I’m Still Wearing My Three-Year-Old In A Carrier And I Have No Plans To Stop
Preschoolers. Thatâ€™s what.
You know those super-cute babies in the Bjorns? Yeah. Iâ€™ve been there. But Iâ€™ve kicked it up a notch:
Iâ€™m still wearing my three-year-old. And I have no plans to stop.
I donâ€™t wear her on my front anymore. Iâ€™m not crazy. But I do tote her around in a soft-structured backpack carrier nearly every day — while our stroller collects dust under the back steps. (I use a Kinderpack â€“ handmade by a WAHM in Illinois. Other popular backpack carrier brands are Ergo and Beco.)
So, let me get my most-frequently asked questions out of the way:
â€œWow. Isnâ€™t that incredibly painful?â€ Yes. Iâ€™m in agony. But Iâ€™m a martyr, so I persist. (Really? Do you think Iâ€™d saunter around the farmerâ€™s market in pain? Nope.)
â€œShouldnâ€™t she be walking?â€ Yes. And shouldnâ€™t you be chasing after her when she tries to crawl under a bus or eat those acorns?
â€œYouâ€™re STILL wearing her in that thing?â€ Yep. And youâ€™re still bitchy and rude.
Oh, and my favorite, back when my girl was much smaller and I was putting her in a front carrier in an Old Navy parking lot: â€œIs that thing safe?â€
No, lady. But this baby has been really annoying recently, so â€¦ whatever. Really? Whoâ€™d knowingly put their infant in something they didnâ€™t deem safe?
All that aside, babywearing then toddlerwearing and now preschooler-wearing has saved my life â€“ and my sanity.
Iâ€™ve worn her at my big kidâ€™s elementary-school science fairs, talent shows and school plays. Iâ€™ve worn her at music festivals and street fairs. (Tell me you can drink a beer, dance and comfortably hold your wriggly kid all the while keeping her safe from drunken concert-goers.) Iâ€™ve worn her through museums and zoos and on hikes through Glacier National Park. Iâ€™ve worn her to pick up packages at the post office and while we wait for her check-up at the pediatrician. (No thanks. Iâ€™d rather not have my kid lick that toy that your tuberculosis-racked toddler just licked.). Iâ€™ve walked comfortably down the street in the most brutal, slushy Chicago winters, confident that weâ€™re cozy warm and Iâ€™m not having to sled-dog a stroller up messy sidewalks. And in the summer, Iâ€™ve worn her while carrying all of our gear as we walked across the sand to find a spot at the beach. Have you ever pushed a stroller through sand?
In the big city, my girl and I donâ€™t take up much of a footprint when we walk down Michigan Avenue or squeeze our way through a crowded street festival. I find myself increasingly annoyed by those moms with their SUV strollers and Sherpa-esque diaper bags, hogging the sidewalks and store aisles, taking up so much room and giving the rest of us with young kids a bad rap.
Mostly, though, itâ€™s hard to argue with some extra snuggles from your kid â€“ whether theyâ€™re newborns or preschoolers. My oldest kid is 10. (For the record, I havenâ€™t worn him in years â€¦ Heck, I canâ€™t even pick that kid up anymore if I wanted to.) Iâ€™m well aware that this mommy thing is over in a blink. When my 3-year-old is on my back, we tell stories while walking to the park. She sings songs in my ear.
Sometimes, if Iâ€™m lucky, sheâ€™ll wrap her arms around me and give me a hug. Tell me you can do that in your $600 stroller.
Nah, Iâ€™m not giving that up anytime soon.