helena Fourment, and their son Peter Paul" done in 1639 that hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  The painting is almost at the bottom of the page.  http://www.all-art.org/history252-17.html

5.    Definition From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged Dictionary  (1913):

Leading  \Lead"ing\,  a. Guiding;  directing; controlling;  foremost;  as  a  leading motive;  a  leading  man;  a  leading example.  --  {Lead"ing*ly}, adv

{Leading  case}  (Law),  a  reported  decision  which  has come  to

be  regarded  as  settling  the  law  of  the  question involved.


{Leading  motive}  [a  translation  of  G.  leitmotif] (Mus.),  a guiding  theme;  in  the  modern  music  drama  of  Wagner,  a marked  melodic  phrase  or  short  passage  which  always

accompanies  the  reappearance  of  a  certain  person, situation,  abstract  idea,  or  allusion  in  the  course  of  the play;  a sort  of  musical  label.

{Leading  note}  (Mus.),  the  seventh  note  or  tone  in the ascending  major  scale;  the  sensible  note.

{Leading  question},  a  question  so  framed  as  to guide  the person  questioned  in  making  his  reply.

{Leading  strings},  strings  by  which  children  are supported when  beginning  to  walk.

{To  be  in  leading  strings},  to  be  in  a  state  of infancy or dependence,  or  under  the  guidance  of  others

{Leading  wheel},  a  wheel  situated  before  the driving  wheels of  a  locomotive  engine.

While there is only one additional article in my collection, I believe that the paintings done by some of the Baroque and Rococo masters serve to show that "leading strings" are by no means a modern invention and that they have been used quite successfully in our past.

Ly Katrina Alyse Argo

Protˇgˇ to Mesterinde Annes Clotilde von Bamburg

Shire of Gates Edge

Kingdom of Ansteorra


From: Kaitlan Roisendubh <kaitlan_kiera at yahoo.com>

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 07:13:27

To: Inc.Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA<ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Feeding toddlers at events


you might also think of how to keep track of him... I know that when I was in public with my children when they were little, I used a large dog collar and leash... yes, I know sounds odd but with the collar opening in the back they didn't escape.  BTW my youngest is deaf and autistic.


Lady Kaitlan



From: "michellechilders at hotmail.com" <michellechilders at hotmail.com>

To: Kingdom of Ansteorra <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Sent: Friday, April 17, 2009 9:17:28 AM

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Feeding toddlers at events


We used a large dog harness and a leash for my son. The dog harness straps on easily to his trunk - and makes it difficult for them to get out of when they are sneaky little toddlers who like to run free!



From: Deborah Wade <rhiannonferchcian at yahoo.com>

Date: April 17, 2009 5:58:49 PM CDT

To: michellechilders at hotmail.com, "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Feeding toddlers at events


Better yet.  Sears has the harness and leash which zips up the back no way he can undo the clasps.  Believe me mine tried and succeeded before we found the one at Sears.  you do need alonger leash than they provide with the harness.  





From: Coblaith Muimnech <Coblaith at sbcglobal.net>

Date: April 17, 2009 1:44:23 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Ansteorra] toddler tethers (was: Feeding toddlers at events)


Lady Grainne Kathleen NicPadraig MacDaniel  asked:

. . .I'm appealing to you all for advice on what to feed a 16 month old child at an event.


Lady Kaitlan wrote:

you might also think of how to keep track of him... I know that when I was in public with my children when they were little, I used a large dog collar and leash. . .


There's a 16th-century illustration at <http://www.bildindex.de/bilder/MI05036f02a.jpg>; that shows a young toddler being supported by a strip of cloth slung around his chest and under his arms, the ends held by a caregiver.  Their use is similar to that of leading strings <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leading_strings>;, which were a common part of life in the 17th through the early 19th centuries.  I would think you could use or adapt that approach to something that would keep the kid in arm's reach without being obtrusively modern, if you felt you needed it.


Coblaith Muimnech



From: Alexandria Doyle <garbaholic at gmail.com>

Date: April 17, 2009 2:10:49 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] toddler tethers (was: Feeding toddlers at events)


I have found an illustration of three of James the first's children,

big sister (maybe 7 yrs old) holding the leading strings for the

youngest(2 or 3yrs old) who looked like she just wanted to play (and

important to me, holding a doll).




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org