It's not often I babywear The Toddler around the house. He is simply far too active and independent and would much rather be wrecking the lounge, stage diving off the window sill or making puddles on the carpet with his beaker.
However there are times when needs simply must, times when quite frankly I need to know exactly where he is and be assured he can't go anywhere. Not that he minds in the slightest he is rather enamoured with being worn on my back happily peering over my shoulder, restyling my hair with sticky fervent hands and burping repeatedly down my ear.
I have never been fortunate to be a true slingaholic, predominantly down to the financial bones of it or rather the lack of finance not to mention an inability to justify the albeit practical, frivolity of it. The most slings I have possessed at one time has been four with generally two of those up for sale. I have flirted briefly with pouches, rings and wraps yet I fundamentally lack the necessary patience and skill to be aquainted with them long term. I'm strictly a soft structured carrier mama.
My current 'stash' is my beloved toddler Wompat which I use everytime I babywear him out and about (selling both my fabulous Madame Goo Goo and a decidedly pretty Oh-Snap to fund) and my sentimental old Joey Sling which is the first 'real' sling I fell in love with when Thing Two out grew our bushbaby cocoon. There's something awfully poignant about a sling you have worn more then one of your babies in and as such I simply can't bare to part with it. IT has remained throughout the comings and goings of numerous other slings.
Yet It's not been used regularly since he was wee and is no longer knee to knee on the little chap.
Yet when I need to wear him at home its the Joey I turn to. I adore the familiarity of it, snuggly and soft like an old cherished t-shirt and even with a 26lb 28month old, still so comfortable. Unlike my stunning custom Melkaj I once owned, the Joey has much shorter and more manageable straps for a quick up.
So wether It's hanging washing in a wet garden or cooking tea whilst The Husband runs errands and the elder spawn play outside, if I need to sling him at home, the Joey comes out to play (he often resents being in his highchair whilst I cook and should I let the little bugger loose he turns the stereo on, the microwave on, the washing machine on, shouts at the dog, helps himself to biscuits from the cupboard and generally causes sweet bloody mayhem)
Although as I mentioned previously It's no longer knee to knee on him he always seems decidely happy and remarkably comfortable in it.
It's so easy to forget how lovely old outgrown slings were and so nice to see them in use again. So although often neglected and retired from daily duty, replaced by the Wompat, it does still have its place and use and not just within my heart.
Hopefully we have a lot of babywearing days left yet and get to venture into pre-school carriers, perhaps reviewing and road testing (first I'll need a lottery win) a few to banish the idea that you can only wear little babies and show case some of the amazing talent out there such as Up & Away carriers, Opitai, Monkey Mei Tai, Madame Goo Goo, Softai etc to name just a few of the immensely talented and creative sling makers out there.
I'll leave you with a few snapshots of The Toddler in our old Joey this evening.