We had the opportunity to go to the United States Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, last week. This was an amazing museum – detailed displays from the first Wright Brothers plane to the space shuttle, and the history of the Air Force all in between. It filled three massive hangars.
We didn’t take our stroller with us, because the trip was impromptu. Thankfully, though, I had my Ergo in the back of the van. Scott walked or was carried by Gregg on his shoulders, and Johnathan alternated between walking and being worn by me in the Ergo. About an hour after we got there, we watched an IMAX movie and the boys both fell asleep. Scott woke up as soon as the movie was over, but I just turned the Ergo around to my front and carried Jeb in it while he slept.
There are volunteers covering the floors of these hangars, and as we walked from the IMAX theater and through the displays and exhibits, I was stopped by about ten different volunteers who asked me if I wanted a stroller. When I thanked them and said I didn’t need a stroller, they insisted that the strollers were free and that I could use one. Again, each time, I thanked them and walked on.
I wasn’t carrying Johnathan in my arms. My arms were free. He was in a carrier, and was completely comfortable. I wasn’t struggling under his weight or burdened by it – his weight is very familiar to me.
It was very strange. When I saw the bank of strollers, even if I had been carrying him in my arms, I wouldn’t have been able to put him in them. They were metal framed and sitting upright – like a shopping cart baby seat. Not really a place to lay a sleeping child. Had I been alone, without Gregg, I would have definitely used one to push Scott and still worn Jeb in the Ergo, and I would have been thankful for the provision of it.
It didn’t bother me that they offered me strollers. I realize they were trying to help, but when I say at least ten people asked me, I’m not exaggerating. And, I don’t understand how they thought I needed the help. Surely women wearing babies walk through that museum all the time. Or at least, I assume they do. Maybe not. Maybe it was an unusual sight.
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I had to stop any sort of babywearing when my kids hit about age 2 because I am short…and their height to my height ratio was just just not conducive to carrying them around. :) But it was sure convenient at times before then!
Consider yourself lucky that Scott would have even agreed in any way to go into a stroller if you’d needed him to. If I had tried to put my almost 5 year old into a stroller…I know all those ‘you are a grown up girl now’ speeches would be coming back to haunt me! LOL
Scott’s a wanderer. Being alone, with the two of them, I have just now gotten rid of the double stroller. My intent was to use the single stroller for Jeb and have Scott walk, but that hasn’t been the way so far. Both of them walk while I push the empty stroller, then I wear Jeb and Scott gets in the stroller. It’s very strange that Scott is willing to still be pushed (though he is NOT willing to be worn). But for now I’m thankful, because most of the time, I’m alone.
I just wore Quinn again last week when we were walking around town. the stroller wasn’t in the car and I needed to shop in small spaces. I have to say I LOVED wearing him more than the stroller! although he was on my back.
I had a couple of baby slings and a baby carrier thing for my girls but they were very uncomfortable for me. I have back issues and the ones I had didn’t seem to disperse the weight very well. Plus, it seemed like the babies weren’t very comfortable in them once they got a little older. I’ve heard wonderful things about the Ergo and wanted one with DD3, but they were pricey and we couldn’t afford one. Much handier to keep in the car then a bulky stroller! :)
Once Jeb got to about 25 lbs, my ring sling killed my back. I have a broken tailbone and the muscles in my lower back hurt almost all the time. A friend of mine who is a baby wearing connoisseur let me know when a “today only” sale happened for Ergos and I got a terrific deal. The Ergo doesn’t hurt my back at all. It’s wonderful.
I would wear Austin if he let me… but I have still occasionally worn Audrey in the last few months, and I now wear Cody all the time! At one point, I was 7 months pregnant, wearing Audrey on my back, and carrying Austin for a very short few minutes. But, I had Audrey in my Ergo, and she was loving it! I also purchased my Ergo’s through that ‘today only’ sale and I’m so grateful that I was able to do so!
