And now, for something completely different!
You know, I never do this. I just really don't. I don't get all activist about things, because I am too tired. And I don't link to other people's blogs, because this is the one little corner of the universe where I Am The Queen, so why should I share it any more than necessary?
But I'm making an exception this time, and for what I think is a pretty darn good reason. I will warn you right now that these links include discussions about nursing, lots of unhappy mommies, and a few Bad Words. So if those are going to offend you, stop now -- just skip it and you can come back in a few days and hear about Peter's ideal pet. (A piranha.)
I follow the blog of another mother, a wonderful writer who posts under the name of Her Bad Mother. She was flying home from the funeral of a friend, and her daughter got hungry. Since she is a breastfeeding mother, she discreetly set her daughter up to eat. Like many nursing mothers with a fair amount of experience at it, she didn't feel the need to lay a blanket over herself and the baby, since nothing was exposed and no one was looking. The flight attendant took it upon herself to "offer" her a blanket -- several times -- so that she could cover up and not bother people, even though no one appeared to in fact be aware that a baby was nursing.
The email campaign to Canada's WestJet Airlines that followed was, shall we say, not particularly successful. The airline sent a form letter that said very little at all, and the person sending it had not even bothered to change the name of the passenger from the last time such a letter had been sent. Her Bad Mother was understandably irritated, and I decided to pitch in with my blog since I know I have a few readers who support the idea of breastfeeding without having to practically put on a burka and hide in the ladies' room.
(And to those of you who have never breastfed, would YOU like to have to eat every meal with a blanket on your head?)
The post explaining the event is here. The post where she waits for a response is here. The part where she gets irritated and writes a funny interpretation of the form letter is here.
If this is the sort of thing that winds you up and you feel like sending a cranky email, please stop by Her Bad Mother's blog. I spent two years nursing my children, at home, in restaurants, on airplanes, in church, pretty much anywhere the baby and I went. (Sorry if I made you squirm when I was new at it and hadn't quite figured out that whole decency thing.) It's not the easiest thing in the world, and it gets a lot harder when people are glaring at you for, well, doing what mammals do. When I see a young woman nursing in public, I like to make eye contact, smile, and whisper "Good for you." They usually grin from ear to ear, since that's not usually what people say to them, unfortunately.
So, Her Bad Mother ... good for you, and I hope they send you flowers to apologize. One can always dream ...