Monkeys and Elephants and Giraffes... Oh my!

I took the kids to the Telus World of Science today and we went to see the IMAX movie "Born to Be Wild". [youtube][/youtube]

You HAVE to see this movie. My kids loved it.

I loved it. A lot!

All day, all I have been thinking about, is how incredible those two women are to have devoted their entire lives to these precious and amazing animals.

And all day I have been day-dreaming about somehow doing the same thing.

There it is. My secret. My 'I wish I could do that when I grow up' desire.

I wish I could rescue and care for wild animals. Big, endangered, majestic, beautiful, jungles of South America and plains of Africa animals.

And the thing that you need to understand is that this wish didn't just start today.

In 2005, Natural Urban Dad and I took THE trip of our lives.We were invited to the destination wedding of a dear friend.

The destination? East Africa.

So off we went on the adventure of a lifetime to this incredible wedding in Dar Es Salaam and then a week-long safari through Northern Tanzania.  The whole trip was magical. And terrifying and eye-opening and spectacular and so many other big words that I can't think of right now.

I mean I stood at the very spot dubbed the 'Cradle of Mankind' for Pete's sake! It doesn't get much more incredible than that!

In the end though, it was all of the wild and wonderful animals that we saw on our week long safari through the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, that made the most lasting impression on me.

My love of all things giraffe was born in Africa. They were one of the first animals that we saw driving into the park that first day. The only thing I can relate it to is that scene in Jurassic Park when they see all the dinosaurs for the first time and they big sauropods are walking by almost in slow motion. Seeing a herd of giraffes doing that not 50 feet in front of us was like that, but way, WAY, better!

Going to Africa was our last big hurrah trip. Our chance to do something truly adventurous before we started a family. These thoughts about family may have been heavy in my mind the whole time we were on the safari, because every chance I got, I took pictures (FILM pictures, I must add) of baby animals. Baby elephants trying to keep up with their mommies and aunties, baby monkeys grooming themselves, baby hippos resting on their mamas backs, fuzzy baby giraffes trying to reach the tall branches on the Acacia trees. I would make our guide Ali, stop the Land Rover each and every time we came upon a baby anything so I could get yet another shot!

Heck I even took pictures of animals MAKING babies!!

I loved that trip so much and I promised myself that when we did have kids, and they were old enough, we would do it again. Watching the movie today and seeing the looks of wonder and awe on my babies faces just solidified this desire even more. Natural Urban Dad and I talked about it tonight and agreed that yes, we will all make this trek once again in a few years time.

I think, in an ideal world, everyone should stand at the 'Cradle of Mankind' at least once in their lifetime and be humbled by it and truly understand where we all come from and that we are all connected.  And everyone should see all of these magnificent animals in their natural habitats to really know what it means to be 'born to be wild' and know why that matters.

Because it changes EVERYTHING.

At least it did for me.

Asante sana,



Day 22 of the Summer Blog Challenge and now all I want to do is plan our next trip!

Let's go see what these people are up to...

Zita at The Dulock Diaries.

Meaghan at MagzD Life

April at This Mom’s Got Something to Say

Aramelle at One Wheeler’s World

 Jessica at 2plus2X2

and Liam at In the Now


 they do on the Discovery Channel!

I have been at a family expo/trade show for the past few days talking about, teaching and demonstrating all things babywearing.

As you know, I am a HUGE babywearing advocate and also a babywearing educator. I feel it is not only my job, but my duty as an informed parent and a babywearing professional to introduce, teach and otherwise promote babywearing to as many new, and not so new parents as possible.

I take my job quite seriously and I have been known on more than one occasion to chase down babywearing mom's and offer my services to do a quick correction for babywearing booboos. For the most part, my "interventions" are welcomed and I am thanked afterwards for my help in making their babywearing more comfortable or showing them the proper way to do something.

I never judge. I simply offer my advice and expertise.

Today I offered advice to a mom wearing a brand new Baby Bjorn carrier and a 22 pound toddler in a forward-facing carry. The kid was obviously (at least to me) in some distress. He was kicking his legs, flailing his arms and rubbing his eyes, all signs of an over-stimulated and over-tired baby. When I asked mom if she was comfortable in her carrier, she said she loves it. I asked her how long she usually wears him for and she told me that she can wear him for up to 2 hours in it! (I had a hard time believing her since the "lumbar" support on her carrier was up by her shoulder blades.) We talked about her pelvic floor health and also about his hip and spine development and still she insisted that they were fine and not interested in having him so "constricted" in a different kind of carrier.

I took the hint and let it go. You win some and you lose some.

As I headed back to my booth and relayed the incident to my babywearing booth-mates, the lovely Shanon Mozak of Metamorphosis (wrap carrier converter and dye-er extraordinaire) said to us,

"Look to the apes for how to wear your babies."

It was at once the most hilarious and most profound thing I had heard all day!

And she is not wrong.

According to an article published in Science Daily in December 2007,

...for safety, all nonhuman primates carry their young clinging to their fur from birth, and species survival depends on it. The carrying pattern changes as the infant grows. Newborns are carried clinging to their mother’s stomach, often with additional support. Months later, infants are carried over the adult body usually on the mother’s back, and this carrying pattern lasts for years in apes.

Sound familiar?

Look familiar?

Image credit: iStockPhoto/Graeme Purdy

And it is not only apes. Look at some the other animals that "carry" their babies.

So you see, it's not just me. It is the way Mother Nature intended.

Happy Babywearing Everyone!!