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Hip Slinger

Cora’s in the midst of a rather
intense bout of separation anxiety, as I may have mentioned one or
twelve times. If I can slip out unnoticed she’s fine, but as
soon as she spies me after a long absence – say, a
thirty-second pee break – she bursts into tears and begins
jabbering frantically, filling me in on all the woes that have been
heaped upon her head while I’ve been gone. Sometimes
she’s content to play happily on her playmat, surrounded by
stuffed animals and chew toys, while I work in an adjoining room.
Other times, she needs to be near me but will entertain herself,
say, on the kitchen floor, while I step over her and keep up a
stream of conversation. In those instances, as long as she can see
me, hear me, occasionally feel me, and believe that she’s got
my attention, she’s fine.

But then there’s the other 70% of my life, when nothing will
do but that she must be held. By mommy. (And in those moods, hand
her to my husband and she gets a look on her face that’s
positively French in its contemptible disdain: “What is zees
Daddy zing? Sacre dieu! ‘E steenks! Pieu! Removez-moi
rapidement, s’il-vous-plait!” It would be quite funny
if it weren’t for the hurt look on Brian’s face.) And
listen, with a child rounding the corner rapidly towards 8 months,
this holding thing gets old.

You know me – I’m a big fan of
the soft carrier. I’ve got a Bjorn, a sling, an Ergo carrier,
the works – and I use them all. But none of them are quite
right all the time. The Bjorn, for instance, is great for walking
and sitting, but having her right in front of me is problematic
when, say, using sharp knives or needing to lean over a lot for
laundry or some such. Ditto for the Ergo carrier. The sling is
great, and Cora will cozy up in that thing and conk out if I need
her to. But it’s a bit bulky and can’t be crammed into
a diaper bag easily for when I need an extra pair of hands, and
while Cora loves it for snoozing in a cradle hold, it’s a bit
hot to her for the hip wearing.

Which is why I’m happy to announce I’ve got yet another
soft carrier – the target="_blank">PUJ (pronounced “pudge”) Go
. I got this puppy a couple months ago and have been
putting it through its paces. Why in the world do I need another
one, you might ask? Here’s why:

This thing is pretty dang tiny. That means it’s great to
throw in the diaper bag and use on, say, the airplane if Cora wants
to be held while she sleeps, or waiting in the ticket line, or out
to lunch with a girlfriend and your kid won’t stay still and
you want to cut your own food already. At this restless age, I
can’t keep Cora strapped into anything for long, and the
Bjorn and Ergo take a lot of fanfare to get in and out of, but this
is so quick and painless I don’t mind. If I know Cora’s
going to need “retreat” space and I’m heading out
for a long time I’ll take my usual sling, but the PUJ is
what’s in my diaper bag for that extra hand.

Second, Cora really loves the way it pulls her so snugly on my hip
without swallowing her in fabric. There’s less fabric here
than a traditional sling so it’s less all-encompassing, which
makes it ideal for the hip-sitting position. Cora feels free to
look around and gesticulate, and I have use of both arms whereas
with my usual sling one arms somewhat immobilized from the sling
fabric. So I put this baby to use when I’m trying to get
dinner ready, pay bills, sort laundry, whatever, and have to hold
the Clinging Kiddo at the same time.

Third, this sling is really easy to use, even for non-sling people.
There’s no loops, no snaps, nothing, which makes it easy to
get into by yourself. Again, a definite bonus in my book.

So if you’re looking for an extra helping hand, think about
the PUJ (I know I sound like a commercial but they didn’t pay
me, I swear!). It comes in some really cool, hip fabrics and is
definitely an asset to the busy mom.

My hair may have several days’ worth of grease in it; my
breast pads may not have been changed for a few weeks and are
starting to emit an unpleasant odor; my jeans (the only pair I can
fit into) may have several meals’ worth of prunes on them;
but dang it, I’ve got a cool baby carrier, so I look
stylin’ while I’m making that mac and cheese.


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