Bejewell on May 11th, 2012

Okay. So. This thing about the breastfeeding.

There she is, y’all. The perfect mom. She’s skinny and pretty and her boobs are still perky even, somehow, with a three-year-old kid attached to one.

Yep, there she stands – all “HELL YEAH THAT’S MY BOOB, BITCHES” – provocative, defiant, blah blah, while Internet moms falling squarely on one side of the fence or the other sharpen their pitchforks and light their torches, blah blah… and Time Magazine executives sit back and watch sales skyrocket, blah blah blah-dee blah blah.

Breastfeeders: “It’s about time! Go, girl! Other moms stink! Breast is best!”

Non-Breastfeeders: “STOP JUDGING ME YOU SKANK.”

Time Magazine: “Eeeeeeeeexcellent.”

Now I suppose, if pressed, I would land softly upon the grass of the nonbelievers, but that’s really WAY less about my personal feelings on the issue and more due to a very persistent rebellious streak that sounds a screechy alarm inside my head whenever its Sanctimonious Ass-O-Meter reaches critical levels.

I simply don’t like ANYONE AT ALL EVER telling me what I should or shouldn’t do. I just plain don’t like it, never have never will – and my flight response when it happens is legendary.

(See also: Religion.)

The truth is, I tried breastfeeding but just kind of sucked at it (no pun intended).  I gave it the good old college try and marked time until I could hang ‘em up, which I did swiftly and without guilt after putting in my requisite 8 weeks (plus an extra two, just to prove I really meant it).

Does that make me a bad mom? I don’t think so. In fact, I think I’m a pretty good mom – and to prove it I’ll point you to Exhibit A: my extremely healthy, happy, outgoing, well-adjusted five-year-old, who is SO perfect he could even give Perky McPerfectboobs up there a run for her money. (And while I suspect his perfection’s more about nature than nurture… I still could have made a real mess of this by now and I haven’t — so credit where credit’s due, and all that.)

If you’d still like to argue the point, I’ll now invite you to stare at this picture for 30 seconds, click on it and read him in his own words, and then please to suck my left nut.

The fact that I’ve managed to produce a perfect child without breastfeeding him into his twenties isn’t the point, of course. Nor is it my point that all women should (or should not) embrace attachment parenting (or the opposite) as either the best thing (or the worst thing) ever ever ever in the history of the world ever (period and amen).

No, my point here is this:

PLEASE PUT YOUR BOOBS AWAY.

I have a five-year-old, y’all. A five-year-old who’s very curious and very precocious and just happens to be showing a lot of interest lately in the differences between boys and girls and how babies get in bellies and that sort of thing. A llllllllot of interest. And all these boobies getting thrown around on TV, on magazine covers and in front of Panda Express at the mall have REALLY got him wondering.

Now, I’m not scared to talk to him about these things, most certainly not – in fact, I kind of welcome the chance to educate him in my own words before some douchey playground know-it-all decides to take care of that for me. However, I would like to exercise as much control as I can over when and where those conversations take place, and your boob poking right out there in the middle of the food court, or staring down at us from a magazine rack while we unload groceries at the checkout line, is yanking what little control I have left right out from under me.

So, please. For the love of all things easy and pleasant and non-controversial. IX-NAY ON THE OOBS-BAY.

Okay?

If attachment parenting is your thing, I applaud you. You are clearly better at the breastfeeding thing than I ever was so yay, you. I can only assume that you’ve thought this through, done the proper amount of research, and made the decision that’s best for you and your family. As a result, I’m sure your child will grow up knowing that his mother loves him and has done her best by him. Yay for you both. You’re awesome.

But — and I’m sorry for this, I really am — I just don’t want my five-year-old to see your tits today.

Let’s be clear. I have nothing against boobs. I LOVE boobs. I especially like my own, but I’m sure yours are wonderful, too. They’re terrific on many levels. I am grateful for mine, yours, big, small, long, short, stretchy, plastic, whatever. Yay, all of us, for having boobs!!

I will someday teach my son to appreciate the beauty of them – of the entire female form, in fact. I’ll explain to him the miracle of childbirth and help him recognize the wonder of the mother-child bond. I will do my best to de-sexualize the breast for him in this context, so that he sees a mother feeding her child as an act of nurturing beauty, with no stigma attached. I promise you, I will.

