Paddling away in the womb
Of course I'm probably just seeing what I want to see but I've already decided to pick up the new MEC NAYA infant PFD to get him used to the paddling experience and have even started drawing up ideas more mini-paddles, bark canoe toys for bathtime, and a canoeing-themed mobile for the crib. Unfortunately, I've failed to convince the wife that instead of using a commercial basinet, I could make another birchbark canoe model for the little one to sleep in. The naturally curved shape of the hull could've been perfect to rock the baby to sleep but she just laughed off my suggestion nervously (which I interpreted as "no way in hell is our baby going to sleep that!")
I'm reminded of the fact that while reading The Indian Crafts of William and Mary Commanda by David Gidmark during my canoe building research, I came across his chapter on the Algonquin Tikinàgan or infant cradle-board. Apparently very few people were left with the skills to build these pactical infant carriers when the Commandas' work was documented in 1980 and an internet search today reveals precious little info on the topic. Wikipedia mentions it in passing on their Algonquin page:
- "For babies, tikinàgan (cradleboard) were used to carry them. It was built with wood and covered with an envelope made of leather or material. The baby was standing up with his feet resting on a small board. The mother would then put the tikinàgan on her back. This allowed the infant to look around and observe his surroundings, therefore start learning how everyday tasks were done."
Edmond Dube's Birchbark Tikinagan posted on Snowgoose.ca
Guess the bushcraft loving, nature freak in me is hoping my little one learns to the love the beauty of the outdoors as much as the old man...