Hmmm... I wonder now how many of those slingin' mamas I used to envy thought of me as not attached to my c/s babes while I was struggling just to walk in the store so I could make sure I had enough food at home to eat so I could keep breast-feeding?
I feel sad about the judgemental nature of some mamas assumptions about just seeing
a child in a bucket outside of the car. Granted, I did rarely go out at that point, so I guess the risk of being judged was somewhat lessened by the fact that I had no support so I couldn't always do the things we needed... so in that way, I guess I stayed mostly out of the AP eye
At home, all of our babes have been in arms- even right after surgeries, even if that meant that I had to be sitting or lying down for hours at a time. The very seldom that I did go out with dh, if he was unable to hold one of the babes, or after we arrived somewhere our ds was actually sleeping (!), we let him sleep in the bucket for the whole maybe hour that we would have been out.
I dealt with a lot of feelings of guilt and sadness following my sections and when I read what others think about a practice that was for survival as being indicative of neglect or lack of attachment (even if they grant that it isn't in all cases- they still considered it possible or even likley about me when they saw me at the grocery store...), I feel thrust back to that time, feeling sad again, wishing I hadn't succombed to scare tactics and had coerced c/s's, that I hadn't been so ignorant and I guess I should expect to be continually reminded of that for the rest of my life as others judge me for doing my best because it looks like someone else's (assumedly) worst.
HOWEVER: I do think that the cultural acceptance of leaving a child in a bucket can lead to parents who would otherwise be willing and able to carry their infants to not even consider slinging or carrying; it may lead to ignorance of the real implications of it's use; it may be the reason for some parents to never really have to change their lifestyle enough to recognise the need their baby has for physical closeness since they have nothing to compare and contrast. Some babies don't cry. Ours would never have stood for being 'left' in the seat when they were awake, but they weren't accustomed to being in it except for short periods of time and always in the car or while sleeping after the ride.
We have friends whose baby hardly left the seat for the first year of his life; he was obviously delayed in motor development early on and that persisted until he began to complain enough that they started taking him out (at around 11 months!). He walked late, he didn't have spatial awareness at his sides (never reached outward from his arms- just toward front- until much later, that is), and had all the typical signs of bucket-seat over-use. The child slept in it every night and spent all day in it too. I don't think their use of it was malicious or purposefully neglectful; they were ignorant and didn't have cultural or other impetus to change the way they went about their days since they could just stick him in and do what they normally do. It is sad, but I really don't think that this case can be paralled with mine. The two are so different, and yet even given their obvious neglect (though I believe unintentional), I don't judge their motivations toward their child; I know they love him. I know they try to maintain connection which is why the mama breastfed until she became pg with dc2, so dc1 was already past two. I think they lack education, and that some accepted mainstream practices allow them to continue in their ignorance.
I just don't think it's beneficial or kind to assume anything about someone's parenting or attachment from a chance encounter at the mall.