Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wish I coulda been a fly on the wall

So. There’s been a certain flap about a breastfeeding mother having been (allegedly) ejected from a plane for breastfeeding indiscreetly, which is here defined as ‘refusing to take an offered blanket’.

Let’s get this right up front: Mother Chaos is 2,715% for breastfeeding. It is awesome for all parties concerned. It is healthy. It is natural. It is ‘free’ – which right there trumps formula by about two zillion votes.

And also, it suits me in the lazy department. You never have to go out at 1:30 in the morning because you ran out of formula. It does not require special racks in your dishwasher to handle the cleaning. You never have to leave the mall because Baby is hungry early and wailing for milk.

It’s sanitary. You don’t often hear that there was a recall put out on breast milk, right? “Women who were lactating in Pensacola between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday are urged to return their breasts with their contents immediately due to possible e coli contamination…” or hear about some kid coming down with botulism because of a breast having been left out on a counter overnight. Unlike formula, which has been known to have such things happen.

It’s always the right temperature, the right blend of vitamins, minerals, fats and whatnot, the right temperature, and Baby is almost never upset to be held right up against your warm skin to have a nice drink; in point of fact, it solves what I’ve found to be about 70% of the reasons why a baby hollers: Hunger, and Want To Be Cuddled. (With the other percentage breaking down as 23% diaper/pain issues, and 7% Just Keeping You On Your Toes Ha Ha)

Also, I quickly learned to nurse while lying down, which was a tremendous boon for those wee-hour ‘feed me’ squalls.

It rocks. If you’re having a baby any time soon and aren’t sure – I urge you to give it a try. It’s tricky at first and feels weird and yes, sore nipples have been known to happen especially in the early days (OK, weeks for some of us), but trust me. Done it both ways. Breastfeeding kicks butt.

Hokay. That little rant being out of the way…I wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

You’ve got a lady nursing her almost-two-year-old child. (Warning – picture of woman nursing a toddler! OH THE HORROR!!!!) (Seriously – take a Grow The @*^&@ Up Pill, OK? Humans have been doing this for a long time. We have not ceased to be animals just because we invented Coach bags, people.)

The flight has been delayed for three hours. Everybody, including the flight attendant by the way, is pissy. The flight attendant sees this toddler (or shoot, for all she knows, preschooler – that kid takes up more footprint on Mom’s lap than my Boo Bug does on mine, and she’s four!) sucking away and says to herself, “Oh, ack.”

People are funny that way, too. People who would beam graciously at you while nursing an infant will get all squirmy and freaked out when it’s a toddler. It’s like the Never Ending Binkie Debate, or the Is He Still Using A Bottle? Wars.

Anyway, our flight attendant feels she is witnessing something icky. She approaches the mother with her blanket (OK) and her distaste (might have done a better job hiding that, maybe), and is rebutted (what a surprise).

Here’s where I wish I could be a fly on the wall. I’m willing to bet a pissy-match broke out between a bunch of weary, stressed out people. Words were likely exchanged, the pissy-o-meter starts to peg and then…

“It’s my legal right,” Mom says, triumphantly. HA! Straight flush! Trump that, ha ha!!

“Oh yeah? Let me tell you what, sis, I can throw anybody off this plane for any reason, because we as a nation are so thoroughly gripped by fear and loathing around air travel that we have given that power to anybody in a uniform around here! Therefore, HA! OFF THE PLANE, GIRLFRIEND! And please, enjoy your layover.”

Oooooooh, SNAP! She had a royal flush in her back pocket!!

Whether or not any or all parties regretted their decisions after a good night’s sleep and maybe a nice hot shower, the world may never know.

Personally, I would have taken the blanket. Those things can be darned hard to come by on an airplane. This one time on a flight from Florida? There. Were. No. Blankets. And they had the air on to the point where you thought maybe the wing would be warmer, and it really, really sucked.

Hmm. I wonder if I can convince Captain Adventure to take up nursing again…


Very Herodotus said...

I am cringing whilst I type. My daughter is 23 months old, and I cannot *imagine* nursing her. I nursed her as a baby, but now? The thought grosses me out.

Mother of Chaos said...

I feel the same way about Captain Adventure right now, frankly. He started refusing to nurse at just shy of one year, and never looked back. I still love to snuggle and all that, but...I dunno. Maybe it's just my inner prude coming out, but when the child is old enough to say, "Hey, mom, how about some French fries after this?" and unbutton your shirt by himself? Uuuuuuh...kinda weird.


Marianne said...

I have to agree about the age cutoff for me, personally.

But the fact that she got thrown off the plane for nursing her child to me is lawsuit territory for better or for worse.

The worldwide recommendation for nursing is to age 2. I agree, ick, but it should be a mother's right to make that call, not a stewardess'