nursing like a cow

by humanmama on August 23, 2011

Well, tonight, while reading Little House on the Prairie (that superslutty book), I realized that more needed to be said about milking cows. Helena insisted that the cow Pa brought home with it’s calf was a daddy cow. I said, “No, honey, that’s a mommy cow.” She said, bluntly and with the slightest bit of condescension in her voice, “Dad.” I said, “No, I’m sure that’s a mom cow.” And then the zinger: I said, ” You can’t milk a dad.”

Que new conversation.

“Why not?” She asked, and part of me thought “Hey, mom, it’s 8:30 and you’re tired.” Carpenter is working late some nights and it just seems like forever when they get up without him and go to bed without him. Also we did our share of running around all day, Lilly didn’t nap, and then we took a walk through the neighborhood with the double stroller (My neighborhood has the word “Hills” right in the name) and conveniently, each child of mine had horrible leg pains and needed to sit in the stroller the entire time. So part of me thought “Go with dad.” And part of me remembered the 11 months of nursing Helena and 3 of nursing Lills and thought “Dammit, I deserve some credit too.” So I embarked on the tricky subject of nursing.

I told Helena moms make milk, all moms, even human moms, and this both intrigued and shocked her. She studied my face carefully to see if she should be grossed out, so I kept saying “isn’t that cool?” She went through most of the moms we know to see if they nursed their kids, and asked if I nursed her. She couldn’t get over the fact that she “drank from containers in [my] chest.” Um, okay. I assume before this generation probably the vast majority of people were nursed, and definitely two or three generations ago that was the case, so I am sure I’m not the first mom to broach the subject of breastfeeding with a five-year-old. But still, anything body related (“Can I see your nipples mom?”) leaves me (and probably most parents) a little worried, and a little embarrassed, not knowing what to say and how to say it. The trick is to say enough but not so much that it gets you into trouble at birthday parties and Thanksgiving.

Ahh, children. I have this magnet on my fridge that says it all, and I’ll leave you with that. Have you ever broached a tricky subject? How do you deal with body stuff? I’m secretly, tonight, so glad I don’t have boys. But just for tonight.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana August 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Reminds me…Owen recently told someone taking care of him in the church nursery that his new brother is going to “shoot through a tube out of his mom’s privates.”


aj August 24, 2011 at 8:14 am

That is totally awesome.


Tara August 25, 2011 at 1:14 am

OMG, I just peed my pants! For reals.
My 5 year old was convinced when I had her sister that I was going to “go to the hospital and have a baby out of your butt”. Ooops, er.


Erin August 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm

You had to go there and mention the boys….what I am dreading the most! I think I’ll just start answering them, “I’m not a boy, go ask your dad!” My older two of course saw me nursing the baby. They just kind of accepted it, though they did say that I had “teats like a cow!” :)


holly August 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I love this magnet, so so true.


Jessica August 24, 2011 at 1:51 am

Oh boy, I have to deal with this kind of thing all the time and let me tell you that it is even trickier with boys. Sebastian was pretty laidback about the nursing thing when Theo was born, but he was still asking questions. But now every so often I get asked (for the zillionth) time why I don’t have a and how I can pee without one. Fantastic. I love your fridge magnet – so true!


Maura August 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

I LOVE this post. I nursed both of my girls for a year, and will be nursing the upcoming baby as well. I was explaining to Samantha (my 4-year-old) that she was nursed, and Phebe (my 8-year-old) chimed in “yeah, but I would NEVER have drank milk from your boobs.” I literally laughed out loud. To me there really is no need for a long winded explanation. We were created to nurse our babies and if it is around you from the start there is no reason it should be unusual for your kids! :)


Rebecca Cooper August 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Boys are definitely more fun! When my daughter was born my then 2 year old son couldn’t understand why I kept telling him that he couldn’t nurse his baby doll like mommy nursed his sister. I finally just gave up trying to explain!


Krista August 26, 2011 at 3:06 am

My son is very inquisitive, so not much is left a secret. He understands about periods and asks why my egg died and didn’t become a baby. He’s still nursing so that’s a no-brainer. We’ve always used correct terminology for body parts, but a part of me still winces when he uses certain words, like scrotum, in public.


SublimeDream August 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

This is hilarious! I have two boys (3 and 1 year old), and I was soooooo worried about this coming up when I was nursing my second! =) I was thinking at the beggining of your post- “Be glad they are girls!” I see you ended with that same thought! No suggestions…. =) Only a thank you for the laugh.


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