Today my daughter wants to cuddle. And some days cuddling is just what we need to do. But, I admit, it sometimes saddens me when she has no desire to do any planned activities or independently play. While I do babywear, that is something I usually do when we go places… not when I am at home with her. In my head I asked her “don’t you know we are a hands on, learning family? Don’t you want to learn something today?” and those words made me realize I was missing the point. To wear her was for her to learn! By wearing her she is able to learn my daily routine, to learn what the world looks like from up here, to have her every need catered to in an instant.
Then I had the thought that maybe I am not wearing her, but she is wearing me. She is trying me on for size and learning a little about life that can not be taught through crafts, dexterity activities, or wooden puzzles. How did I miss this reality?! How did I miss that babywearing is a form of learning for my child? How did I miss it as a Montessori-inspired parent teacher, that this is such a great way to introduce practical life skills?
I have known that babywearing can help with respiration in extremely young children and that it uses the same muscles as tummy time. And really, the development of those muscles is learning, so I have no idea how I missed this connection. I guess needing to know that a mundane activity is learning is what really resonates with my educational mindset. That being said, I need to remind myself that having my daughter know that I love her and want her to be close should be enough.
So today, I am wearing my child. I am showing her my own practical life skills. I am sharing these experiences with her in a one-on-one manner where she gets to be involved. It is a world of “yes” instead of “no”. I do not have to tell her not to touch something and to only look, because that’s all she can do on my back.
I am wearing her as I stand at my kitchen counter typing this right now. She is learning how I spend my day as an adult. She is learning to be me. She is trying on a bit of my life and eventually she will get to choose if it’s the same kind of life for her. Until then, she is learning to dust, to clean, to load and unload the dishwasher. She is watching me fold clothes, dance to music in our living room, and sing at the top of my lungs to a great song.
Today I started out frustrated. I re-evaluated myself and my daily life and now I am feeling so accomplished, content, and tender-hearted. That baby I didn’t want to wear this morning is now asleep on my back and I would never give this moment up for any craft.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!