9 months old; time for the stroller

9 months old time for the stroller Tears

Joshi’s first trip in the stroller

Mammahood can be a real lesson in letting go.

For the past 9 months we’ve been carrying Joshi in the baby carrier whenever we walk anywhere – going to the shops, while gardening or taking out the compost, putting out the laundry, walking along the beach with our feet in the water, and going for our evening walks around the neighborhood. It’s felt really special and intimate, having him so close and snug, hugged up against our chests. And so easy. It’s also been really fantastic at public events, like satsangs, as a way of keeping him out of mischief. Because since he started crawling (at 5 months) and then standing (shortly after), he’s been into everything. If we let him loose at satsangs now he’d be grabbing hold of the microphone and turning all those buttons on the amp. He’d be completely in his element.

Anyway, yesterday, after he’d been carrying Joshi for a good three solid hours during this crazy after-xmas-shopping-sales-spree, Simon didn’t feel up to carrying him again on our evening walk. And nor did I. My body needed a break. I’m not sure how much Joshi weighs now, but I’m guessing it’s around 12 kg’s. So we’re beginning to feel his weight a lot more, especially on long walks.

I’ve not been looking forward to the day when he’s too heavy or too big to carry in the baby carrier, because I’ve never liked the thought of using a stroller. However, I also realise that that day is inevitable. And of course, parenting is a journey of letting go. Joshi, like any child, is constantly changing and evolving, and I need to too. I can’t get attached to him being a certain way, or age or weight for that matter. Well, I could, but it won’t serve him, or me.

So today, we decided to give the ‘shopping trolley’ a go. By shopping trolley I really mean the stroller, but so far, since we bought it four months ago, I’ve only used it as a shopping trolley, mostly for carrying large numbers of fresh coconuts. So we hauled it out of the storeroom.

I was, much to my surprise, quite excited to try it out. Of course I wondered whether he’d take to it or whether he’d resist being strapped into this thing. Anyway, when we put him in it, he seemed pretty content. And during our evening walk, although he was physically much lower than he’d be in the baby carrier, I think he actually enjoyed being able to see everything with such ease. Hello panoramic views! He also had a big smile on his face when his mamma did a little dance for him …

Joshi smiling at his dancing mamma

While Joshi was happy enough, it was this mamma who had to adjust to the change. I found it really weird not being able to see his face. All I could see was the top of his little head. Secondly, it felt very strange having his body down there in the stroller instead of up against my chest. And thirdly, I felt like a complete novice when it came to navigating the trolley. Ooops, I mean stroller. Not only did it feel incredibly bizarre to be pushing my baby out into the road in front of me, I couldn’t just walk where ever I wanted to. During the last nine months of carrying Joshi I been able to easily nip up or down a flight of stairs, walk through the bush, walk with my feet in the ocean or over the rocks, squeeze through a crowd of people, etc. Getting around has been quick and easy – I’ve felt so freed up. But with the stroller I really had to get my new stroller brain on. Suddenly I had to look for the curbs, choose terrain that’s wasn’t too bumpy, make allowances for the extra space that was being taken up by this thing … and of course I no longer had hands-free like when I’m wearing him.

Well, at least he was ok in it. And on the plus side, we’ve had the joy of carrying him for the first nine months. And in the future, as he gets heavier, we’ll be able to resort to using the stroller whenever we need to. At least for now we can still mostly carry him and occasionally do a combo mix. Like yesterday, at the end of the walk when he was still wide awake, I put him in the baby carrier. Within five minutes he was fast asleep. I’m curious to see whether he’ll eventually sleep in the stroller. I guess once the novelty of it has worn off a bit, and if he’s really tired, then he will.

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