Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Test product: the baby bucket

With a baby just eight weeks old, you start wondering to yourself: "It's only been eight weeks!" and "How can I make this little jelly roll fit into my chore schedule?" Quickly I harken back to the two previous nuggets now 10 and 4 and remember quite fondly how my left arm became stronger than my right, more tone and quite frankly cut. The right arm lingered a bit, stayed fit but had a different appearance. It was the "doer", the one that somehow made the coffee, emptied the trash, typed on the keyboard one finger and one letter at a time and ultimately the one that got all the glory. In the world of appendages it was top dog, while left arm was the behind-the-scenes workhorse that did the holding of said nuggets. When the right arm was called to action to hold a baby and it's wobbly head, it immediately felt awkward. The forearm was okay with the task, but his neighbor above had issues figuring out how to cradle the neck. Ultimately, the right arm gave up, claimed it had "work to do" and transferred the task to señor left arm.

All this time I never recognized the baby sack. You know the "backpack" that you wore on the front that either had baby facing outward like it was some sort of growth coming from your abdomen, or the reverse where the chiclet buried its fragile head into your body. I refused to use any of them for the first two guys and was firm in the notion that I would never use it for baby three.

We have two such napsacks: one being the bohemian-hippy-hipster (BHH) version where it looks like an eco-bag that wraps around your neck while the baby lays sideways against your tummy, and the other aforementioned bucket that allows her to face you. The BHH sack is better looking, seems to draw less attention, but folds the baby up into a pretzel-like form, which I wasn't sure was good for her. It's possible there is a twist or a tug we missed, but we moved to the more traditional pack.

While my wife parades around the house juggling pots, making the bed, folding clothes, talking on the phone quite easily with the pack mounted, I instantly concluded I couldn't pull it off. Part of it was my pre-conceived attitude that I refuse to give in to the yuppy pack, and the other was my inability to figure out how to easily get nugget into the "pockets" and openings. It looks uncomfortable to me. Is it? Baby can't answer of course and most of the time she just falls asleep so it must work... for a little while until she probably realizes that she's stuffed into a nylon bag.

After watching this for a few weeks, this morning I gave in to the baby bucket. I can't make lattés with one arm so I strapped the bag on and put her in. She gave a squeak and a groan here and there, but then silence and the sound of a squished, sleeping nose. My two arms were now free to make lattés, navigate the web (albeit standing up), open things easily, etc. I then took it a step beyond: sitting down to read a magazine, and go to the bathroom. Sitting down with a baby bucket is not in the manual, and the wife even said she's never attempted it, but I was wiling to take the chance. And so I went to the bathroom and baby contorted a bit more than normal but was still fast asleep. So to the hipster moms and wine-tasting dads out there, you can sit down with your baby mounted to your chest. Will I wear the bag in public? Baby steps my friend. Baby steps.