Monday, October 11, 2010

Strollers are Evil and Another Bad Movie

My friend over at Go Baby Go asked me to blog about baby-wearing. Apparently, some folks are picking on it and making noises about it being unsafe.

First of all? Bad Stuff Happens. Unfortunately. People choke on pickles. People burn themselves with hot coffee. People get killed by the occasional premature deployment of the airbag.

When the Bad Stuff happens and a baby or child is involved, it is heartbreaking beyond belief and so WRONG. And rightfully, when something happens to a baby we all wonder what we could have done to prevent we can prevent it from happening again. Some babies have died in slings. Just like they've died in cribs, strollers, and carseats. And it crushes us and we can't stand to think of their poor parents and grandparents and siblings and crushes us.

Babywearing under normal circumstances by a parent who is aware of their baby is safe. It is safe and beautiful. I wore all my babies. Ellie, of course, was the first.

Now initially, I tried to go Mainstream. I really did. But, as has so often been the case with me and my attempts at fitting in, I failed at the Mainstream Parenting Attempt. I had a super deluxe awesome stroller. The kind that would give the Mommy Crowd stroller envy. The kind that other moms pushed thrilled, happy, content, and even SLEEPING babies in.

So one morning I left my little cookie-cutter tract home in my suburban neighborhood (yes! i had one of those!) with my kid in the stroller to walk with all of the other mommies. She was screaming, of course, but everyone told me she'd stop once we got going.

Folks, she was seriously screaming. She was screaming as if the freaking thing was on FIRE. And she was twisting about hysterically because with all of its monstrous glory and the super deluxe shade apparatus and entertainment railing and extra padding and fully stocked mini-bar (I freaking wish), she couldn't see The Mama. But man, I was sticking with it. "She'll stop!" they kept saying to me. "It gets easier! Keep pushing! She'll love it!"

Well, I was seriously running by this point. "Whee!" I screamed. "Isn't this fun, Ellie?"

And oh man, but Ellie was screaming, too. "Wahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!"

After a few minutes, do you know what happened? She got quiet. Oh my GOD! This never happened to me. Ever. What the other mommies said had finally come to pass. She must be up there grinning and enjoying the feeling of the rushing wind through her two hairs and the large gap between her front teeth. I imagined her grinning and drooling and cooing and smiling and just generally having a massive, awesome time. Of course, I didn't dare look because if she spotted me, it was all over. *Do you see the General Wrongness with that statement? That it was just way better for her to think I'd possibly been abducted by aliens and that she was being pushed along by a stroller of its own accord going god only knows where?

OR maybe she was asleep! Holy Cow maybe I had finally found the Holy Grail of Getting Ellie To Sleep! Could it be that easy? I was feeling all mighty and powerful and One of the Crowd and all with my happy and/or possibly sleeping baby in the stroller like all of the Other Mommies.

The Other Mommies finally caught up with me, because now I was able to stop sprinting and just walk at a normal pace. I glanced up at them expectantly....I was One Of Them and maybe there was now a secret handshake or something they were going to share with me. But they looked down at my precious Totally Conformist Rocking Awesome Baby and their faces went pale and they said, "Oh my God!!"

"What? What?" I yelled while trying to get around the Massive Three-Part Shader and Uber Padded Handle With Drink Holders...."What? What?"

And there was Ellie. Upside down with her head poking through one of the leg holes, still in her safety belt (safety first!) which was now squeezing the sh*t out of her (probably literally). Her left arm was through the other leg hole, legs were sprawled and hanging over the sides (I couldn't see them because of all the ruffles and fluff and because Hello! I wasn't looking because I was trying to avoid eye contact lest she actually Want Me which would have been Epic Fail in the eyes of the Other Mommies who were proudly not even on a first name basis with their kids (OK - that was harsh and probably not even true).

So yeah. Strollers are evil. Wear your babies. Kiss their little heads, talk to them, be aware of them. Don't stick them in your uber padded deluxe baby-wearing device and never check on them again. Don't automatically assume a quiet baby is a happy baby - because maybe a quiet baby is just a baby with a blocked airway. Don't avoid eye contact in the hopes of not drawing attention to yourself....the baby wants and needs both the eye contact and your attention. This is a short span of time for you....this Being the Center of the Universe Business (unless you keep popping them out like I have, in which case I swear to god it lasts forever - but even I'm not wearing any anymore).

