Thanks anyway

So I’m out at the grocery store with M and K. Since K’s bright-eyed and the trip will be short, I pop her in the Baby Bjorn. It’s not that I don’t like the Bjorn; it’s just that I find the sling so much more soothing for both her and I, but if she’s gonna be awake, I figure she ought to get to look around. I know, all you veteran sling-wearers out there are about to tell me that I can have her sitting up and looking out in the sling. That would require me to look up how to situate her so that she doesn’t fall out while doing so. And that would require free time and a good memory (do it now, my conscience is telling me, but I’m finally writing on my blog, so there).

Okay, back to the Bjorn. One of the main reasons why I don’t find it soothing is that K has a nasty habit of chewing on carrier’s top. I try to lift her up, stand up straighter, and even pull her head back, but she knows it’s there and she knows she likes to chew. The girl insists.

As I’m loading my groceries into the van, K still in the Bjorn, a woman walks up to me and begins gushing. I smile, tell her a little about K’s current stats, and let the fawning ensue.

“She’s so cute!”
“Thank you.”
“What a precious little face!”
“I know, aren’t they so cute at this age?”
“And she’s chewing on the top of that thing!”
“Yeah, she does that a lot.”

Then, with a pause and an I-gonna-let-you-in-on-a-little-secret smile,

“You know that’s not good for her, right? Chewing on that plastic?”

No kidding? They’re not supposed to chew on it? But I’ve been using it as an apparatus for delivering medicines and liquor, along with the general supplementation of her diet. What a total and complete shock. I’m so lucky to have run into someone who could clear up that gross misconception. How could such a lousy mother have managed to have any child make it past infancy!

I didn’t say this, of course. I muttered a contrite, “I know,” and slunk away with my tail between my legs. Later, though, the guilt broke away and I reminded myself that every mom has her limits, that no mom can (or should) please everyone. It’s tough enough just to make it through the day, which I do, happily.

And besides, it’s not plastic. It’s fabric. Oh wait, I thought I was letting it go…


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