Crispi and I attempted a field trip with the kids to the mall the other day. I still get kind of worn out pretty quick, so we figured the mall on a Monday afternoon would be reasonable; it’s close, it’s climate-controlled, most folks should be working or in school, and the mall currently houses both the Easter bunny and the carousel. Those of you with kids know the drill: you do your best to plan ahead and make sure everyone is as fed, watered, dressed, and packed for disasters as much as possible. Felix Van Winkle refused to wake up long enough to really nurse, but we reached the point where we really couldn’t wait on him and pressed on with the outing.
Of course, about 5 minutes in the joint, he wakes and starts wailing. All other efforts to soothe him failed. He wanted to eat, damn it. I actually blame stupid Abercrombie and Fitch. The horrendous cloud of skanky man-perfume stink that emanated out of their doors and into the mall itself ought to be covered by the Clean Air Act. It’s beyond obnoxious. I think it burned Felix’s tiny new nose to a crisp. WTF are you supposed to do if you are young, tacky, and scrawny enough to buy a garment there? Fumigate it first? Sorry. My nose still wants to bleed from that smell.
Anyway, we found an area where Stella could play – this pitiful little indoor playground area which thankfully held a few other little kids she could romp with, and I found the most secluded bench I could to nurse the baby.
I’m not one of these boobist moms who will just whip it out and go. I’m just not that comfortable exposing myself. I thoroughly believe in nursing and intend to nurse Felix at least as long as I did Stella (14 months) barring any disaster. I think it’s an awesome thing to be able to do for your kid for the potential health benefits alone if you are willing and able. That being said, I just will not take out a tit and feed my kid outside of my home or in front of anyone but Will, my mother, and now Stella. So I had to reach for the nursing cover at the mall.
I had forgotten how awkward and HOT those things are. I kept one edge pulled back from Felix, afraid he’d suffocate in there, sometimes even blowing cool air on his face. Nursing in public just bites. With Stella, I had the option of going to the car where I could climb in the back seat, blocked by tinted windows, and nurse away. Now my back seat is bloated with 2 car seats. There goes that idea.
I wish I could just get over it and go about my milky way. Rationally I know it’s natural and healthy and even defines us as part of the mammalian class. But the boobs are mine. And my children can borrow them while they’re small and hungry. That’s it. I don’t even like to pump in front of anyone, but it’s hard to avoid Will and Stella there sometimes. I’ve already mentioned how startled she seemed when she saw that for the first time. I feel certain there will be some interesting dialog about that at some point.
Just yesterday morning Will sighed when he saw me nursing Felix for the umpteenth time that morning. He exclaimed “Damn it. You have your boobs out more than a drunk college student at Mardi gras.” That’s funny. Yeah. If only I could be that way at the mall.