Carrying a heavy load

Call it a weak moment. Or maybe it was just sheer desperation. After spending most of Saturday morning and the early afternoon with baby Dimitri, I was ready to move around and get things done. Thomai and the girls were out and about and it was just the men of the family holding down the proverbial fort. Dimitri had hit his limit for sitting around and he was letting me know it, too. Going outside wasn’t an option because it was pouring rain and we’d already watched way too much television. Let’s face it: you can only watch so many of those Investigation Discovery shows back to back before you start to wonder which one of your neighbors is going to hire a hit man to stab you with a fondue fork so they can inherit your grandfather’s secret gold mine. (Really, that’s how weird it gets, folks.) Anyway, at some point in the day I got the bright idea to dig out the baby carrier that we bought before Dimitri was born. I figured that since the little guy absolutely wouldn’t tolerate another moment on his back or in his baby swing, maybe he’d enjoy being carried around the house while I tried to make a dent in my laundry list of chores…which ironically included doing some laundry.

After an extensive search around the house, I found our Infantino Swift Baby Carrier. I did not, however, find the instruction booklet that came with it. But I have a master’s degree, so I figured I could safely tackle this one without much help. After I got all the straps, Velcro and clips straightened out, I loaded my squirming, 12-pound sack of potatoes into it and, believe it or not, he was quite content with the whole situation. The carrier can be worn either on the front or the back. I picked the front, particularly because Dimitri has been spitting up a lot lately and I wanted fair warning just in case he blew up like some miniature geyser that only shoots lukewarm cottage cheese.

Dimitri loves being carried around and seeing everything there is to see, so I was already feeling like this was a great arrangement. In fact, it was a nice 20 to 25 minutes we had with this thing and, while the conventional wisdom might have held that it was my back that would bear the brunt of the strain, I didn’t experience a lot of discomfort from my shoulders to my caboose. There were limits to what we could achieve as a team, though. My efforts at packaging up some books to send out in the mail reminded me just how observant and curious Dimitri is, as he was very interested in the shiny (and sharp) scissors I was using to cut up bubble wrap. So, I had to keep my work at a pretty fair distance to ensure that his fingers still numbered into the double-digits. Picking up stuff, doing a few dishes and all that went just fine, too. But the big problem at my end was that both of my arms started going numb after just a few minutes. The left arm got it much worse than the right and I suspect that has something to do with the placement of the straps. By the time I felt like I’d done enough chores to earn a rest, Dimitri seemed ready to call it quits, too. The numbness in my arms turned to pain for a little while but by early evening, I was feeling okay.

It was definitely time well spent but there’s obviously something I’m missing with how to configure the thing. With a little more trial and error—or maybe just with the help of the freakin’ instructions— this carrier is something that could come in very handy again in the near future. I used the carrier again today with much better results. We cleared out the dishwasher and I fried up some salt pork for lunch, being careful to keep Dimitri at an angle (and a distance) from the stove when we’d flip it. One of the keys to using this and avoiding discomfort is providing a little extra support for Dimitri with alternating hands. I can still get a lot done because I am not completely using the strength of one arm to carry him. All things considered, I think this contraption is a keeper and if I was to “officially” rate this thing, I’d give it three out of four seasons.


This entry was posted in fatherhood, Society of the Seasons and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.