Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Got milk?

Nothing like reproducing to remind you that very little separates us from the animals (opposable thumbs, sense of self, reality television, etc.). Pregnancy is Cartesian dualism writ up close and personal - your mind's doing the usual things (barring the odd bout of spontaneous sobbing at particularly touching fabric softener commercials), but your body has gone AWOL and is not responding to orders:

Mind: Okay, time to tie up your shoes!
Belly: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA whatever.
Mind: Where the hell did that come from?!#$#
Floyd: [is late for work]

And then there's labour, where your body completely takes over, chasing your mind into a tiny little dusty corner, where it curls up, shaking, amidst rapidly fading memories of what it's like to be able to go more than three hours without peeing.

A life revolving around instinctual behaviour, bodily functions and satisfying the most basic needs for water, food, sleep and randomly howling at people - never before had I felt so close to my animal sisters. Never, that is, until I found myself breastfeeding in public.

Show-off
I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to - not because I have a problem with public breastfeeding, but because I have a problem with my breasts being public. And for the first few months, feeding in public was a tangle of squawking, squirming limbs and Winnie-the-Pooh blankets. On the one hand, no one made a fuss about it; but on the other, I'm pretty sure it's because they thought I was trying to smother a particularly bad-tempered hairless cat.

Flash-forward a few months - and there I am, sitting at the local coffee/hipster festival with nothing but a baby's head and a successful music career between me and a Janet Jackson-style nipple slip. And, despite my tendency to make everything political (movie nights! family dinners! the food choices of people in front of me at the grocery store!) this particular action wasn't. I was there, boob out in a public place, because at this particular point in our lives, it's the easiest way to feed my child.  No bottles, no battles, no cursing the Creator for giving humans a measly two arms...just me and my (no longer fussing) baby, sitting quietly and secretly envying how effortlessly cool everyone looks in their skinny jeans and pink high tops.

Did I offend someone with my public display of lactation? Maybe. But honestly, I barely have the energy to check my pants for spit-up before leaving the house, let alone concern myself with the delicate sensibilities of complete strangers in regard to a completely normal and unobtrusive action. And to be even more honest, people really do seem to have better things to do than get upset about it.

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1 comment:

Rikki said...

Ahh I love you! I'm so glad that you are writing and posting again. And hey, who gave you permission to post a picture of me and my babies breastfeeding! ;) hehe LOVE!