Bearing and caring for a child will change a person. Obviously. For example, pre-first born, I remember feeling
1. dread at having to change diapers and
2. a severe aversion to puke.
1. changing diapers is absolutely NO BIG DEAL to the point that we use cloth diapers and I load them into the washing machine with my bare hands often, but not always, and
2. puke is still disgusting (but my definite fear and concern for my child trumps my disgust).
But my favorite as of late is feeding my child in public. And I'm going to throw this out there and PROUDLY declare that I breastfed Abby and am currently breastfeeding Audrey. With Abby, it was usually easy enough to avoid having to be out in public during any feeding time, but now we're more often on a toddler's schedule than a newborn's (they're fantastically resilient beings as long as there is some semblance of a schedule), which inevitably means that I'm feeding my youngest little soul quite often, according to my standards, in public. FACT: it is Indiana state law that you are allowed to breastfeed anywhere in public that you are legally allowed to be. I keep reminding myself of this as I find myself in awkward or random places.
I still don't enjoy it but have rather resigned myself to the obviousness of what I'm doing. I'm still that much of a prude as to not be able to just blatantly do it anywhere. But then again, after reading through the list of places that I have already in only 12 weeks breastfed Audrey in public, you might think that I'm lying in the previous sentence. Apparently, I will do it anywhere. But I'm not thrilled about it!! (To clarify--the "it," which is overtly ambiguous refers to breastfeeding in public not breastfeeding in general, which I greatly enjoy at home, in my recliner, without people nearby.)
This post has been several weeks in the making (it's hard to find some alone time with the laptop in order to type up new posts; it actually takes some concerted scheduling), but it's okay because I just have more to add since I originally thought about it.
My current list of PLACES THAT I HAVE BREASTFED MY CURRENT INFANT IN PUBLIC, as much as I can remember at least.
1. my favorite and the inspiration for this list: the gas station at Meijer (at the pump), while the husband was getting gas and then taking eldest daughter to get a snack...multi-tasking
2. the Indiana State Fair (twice), but at the lactation station, which disturbingly to me was nothing more than a see-through (i.e. "ventilated") tent right on a main drag with scads of people walking by and looking in...this discomfort was alleviated partially by the cushy digs inside the tent complete with rocking chairs, a changing pad, and cold water for the moms
3. a random gas station parking lot in Hartford City (not at the gas pump)
4. on a park bench at Foster Park in Kokomo, IN beside an outdoor concert shell where a handful of big burly guys were unloading sound equipment for a concert coming up
5. at the Mom's Meeting that I go to every week...this one actually isn't weird because it's all mom with children 1 year or younger and lots of women are also breastfeeding while there and many don't cover up
6. at my friend's house during a play date for our older children, but again, not really weird because she has a newborn as well and reciprocated the task
7. at my parents' house where my oldest opened the door with my dad right behind her
8. in the nursery at our church with the chair facing the windows which are right beside the main door--I've discovered that no one looks in these windows whereas everyone looks in the windows to the door of the nursery
9. in the lounge at the church where Abby is attending pre-school (which isn't my church)
10. in an air-conditioned RV at my husband's aunt's house during a family reunion...this was actually pretty sweet and private digs!
11. in the parking lot of the rest station between highway 26 and the exit for Muncie on interstate 69, facing the interstate
In case you were wondering, my favorite weird place that I breastfed Abby in public was the dressing room at Kohl's. But every time I drive by the Chocolate Moose in Farmland (a couple of times a year), I think about feeding Abby parked along the side of the road while the others were eating dinner inside. And when we drive by the rest station heading north on 69 between Gas City and Ft. Wayne (every time I go to my parents'), I always think about the time that I fed Abby when she was a baby, and for some reason we were driving our 2-door Accord. That's a tight fit.