Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bohemian Mama: wraps, slings, and scarves II

When I wear Yarrow around the stores and cafes, I generally get one of two reactions. The first, and most common is enthusiastic appreciation. Sometimes based on personally experience, as with one woman I met, who told me all about wearing her own kids for years, never owning a stroller, and that is why she has such wonderful children. I smile and nod, though I’m sure a stroller ride or two wouldn’t have hurt anyone. Most are more laid-back in their appreciation, “doesn’t she look cozy in there!” or “right next to mama is the best place to be!” are the comments I here most often; and Yarrow responds by wiggling and grinning at them.

The other reaction is not exactly negative, but fearful: “I would be so afraid to use one of those!” said the girl behind the checkout counter this afternoon. The fears are either that the fabric wouldn’t hold, or that the baby would suffocate. Since Yarrow refuses to be in any position were her vision is limited in any way, the suffocation worry doesn’t seem to bother the folks I meet as much as fear the fabric won’t do it’s job. I usually tell them, truthfully, that strollers give me more worry, because she’s so out there on her own, not nestled in where I can see her, kiss her, and talk to her. I also let them know that I’ve never had a moment of fear with the fabric, it’s never shown signs of wear or strain, even when she worms around and tries to stand in her sling.

It makes the people I meet happy to see Yarrow in her wraps, in part because her smiling little face is able to grin right at them, and in part I think, because they feel more comfortable going up to her when she’s worn. I’m right there, so they know I’ll feel more comfortable. When people go up to her in the stroller, they tend to be a bit more stand-offish, and continually check to make sure I don’t mind them speaking to her. When she’s worn, they can speak to both of us at once, and they feel more freedom to focus on her. Which is exactly what she wants.

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