Until this week I thought I was pretty liberal. A free spirit as such. I’m accepting of all sorts and pretty much feel that it’s each to their own. Everyone has an opinion, everyone has a choice and they are more than welcome to it by my book. But then something happened, something which has shaken my belief…in well…me.
A young child in my 2 years class, was hungry for boob and her mother so kindly indulged her. Now, I’m not against breastfeeding. I’m not even against breastfeeding in public. Guaranteed you won’t find me preaching that breast is best either*. If you are comfortable whipping out your titties in front of complete strangers be my guest. I have boobs. I’m used to seeing them. In normal situations I couldn’t give a hoot. But this is class time lady, and I’m trying to do my job.
Do you not know how difficult it is to get a 2 year old to pay attention? Of course you do, you’re a mama. Do you not realise how distracting boobs are? Of course you do, you have them. It is difficult enough getting a 2 year old to speak their own language, let alone a foreign one, let alone with a mouth full of nipple. So give me a break and help me out here.
The problem is, I feel distressed about the whole thing. It isn’t the act or even the timing, it’s my reaction to it. I did exactly as I would in a social situation, carried on as if nothing was happening. But normally, I’m talking to the mother, not the kid. There’s the kid staring at me, me reading a giant butterfly book staring at the kid, all the while the kid is firmly sucking on her mother’s tit. Keeping eye contact with the mother is easy. Keeping eye contact with the kid is creepy. Made worse by the fact the mother might have thought I was just staring at her breasts. I should’ve waited. It was probably rude to just continue. Why can’t I stop thinking about this?
The more I think about it, the more annoyed with myself and the mother I become. If I was a male teacher, would she have done the same thing? I mean it wasn’t as if the kid was screaming for food, we were reading a book about caterpillars eating and she decided she was hungry. It’s how I feel watching The Great British Bake Off or absolutely anything with Michel Roux Jr on it. Could they not have waited? Was it fair of her to put me (a complete stranger) in that situation just because I am also female? Why am I still thinking about this?
I thought I was super cool with this sort of thing. I thought I was unshakeable. To be fair, I didn’t bat an eyelid at the time but my afterthoughts clearly show I am not the free thinking cool cucumber I thought I was. I should just stop thinking about it now. I’ll just note it down as something that happened. And if it happens again, I’ll just nonchalantly ask the mother if she would like me to continue or wait – seems like the safest option. Certainly seems like less effort than pretending to be a man for the rest of the year.
*Because frankly we all know boobs are great!