Sometimes I forget how much babywearing turned from being an “activity” to a normal part of our lifestyle over the past few years. I was reminded of that by my 3 year old tonight. Our older son brought home another Star Wars Clone Wars book from the school library today. We were reading about Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker. In one of the pictures K pointed out that she had her baby with her. I asked him about it, thinking “wow that’s a thin character, there’s no belly there, why would he ever think she’s pregnant??”. After a few clarification questions, because, he is 3 after all… he said “no mama she has the baby ON HER BACK”.
Well, Ahsoka had a backpack on, and my sweet little “K” just assumed she was wearing a child. It was an automatic for him that in this dark, angled, picture the item on her back was a buckle carrier (soft structured carrier). It made me chuckle first, then I had time to think about it while they fell asleep.
Ironically, the purpose for the story was that they were rescuing Jabba’s son, who did indeed get hidden in the backpack on the journey to safety. No, I don’t personally condone stuffing a mini Jabba in a backpack; but Star Wars is Star Wars and you can’t really argue with that, right?
So does he automatically assume there was babywearing in the story because he sees all the caregivers and children at meetings or playgroups? Is it because we have *ahem* some carriers at home? That we have friends who also babywear? I’m sure he’s influenced by all of those things. I think the biggest influence, though, is that fact that babywearing IS part of our lifestyle. I don’t know exactly when that happened, but I’m thankful it did.
At 3, he’s still worn almost daily. Usually for a few minutes here, a few minutes there. In the afternoon when he gets cranky since he’s desperately trying to phase out naps. During one of the two trips to the bus stop every day, when I don’t want to argue about getting shoes and socks on for the walk 13 driveways away. Walking home after the school walk-a-thon. Walking to the homecoming parade.
As he’s getting older, I sometimes get stares from people who find it “odd”. Sometimes people ask “Isn’t he too big?” “Doesn’t that hurt you?” In a word- NO! We have a few great, comfortable carriers we tend to grab. We’re both happy and content. No one ever seems to argue with the outcome, when they see the change from the child melting down into a pile on the floor change to a child who is happy, quiet, and playing with my hair when he’s on my back.
The questions and comments I hear present a great opportunity to advocate for the benefits of babywearing. I also get a lot of comments like “Wow, I wish I had one of those”. “Can I have a ride too?” And of course “He looks so happy in there”.
As he gets older, I can see these moments spanning more out, and I’ll be sad when our “uppie” days are gone, when he no longer brings me his favorite patterned Kinderpack when he’s tired. But for now, I’m soaking it all in and appreciating every minute of it!