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Look at this picture and tell me what you see. Yes that’s right, you do see a proud mum with her cute little boy in a beautifully crafted, newly made sling on its maiden voyage.

Alfie in our first disasterous Mei Tai

Now ladies and gents, a question, what does pride come before?

No you eager little beavers, it does not come before a fall. At FTC pride comes before finding out that your delicate little flower of a son is allergic to the material you have just spent the last week, and several sewing needles, crafting into a perfect new sling for him!!!

This sling was my magnum opus, so you will excuse me if I am rather less than amused by Alfie right now.

I fell in love with a type of sling called the Mei Tai while we were at the Big Weekend and wondered over to a sling stall to find out how I could go about getting one for Alfie.

As an aside, I know we already have a sling, which I love, but frankly it just isn’t working for us anymore. The material is stretchy and Alfie is a chunk monkey and the end result is the poor mite gets a vigorous back massage from my knees whenever I use it.

Right so I'm at the Big weekend , and I go up to this smug looking sling seller who’s child is “perfectly at one with the universe” in this sling (I'm sure he wasn't but they had that look of smugness about them) and I thought I’d quite like a piece of that pie, rather than the rabid Jabberwocky my son seems to have become recently, and asked the man how much his Mei Tai cost.

He looked Keith and I up and down, smiled serenely with just the merest hint of smirk and said “sixty pounds”.

No fella, sorry, I didn't ask to buy your kid, how much for the sling? Y’know that square of material with 4 simple cloth straps you tie around you? The one I could make for far less than that myself? Sixty quid? Does that come with a free holiday perchance?

So no Mei Tai for me. But I wanted one, I REALLY wanted one because I just knew that it would suite Alfie and I perfectly, so we asked a lovely friend of ours who runs an upholstery business and he found some old material he could give to us and sent me off a happy bunny to make my own Mei Tai.

Unusually for me I was determined to do things properly. I printed off some rules, got a measuring stick and a pen and measure twice before cutting once. I pinned the seams – I know, it’s crazy talk – ironed them flat and sewed them slowly and carefully.

I went through 5 needles in total, because the material was so thick and luscious, but it didn’t matter because this was going to be the KING of Mei Tai. This was going to be the Mei Tai that those £60 feckers aspired to be!!

I had some issues getting the straps onto the main panel the material was so thick, so back to our friend I went and he ran them up for me in seconds. I think it’s fair to say I skipped home after that and put the final lining touches to the sling ready to go on its trial run yesterday.

I don’t mean to labour the point here, I just want you to understand the emotional investment that had gone into the smile you see on that face.

So last night, just after that photo was taken we all went meandering through the fields. We felt the last of the sun on our faces, watched the dogs acting like muppets as they chased each other round, Alfie looking serenely around him at the trees (SEE! Serene! I KNEW that sling was the answer!!) and then Keith had to go and say what I had been trying to ignore for the last few minutes

“Is he getting a rash on his cheeks?"

Right about then my head exploded because what my darling husband had in fact made impossible to ignore by his question was that yes, Alfie did now have a glowing rash on his cheeks, and they were very obviously caused by the straps on the sling.

So today I am sulking, and no amount of super cute family cuddle time before I Ieft will erase the basic tenet that I just spent a week making a totally useless sling.

Now bugger off the lot of you, I have worms to sit and eat.


  1. AnonymousMay 28, 2010

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo?! Nightmare. It is a fabulous sling though!

    1. It has taken me four years to have gotten over it enough to be able to reply. Actually I didn't see your comment, I'm really sorry. It was a horrible nightmare but as in all things happen for a good reason. If it hadn't been for this disastrous start I might never have become the wrap obsessive I am today ... wait what?


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