Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Hazard of Baby Wearing

Here's my big secret of parenting...the one that my husband asks whenever I leave him home alone with the baby and a chore list; the desperate "how do you get anything done when he wants to be held all the time?" question. Usually asked by a frazzled hubby when I get home from working the evening shift and Daddy has had him and dinner and laundry to do for the last four hours.

I baby wear. Not because "it's better for the child" or "it promotes bonding" or any of those reasons used by traditional crunchy attachment parenting proponents to promote their way of life. I baby wear because it's easier (and I'm lazy). Sometimes, wearing him is the only thing that keeps Chris from screaming his head off when he's overtired or overstimulated. And since by that point I'm usually tired and overstimulated myself, anything  prevents the scream-fest will be done...even strapping a twenty pound baby to my back and hiking around the neighborhood at 1am with the dog. We're regulars with the paper delivery guys, now.They even wait for me to cross the street before throwing the paper after the one night they threw it near us Chris started screaming again from the noise of the paper hitting the sidewalk! LOL I take the dog along for protection, cause you know a twelve pound poodle can scare off anything, right?  Maybe if she yaps loudly enough? Or she could always lick them to death, right? (or not, since she's scared of everything)

Check it out, hood down! 
But since I baby wear mostly in a back carry now that the twenty pound mark has been passed, I've discovered a nasty side effect that none of the fancy baby-wearing websites talk about. With the hood up on my Ergo carrier (IE: baby is finally asleep, don't you dare wake him up!), my brown Ergo looks an awful lot like a standard backpack. And anyone who's ever moved through a crowd knows, people bump into and shove bags out of their way. We all do it and it's not really a big deal; just part of moving through a crowd.You'd think the robot strap covers would be a giveaway that it's not a backpack, but here in the Bay Area apparently not so much! So people bump my Ergo like a backpack when the hood up...which means they're shoving my baby thinking it's a backpack. We've gotten a few hard enough hits that I wanted to turn around and kick them, see if they like it! We're given a lot of space and consideration when the hood down as Chris is too cute to nudge (or maybe people are just more respectful of someone's baby than someone's sack of books/papers/gobbledegook). So I decided that my Ergo needed to look less like a backpack and more like a baby carrier even when the hood is up. Heck, especially when the hood is up! That's when he's asleep--precious, precious time! But I couldn't figure out how to do it until I was driving down the street last week  and found myself staring at the silly little 'baby on board' sign in the car ahead of me's back window. You know, the yellow plastic triangle with black lettering? I've never found these particularly attractive or useful, but they're well known and the yellow triangle is an international caution symbol---problem solved!  So I sped off home and applied my very own caution sign to the underside of my Ergo's hood. Please note, you want it on the underside so that when you flip it up to cover the (hopefully) sleeping baby's head, it's visible. I even remembered to use brown thread in the bobbin and black thread in the upper, to match my Ergo and mimic the caution sign respectively, which I've never managed before. Go me! Here it is, beautifully modeled by our dining chairs, the Baby-on-board labeled Ergo!  Hopefully it will make crowd goers think twice about nudging this pack out of their way in our crowded daily commutes.

Hood up-caution sign exposed!
Stay tuned for the how-liz-made-it, coming next naptime!

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