So I have made an important discovery; that a surprisingly large part of the process of being a new mother is putting together what seems like a hundred pieces of new furniture, toys and gadgets. There are cribs, playpens, carriers, car seats, bouncy chairs and I'm sure I have only begun to scratch the surface. And each one of these wonderful "mother's helpers" has a 25 page instruction booklet that is just as easy to read as can be...as long as you don't try to make the pictures match the written instructions.
But by far my favorite one so far is the wrap. Now I was expecting something that would wrap around me. I wasn't expecting a fabric boa constrictor. A warning to those with claustrophobia; beware! What you are about to read is about as comfortable as walking through a turn-of-the-century mine.
First you start by unwrapping it from the plastic packaging...and unwrapping...and unwrapping. I began to wonder if I was going to discover an ancient mummy inside all of that material. But thankfully I finally reached the center. Then comes my favorite part; in order to use the wrap, you have to watch an instructional video. Yes, there are written instructions for one way to use the wrap but that only works for an older baby and besides, there are 4 other ways to put your baby in, all depending on the baby's size and what you find more comfortable. Who knew there were so many choices in the world!
Once you have unwound it, you start the process of re-winding it, around yourself. You start with it around your stomach (which, as a side note, really helps hold in that after baby tummy paunch.) Then you cross it over your back and cross again over your chest but under the piece over your stomach. (Another side note, once you are done wrapping, you won’t have a baby tummy paunch but you will have one made out of yards and yards of knit fabric.) Once you have that base, you finish by wrapping it around and around your stomach until you run out of fabric, then you cinch it up by winding it around 2 rings. This results in you feeling like the afore mentioned boa constrictor has made you its next meal.
My mom told me when I was a baby there were only three options: a baby carrier that would be uncomfortable to carry a lightweight doll in, much less a 10 lbs baby, use your arms and pray you don’t wear out half way through or call for back up. Ah, what a difference about 30 years makes!
But after all this, I have learned at least one benefit of all these "helpers"; you learn to be really thankful for simple things like staying home, where you don't need a wrap to carry your baby in and grandparents, who don't require a 25 page instruction manual to get to help out with the baby. That, I think, is real mother’s helper.