Babywearing and More

I don’t know why this memory just popped up out of the blue the other day, but it did, so now I must write.  I was remembering a trip to Target when Annabeth was around 2 or 3 months old.  As we were walking to the front door, another mother that was walking in the opposite direction noticed that I was wearing Annabeth in our fabulous Boba 4G, and exclaimed, “Yeah, Boba!” I smiled at her, and kept walking because Jonathan was in a hurry to get into his favorite store, and was dragging Paul as fast as his little legs would carry him.  There was another time when Annabeth was just a few weeks old when she was crying and didn’t want to go to sleep on a night that Paul had Staff Duty, so I had to wear her around to calm her down.  My arms hurt from holding her, so I threw her in the Boba and walked around the kitchen until she calmed down enough for me to feed her.  I posted a picture of it, and one of my nieces commented, “Babywearing FTW!” Indeed, because it calmed her down!

But now I’m realizing something.

I’ve somehow been initiated into a sisterhood that I had no real intention of joining.  This happened overnight, and all secret-like.  And I’m unclear on the rules of this sisterhood.  The babywearing sisterhood.  I seriously bought the Boba because I have a 2 year old, and I can’t fit two kids into a normal cart, so it’s just easier for me to wear one when we’re out.  We had a Baby Bjorn with Jonathan that I only used a handful of times.  I bought a Moby when I had him, too, and I hated that thing.  It’s not that it was hard to put on, though it was a pain in the ass working with those thousands of feet of fabric.  I ended up selling it when Jonathan was 2 or 3 months old because I just didn’t want to deal with it.  I really had no need to wear Jonathan, so I just didn’t.  With Annabeth, it makes sense to wear her when I have both kids out.  I’ve only used the Boba inside the house once, and that was the aforementioned time that she didn’t want to calm down.  So this is why I’m unclear on the rules.  What constitutes babywearing?  I know women who wear their babies whenever possible.  I just do it when we’re out because it’s less bulky than the stroller, but I still use the stroller for doctor appointments and the like.  I just wear the baby when we’re shopping.

Let’s make something clear here…I did not buy the Boba to wear the baby to bond with her or do that kangaroo care thing that everyone talks about.  I don’t wear her because it’s the norm in hundreds of different countries around the world.  And I’d wager a guess that most of the cultures that widely practice babywearing do it because it’s the easy way for them to still be able to get things done with a baby in the house, not because they’re looking to bond more with their child.  Anyway, I just think it’s weird that there seems to be a whole babywearing movement with a hashtag to go along with it (it’s #wearallthebabies, in case you were wondering), and that if you have an infant/toddler carrier, you’re automatically a part of this movement.  I’m seriously just doing it out of convenience, you guys.

In other kid-related news, Jonathan is speaking in sentences now.  And he is hilarious.  I told him to get his feet off the table a couple of nights ago, and his response was, “Crazy toes!” Because his toes apparently have a mind of their own, and they needed to be on the table for some reason.  I’m relishing this new communication, though, just because he didn’t want to talk for so long.  Before anyone gets all worried or anything, he did communicate non-verbally very well. And he’s always been a very good listener.  He just didn’t think he needed to talk, and now he talks all day long.  Last night, he had to recite every portion of Fantasia 2000 to me when I was giving him good night kisses.  He has amazing recall for music, too, and when one of those pieces comes on his iPod, he sings along.  I think he’s going to be musically inclined, which I know I’ll love as long as he doesn’t think about playing the drums.

Annabeth is now 6 months old (she’ll be 7 months old in 3 days), and very mobile.  She completely skipped the scooting stage, and went straight to crawling as soon as she could get up on all fours.  No rocking back and forth or anything like that either.  And she is fast!  She is also sitting well, and started doing that about a week after she figured out crawling.  And she is also starting to try to pull herself up to standing.  I want her to slow down!  She’s starting to repeat sounds that we’re making, and I am close to saying that “Mama” is her first word, but I want to wait and see if she says it with meaning or not.  I don’t count words unless it’s clear it actually means something to the kid instead of just babbling.  I just got done sleep training her a couple of weekends ago, and it took all of two days.  She cried 35 minutes the first night, and 2.5 minutes the second night.  Now she babbles and crawls around her crib until she falls asleep.  I usually have to go in once to rub her back a little bit, and then she goes to sleep on her own.  She really is a sleep angel because she’s just been so good with sleep from the get-go.  Still no teeth, but she’s chewing on everything she can grab.

This is from when I took her 6 month pictures.  Jonathan was looking out the window, and I got a couple of pictures of just him, and then Paul propped Annabeth up there, and we just got the perfect shot.  Also, a picture from Easter.  Because the funny shots should never be left out.

Spying on the neighbors, as usual.

Spying on the neighbors, as usual.

The best Easter picture in the world...who needs the Easter Bunny?!

The best Easter picture in the world…who needs the Easter Bunny?!

In other family news, Paul has made the decision to retire from the Army.  He’ll have 20 years in January, and, as he puts it, he’s “done Armying.” We’re looking forward to this new chapter in our lives, even though it’s often a difficult transition.  We both know how to be resilient and roll with the punches, though, so here’s hoping for a smooth transition for us and the kids.

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2 thoughts on “Babywearing and More

  1. I absolutely love this post. When I started baby wearing, I had no idea it was such a big deal. I have to admit, I got caught up in the movement and I love it. But I was incredibly overwhelmed at first. All I wanted was to be able to calm him down and still keep two hands free to do normal stuff like shop and household chores. I got the ergo out of a recommendation from my pediatrician because my lo was so fussy when he wasn’t being held and then when we didn’t like the feel of the ergo, someone mentioned Tula and that’s where the madness began. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore baby wearing and will totally #wearallthebabies now. But the initiation into the group was overwhelming. And I dislike the secret mommy shaming and “wrap prestige” that comes along with it. “Oh you use a crotch dangler? Yikes.” “Omg you spilled milk on your wrap converted hard to find limited edition standard sized Tula?! I would die!” When in all reality, the hard to find limited edition standard sized Tula was a random lucky score at a Goodwill that you happened to come across without knowing the value of it….

    Come on ladies. Wraps are meant to hold babies. Babies aren’t always clean. If you get a little dirt on it then that means it’s being used for what it’s designed for.

    And then I see “stash shots” of at least 10 different types of baby wearing devices that cost at least a grand each and it’s super judgmental of me but in my head I’m like…..”yeah that could have been a good college savings starter fund.” LOL.

    Anyways. Rant over. Love baby wearing. Hate the game.

    • Yes! I know people who buy baby wraps like they’re going out of style. They own like 5 of them, and I don’t understand it. Seriously, I don’t see the point in having more than one, and I really only use it once or twice a week! I’m lucky, though, I have easygoing kids who are content to sit and play on the floor. Otherwise I’d really never get anything done!

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