Thursday, January 7, 2010

The What-Are-You-Doing-You-Sick-Child-Molester Glare

I have breastfed in public for a total of 30 months now. Of course, much of my breastfeeding is done in private, but I have no qualms about pulling up my shirt to feed my kid in almost any public place.

I think it is a credit to Canadian UberPoliteness that I have not been subject to any negative feedback regarding my breastfeeding from strangers in public places. I have been subject to some very rude comments by family members, but not by strangers. Canadians tend to be silently horrified by things, and then go away and gossip about what they saw to everyone they know. Anyways.
I was at the chiropractor's office yesterday and poor sick Riley wanted to breastfeed. I didn't want to slow down my chiropractor's schedule so I asked him to wait until I was finished with my appointment, but I wanted to feed him in the office before I left for home. The waiting area is small and all four chairs were occupied, so I set my older kids up in the toy area and went into the spare room in Dr. Bob's office to breastfeed there. I quickly realized this was NOT an ideal setup, because my kids started fighting almost immediately in the waiting area where they were unattended. I stepped out into the hallway with Riley still on my boob, with my shirt covering the breast but it mighty obvious what I was doing. I sorted out Ayden and Matthew and then smiled at the woman who was STARING at me open mouthed from a waiting room chair. She didn't smile back. I returned to the spare room, finished feeding Riley, then the two of us walked out. The staring lady asked me, "How old is he?" and pointed at Riley. I told her, and she literally shuddered. She didn't SAY anything else, but she glared at me with the What-Are-You-Doing-You-Sick-Child-Molester Glare.

Huh. Interesting. There is a first time for everything, eh? And I was being sort of discreet for once, feeding him in the spare room!! Not for discretions' sake, but because of a lack of chairs--can you imagine if I'd fed him in the chair next to her? I kind of wish I had!! Lol!!!


ms emili louann said...

oh my gosh - i knew what this post was going to be about just from the title, before i even read it!

i hate "that" stare. i'm a pretty discreet person - i usually cover up with a light blanket - and i STILL get that stare when i'm nursing in public!

people need to get over it... put a blanket over YOUR head howabout...? jerk...

Asheya said...

I'm trying to think if I've ever gotten this look. I nurse Eowyn in public, so maybe I'm oblivious.

The main thing I get here in Nicaragua is that everyone thinks it's pretty interesting that I'm nursing BOTH children. A lot of people ask if they are twins, which is pretty funny considering Eowyn is twice the height of Amadeus and can walk.

The other day I was at the market and I caught a glimpse of a woman selling vegetables nursing a baby who looked to be about a year, with her breast just hanging out there. Nobody cared. It was AWESOME!

Breanne said...

Stupid, ignorant woman. Riley is still a baby! Babies drink breastmilk. DUH!!!!!!!!!

Dana said...

Maybe I'm oblivious like Asheya, but I have not noticed any negative non verbal feedback about breastfeeding, ever. And I'm so grateful to note that I also haven't received any negative comments, ever. I know this is unfortunately rare. Once Micah was more than a year, I started feeling a bit more self-conscious, right or wrong, and I would ask him to wait when we were in public. But if he wouldn't, I'd nurse him. With all my kids, if they're ok with it I do my best to be discrete, but feeding them is #1 priority and discretion is #2.

Incidentally, I walked through a good part of the check-in process at the airport on Tuesday nursing him under the sling.

lori lls said...

What cracks me up / annoys the spit out of me more than anything, is that people are so stinking tied to their miniscule views of the world. But you just can't sit down with people and explain to them that it's a rather modern idea to not breastfeed your children or to only do it for 6 months or a year. There's got to be a good one-liner we could come up with that respectfully informs people of this little factoid.

Sara and family said...

I get the looks, especially with Ryen the-I-can't-stop-moving-to-nurse-so-it's-impossible-to-be-discreet-breastfeeding-toddler. I stopped trying to be discreet. It's a boob. They are on every other poster/movie/tv/show.

The only place I really try to be a little less obvious is at church during service which is the place I get the worst looks and comments. Hello, my body was created to do this! Duh!

tamie said...

i LOVE how you take this kind of thing in stride. it's so hilarious. But also so outrageous, the way people are. Oh, man.

I'm with Lori. We need to come up with a good one-liner!

Caryn Ouwehand said...

You should have LOUDLY asked Ayden and Matthew if they wanted to "nurse before or after we drive home," on your way out the front door.

What a bozo.