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.