I just discovered that the Infantino SlingRider that we SWORE by with our infant was recalled about a year ago. I feel slightly better about the fact that my kid was being carried around in a defective sling because, apparently, only those sold after July 24, 2006 are affected by the recall. Ours was sold sometime before that because I know we had it when The Boy was born on July 20, 2006. But I'm not sure how much difference a couple of days makes. What if my baby had been the one with the fractured skull? Never fear, Red Thing to the rescue!
This is pretty much what the sling looked like and I tell ya, we couldn't get Garrett to nap sometimes to save our lives unless we shoved him into it. Once he was sound asleep in the happy sling we could take it off and lay him (still inside) in his crib or on a couch or, in Troy's case, a doorknob, and the kid would sleep for at least an hour. He simply loved to be in his sling. But you don't want to go killing your kid with the SlingRider (actually, they've fixed the defect and so I highly recommend them) and The Red Thing is half the price. Simply tie the two ends around your neck and you've got a Magic Sling.
The truly amazing thing, however, is that it doubles as a toddler sling. I think expectant mothers should be put through The Drill. You know the one. Your husband is on his way home from work and you're trying to get dinner on the table. Your toddler is hungry and growing weary. You're bouncing from the oven to the pantry to the stove to the microwave in hopes that everything will be finished at approximately the same time. You're trying to set the table, get out the vitamins and get drinks and your toddler is getting precariously close to grabbing the burner, dumping the silverware drawer, and pulling your pants off as he climbs your leg. You get the urge to drop kick him halfway across the room. CAN YOU PLEASE GO GET A BOOK OR WATCH THE CARTOON I TURNED ON OR MAYBE, HEY HERE'S A NOVEL IDEA, SET THE TABLE! You say this through clenched teeth because you really don't think that drop kicking is the answer. The toddler sobs as he continues climbing your pant leg. You realize that the back pocket he has managed to grab hold of is dangerously close to ripping off and tears are rolling down your toddler's face as he mourns, "Maaaaammmmmaaaa," and your vegetables are about to start burning. You lift him up, brush his tears away, and decide to just hold the snot nosed booger--he's your sweet precious and growing up way too fast little tiger, what else could you do? That's the scenario that The Drill will prepare expectant moms for. Because, let's face it, we're prepared for the newborn but the toddler is a whole other ballgame. It might even be another sport altogether. Problem is, now that you've picked up the kid, you're down an arm and you really do need that extra hand for stirring, setting, pouring, etc. If only you had a third arm growing out of your torso...or a Toddler Sling:
The toddler sling ties around your neck in much the same way as the Infant Sling. Place a portion of the Red Thing under the toddler's hiney and you've got two free hands! (Side note: I wasn't allowed to say the word "butt" pretty much until I moved out of the house. I can appreciate that for children and toddlers. I mean, what's worse than a little kid referring to his or her hindquarters as a butt? Don't even get me started on using the word "fart" if you're under the age of about ten. It just sounds so crass coming out of the mouth of a child. But it was pretty awful to have to refer to my buttock region as a fanny or a bottom or a hiney when I was seventeen. And if you know my parents, don't blame my mom for that one. My dad just doesn't like the word butt. At all. For whatever reason. Now that I'm 26 I find it rather endearing. Not so much as a senior in high school.)
Did I mention that my cousin, Brian, saved a bunch of Cars toys out of cereal boxes for my kiddo? Well he did and Garrett has absolutely fallen head over heels in love with the little Mater. He's decided that where he goes, Mater goes. This includes bedtime. At first I tried to fight him on it and then I thought, "Why the heck do I care if he has a tiny little car in there with him. Pick your battles, lady. It's not like he wanted to take Evie the feral cat to bed with him or a butcher knife. It's a car! Let him have the car in bed with him now and fight him on the important things like flossing and not smoking pot." So, he climbs into bed with Mater in a vice grip. And in the morning, before we hear so much as a peep from his mouth, we hear the squeaking wheels of Mater being driven around his crib. Here is a picture of him right after I laid him down for the night. Just a boy, a blankie, and a Mater.