Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Things You Can Learn from YouTube

A couple of months ago DOB determined that his ankles had reached the point that riding an exercise bike was no longer possible. This meant it was time to bite the bullet and get a gym membership so he could swim. (Without some form of aerobic exercise his general health deteriorates very quickly.)

There was one problem with this: He didn't know how to swim. In fact, up until a few years ago, he didn't even have enough non-bone-mass in his body to float. Several years of diligent feeding on my part have helped him somewhat, but it's still not easy. And the gym doesn't offer lessons.

This, of course, is no barrier to DOB if he has it in mind to do something. We hunted up some YouTube videos and a Dorling Kindersley book. (You can find those on any topic.) The YouTube videos were not entirely clear, though--one had good photo quality but all the instructions were in Japanese, another one was evidently done in someone's backyard by a bunch of junior highers. And books don't make motion clear.

The library has some videos of a college swim coach giving instructions; the video quality is terrible but the swimming instruction is pretty clear. So with these and a lot of experimentation, he is finally able to move forward. Literally.

I've been trying to figure out something from online videos, too: how to wear a baby on my back. There's usually a couple of fifteen-minute segments in a day where one baby is happy sleeping, playing on the floor, or being held by someone else, but the other baby is antsy though not currently in need of food. If I can get them up on my back quickly, I can use those fifteen minutes to make some serious progress in the dishes/meals/laundry departments.

After not making progress for some time, I asked for a demonstration from the Nigerian lady at church. She grabbed the handiest baby and a blanket off the nursery floor and had him on her back in no time, the blanket tucked in casually in front. "Now you're ready to go search for water!" she said. (Actually she now works to dig wells so that Nigerian women don't have to walk miles to search for water.) I could see that my problem was not so much a lack of theoretical knowledge or proper materials as a lack of having done this regularly since the age of ten.

But with a little practice and finally finding a video of a method that seems to be within my mechanical abilities, I'm finally making it work.

And the ducklings should not have any difficulty when they have kids. They already have it down with any handy blanket:

Updated to add: I hope an old post is OK to enter the Adventures in Babywearing drawing for the Noony & Boo sling. This picture is just too perfect!


Devona said...

If you're interested in a faster carrier that you can use at the same time as a pouch or ring sling in front I can offer a mei tai, made by me, in trade for something (books?). Then you can do this one:


These are the ones I make:


Carrie said...

Well y'all are a very ambitious and inspiring bunch!

Queen of Carrots said...

Devona~Thanks for the offer; I love your fabrics! Actually, Her Majesty (i.e. my step-mother) is sewing me two mei tais for Christmas from this pattern http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/asian.html (or that's current plans, I don't know how far she's gotten), but as neither of us have done it before, any insights you have on design would be welcome.

Devona said...

My only true insight is to be sure to double reinforce all the weight bearing seams. And it is useful to sew little loops on there so you can clip keys and pacis, etc on the carrier instead of a purse.

Oh, and if you want DOB to carry the babes pick a fabric that looks like a back-pack and make the body reversible. Men don't usually like pick and flowers. ;) Other than that the pattern looks pretty good. You'll love it.

the Joneses said...

I bought the neatest baby wrap when Daph was about four months old. I watched the video several times and thought, Huh. I can do that.

I tried. I couldn't. It looks so easy on the video, but nothing works the same way in my hands.

I finally mastered the front wrap. Then Daph decided she hated it.

-- SJ

Queen of Carrots said...

One disadvantage to the back carry nobody mentions is spitup down the back of your neck.

D3 really, really likes being carried in a wrap. D4 sometimes tolerates it, but is more interested in being where he can move. If I hadn't had D3 to practice on, I don't think I'd ever have been good enough to get D4 to go along with it.