Once upon a time, the wee baby Abel really was wee! I could put him in a my kangaroo pouch and he’d happily sit there for ages. In fact, when he was little and very fussy, strapping him on was one of the few ways I could just about guarantee that soon he’d be snoozing, so it was kind of an ideal way to get chores or errands done, provided I could do them on foot.
These days, it’s a whole different ball game. For one thing, he weighs like 30 pounds now, so wearing him is a feat of strength. He’s way too heavy to wear comfortably in the smaller, less expensive carriers I used when he was an infant. I did some research on the mommy-grapevine and settled on a carrier with lumbar support that has armies of parents singing its praises. It wasn’t easy to figure out, but eventually, I got to a place where I can now get us both pretty comfy in about 30 seconds, provided I have an assistant. I imagine that with time my tot will get a little more patient with the process and I will get more competent with my carrier and be able to strap him on without help.
**Editing to add that the day after I posted this I finally got him in all by myself, YAY!**
Being able to wear him on my back has been a game-changer for us, because he likes the view, and I feel so much more comfortable and stable than I did toward the end of the kangaroo-pouch front carry days.
But he’s not just bigger. He’s on a whole other level of development now. As a toddler, he’s supposed to be exploring his world and he is! He’s very active and loves to interact, so if I strap him on and I’m doing something he doesn’t find interesting, he might start finding ways to amuse himself. I’m lucky in that it’s typically something cute like playing with my hair or wanting me to talk to him about what I’m doing. The best is when I can do something to let him feel included somehow — He can close the fridge, or handle one spoon while I stir the pot with another.
Other times, I’m not so lucky and he wants to arch his little back or smack me until things get interesting or I let him down. He doesn’t talk much, but he can definitely get loud and will cry if he’s displeased.
As you might imagine, all that closeness in this tropical climate has one major downside: it’s hot! We both get sweaty and I can count on needing to change us both out of some very sweaty clothes if I wear him for longer than about half an hour or so.
One thing has not changed as he’s grown: he generally loves to be worn as long as I am walking, particularly if I’m walking outdoors. Lately, we have been walking together on the weekends, often with a friend. It’s nice to see what catches his attention (usually animals, naturally). While I often encounter other moms who wear their infants in the grocery store or, say, at the laundry, I have yet to see another mama who wears a bigger kid. That might be why we attract a fair bit of attention from others on our walks… Or maybe it’s because my kid is just that cute?