We bought an Ergo carrier with our second one and I love, love, love it! Our oldest was just past two when our daughter was born and it was so handy to have my hands free. I wore a sling for the first little while, but it hurt my back…the Ergo never does. Once I started using it I never stopped. When we spent three months in Hong Kong with no car, only public transportation that was not set up for strollers (I saw so few kids!) I carried our daughter ALL the time (she was 16 months when we went). I still use it, and just barely started using it on my back and she turned 2 in March. She loves it and I love that it gave me the chance to be close to her and have her nap on me while chasing a two year old. With the first one you can lie down on the couch and have that sweet little bundle sleep peacefully on your chest…I felt that the Ergo let me provide that closeness to our daughter too.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the museum was not too used to baby carrying. There are far more people in the US that love their strollers and infant car seats from the babies are teany…too bad really, I don’t know that there is anything better for a baby and young child to be close to their mama!
we get asked constantly if we need assistance, or if we need a stroller when we are out places as well. I just tell them I like my son snuggled up wrapped up on my back, and how really wearing my son even though he is over 30 lbs now is actually still more comfy than leaning over a stroller frame. (Im tall LOL)
Im glad I stumbled upon your blog! I love reading babywearing stories!
I think it’s a beautiful site. I always wanted the Ergo – is it as good as they say?
Oh yes – definitely.
No one has ever offered me a stroller, but, not many places here have them available for use like that. However, you DO get lots of weird looks if you are wearing a baby. I haven’t worn Jade since her 3rd birthday. (she is 3.5 now). I miss it. I miss the closeness, the snuggles. I have recently passed my Ergo and my mei tai onto a friend with a new baby, knowing that she would use / appreciate / love / return them :-) I think it is great that you had your Ergo handy!
I absolutely love wearing Molly. Now that I have 2, I find it much easier to wear one and let the other one walk. That way, I have both hands free to deal with whatever comes our way. Also, when I go to the supermarket, I wear Molly (facing out) and Lucy rides in the shopping cart and they play. LOL. Makes it more bearable for everyone. I wasn’t a big babywearer with my first — lots of things change with the second. :)
I suppose if you really want to wear your 4 year old than more power to you, but my little ones all were quite able to walk fairly long distances (all day thru the city zoo with only a little dragging of feet by the afternoon) by the time they were three, except for the oldest who was 7ish and has severe down’s syndrome and is autistic and thus has trouble walking (and talking, and eating, and everything)
He actually just turned 3 a few weeks ago. And was, as I said, asleep. I would have preferred he napped in our stroller just so he could recline and therefore would get a better nap, but we didn’t pack it.
I’m sensing a bit of judgement and hostility that doesn’t make sense to me, and I’m fighting the urge to be defensive.
The fact is, my 4-year-old wanders off. He isn’t bad – he just gets distracted and is gone before I know it. I’ve lost him in city zoos, metropolitan malls, restaurants, even in our church. Containing one child so that I can handle the other one is my decision, and the best decision I can make as a parent who often is without adult help. He’s perfectly capable of walking, as they both are, but it takes one split second for him to disappear. I know this all too well. Until his brain matures enough to grasp the danger of his distracted wanderings, then I’ll do what I can the best way I can to keep him safe and with me. Even if it means strapping a perfectly capable child to my body, despite what others may think to the contrary.
Now, my 7-year-old niece who has Down’s Syndrome can walk all over the place without aide. As can her 4-year-old brother. As much as I have to worry about my two, I was surprised and impressed when my sister-in-law didn’t use anything with them to tour a horse park and museum.
Have you ever worn your children at any age? We were really encouraged to do it when Scott (the wanderer) was in the NICU. We wore him with a ring sling in a fashion called “kangaroo” care – I never knew or cared anything about it until then.
I loved wearing my son when he was a baby. He’s almost 2 now and still very light for his age but I think the carrier I have is not the best because it stills hurts my back to wear him. I think I’ll look into the Ergo for #2 since it would definitely be easier to wear one than push a double stroller all the time.
I have 4 kids and would die without my collection of baby wearing stuff. I have an ergo and a beco and they’re lifesavers. My 3 yr old loves it too, she’ll pass out on my back and it was amazing for our trip to Disney because she would not sleep in a stroller. I mainly wear my newborn now and I not only need to to be hands free but because it helps her reflux to be in a wrap. Baby wearing is awesome and so beneficial for everyone. I’m glad your ergo is working well for your family!