The week of the sling.
After *misplacing the pram, the donated sling made it’s debut and here is what I found…
1. For the first time in months I’ve had the ability to use both hands.
I’ve got so used to using one hand, almost in the same way that I’ve got used to inhaling food rather than eating it, that the sudden use of two had me somewhat perplexed.
I found I was able to do dishes, to iron, to polish, with a little awkward manoeuvring (on my part) I was also able to have a wee that lasted longer than two seconds and wash both hands after!
I managed to prepare food that wasn’t something rammed between two slices of un-buttered bread and even consume the food without risking indigestion or choking. Granted, the baby had to share the sling with crumb debris but I don’t think she was overly bothered.
2. You feel like an idiot/kangaroo.
The sling took some getting used to. As a breastfeeding mother, I’m already a rare commodity, having my baby attached to me in another manner confirmed to those uneducated/ignorant/plain stupid people that I am nothing but a hippy that reads too much on that World Wide Web thingy!
I don’t think I helped the cause by putting the baby in a Christmas pudding bobble hat, which to onlookers was the only part of the baby on show.
3. it’s tricky to get out of. Be prepared to get stuck and then sweat because of said stuck-ness!
With a pram/buggy/car seat the baby is plonked in, clipped up and your away to go. A sling on the other hand, especially one that has been donated and therefore is exempt from instructions, is somewhat trickier.
There appeared to be clips and straps not to mention buckles that I had no idea what to do with. Add a snow suited, somewhat miserable baby to the equation and the result is quite stressful. Especially when said baby weighs over a stone and the central heating has been cranked up to full.
I believe we were stuck for around forty five minutes before I threw the towel in and knocked next door to relive us.
4. It triggers something vocally; you’ll find yourself saying ‘whoosh’ as you go down steps.
Once we got the hang of successfully getting in and out of the contraption formally known as ‘the sling’ we ventured outside.
And the notion of feeling like a hippy kangaroo mammy soon wore off as I came to realise how handy having both hands were in the real world too. If I wanted, and I use the term ‘wanted’ loosely, I could feed pigeons, wave at other mummies, purchase a news paper with ease. The sling really was making possibilities endless.
I was slightly anxious about tripping up and squashing my bundle of joy but this feeling also disappeared as I started ‘whooshing’ our movements.
Yes, I felt it necessary to vocalise what we were doing not unlike a Disney movie.
5. Talking of steps, you will still avoid them completely; simply forgetting the fact you do not have a pram.
Hills and slings are just as tricky as hills and prams if anything it’s a bit worse.
Lumbering towards home, with ample shopping that I was able to plop into a shopping basket with such ease in the supermarket, was reasonably testing. A fifteen pound baby, flimsy plastic carrier bags and gradients that I’m pretty sure could give Mount Everest a run for it’s money was not fun.
It was even less fun when I got home and realised that we could have cut through the hill via some nice steps because we didn’t have wheels!
6. You will cling on to the bottom of baby, convinced she’ll somehow slip through the tiny leg holes.
They are tiny holes! Honestly tiny, in fact, I wasn’t sure whether my chubby little puddings thighs would fit through them so why in god’s name I thought she’d fall to the floor, crack her head and possibly die was beyond belief!
Like all things in life, the sling takes some getting used to, trusting the damn thing is another matter completely.
In the same sense that it took a while to get used to having two hands again, actually not holding onto the most precious thing in your life also took some patience.
7. Getting used to the weight takes some time. I’m sure I have dents in my shoulders.
I think; if I hadn’t loaded up with shopping, didn’t walk the long way home, it wasn’t stupidly cold and therefore hadn’t layered up on clothing; our debut sling experience wouldn’t have been such an uncomfortable one.
Saying that, minus the hills, the shopping, the cold, carrying the baby close was nice, it gave me a ‘as if nature had intended’ sort of feeling.
It must be noted that to be comfy you must be done up correctly. You know, Velcro attached to Velcro and buckles clicked into their holders. It was only when I took the baby out did I realise we had been twisted in a few places and done up a tad wrong
8. You become an instant hit with the Polish community. I had to check twice that I hadn’t donned my 1995 track suit and trainers.
Need I say anymore about this?
9. Following on from point 8; I now know that ‘Czesc’ means ‘hi’ something I didn’t know pre sling and only positive things can come from learning new languages!
10. It knocks the baby out! I’m not sure whether this is literal but she did sleep for an unusually long time.
I think it’s the closeness and the rocking. Either or I had to check whether she was breathing a few times just to be on the safe side