And because I love to tell long stories, I will start this one at the very beginning.
It all started with a gift. A simple ring sling that a friend had generously passed on to me, even before miss munchkin was born. At that time, I was mildly curious, but extremely grateful. With the overwhelming stuff we had to buy for the newborn baby, any freebie was welcome. At that time, I didn’t quite plan on babywearing, but it seemed like a nice idea. But then, after we brought the little one home and things started getting, well, out of control, one night I wondered if I could wear her and put her to sleep and maybe get some rest myself without being worried about her falling from my sleepy arms (I mean, talk about nightmares!) Flustered, frustrated and not having enough patience to even watch a tutorial on how to wear a ring sling, I obviously did it all wrong, got even more frustrated, and shoved it in some corner in anger. We bought a stroller shortly after and I thought that was it.
How wrong I was.
I should have known, should have seen the signs that I am raising a highly opinionated kid. The very first day we took her out for a walk in her stroller, she started protesting. Barely a month old, but old enough to know she didn’t like the stroller. She wailed and wailed until I lifted her out of it, at which she stopped wailing immediately. My mind flew to the ring sling tucked in a sad corner, and after we reached home, just out of curiousity, I watched a YouTube tutorial, practised wearing the ring sling and decided to try it on with her. Little did I know that this was my first step on a path of no return. The very next day, I braved the idea of babywearing her outside, and the moment I realized that I could actually eat breakfast at the nearby food court while still holding her, I was completely sold.
With the ring sling being a success, I decided I need a better sling, a more comfortable one, and so after a lot of research (more like asking my sister which one she had and if she liked it) I sent the husband to get me the Babasling. “This thing is not really cheap“, he told me over the phone as he surveyed the aisles in the shop, “you sure about this?” I vigourously nodded my head. Yes, yes, I am, I said. I rattled off all the things I could do while babywearing her and how that sling is supposed to be so comfy and what not. Maybe just to get me to stop, he told me he was getting me the sling.
That sling has seen me through a lot of tough days. Those afternoons when she refused to nap and I was at my wits’ end, wondering where I was going wrong, all I had to do was bundle her up in the sling, and go for a long walk, preferably while talking to someone on the phone. I got my much needed exercise, she got to sleep AND I got to have a long conversation with my mother. What was there NOT to love about it?
That would have been the be all and end all of my babywearing story had not baby girl decided that she didn’t like to be held by anyone other than me. The husband tried all sorts of ways to keep her happy as he held her, but they never managed it past five minutes, and he’d hand her to me, going, “She hates me” with a sad face. I hated seeing him sad like that, but I hated achy arms even more, which is why I came up with a brilliant plan. “It’s a cycle you see! You don’t quite know how she likes to be held because she never lets you, which is why you never learn! We need a carrier. The Ergo!” This was where the husband gave me his “Yet another thing to buy?” look and I gave him my “Do you really think I could be wrong about her?” look and we set off to the store to get us an Ergo carrier. Now I really, really hoped my hunch would prove correct, and thereby seal and secure my authority on all subjects baby, so it was quite the relief when baby girl actually let her Dadda carry her in it. In not so much as a week’s time, she even napped while her Dadda held her! Since that time (April 2014, I guess) till now, the Ergo has been our saviour, although sometime after Christmas, we swapped our old one for the Ergo 360, which lets you carry the baby facing forward.
Now I really could be qualified to become the brand ambassador of Ergo carriers, because there is nothing that I haven’t done while babywearing. I have worn her on my hip, mastering the art of converting all the strap contraptions suitably; have gone sightseeing while she napped in it, and even breastfed her in the carrier WHILE nonchalantly walking about the mall. But why I thought about writing this post is because of what I call my babywearing pinnacle, the keywords being MY and pinnacle. I mean, for any other woman this might be quite ordinary, but having accomplished what I did the other day I felt supremely smug.
So I have been “help”less for almost three months now, and miss munchkin still refuses to let go of me anytime she sees me doing chores. And the moment she sees me in the kitchen she gets glued to me going “Up! Up! Up!” until I relent and lift her up and do everything onehandedly, while trying to keep her wriggly feet away from the flames (the mind conjures up horrible images, I tell you). Anyway, the other day, after watching the back carry tutorial for the umpteenth time and deciding to just go ahead and try it, I propped her on the sofa. After a few minutes of struggle, which involved dealing with those strap contraptions again and a lot of wiggling jiggling and shuffling shifting, I did it! I carried her on my back all by myself, and did all my cooking and the dishes AND cleaned up the kitchen. I might have given myself a pat on the back and done an air fist bump to celebrate. Baby girl kept happily singing and babbling while I kept up a running commentary even as the radio blasted out dancy numbers and we both absolutely loved it. This photo was when I was making breakfast the next morning and miss munchkin was being super clingy.
Well, I *could* talk about how I recently bought a hip seat to make my life even simpler, but that would be pushing this already long post into tideousness. I kid. I know this post is already tideous. So there. There’s my babywearing story. In case you were wondering, we kept trying to get baby girl used to the stroller but priviledged that she is from being snuggled all the time, she flat out refuses to stay in it. So we’re selling off the stroller, and the husband is increasing my allowance to let me get weekly massages for my poor back.
Not a bad ending, eh?