With some clever timing, I was able to avoid breastfeeding in public for the first five weeks of Dalia’s life. I know, I know. it’s natural, it’s beautiful, we need to normalize it, etc. I’m with you. But can you grant me that it’s a little intimidating the first time? Great. Moving on.
In an adorable neighborhood in South Minneapolis lives a bookstore called Wild Rumpus. Imagine the most magical independent children’s bookstore you can think of — that’s Wild Rumpus. A tiny child-sized door leads into the store. Animals roam the aisles, most notably a pair of fluffy chickens, and children’s book authors regularly drop by to sign books. The day we visited, the store was packed but quiet as an author read from her latest release.
So quaint. So magical. So WAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WAHHHHHH WAHHHHHHHHH.
That’s what it looks like when your newborn fills a pleasant silence with screaming, FYI.
My streak of good timing had ended. There happened to be an overstuffed arm chair ten feet away from me that looked like it had seen many nursing sessions, so we became its next customers. The sound of Dalia’s screaming was replaced by my inner monologue, which went something like this:
Oh god, this chair is next to the front window. Hello, passersby! It’s my first time! Enjoy the show! STOP SMILING AT ME. Pretend I’m not here. Wait, are they smiling because they can see everything? STOP FLAILING DALIA. This is so awkward. OW. I’m bored. I wish I could reach a book. Maybe if I lean a little bit to the left I can reach this exciting-looking chapter book? Okay, reaching… oh shit, I reached too far. WARDROBE MALFUNCTION. Wait, maybe not. We might be okay? Would it be so bad if everything was hanging out? Probably not. But yes? STOP LOOKING AT ME, CHICKENS.
Suddenly, a little girl ran toward me frantically.
“TITTY! TITTY! TITTY!” she screamed.
I froze. Oh god, I thought, Not only am I exposed in a bookstore but a little girl is telling the world about it.
The little girl ran past me.
There was a cat sitting behind me.