Yesterday, we headed to BeWILDerwood for Nephew #1’s 7th birthday.
It was a blisteringly hot day so we were really happy that the park is almost entirely under a tree canopy. It made the weather bearable and the day out very pleasant.
Two things in particular happened whilst we were there. The first was letting Reindeer have a go on a zip wire. This particular zip wire has a seat rather like the little kid swings do and, since he’s OK in those, I figured he’d be OK in this. And he was. He loved the zipping about and was laughing and smiling at the far end before it came back. The birthday boy had a great time pushing him so he had the fastest start each time! Reindeer only became a little unsure when it slowed down on the way back; I think this is because he could see me but thought it wasn’t going to reach me. I’m glad we tried this and will definitely do another run next time.
The second thing that happened was less fun: the buggy. For some reason, my mum is concerned that we don’t use a buggy for Reindeer. We’ve found the sling and the wrap to be so easy to carry around and use that we haven’t bothered with a buggy since he outgrew the car seat that clipped onto the frame when he was six months old.
Mum was so insistent on the phone the night before that I dusted down the buggy and brought it along to the park. Reindeer wasn’t keen at all. He started crying when we reached the ticket gate and wouldn’t stop until I took him out again. At various points in the day they tried putting him in there but he wouldn’t be distracted for long and always ended up crying to be let out.
I tried explaining that a carrier is just much more convenient but my Mum doesn’t really understand. She told me that nobody raises a child without a buggy and that Reindeer will be fine with the buggy if I keep practising. The ideas that I don’t want to faff with a buggy, that it’s more trouble than it’s worth and that Reindeer will be walking soon anyway, just didn’t cut it. I got a bit annoyed with her, which I’m not proud of.
On the way back to the car Mum came with us and pushed the buggy whilst I carried Reindeer. At one point we ended up on a path which was narrow, winding, steep in places and covered in protruding tree roots. This was a real struggle for Mum and we needed the help of the kind man behind us who took pity on our plight (or possibly just wanted us out of the way) and helped her carry the buggy to some fencing which we climbed under to reach a smoother path. I didn’t say a word, but if that doesn’t convince her that buggies can be a pain and aren’t suited to all occasions, nothing will.
I’m not against the idea of buggies by any means, they clearly work well for the majority of parents, but they just aren’t working out for us. It’s not all great just using slings and wraps, my back isn’t always loving it either, but we’ve adapted to our situation and I just feel frustrated with the suggestion that we haven’t tried hard enough to get Reindeer happy in a buggy. Does it make a material difference if he uses it or not? I haven’t read anything either way but would appreciate information if anyone has any.
I love my Mum and don’t want this to be an issue; she can’t carry Reindeer for long periods like I can (he’s about 2 stone and I can only do that because I’ve been building up to it for the last year!) and I’m sure she really just wants to be able to take him out like she does his cousins. I wish I had an easy answer – before having Reindeer it never crossed my radar that how you transport your baby could be such a contentious issue!
So, yes, a mixed day, but a good one overall!