Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Whip Em Out

Okay, I'm breaking a rule.  You may have read my post, A Little Boob Goes a Long Way - after a short twitter confrontation with an extended breastfeeder I vowed to be more sensitive when discussing extended breastfeeding in the future...if I dare breach the topic at all.  Then, last week, I heard the following story which I will recount without exaggeration:

Passenger on the NYC subway system is commuting to work.  She's minding her own business, reading a book, attempting to avoid other passengers' personal space.  A mother and her adorable toddler/child are sitting across the way.  The exact age of the toddler/child is indeterminable (of course) but he's walking and talking in full sentence.  His adorableness quickly evaporates when he starts demanding (in an outside voice), "I'm hungry! Take it out!!!" while swiping at his mother's blouse.  The mother denies his demand and attempts to gently block his grabbing hands.   This results in toddler/child spinning into a full throttle tantrum of repeated screams, "TAKE IT OUT! TAKE IT OUT! TAKE IT OUT!" while slapping his mother's chest.

I will attempt to express my opinion on the above without being insensitive: if you are going to engage in extended breastfeeding, kindly teach your child about appropriate nursing environments (i.e. not a crowded subway car during commuting hours).  Public transportation etiquette should be a standard lesson for children who accompany their adult counterparts on the subway.  The whole screaming at increasing volumes, especially when demanding that your mother whip out a tata, is not cool.


Kendall (On An Inhale) said...

OH MY this is so funny and so creepy!! Passing this story along to my friends!

Sisters 'N Cloth said...

I would suggest that *she* is teaching him appropriate times, by not feeding him (although personally think there are worse things than breastfeeding a toddler in public. It would have caused much less of a scene, after all!). She did not surrender to his demands, did she? And you can explain to an 18 month old to 2 year old many times, "We only nurse at home, sweetie." Anyone who has ever had an 18 month or 2 year will understand that this does not prevent a fit. Tantrums are a rather normal part of toddler development. The test is how you respond to them.

I'm curious how you think she should have handled the situation?

Leah (it's me) said...

Kendall - I fully agree. It wasn't a pleasant scene.

Sisters 'N Cloth - The guestimated age of the child was 3-4 years old. While tantrums are standard for all children (18 months - 4 years...beyond), I've never witnessed a child repeatedly hit his parent as this child did. Who knows whether this goes to parenting skills or the child's innate personality. To answer your question, the primary issue seemed to be that the child was hungry, so an alternative snack (dry cereal, etc.) or bottled breastmilk may have chilled the kid out.