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Monday, January 08, 2007A lot of times the stories that we hear about breastfeeding in public are frustrating, tiring and even infuriating. While it's important to get those stories out there, I think it's just as important to talk about positive breastfeeding in public experiences. After all, if new and expecting moms ONLY hear the bad stories, they're far less likely to be willing to venture out to nurse in public themselves.
So here's another positive story.
Went grocery shopping today. I fed Emmitt right before we left, but he really didn't eat much. I'd hoped that I'd be able to shop and get home in time to feed him again, but thanks to my label-reading, HFCS fiasco, it took way longer than I expected.
Thus, Emmitt ended up getting hungry.
Now I have zero problems nursing in public. That said, I HATE nursing in a grocery store. Why? Because the grocery stores around here simply do NOT have chairs.
Thankfully, the Meijer that I was at has a very tiny Starbucks near the produce department. It's got a little area with two bistro tables and a total of four chairs. So I headed that way and parked my cart along the wall so that I could talk to Nora while I sat and nursed Emmitt. I noticed that a man (about 45-50ish) was sitting at one of the tables drinking a coffee and reading.
As I went to get Emmitt out of his bucket, the man walked up to me. Apparently the diapers had fallen off the bottom of the cart and I hadn't noticed. He asked if they were mine, I said yes and he was kind enough to stoop down to put them back under the cart. I thanked him and he said "no problem" and went back to his table.
I got Emmitt out, sat down and started to get him situated. The man looked over (and it was totally clear what I was about to do) SMILED and then asked me how old Emmitt was. I told him and the man proceeded to start a conversation with me asking about the kids, telling me about his own grandkids, etc. Turns out we both live in the same tiny village north of Columbus. He was born and raised there and told me some things about the town that I didn't know. Emmitt finished up and I was burping him and the man made a comment about the good meal Emmitt had had. About that time Nora got a bit fussy and he asked if she was telling me that she was hungry too. Now that one really surprised me because it was pretty clear that he was asking if I needed to nurse Nora too. I told him that what she actually wanted was some M&Ms (she knew I had some in my purse) and he laughed and said "only moms know what all those sounds mean." I got everyone packed up, thanked him for the pleasant conversation and we went on our way.
So what as the big deal? Nothing really...except that the man acted like it was the most natural thing in the world (and it was) for a complete stranger to sit down not five feet from him to nurse a child. We had a lovely conversation and he clearly enjoyed getting to see and talk about the kids.
It sort of reminded me of the gentleman that wrote the Craigslist entry that I posted earlier this week.
It was refreshing.
It's what we're working for.
I have no idea what that man's name was, but he kinda made my day.