Monday, January 5, 2009

Open Letter

Background: Day from hell was progressing in true, expected, Monday style - speaker for presentation showed up 5 minutes before we started sending my deoderent into uber overdrive, retirees who did not make a reservation for said presentation and showed up anyway - went ballistic and threatened to call the head of HR AND our local Newspaper (my personal favorite and not how I want my name in print) all of this after I assured them there would be room for them in the Board chambers however we had to let the people who made the reservations take thier seat first.

The icing on the today cake was when I finally got to go on a potty break and opened the door to our department leading to a public waiting area for the auditor controller and county assessor clerk recorder. This is always entertaining as it contains peeps from ALL walks of life such as people applying for marriage certificates and participating in mini-ceremonies on Tuesdays, county residents arguing with the tax collector staff and all kinds of interesting things and the general public applying for passports, copies of birth, marriage or death certificates. The door opened and I headed towards the employee restroom, I immediately heard three men snickering as if they had come across thier father's playboy magazine for the first time when I looked up and noticed a woman breast feeding in a not so very discreet fashion. Here is my letter to her.

Dear New Mommy:

I think it is great that you recognize the importance and significance of breastfeeding. Because you are offering your breast for your child to sustain life depending nutrients, they will have less chances of having asthma, less chances of becoming obese and you will have a decrease risk of breast cancer. Lest you think I am naive due to my lack of birthing a child of my very own and personally breast feeding I would also like to forge ahead and remind you that I do recognize the amazing nurturing experience that will bond you in an most incredible way with your child.

First and foremost, I am not your average uptight American who dislikes public nudity and know that I can appreciate beauty in all aspects. With that being said, the sight of your ENTIRE BREAST (minus the areola and nipple) gave me two immediate reactions. Sadness, no one has taught you basic breast feeding ettiquette and sad about the enept men snickering at your exposed tata. In fact, I almost said something to them but I had no idea as to how I would start an arugument in your defense. If you would have showed the slightest bit of caution and tact (at least for your child to eat in peace) I would have said something to the snickering fools who clearly don't see or deserve to see a breast on a frequent basis.

I love boobs, I have a pair of my own that are quite large and nice where I accept complements occassionally so I have to ask please - BE DISCREET. We aren't on the French Riveria where naked tatas are expected and accepted. You were in a County government facility, breast feeding your child and didnt bother to place a wrap, sweater or burp cloth and provide coverage for your baby provideing privace while you embraced this beautiful act.

Please keep breast feeding, however, when you are in public- please be discreet.

Breast wishes for a happy and healthy 2009!

PS - My male co-worker wants to thank you for making his day - see this is how men operate.


Reggie Boppy said...

I like your letter Kara! I once taught an adult English class and one of the women in the class couldn't find a babysitter, so I allowed her to keep her baby with her. She started to breastfeed in the middle of class, in a very similar fashion to the woman you encountered. (Maybe they are the same person!) The baby fell asleep while nursing and the woman didn't notice. She sat there with her boob hanging out as I continued teaching for a good 20 minutes. The class was women only, so I guess she didn't feel the need for discretion, but really that's the last thing I wanted to look at as I'm teaching these women how to speak English. It was crazy!

Cara said...

A perfect letter! I recall breasfeeding WAY too many times in a random isle at Walmart. Seriously - every time we'd get there she'd scream for it! I DID cover up - but I don't think it did much for the shock value of the 75 year old guy turning his cart into that particular isle!

Emily said...

This is something I worry about being able to handle. I often wonder about the logistics of getting boob out, baby on boob, baby staying on boob without flashing the entire world. The covers are good - only if baby doesn't mind being covered. I think there should be diagrams of how to breastfeed discretely along with pics about what all the different holds are!

Barb said...

Agreed. And thanks for your school comment. I'm a geek about that stuff too. ;-)