Sometimes, when it feels like the kids aren’t hearing a single word I’m saying, I remind myself that they’ll eventually grow up – whether to a slightly older age than the present or to full-adulthood – and they’ll likely experience the things I’ve mentioned to them, firsthand.
(I like to delude myself into thinking that, at that point, I will once again appear to be a genius!)
A few months ago, for example, Maymo did not believe me when I casually mentioned that women are able to feed their babies using their breasts. He just stared at me, blankly, as if I told him I could fly by pushing my belly button.
He did not believe me when the subject of breastfeeding came up in conversation more recently, either.
Oh, sure, he didn’t come out and say that I was lying but the look on his face made it pretty obvious.
(I can’t blame him. There are, after all, times when the temptation to toy with his tiny brain is pretty overwhelming and I’m guilty. Ok?)
(THERE. I ADMITTED THAT SOMETIMES I SAY THINGS TO MY CHILD THAT ARE NOT TRUE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT AMUSES THE HELL OUT OF ME TO WATCH HIS FACE.)
When we went on the field trip to see bees last week, he was grossed out that the mother bee regurgitates nectar for “feeding the babies”. He thought the bees would find it offensive to eat something that came from someone else’s body because, EW, that’s gross, Mom!
I then reminded him that when a baby is born, the mom’s breasts begin to make milk for feeding the baby. I also noted that it was quite possible his mom had breast fed HIM and so, y’know, PONDER *THAT* MISTER!
After staring at me, blankly, he casually noted that I could not do that for him.. and I equally as casually noted that I did not wish to do that for him because he’s five and has teeth and is enormously tall and eats, like, a whole cow at every meal at this point.
He did not seem to believe me, anyway, that it was even possible for ANYONE.
A few days ago, as he buckled his seatbelt in a local parking lot, he happened to glance out the window and saw a woman in the back seat of the car next to us – breastfeeding her infant.
It took him a second to get past the point of making strangled noises before he began shouting, “MOM! THAT LADY IS IN THE BACK OF HER CAR AND SHE IS FEEDING THE BABY. *WITH* *HER* *BOOBIES*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MOM! DO YOU SEE THAT?! MOM?!!!!”
I started to giggle. “Yep. She is.”
It was like a unicorn had materialized. Seriously.
He was stunned, shocked, amazed, and totally in awe of the entire thing. Couldn’t take his eyes off the scene in front of him and was not happy when I started the car and drove away.
And despite being 34 years old and having witnessed many breast-feedings and talked about it and despite knowing people who’ve breastfed (or been breastfed!) and survived biology classes and read many books and actually owned breasts for most of my life? I felt truly vindicated.
I actually felt vindicated that I had “won” the discussion of what breasts do.. against the wisdom of a five year old.
Boobies: they’re not just for resting your head, my small friend. Mama KNOWS stuff.