Tag Archives: Ergo

Busing with two (not so) babies, part III

My two babies at a bus stop

Recently, it occurred to me that, at 20 months (or, “one an’ a haff,” as he says), Busling is long overdue for some baby bus nerd walk training. After all, Chicklet was months younger when I started forci—er, encouraging—her to walk on our outings, and it’s paid off. These days, she can hoof it a mile and a half (two, even) at my pace without blinking an eye.

I’ve been putting off walk training Busling, in part because he’s the baby (they grow up fast enough as it is!), but mostly because I simply do not have enough hands. I stubbornly cling to my beloved baby pack, despite the fact that Busling has been too big for it for going on eight months, because it leaves one of my hands free for luxuries like, say, carrying an umbrella. (The other one, of course, is hanging on to Chicklet.) And, there really aren’t any good alternatives.

I can’t wear Busling on my back because I’m just not skilled enough at the on-and-off maneuvers, and sitting can be a challenge with a person right behind you. Plus, he pulls my hair.

As I’ve mentioned before, strollers and buses don’t mix. That brings us to option three: traveling with two walkers. You don’t have to think about this option long before you start seeing the challenges. Ever tried holding two hands and, well, anything else? For that matter, ever tried holding a toddler’s hand for longer than 30 seconds at a stretch?

Well folks, I have.

Since last Thursday, we’ve been experimenting with Busling on foot–with the baby pack stuffed into the bus bag, just in case. So far, he’s done great. (The kid is a trooper, like his big sis.) Not surprisingly, he travels at an excruciatingly slow pace, but he hasn’t complained or asked to be picked up, not even on steep hills.

I couldn’t be prouder of my baby boy, but I already know it’s going to be a long fall and winter. I still have no solution for rain, shopping bags, or tired legs, and I can only fall back on the pack for so long before my back gives out. (If I’m still strapping the kid on on our walks to elementary school, please, call someone.) We’ve entered the bus parenting “awkward stage” I’ve been dreading since B was born, and I don’t foresee it ending until he is close to Chicklet’s current age (four in less than a month!).

The perks are still the perks, though. As with all of my previous challenges, I’ll keep trying—and keep you posted!

Speaking of bus chicks in training…

Riding the bus with Chicklet gets more fun every month. These days, instead of sleeping the rides away, she stares at people, returns smiles, looks out the window, and sometimes even tries to pull the bell. (She’s very advanced for her age, you know. Most BCiT‘s don’t go for the bell until they’re at least a year.)

She still rides in a front-pack carrier (good for keeping us close and my hands free), though we’re not using the same one we used for the first six months of her life. That carrier (a borrowed Baby Bjorn) was recalled by the woman who lent it to me; she’ll be needing it for her own brand-new baby.

The recall was actually a blessing, because, much as I appreciated the loan, the Bjorn was beginning to outlive its usefulness. It suspended Chicklet in an upright position, with her legs dangling straight down. This worked fine when she was brand new, but as she got bigger (and longer) her legs started to get in the way. Her feet rubbed against my thighs when I walked, so much so that on long walks, the color from my pants rubbed off on her outfits. And when we rode the bus, I had to force her legs into unnatural positions, against the shape of the leg holes, just to sit down. Neither of us found these positions very comfortable.

So, upon finding myself baby-carrier-less, I set about searching for one more suitable for bus riding. [I ain’t one to hawk products, but…] The one I chose, an Ergo Baby I found on Craigslist, has so far worked out quite well. Here’s why I like it:

• It holds Chicklet in a seated position, with her legs straddling my waist, elevated slightly higher than her behind. This keeps both of us comfortable and does not interfere with walking or standing.
• It has a sleeping hood, which I also use to block bright sun and rain.
• It has a zippable front pocket, which I use to carry my wallet, bus pass, and cell phone.
• It is easy to put on: a buckle at the waist and one behind the neck.
• It’s safe. (At least, it passed all of my indoor safety tests.)
• It comes in nice, neutral colors. None of those “hip parent” patterns that are supposed to be stylish and (unless all of your clothes go with leopard) require you to buy one to match every outfit.
• It’s durable and washable, which makes it a good product to borrow–from someone who isn’t planning to have a baby anytime soon–or buy used.
• Best of all: It transforms into a hip carrier and a backpack carrier, and can hold a child up to 40 pounds.

Whew! Looks like I’ve licked the baby-transporting problem for the foreseeable future.

Now if only I could figure out an equally elegant solution for transporting baby (and bus chick) stuff. Stay tuned…

Chicklet in Ergo (Photo credit: Espressobuzz
Chicklet in her Ergo Baby, after a 4 ride to the opening of Pryor Studios