Three kids. Over two combined years (thus far) of breastfeeding. On airplanes, while walking, on the Tube, by the side of the road, in the Enchanted Tiki Room. And the other day was the very first time.
I got called out for public breastfeeding. Oh, yes I did.
I was talking to the preschool director about some issues and she haltingly brought it up. “I am getting some comments about the breastfeeding,” she told me.
“Why?” I asked, already defensive. Sometimes, I feed Lilah on the benches outside the school or on the couches in the waiting area because she is shrieking and hungry after drop-off or before pick-up of her brothers.
“I don’t know,” the director told me. “I used to breastfeed everywhere. But I guess some of the kids are asking questions at home.”
“Well, if they want to complain, send them to me,” I replied.
“I think I took care of it,” she went on. “It seems to me it is a very natural way for them to see a breast.” Not, of course, that anyone sees much. My baby’s head is sort of blocking the view.
I suspect she was hoping I would offer to cover up to save her the headache of dealing with the complainers. She probably does not think I should have to but would appreciate if the issue resolved itself. Of course, we all know that most babies prefer not to be covered while eating, and I have yet to see a single baby sitting out front who is covered while drinking a bottle or a toddler with a blanket over her head while eating Cheerios.
I am not going to cover up. But, the question remains whether I should simply find someplace to hide while doing it. If it were just adults, I would say, “If you don’t want to see, don’t look.” But, these are kids who are always looking at everything, and the parents do have a right to raise their kids within their belief system.
As do I. So, I think I will stop feeding my baby in front of them as soon as they stop parading things in front of my kids that I don’t believe in. That means, no nail polish on their children, as I don’t approve of my kids wearing nail polish (a subject for another post). And they will have to pack lunches without any disposable items, because I do not use baggies or Saran Wrap. I expect to see the boys wearing pink on a regular basis, of course, since that is what I am raising my kids to feel comfortable doing, and we are now all adjusting our parenting to make everyone’s kids feel comfortable with my values.
Did I mention they’ll need to start buying organic produce?