Just to shake things up

I was looking at the front page of this blog, and couldn’t help noticing that it’s all Silas, all the time. That wasn’t really my plan, but here we are. You know how August is kind of a slow news month, so your local station starts running stories like, “Local Woman Reports Cats Provide Comfort, Companionship”? Well, that’s kind of what my summer has been like. I’m in a bit of a holding pattern, right now, waiting for Little Bird to emerge. I’m doing lots of stuff that would be boring to blog about (deep-cleaning my house for the last time for a long time, editing an article for inclusion in a book about Renaissance drama, assembling stuff for a homebirth<–might actually blog about that, but not until that room is ready to go!), and some stuff I’m contractually bound not to talk about (contract work for Rosetta Stone), and some stuff that I want to keep secret for a little while (mostly gifts for people; I’ll post about them after they are given).

I’m sorry for the blond tyranny of the content around here; there are reasons, and it will change. I’m hoping that I will get some more tutorials–not all of them toddler-related–up pretty soon. I’m also hoping that, after I settle into the routine of mothering two, I will start taking on the kinds of jobs that I used to, and then I can write tutorials on things that are really outside of the normal mom/crafter blog milieu, such as, “So, you need to put a large man in a Victorian dress?”

And, of course, once we have two little ones, Silas will have to share the spotlight, which will break things up a little bit.

But anyway, just for a change of pace, here’s another cutie!

I asked Luke and his mama to help me model the Mama & Me Matching Mei Tais that I sell on my Esty site (yes, I know that the “customizable” banner is upside down; I’m testing to see if that will make people notice it).

Back when Silas was a tiny little sweet potato, I made that mei tai to carry him around in. I loved it–I could nurse in it, and he slept really nicely. When he was bigger, I could even put him on my back.

One day, when Silas was about three months old, I looked after my friend’s daughter, Elisabeth. She was about 2.5, and expecting a new baby brother in a couple of months. We were all curious about how she would act with the baby. It turned out that she was very sweet with Silas (and is a good big sister to baby James!). She kept bringing me his toys, telling me, “He needs his friends.” Elisabeth was quite fascinated with the mei tai, and loved that the baby was “all tucked in there.” For Christmas, I made her one of her own, just like mine. Two years later, her mama reports that she still uses it, and asks to wear one of her stuffed animals when Mama puts James in a carrier.

I thought this would be a really great “big sibling” gift. Most of the things I’ve seen that are designed for this purpose are basically shirts or something that say “Big Brother.” Silas has a few. For a kid who isn’t literate, that doesn’t seem to have a lot of impact. Sure, *I* think it’s cute, and I make Silas wear his Big Brother shirt to my midwife appointments (because that’s exactly the kind of dork I am), but I’m sure he doesn’t have any idea what it says. A big sibling gift that lets the older child play at taking care of his own babies, though, seems really sensible.

So, I made Silas a “big brother” mei tai.

And THEN, I realized that the leftovers from a grown-up mei tai were just about right to make a kid one, so I started offering the two of them together, at a discount. Since I didn’t happen to have two matching ones around, I borrowed Elisabeth’s, and convinced Luke and his mama to pretend Silas was part of their family.

I love this picture, simply because it sums up exactly what was going on at the shoot: Luke was looking around suspiciously, because, I imagine, he does not want a big brother. His mama was being lovely and gazing adoringly at both boys (which I’m sure did nothing to allay Luke’s concerns). Silas basically ignored both of them, and then spent the whole afternoon asking when we were going to play with “baby Luke” again. Lesson: Don’t try to plan a photoshoot when you probably should be planning nap time. 🙂

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