To All the Ones I’ve Mocked Before…

Dear Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies,

This isn’t easy for me to do, but I would like to offer you my sincerest of apologies.  For so long, you had been the object of my judgment and scorn.  This surely would have kept you up at night, except it was that special kind of silent, passive-aggressive Midwestern scorn.  So you never knew that all this time I thought you were a bunch of lazy jerks.  “Look at those lazy jerks!” I’d say (under my breath, of course – because you know…the whole ‘Midwestern thing’).  I’d pass by you and your tethered offspring in public places and imagine smugly asking, “What breed is he?  Did he come with all his relevant AKC paperwork?”  I’m sorry, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies, but I can be a dick like that.  To me, that weird little child-harness represented the ultimate in parental failure.

And then I had a baby.

And then that baby turned into a two-year-old.

A two-year-old who scales walls like Spiderman on Pixie Sticks.

 

I had you all wrong, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies!  I get it now!  You weren’t lazy at all.  Was early man lazy when he invented the wheel?  Was Stephen Hawking lazy when he built a keyboard that lets him talk like a space robot?  Hell no!  They took stock of their situations, and through sheer gumption, tipped the scales back in their favor.  You recognized similar hardship,

and responded with what is essentially a dog-harness with a plush animal on top – a solution elegant in its simplicity.  And then, I can only imagine, you sat back and had a hearty laugh at parents like me; hurtling after our children as they lay waste to any and all non-baby proofed spaces in their path.

It’s from Target, so it must be normal. Right?

The mind boggles at the world of possibilities suddenly available when the feral toddler is contained.  Oh the places we’d go!  Faberge Egg museum?  Sure!  Knife-throwing convention?  Sign us up!  Just think of the life I haven’t been living!

In closing, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies, I humbly ask your forgiveness.  While I may not be running out to purchase an Elmo-themed restraining device, I feel like I understand you now.  I promise, no further judgment from me.  And so, Parents-Who-Use-Those-Kid-Leash-Thingies, I leave you with one final request:  the next time you find yourself at an outdoor café, leisurely sipping Chardonnay with the leash tied to your chair, please, pretty please, have a drink for me.

Sincerely,

Jeni Kramer

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Moby Wrapped

“Do you already have a Moby Wrap?” asked a well-meaning, fellow mom friend.  It was one of our first post-baby social outings with screaming infant in tow.  We’d made the arduous two block journey to our friends’ home, in the car of course (the solitary white cloud in the otherwise clear sky threatened to erupt into sprinkles at any second.)  My husband and I knew had come to know this couple well in our former life.  Due to the sheer frequency of our drunken outings, we had managed to forge quite a solid friendship despite the backdrop of incessant debauchery and dirty rock bars.  They were veteran parents compared to us (they had survived a whole 18 months!) but it was still mildly alarming how quickly the conversation shifted from old topics to poop and colic.  Like instantly.

“A Moby Wrap?”  Having grown all too accustomed to pretending I was well versed in high-end baby paraphernalia, I automatically launched my go-to defense strategy.  “Well, I thought we would wait to see if he seemed like a (insert random gadget here) kind of person.  You know, you really do have to meet them first…”  It was, of course, utter bullshit.  Realizing I was in a safe place, I stopped myself.  “Wait, what the hell is a Moby Wrap?”

That seemingly simple question, launched the most elaborate lesson ever conceived on what could be done with a 3 1/2 yard piece of fabric.  For those not yet familiar, the Moby Wrap is somewhere between a sari and a straightjacket.  When you follow their easy 138-step wrapping instructions, it somehow miraculously becomes an infant carrier.  That’s right, it’s just that easy!  And for a shade under 60 bones, this stunning piece of infant technology can be yours!  A steal, really.  Throughout the tutorial, I stared blankly as I fought mental imagery of a swaddling pop-techno icon, Moby, strapped to my chest like a snuggly little tumor.  A tumor with hipster glasses and vegan footwear.

The reality of the apparatus was infinitely more palatable.  After several attempts that left me looking like a yarn tangled kitten while my newborn, obviously unsympathetic to the Moby Wrap learning curve, wailed impatiently.  When I finally managed a correct wrap, I stuffed him in.  Much to my amazement, he actually seemed to enjoy it.  It was a bit uncomfortable, as “wearing” an infant on an 85 degree day is akin to strapping a piping hot, well-basted pot roast to your chest.  But he was peacefully sleeping and I had two free arms for the first time in weeks.  As I used those newly liberated limbs to tackle long neglected dishes, laundry and cleaning I thought, “Bless you Moby, you beautiful, bald son of a bitch.  Bless you and your magical wrap too.”