Between the 9 yr old’s breasts growing out of control (and her thinking they’re too small) and the 7 yr old thinking desire alone will manifest hers, I am tired of discussing boobies (as they refer to them ever so longingly). Yet, it’s not theirs I find myself referencing so often these days; it’s my own. I’ve been questioned repeatedly recently about how long I’m going to breastfeed. From coworkers to absolute strangers. My only response continues to be: as long as the baby wants to. Perhaps my next response should be “oh the milk was gone months ago. I’m doing it now for the sensation.”
I’m sorry, but is there some sort of burgeoning, underground campaign to get women to stop breastfeeding? Last I checked, if you could, you should. Since when has it been deemed questionable to be breastfeeding “still” and the baby hasn’t yet turned one? I wonder, though, if people are just ignorant to their ignorance. When in public and there’s no designated area to breastfeed (or even a quiet, discreet place) I sometimes choose to do it in the car. While I believe I have the right to breastfeed in public, I do not believe strangers should have the privilege to see my boobies.
At Borders last weekend, a woman with a toddler parked nearby and glanced at me knowingly. I thought it strange that she seemed to hang around her car doing much of nothing until I got out. She said, “how old is he?” I told her he would be one in a week. Albeit asked nicely, she responded with, “wow. And you’re still breastfeeding?” Um, yes. And then I stared. I wanted to give her the opportunity to explain that she was only asking because she was unable to nurse that long or at all or that the “wow” meant “good for you.” Instead, I got, “eeeew, ick, you disgust me” written all over her face.
And then I smiled and walked away. I truly don’t care what other people think about how long I breastfeed. I am excited and honored to be able to provide him nourishment this long. Our bond is undeniably stronger because of it. The way he looks at me while nursing, suppressing a smile, makes me smile to think about it. He is healthy. He is normal. Find me when he’s 12. If I’m still nursing then, that’ll be the time for you to make the “eeeew, ick” face as you call the people.