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9/21/2006
Eating Sand
We went to the beach last weekend to enjoy the end of Summer weather. The boys had a blast, Hollis got dunked by some waves, and Holden ate about a pound of sand. I'll let you know if we find any diamonds in the diaper. I thought I'd write about our trip, but not just because of the excuse it gives me to post super cute pictures of my kids. Something notable actually happened while we were there.

About 30 minutes into our outing Holden stopped eating sand and insisted that I nurse him. Little H is 8 months old and a stubborn little guy so everyone knows when he is hungry and only Mommy milk will do RIGHT NOW! So, with everyone near us on the beach staring at my shrieking child, I retreated into our beach tent & nursed the baby. Side note here - Nursing Holden is like nursing an octopus lately - the hands and feet are everywhere - and we always engage in a tug of war over the blanket covering my breast. Holden thinks that Mommy should flash the entire world so that he can look around and occasionally stop to chat with and smile at passers-by. I prefer to have the world think that there is actually a sleeping baby under the blanket and not gape at my ta-tas in amazement and horror. Holden always seems to win. This time I actually succeeded in keeping myself covered and was congratulating myself on my victory over the shrieking octopus when the male half of a couple near us came trotting over to see why the screaming had stopped. Then he trotted back to his wife. I braced myself for the nasty comments I've heard oh so often. But then I had a lovely surprise - he told his wife that I was nursing and his wife said "Oh, that's so sweet!" Then they smiled at each other & smiled at me.

I'm sure they didn't realize it, but they made my day. In my 11 months of breastfeeding experience (3 with Big H and 8 with Little H), I have never once heard a nice comment from a stranger. I've had plenty of nasty comments, and even more disapproving stares, but this was the first time I felt supported in breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is pretty common these days so I'd like to think that people have become more accepting of public breastfeeding. Well if they have, I hadn't seen it. The comments and smiles from the beach couple took so little effort but they made me feel great about my decision to breastfeed. So the next time you see an exhausted looking woman out in public nursing, give her a thumbs up or a smile or a "way to go!" I'm sure she'll appreciate it.

Now I've got to go get Holden. He's crawled over to Hollis's sandbox and appears to be eating sand. Again.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The H'es are so cute!!! I know the tug o' war you speak of, as I play daily with Nora. LOL I'm jealous of your fabulous beach time.

Blogger ExPatSW said...

Twenty-five years ago when I was breastfeeding the looks and comments were appalling. I had hoped that things would have progressed by now but obviously not. It's been quite heartening to find that here most people don't even notice breastfeeding...it's very natural and commonplace. In fact, they had a bit on the news a while back about a breastfeed-in in assorted cities all over the UK. One small village had about twenty-six women show up, all breastfeeding. It was great!

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Blogger lildb said...

surf on, surfing mama.

p.s. breastfeeding - argh. why do people feel the need to dish out the derisive vibe? I'm glad you got some positive reactions this time, but I wish it hadn't been your first brush with that.

what a bummer.

That is great that that couple gave you a supportive comment. I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that women who breastfeed in public are so often looked down upon (even though it's legal). Our society is so screwed up when it comes to this issue. I look forward to the day when the supportive comment will be expected and the negative comment will be the exception.

Blogger PunditMom said...

These pics are great! And, hey, what's a little sand? Just some roughage! :)

And thanks for the link!

Anonymous milk goddess said...

i know where of you speak, i practice child-led weaning in breastfeeding and right now i'm still breastfeeding my 2nd (a toddler). i've come to learn that "no guts, no glory" applies as well when it comes to breastfeeding in public.

have done it while commuting, while dining out, in church (though we're seated at the back end of the church.)

all the while just thinking that this is my statement to all the mothers and would-be mothers. it is okay to breastfeed as it is "normal" for other moms to take out a bottle of formula anytime, anywhere.

you just go ahead, lawyer mama.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay for the + BF comment!

Say, Julia used to eat sand ... drove me crazy. Does it make your mouth feel icky like it does mine (imagining it)?

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