B-FEEDING

We can all agree that I'm not shy. Some of you may think that I'm confident but that's not entirely true. I think it is safe to say that I'm comfortable with who I am and this includes being naked.

I'm that lady in the locker room who gets totally undressed in front of you and may use the open shower even when the private stalls are free. I am only sporting a bra and underpants in many of my college dorm room photos. My friend from those days introduced herself to Andy by saying, "I've probably seen your wife naked more times than you have."

It's not even like I have a "smokin' bod" or anything. I grew up in a house where nudity was accepted as part of life. I insisted on taking baths with my mom until I could no longer squeeze in with her. I could openly talk with her about my body and she never made me feel that I had any reason to feel ashamed to be me. Yes, it is true that one time I did see her, after she'd taken a bath after cleaning the house, carrying a vacuum cleaner with nothing on but bobby socks and sneakers but it was only because she was trying to multi-task.

I've carried this style of parenting into my own home. Caroline is quite versed at male and female anatomy. She often tells me she likes my butt and wonders if everyone has brown nipples. I never tell her these are inappropriate topics but I do let her know that people like privacy and that her private parts are hers and not everyone else wants to see them. I am, however, a bit loose on that last part.

It's been really, and I mean, REALLY hot this week and we've hit the local beaches every day. After a swim, rather than drag both girls into a dirty bathroom, I strip Caroline down, rub her off with a towel and throw a dress on her. There's usually a bit of chasing before it's all said and done and she gets a few chuckles as her white bottom flashes in front of other beach-goers. I know the day will come all too soon that society will no longer allow her to be so open and free with her naked body. I want her to enjoy it while she can.

I, too, like to spend time en plain air. I am breastfeeding and just can't stand wrestling with cover ups. I am not going to buy some sort of tent to wrap around my body or get someone to hold a towel or cover up over me, like a privacy screen, while I feed Charlotte. Nope; instead I pop the boob out, right there in public. You heard me. If you've seen me in the last ten weeks it is likely that you've seen my chest as well. I have no problem with anyone, male or female, friend, father, or father-in-law, being witness to me providing nourishment to my baby. I try to cover up after latching but sometimes the shawl falls and I'd rather focus on the baby than swrewing around trying to hide myself.

The beach is one of the hardest places to cover up while nursing. It is so hot and sticky and I'm trying to feed Charlotte quickly so I can get back to watching Caroline in the water. Today, I was doing just this when I over heard a family next to me make a comment about me needing to cover up. The group was 2 grandparents, a mother and a 12ish-year-old son. I'd had a towel over my shoulder but it had slipped and my pale, Victorian-era, decolette was booming right in their direction. Maybe they were trying to enjoy their grapes, H20 and PB&J but Charlotte was trying to enjoy her lunch, and frankly, so was I. Like my mom, I am a multi-tasker and I was enjoying my own PB&J while Charlotte fed.

I was sad to hear the comment because I had apologized when we sat down for being the group with the loud kids and the grandparents told me not to worry. They had seven children of their own and seven grand children and they knew about kids and noise. Well, I guess grandma bottle fed or didn't partake in adult conversation or other activities with her family through her breastfeeding months.

In a society where sex sells and women are scantily clad in every type of media, moms still can't feel comfortable breastfeeding their children. In fact, some people won't even say it they only refer to it as nursing. It's ok, people, it's BREASTFEEDING. I have BREASTS and they are feeding my kid.

Get over it! Your lucky you haven't seen me in the locker room at the gym.

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