I can’t remember the last time I wore Hawkeye in the sling. It was sometime late last autumn because he liked being taken to creche on his push-trike that he got for his birthday, and when the steering on the trike broke, we began to use the stroller because the weather was cold and although I have a babywearing coat I was just too frazzled during the winter this time around to deal with it. And more often these days Hawkeye prefers to walk home in the evenings anyway. And then when the weather began to slowly warm up I twisted my ankle and then seized up the muscles in my neck and shoulder for a while so a toddler in a sling, even a good, ergonomic toddler-sized one, seemed like a really bad idea.
And oh boy have I missed it.
We went on a train ride today and to avoid the hassle of the stroller on the DART I asked Hawkeye if he wanted to try the sling again. I am not sure he remembered what I was talking about but he didn’t protest vigorously, and although he had a moment of panic going up he quickly adjusted and wrapped his hands around me and began laughing as my hurried gait started bouncing him up and down in the carrier.
We missed our train, and even though it ended up altering our plans somewhat, in the end I was absolutely grateful for the delay because I got to spend almost twenty minutes sitting on the platform, leaning forward with Hawkeye hugging me from behind and quietly resting his cheek on my back as we waited for the train. He was so remarkably calm (I had expected agitation as he doesn’t like sitting still in one spot much, particularly when restrained) that at one point I actually asked him if he was sleeping!
It was a breezy, overcast, tranquil, and absolutely perfect twenty minutes. He’s not likely to let me carry him often, being a fan of his independence, but I will treasure every minute that I get to have him that close to me.
I can’t take any credit for the “wear a hug” expression. I have no idea where it originates, but wearing a hug is how babywearing is often described by those who do it and love it, and there is even an annual event in Ireland called the Wear a Hug Fair which is organised by Babywearing Ireland, a non-profit organisation devoted to promoting safe and comfortable babywearing habits.