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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