Yesterday I was in New Westminster, with my baby, with nothing much to do. She was in need of a nap and I was in need of a walk, and also lunch, so I drove down to New Westminster Quay and put her in the sling. After getting a sandwich, I walked around for an hour or so, the better to allow Gwen a good nap.
I was quite the little attention magnet, or more properly my sling was. Maybe they're not used to baby-wearin' in New West.
My first commenter was a tall blond man, with some kind of European accent, asking "where d'you get those?" I told him the name, and advised him to Google "kangaroo corner". He told me it looked awfully convenient, and I agreed that it was.
The woman who served me at the lunch counter remarked on how comfortable it must be for the baby, who no doubt "just thinks he's* back where he came from". Then at least three people approached me while I was eating lunch, and two more as I walked around afterwards.
The final conversation touched me the most, perhaps because there was such a language barrier between myself and the other participant, an elderly Asian woman selling me sorbet. "You have baby in there?" she asked, and I agreed that I did, and pulled back the top of the sling so she could have a look. As her eyes and mouth softened in the typical "Awww", she noted Gwen's "long fingers, maybe work with hands." After I paid for the sorbet she looked longingly at the sling, wanting one more peek, which I was happy to give. "She happy there, like ... " she paused to think ... "she is in your womb." "Exactly," I agreed smilingly, and wished her a pleasant day as we moved on.
The sling is always a cause of knowing smiles and opened doors as I wear it around town, but it's never been such a source of conversation before. It was an interesting day.
*Since she couldn't actually see the baby and her stunning feminine beauty, I take no offense at her mistaken assumption of gender.**
**In fact, I don't get too miffed when people guess her gender wrong, or when they ask, "Is it a boy?" Seriously, at this point, who cares?! The only exception to this is when people make a big fuss about saying what an incredibly handsome boy she is, without confirming gender first. I guess this annoys me because masculine beauty and feminine beauty seem so opposed, and if she is beautiful as one it makes her less beautiful as the other in my cracked-up brain.
I still get asked if Callum is a boy or a girl. Still. Even with the shaved head. I think its his eyelashes (this is what I tell myself). He is, admittedly "pretty" for a boy but I really think he looks like a boy now. He's almost TWO!
I don't get many comments on the sling (I mostly carry Callum around in the sling, not Claire) but get a tonne of comments on the wrap with Claire. I still try the sling with her but I just can't master it. I never get her head up high enough, I think.
I have posted here before... I read your blog while pregnant and I have since had my baby girl. Gwen's eating/weight gain dilema sounds some what like what we dealt with with our daughter. And, as it turns out, after a lot of reading, doctor's appointments, etc., we were told that Eva has a slight case of lactose intolerance or milk allergy caused by lactose overload. This can be from breastmilk or formula and we were told to crush Lactaid tablets up and give them to her with each feeding. I know it may sound crazy, but the lactase enzyme helped her to process the milk and not only is she gaining weight, but she is happy! (No more spitting up, stomach pain, etc.) I figured I would pass on the word and let you know that it is an easy thing to try. We give her the chewable Lactaid after crushing it to Eva with a dropper (mix it with water or milk/formula). I know you don't know me (please please don't think I am drive-by-mothering) but I figured it might be something you hadn't heard. Best wishes!
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