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  • Writer's pictureJose Arrieta

My Least Threatening Look

Measuring 400 by 60 cm, the Innobaby Baby Wrap is a wonder. Its grey T-shirt-like material is stretchy but sturdy enough to keep things tight. Tight is an important feeling when the most important thing in the world is held by a single knot and a couple of careful folds of this unassuming cotton cloth.

The Innoobaby converts me. It changes my body from a somewhat chubby brown dude to a loving, caring, and enamored father. The bump the source of my love forms on the wrap helps in the illusion. No one will confound my body with a threat.

Not being a threat is strange. Transgender men talk about the phenomena of becoming a threat. The fact that as they transition, they are withdrawn from the layers of care that help women from being attacked by people who look like them (after the transition) or like me (sans Innoobaby). They explain that after this exclusion, no one gives advice, no smiles are given to you, and people walk faster as they see you. I never truly understood this. It shocked me, but I never understood it until I wore my baby wrap outside for the first time.

On this occasion, I wrapped a miracle in the light grey fabric, stepped into the street, and anxiety rushed into my body. Is the wind too strong? Can she breathe? Is it too warm, too cold? Is she breathing? Oh God, is she breathing?!? She was. She is.

It took a while, but I continued my Odyssey to drop a letter to the Post office. As I walked, children got closer to me, moms smiled at me, people asked if I needed help, and Old women talked to me at the traffic lights. I was even asked if I'd wish to go first in the line in the Post office. People wondered at the wrapped miracle that hugged my belly.

This was endearing. I tried to replicate it, but it has never worked the same way. Having a stroller does not portray the miniaturesness of a newborn miracle. If I lose four Kilos, no one would notice. But if I lost her, I would have lost myself. Her four kilos were everything, and they had the power to change how the world could see me.

One would imagine that the more, the better, but now, at six kilos, the effect is not the same. She is now a baby, a toddler, a future person. She has grown two kilos of protection around the miracle. Her wonders will never again be as exposed as that day.

As prospective parents, we are told millions of times to cherish the early days as your miracles will never be the same again that they go so fast. That you should make time for wonder. You prepare yourself, do a spring cleaning of your heart, get cameras and protection, but it is not enough. You blink, and what you are left with are just memories of a tiny human who lived with you.

And don't get me wrong. What is left after these early days is joyful and grand. I love my daughter more than anything I could write right now. But I've grown callous in my fingers, I know her deeply, and I wonder for her, for her future, I wish. Back then, I just was, I could not open my eyes enough to let the wonder fill my every cell and change into one of wonder.

And I was not alone. Anyone who could gauge the tinyness of my little bundle of joy could share in the marvel. They would forget who I was for the first time ever and open themselves to share in the marvel. But only while wearing the Innobaby Baby Wrap, with any other transport system (Maxi Cosi, Joolz Geo3, Ergobaby) my brown, tall, chubby nature remain too big of a barrier for people to lower their barriers and join in the joy that is my child.

I give the Innobaby Baby Wrap Five stars.

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