Baby wearing has become "in." Lots of people are doing it. Some will do it recklessly. But that shouldn't spoil it for the rest of us. It is the safer alternative....the more loving alternative...the gentlest alternative.

Now onto Other Stuff for those of you who read and don't care about babies or strollers. Sardine Mama went to the movies. Yes, she did. And she saw You Again which promised to be funny with Big Names and it was the worst romantic comedy I've seen since Valentine's Day. It was predictably cheesy. I can do predictable if it isn't cheesy. Predictable is okay, I mean really, who wants to see a romantic comedy where they all die in a plane crash? I mean, you know there's going to be a happy ending, so I was all prepared for that. But really. This was bad. In my humble opinion. But that's not really why I'm sharing. I'm sharing about the ridiculousness of concessions. Did you see that coming?

We ordered the popcorn special. You know the one....the one that takes 6.3 years off of your life and is the equivalent in fat and calories to about 10,000 Big Macs. The drinks are in gallon-sized cups. I HATE THAT. I do not want a gallon of soda, either real soda or diet soda. A gallon of either will Kill You Dead. So I said to the kid, "I want a medium soda."

"Oh, that will cost you an extra seventy-five cents."

"You charge me more for less?"

"Yes, we do."


"Seriously. A medium isn't part of the special and it costs more."

"Can't you just charge me for a large and put it in a medium-sized cup?"

"No. That would put my inventory off."

"And they'd what? Accuse you of stealing a medium cup?"


Since I am fond of teenagers and this one was putting up with me with minimum eye-rolling, I didn't want to have him accused of stealing a medium cup of nothing so I took my gallon of Coke Zero (I drank about 10 sips out of it throughout the course of the evening) and WITH BOTH HANDS carried it into the theater.

Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard?


  1. Yes it is. Hey, look at me only reading your Post once! How about that?
    Yeah, movie houses have the strangest rules. I asked for an extra cup once and went through the same hardship. So I've resorted to stuffing foods in every pocket that I can so I don't have to buy that stuff. But my kids do beg for popcorn. I give in, eventually, everytime.
    Okay, I agree with you on the whole baby sling thing and am only sad that I didn't use one for John. Claire loved her little sack and I sometimes came home from a walk and would just hang her on a door knob because she was sleeping so soundly. Is that bad? She survived! Also, I remember this one time where John was screaming forever in his bedroom(like he did for two years straight) and I refused to give into his "wah wah-ing". Then I finally did and his leg was stuck between the slates in the crib. So yes, I feel your pain.
    Your Friend, m.
    Your Friend, m.

  2. Wow..I am speechless. I was getting the "evil eye" while baby wearing at a soccer practice the other day. Couldn't imagine what THAT was about? So ignored. Thanks for cluing me in on the fact that this, too, is an issue. How sad.
    Wouldn't give up this snuggle/bonding time with Levi for the world...and am glad for this time with the older monster kids.

  3. My favorite comment I ever got while wearing a baby was, "Is that legal?"

    Mostly though I get asked," Is there a baby in there?" because I wear my babies the most when they are so small that you can't see any part of them.
    I love hearing people whisper, not very quietly, as they pass me in a store.

    "Is that a baby or a purse?"
    "Do you think its a baby?"
    "I think so. I'm not sure."

    I usually turn around and say
    "Yes, there is a baby in here, you want to see?"
    and promptly show them the curled up sleeping wee-tiny newborn curled up in the pouch like a joey and everyone goes..."Awwwwww"
    Cosmetic lady at HEB liked it so much she asked me for the website so she could get one for her pregnant daughter :D
    and yes, it is legal.

  4. Thanks, Carol! I'm off to pass this around! :-)


  5. Hey, I just found your blog, and I feel so so lucky! You are FUNNY. And sincere. And real. And a rebel, which I like. So, this is a good thing, I think, finding you and your blog and your stories. Thank you for writing!
    And I agree about the kidwearing—I wore my little girl for ages and ages (but probably didn't have the right carrier thingy, 'cos I kind of put out my back). But it was worth it. When she slept, I could just kiss and smell the top of her head, breathe in her closeness, and that was BLISS. (I tried to have a sling with my firstborn, but was in the throes of not trusting myself and slipping into post-partum depression, so got scared I wasn't doing it right, and went the stroller path. The separation from him didn't help my depression, not one bit.)

  6. Love it-- and totally agree.