A few weeks ago I took Sadie to the park. I don't really enjoy going to the park; however, I noticed both of us feeling stir crazy by 10am and decided the park would be a good way to get some energy out. The park was slammed when we got there. Kids were running everywhere. Moms chatted as their children played. I quietly followed Sadie around. After ten minutes Sadie demanded food by repeatedly telling me she was hungry.
I pulled out a Costco size bag of Pirate's Booty. The bag is almost the size of Sadie and only a fifth full. She walked around with the bag in hand snacking and watching the kids play around her. A toddler about the same size as Sadie approached her for a snack. The little girl is cute, hungry and obviously still figuring out how to walk.
Sadie looked at her and decided to share her snack. As she offered morsel after morsel of food I started to nervously tell Sadie it might not be a good idea to feed her since we don't know her food allergies. I also started to look around for her mother. As the words came out of my mouth the only man at the playground speaks behind me, "oh, it's okay, she can eat that." I'm surprised by the hipster claiming ownership of the little girl. His grande iced coffee and too-cool shades do not fit into my preconceived notion of what parents in the playground look like.
Then he steps up next to me and starts a conversation. I'm already feeling a little uncomfortable. I'm in my it's-too-hot-i'm pregnant tank top and short shorts. I'm dressed for the park and the heat, not for modesty. This means my large ready to start nursing breasts are gloriously displayed in my low cut tank top. I'm also not used to speaking to random men. I have a core group of man friends I've kept over the years. One by one as they get married the friendship understandably cools. They have wives and I'm happy for them. They will always have a special place in my heart. My life is now filled with many women friends - other mothers and wives. I have not made any new male friends since marrying Logan almost three years ago.
We make polite conversation and somehow we get on the topic of breastfeeding. This is when things get awkward. This man is telling me about his wife and her difficulty with nursing and I can't handle it. I think of myself as pretty open minded. I have even been known as "bawdy" back in the day. Marriage has tamed the wild. The moment he mentioned in passing how great the nipple guard was I couldn't handle it. He used the word NIPPLE.
I think my eyes crossed and my heart fluttered and I almost passed out. Thankfully I was able to pull out my smelling salts from my sleeve and compose myself. When I pulled out my fan to cool my reddening cheeks I knew it was time to bid him goodbye and sashay to another conversation.
Well, maybe the last part isn't true. However the conversation did die after the nipple guard came up.
In hindsight I wonder if I was wrong in my obvious discomfort with the conversation. It's just nursing. It's just boobs making milk to feed my child. Maybe I'm the awkward one who sees my breasts as sexual when really they are created for the purpose of feeding my child?
Did I mention last week was World Breastfeeding Week? Here's a link: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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