My Mind is Currently Occupied With

I am almost certain my sinus infection is gone. I took the last little pink pill on Saturday morning and decided not to go back to the clinic for a refill. I had a headache on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, not continuously but at the same time each day: around noon while coming home from whatever the morning’s outing had been, Fresco bobbing along in the baby bjorn carrier and Trombone in the buggy.

SINCE the headache came at the same time each day and after the same turn of events and
SINCE said headache was not accompanied by any nasal discharge of any colour and
SINCE said headache responded rapidly to a common muscle relaxant all hail the mighty ibuprofen and then, once vanquished, did not return, I did determine that
THIS headache was not sinus but muscle related and on further reflection did determine that
THE baby bjorn is killing me.

The bjorn was so awesome with Trombone. It was perfect. I read things where people said, pshaw, the baby bjorn will render your boychildren infertile because they are squishing their danglies and I said, you know, it is almost worth the risk because it is very convenient. At the recommendation of a stranger at a baby store we bought the Active Carrier with the lumbar support. And I carried Trombone in that thing until he was, hm, 8 months old? And 20 lbs? Without any pain or discomfort till the end. Yes, the active carrier cost 2x as much but we figured the resale value would be just as high.

At first, no he did not like it. Until he was about 6 weeks old and unfurled his little cramped-up infant legs. After that, it was our constant companion in the stroller. Invariably I’d get to the midpoint in our daily walk and he would be squawking and squealing and screaming in the stroller and to maintain our good standing in the neighbourhood I’d have to remove him from the stroller and pop him into the bjorn – and then walk along pushing an empty stroller, looking a bit crazy (hey there are people who put their animals in strollers so how crazy am I NOT) but at least proceeding quietly.

My delight was audible and heard ’round the world when Fresco took to the bjorn even earlier than Trombone. However he is not a “sometimes I would prefer to be carried / the rest of the time the buggy is OK” kind of kid. Partly this is because of our buggy choice; at the moment, his seat in the two-seater requires him to be fully reclined and on his back, which is, so far, at 11 weeks in, his least favourite position in the world. He can sleep upright and he can sleep on his tummy but he does not sleep on his back unless tightly swaddled and it’s a little warm for that these days.

edited to add: this morning I did put Fresco in the back seat in a semi-recline and with vigilance (stopping every few blocks to stick the soother back in his mouth) he did ride happily uptown and sleep most of the way there, through our library visit and halfway back whereupon he woke up and lost his shit but hey, that’s 45 minutes bjorn free for me.

So every day it is me, the bjorn full of Fresco, the buggy full of Trombone, plus all that squatting to pick things up and doing things with my body that nature never intended because it is not natural to have a 16 lb weight strapped to your chest and still have to pick up a 30 lb weight with your arms. In a few short words: I am feeling it. The tingle in my right shoulder blade is almost constant. My neck is crooked. My lower back has an actual sore point that is jabbable. (ja-babble! Jab-able!) And when I put Fresco in the bjorn, I can walk comfortably for about 15 minutes before it feels like he’s hanging off my shoulders and ow.


I am a big ball of OW and also of COMPLAIN. (and, some would argue, FAIL. I would encourage those people to come back in a year when I have something else to talk about besides my aches and pains.)

On Saturday I took Fresco to Commercial Drive where I did not see one single hippie, just hipsters everywhere, and I bought an ergo baby carrier. Its advantages include: baby doesn’t hang from his genitals, baby can ride on front or back or hip, parent is supported by giant, military flak-jacket-style hip belt and big padded shoulder straps. It’s basically like a backpack that you stuff with your kid and then wear around, following the same principle as properly fitting bras: your boobs should not be being held up by the straps of your bra, but by the band. Your kid (who by now outweighs my boobs – there’s a milestone that should be in the “What to Expect” book) should not be held up by shoulder straps but by a solid under-carriage.

If it works out, I’ll sell the bjorn and the mei tai I bought last year that we only used a handful of times. When I bought it, I wanted to wear Trombone in the mei tai on my back but he was rather resistant by that point, at 9 months old. I’ve put Fresco in the mei tai a few times but just can’t get it tight enough to feel secure without actually carving permanent dents in my flesh and also it’s really fracking hot – for both of us. I know the ergo will be hot as well but at least Fresco will be able to have his head and arms poking out to keep cool and I won’t have straps as long as my body wrapped 17 times around my waist. Yes, I admit it, I prefer buckles. I am not interested in learning the fine art of babywearing, though I admire the mad skillz of those who have learned it. I just want it to work. Like paint by numbers, right? I’ll do the painting so I can hang something sort of attractive on my wall but I’m not going to do a fine arts degree. I am not agile or patient enough for either a fine arts degree or magical knot tying.

The other good reason I need a reliable (and pain free) baby carrier is because Fresco doesn’t get het up about much – but car rides? They give him The Drama. It’s like he’s my own little bitchy environmentalist, screaming from the backseat “the earth is dying! stop the car! the earth is dying! stop the car!” Nice. No soothing car rides for us. No car rides at all, actually, else I start oozing brain out my ears along the highway. Combine that with the two hundred smackers I just got from our fine feathered Gordo (one hundred for me and one hundred for Trombone) and the new ergo has paid for itself with beer money to spare.

Now: to fund those 400 massages I need.

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