I believe in miracles

Thanks to the BabyBjorn, I now believe in miracles.

You’ve seen BabyBjorns, but you might not realize it. You know how you sometimes notice a dad walking around with a baby strapped to his chest in what looks like a horrific nursing contraption, and you feel sorry for the defeated dude because he’s obviously lost all pride and dignity and has probably been castrated? That emasculating carrier he’s wearing is a BabyBjorn. It comes from Sweden.


I made fun of dads wearing BabyBjorns until I became a dad myself. As a newborn, our son Eli was very sweet and very affectionate and wanted to be held all the time. Also, if he wasn’t being held, he would scream till our ears rang. We even discussed giving a three-week-old vodka and crushed up tranquilizers.

Sally got the worst of it. I had to return to work when Eli was less than two weeks old, and I’d come home to find Sally still in her nightgown, her hair greasy, her eyes ringed in purple, with Eli squirming in her arms.

“Here,” she’d say and hand me the fussy baby. There was no hello. No how was your day. No welcome home, husband. Just here.

After a few weeks, Sally, who was starting to go insane, pulled out a BabyBjorn someone had given us and slipped Eli inside it and just like that the sun emerged and birds tweeted and angels danced and Eli stopped wailing.

It was gift from heaven. Or maybe Sweden.

When I returned home that evening, Sally told me about the magic of the BabyBjorn and suggested I try it on, and I told her I was way too studly a dad to wear something so faggy, and she told me to stop acting like an uptight Republican, and I told her I wasn’t uptight, and she said fine then prove it and I said fine I will.

So I did. I put on the BabyBjorn, and I became an instant convert. Not only did the BabyBjorn quiet our perpetually fussy baby, but I liked having Eli warm and secure on my chest. That probably means I’m a fag.

The BabyBjorn liberated us in all kinds of ways. We learned we could vacuum and fold laundry and bathe the dogs with the boy inside the carrier. We learned we could go to the grocery store with our arms free and the baby silent. I even realized that I could urinate with Eli strapped to my chest. (I probably shouldn’t share that, should I? In my defense, Eli never complained, and I’m pretty sure he was splashed on only a few times.)

When we brought Slade home in late December, he slept and ate and almost never cried. There wasn’t a need for the BabyBjorn with an infant that easy going, and we’d sometimes forget about him. (That’s true, by way. Us forgetting. We’d be upstairs and one of us would realize that we’d left Slade downstairs in the dark alone, so we’d huff it down the stairs to find Slade, eyes open, staring into the black, perfectly content.)

But then things changed. Slade decided he liked being awake, and when he was awake, he wanted to held, and if he wasn’t, he’d cry till our heads throbbed and our eyes twitched and we once again weighed the consequences of feeding a newborn vodka and tranquilizers.

So out came the BabyBjorn and away went the gloomy baby. Just like that.

Tonight, for instance, I’ve brushed my teeth and used the toilet and read my new Bicycling magazine and written this post, all with the Slade content inside the pouch, warm and perfect.


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