But right now? The kid is five. With the curiosity of a Cheshire and a verrrry vivid imagination. He’s also saddled with two parents who, combined, have the maturity level of a 14-year-old and can’t stop saying “that’s what she said” or high-fiving when someone farts. Do we REALLY need to throw a pretty lady’s boob (with kid attached) into this mix?

I think not.

Call me a prude, call me a killjoy, call me 1986 Tipper Gore. For the next few years I can live with that. I will OWN it. I will wear the dunce hat in the corner, I will sport a big nametag that says “SANTIMONIOUS ASSHOLE.” I will do whatever you want. Just, please. For the love of christ. Can we just shut the hell up about the boobs?!?

Seriously. I’m begging you.

PUT YOUR BOOBS AWAY.

Love,

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11 Responses to “All This Talk About Boobs.”

  1. In all honesty, I’d much rather discuss boobs via the breastfeeding angle versus the Beauty and the Beast tavern scene angle, which is when my kid brought it up.

    Go ahead. Watch it. And then get back to me.

  2. I’m so over the discussion. I fall on the side of, “I don’t care, your parenting choices are your own. Mine are mine. And it’s nobody else’s business.”

    Until the need to earn superiority for whatever the choice happens to be, the whole “Momny Wars” will never end.

    There is nothing to be gained by trying to out-Momny someone else.

    Except for Snooki.

    I think we all know she loses.

  3. I vote you have to wear the nametag. Just because it’ll make you nuts to have to wear it with that big typo on it :)

    What. I’m the spelling police. It’s so much safer than getting involved in a debate that shouldn’t be a debate.

  4. Wow! I never expected to be able to read a post about boobs tonight. I also never expected YOU to be asking for them to be put away. I am a BIG fan of boobs. Buuuuut, I totally get you. When I hear kids at the store using the F-bomb around my two-year-old, I am about ready to tear someone’s throat out, simply because I don’t want to have to explain to my Mother-in-law AND daycare provider why my kid is saying FUCK. Who knew having a kid would make me such a close-minded old bastard?

  5. I just wonder what that kid is going to say to his high school friends when someone drags up that Time Mag cover at his 16th birthday party.

  6. I resent anyone goading me to knock a battery off their should, period. That’s exactly what she’s doing. Hell, I could care less about her battery, her nutrition delivery system, or her smug self-satisfied smirk. GET OFF MY (magazine) RACK.

    Love your take on it, Beej; love all of your commenter’s takes on it, and now I want a button that reads Sanctimonious Asshole — not to wear, but to stick on my computer monitor next to egregious examples of same, and photograph for posterity. I think you have an Etsy project waiting if you want it.

  7. I think the real winner here is Time Magazine, who correctly calculated that a gratuitous photo of a mom breastfeeding her little boy would have the world talking about Time Magazine. In fact, they could have used a photo of anything that’s completely counter to cultural norms in America. Which supports your point, Beej – there are plenty of other, non-boob-related violations of acceptable mainstream culture we could vigorously debate. So, yeah, I agree – get the boobs off the cover of the magazine that’s at 5-year-old level at the checkout stand.

    (But do you think that’s how she “feeds” him normally? She stands there and whips down the arm of her tank top and the kid steps onto a chair, or maybe a kitchen stepstool or something? And just stands there while he quenches his thirst?)

  8. YAY! Love your post. I’m not a mom so therefore the Mom World has judged me of not being authorized to have an opinion on breastfeeding or pretty much anything that happens until the kid has graduated college, but yeah, if I had kids and therefore a brain when it comes to kid-related stuff, I’d be all ix-nay on the oob-bay too. :)

  9. as long as your kid isn’t offering your tit for shots at the bar I really don’t care what other mothers do.

  10. Fine. I’ll put my boobs away.

    Everyone at work was looking at me funny anyway.

  11. Let me see if I’ve got this straight. You don’t like people telling YOU what to do, but in the same breath, you’re telling US what to do?
    I’m no longer breastfeeding but if your kid was around, I hope he saw my knockers. If only because you’re a pretentious a-hole who tries way too hard to be edgy and fails every step of the way.
    Please do us all a favor and drop the I-want-to-run-with-the-cool-bloggers routine. If you haven’t made it by now, it ain’t gonna be happening.

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