in benin (and most of africa), babies are carried on the back. no fancy baby-carrying-doohickies here. just a simple pagne (piece of fabric) wrapped around you and the baby, much like you’d wrap a towel.

i’ve decided this is genius. i mean, women do all kinds of things with babies on their backs here. they hand wash clothes, carry stuff on their heads, ride on the backs of zems, clean the house, cook over charcoal fires along the street… the list goes on. nothing about a baby slows a woman down, it seems.

so i was picking up some things from my seamstress last week and asked if i could tie her 7 month old baby to my back for a picture. she got SO excited. she gave him a bath and put on his very best “lacy” outfit. here is the result:

and now i’m thinking… you know… if i don’t get married in the next few years… i think i might adopt a baby. armed with a pagne, i’m pretty sure i’d make a good mom.


8 thoughts on “babies

  1. Susan says:

    There must be some trick to that…I would probably tie it wrong and the kid would slide out the bottom. Hopefully not whilriding a zemi, that would be bad. Opps!

  2. Crissy says:

    So cute!!I’ve been looking at versions of this for the new baby. There’s one called the Moby Wrap ( and another called Hot Slings (a little closer to what you are wearer but circular). Another version is the Baby Hawk Mei Tai – sort of a hybrid of the wrap and a baby carrier. Where were all these options when Baeleigh was a baby?

  3. E1st says:

    I think that you and Bess should adopt a kid together. start greasing the tracks for that contingency.

  4. Furstie, I shouldn’t have to remind you that we are both still OF CHILD-BEARING AGE. It’s kind of adorable, though, that your token male woman-on-woman fantasy takes the G-rated form of Lauren and I adopting a baby together.

  5. E1st says:

    OK, maybe you could inseminate yourselves simultaneously, then share in the joys of pregnancy etc. We can work out the logistics.

  6. lauren says:

    although i’m fully capable of baby making, personally, i would prefer to adopt if not married. so many babies without mommies already!

  7. E1st says:

    Seriously! The world doesn’t need more people; it’s getting crowded. It needs less crappy parents. You could replace a non-functional parent while not creating a new mouth to feed.I’ve heard that it’s extremely hard to adopt however.

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