"Nice Pleats!" And Other Code Phrases Babywearers Say


A skateboarder does the chin-nod to another skateboarder. "Nice deck," she says, nonchalantly. She may or may not actually like that particular skateboard. That is immaterial. What she means by her greeting is much more complex than those two words. 
"Wow, another person who might understand that this is my life, that this thing is more than a hobby or an interest. It is the bright spot in my day, the mental and physical oasis from the daily grind, the thing that influences how I dress and who I hang out with. THIS is an enormous factor in my identity in this part of my life. And you might actually get it. You do, right?"
Babywearing as a subculture has its own code phrases that mean exactly that. Just little things we say that are shorthand ways of reaching out to another person and acknowledging that they're exhausted by caring for tiny humans, too, and they have found a thing that is full of love for their babies that makes them happy and makes life easier in some ways. 
In an online community, a babywearer posts a selfie. She feels great about that moment in her life and wants to share. It's a lot of emotional work to open up and say, "Wow, it's so awesome how much you love your toddler and how great you feel right now snuggling him and caring for your new baby at the same time. I know that sky-high feeling. You are doing great! Right on!"
So I might just say, "Nice wrap job!" or "Great color!" or "Adorable!"
But what I mean, is yes, so much love. I understand because ditto over here in my world. Nice pleats. <3

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