Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wearing a Walker

When first home with a newborn, wearing your child might be the way you manage to see to their need to be held while also making sure you have clean clothes and dishes.  But as your child ages, you may find you do less wearing in the house, and much of your wearing becomes about your convenience or saving your toddler from himself.

This past weekend, my family attended a family reunion.  One of the relatives commented that this was the first year in a long time she could remember me not having a child in "a papoose."  It's true, my 3yr old was very needy and she was worn for 2 reunions in a row, then my youngest was a baby last year.  But this year she is an outgoing 19mo old and she was off to play with her cousins.  But when evening came, we were going to make s'mores on the beach.  An adventurous walker and fire really don't mix, so I put her on my back.  She got to be part of the s'mores fun, she got to taste a little roasted marshmallow, but I didn't have to worry that when I was distracted by an older child she would find herself falling face first into an open fire.

Travel is another time that wearing a walker can be a help to you and them.  Airports, train and subway stations are all very crowded, there are people pulling carts right at toddler level, often there are employees zipping around on golf carts, it is a disaster in the making with a toddler on the loose.  You usually have your hands full with your carry-on bag full of activities for the trip, and probably a carseat as well, so holding hands isn't practical.  Cynthia found wearing her toddler made the trip easier for her and gave her toddler a better vantage point for her adventure than the legs and rolling suitcases that are at her height.

When you are near water or on a long walk can be another time when wearing a toddler may be the best choice.  We went for a walk near a local lake.  My toddler LOVES water.  She has no fear of it and will happily march into any body of water from pool to lake to ocean.  I am often saving her from herself.  Since we intended to go playing after our walk, a wet toddler wasn't on the agenda.  So, I put her on my back while we enjoyed our walk (and we weren't forced to amble at 19mo old pace), the kids got to look for fish in the water and I didn't have to be concerned about an impromptu dip.  Wearing can also be a great way to keep your dolls safe from falls.

A final time you may find yourself wearing a walker might be when they get very tired at the end of a long day, or if they manage to injure themselves, or like our recent adventure, they leave their shoes at home.  I took my kids to see a show at Wolf Trap's Theatre in the Woods.  These are special shows for kids, and they are a lot of fun.  When we parked my 3yr old announced that she had no shoes.  I hadn't noticed when we were leaving the house (A similar thing happened when my oldest was 4 and got blisters from her shoes when we were starting a day downtown).  I put my 3 and 1yr olds on and proceeded to walk into the theatre.  Now, if you've been to Wolf Trap, you know the children's theatre is up a big hill and then down an even bigger one.  By the time we got to the top of the first hill, I remembered that I haven't been keeping up with my exercise.  Hauling an extra 70lbs up that hill was really a challenge.  I don't recommend it be the plan when you start out on your adventure, but in a pinch, it can be done.

Wearing a walker is about making them safe and comfortable and about making your trip run as smoothly as possible.  Yes, they CAN walk, but not every situation is ideal to allow them to walk.  Enjoy those toddler snuggles, all too soon they'll insist on being on their own two feet!

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate to this post. I'm forever having to save my toddlers from themselves! We recently almost missed a flight, and the ONLY reason we made it was because we were wearing the smallest ones.