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w December 23, 2006

Thank God For Baby Carriers

Unlike the Bean, Peabo is a baby who utterly refuses to be put down. UTTERLY REFUSES. On occasion, I can put her in the Moses basket for 30 seconds so that I can go to the bathroom, or *very* occasionally she will fall asleep and stay asleep in the car seat, so I actually got a shower a few days ago after getting home from picking Bean up at school. She also doesn't appreciate it when, even in a carrier, I sit down to do something, say, update this blog. Right now she's in the Bjorn, hollering at my chest---actually, it's full on sobbing and screaming. You'd think I was poking her with hot needles. This isn't colic, because she's not inconsolable; she's perfectly consolable so long as I am putting in major, major physical effort. I keep telling myself this will help me regain a pre-pregnancy body, but to tell the truth, I'd really rather be able to put her down for like, 10 minutes and not have a major meltdown. She won't even take to the swing (or as some friends call it, Robo-Grandma) or the bouncy chair. Nope. Actually, I take that back...occasionally we can get a few seconds in either one. I keep telling myself that this won't last forever, that there will be a point where I wish she would want to hang out with me constantly (ha), but at the moment, it's a bit hard to dredge that attitude up. Partially it's hard because I can't spend very much time with Bean, at least not without simultaneously tending nearly exclusively to the baby, and that just tears me up.

Sometimes Peabo will allow someone else (Gene, my sister) to carry her about, but those moments are kind of few and far between, and she'd better be in a damn good mood, damn it, Mommy. Or dead to the world. I seriously don't know what people do who don't have baby carriers like slings or Bjorns. I'd never pee or get a glass of water. What kind of irks me, though, about the whole fascist movement of "baby carrying" (which I clearly totally subscribe to, but work with me here) is that it often touts non-Western examples of babies who are carried everywhere and "hardly ever cry". Right, well. Let's not ignore the fact that those non-Western babies are also growing up in perhaps tribal societies or at least geographically close extended families, which means there are OTHER hands to take said babies and throw them in carriers, or arms, or whatever, while Mom gets work done, or maybe sleeps, or eats, or whatever. I completely agree with baby carrying. It works to keep your sanity reasonably intact. But I'm not going to romanticize the shit out of it, because that's just as bad as listening to the shrieking.

On the upside, she has started to intermittently smile, and these aren't just gas bubbles. Granted, sometimes she smiles at the dog, or the couch, or a lamp, but they are still awesomely sweet, and go a long way towards making sure I don't leave her out with the recycling.

I'm kidding.

by at December 23, 2006 12:38 PM | TrackBack Comments

I sympathise -- Eric really is not happy sleeping anywhere but in our arms, though he's now started enjoying sitting in his little chair when he's awake. But my problem with the baby carrying thing is -- what if your baby doesn't like the carriers? We have a sling, and a snugli -- and sometimes Eric likes them, and will fall asleep in them, but other times he hates them, and will shriek with anger ubntil we take him out. And he definitely won't let us sit down when he's in them -- he wakes up immediately and starts wailing. And I find it hard to do very much useful when wearing a baby who needs you constantly in motion, and when I can't reach my hands around him to do anything like dishes, or laundry, etc. About the only thing the carriers let me do is eat (which is good, of course); otherwise, they just force me to stay on my feet, instead of sitting on the couch with a baby on my lap. (Like I am right now...)

Maybe we're doing it wrong -- but "baby wearing" certainly doesn't seem all that magical to me.

Posted by: Aven on December 26, 2006 9:40 AM
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