Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sensitive Geek MAN: We never trained for this!

I always see a few mommy-friend at the Library. 
For those of you who aren't familiar with that term, a Library is where they keep books that you can rent and read for free. They also have movies and music.

All the @home parents frequent the same places, and the Library is a big one. They have books, so you feel like you are educating your child just by being in the building, and often they have special activities that are actually educational-and all you have to do is force your kid to sit through it.

I struck up a conversation with a few of the moms while our kids slobbered on all the community toys. After a while, went to get her son and then retired to a chair somewhat out of the way. She pulled out a coverlet, had her son assume “the position”, covered herself, and began to discretely nurse him.

Just like that, my head refused to turn in that direction. It’s like that whole side of the library was a total solar eclipse and I would go eternally blind just by glancing over there.

This mom had done nothing wrong. She wasn't drawing attention to herself, she was completely covered, she was out of the way. Also, I have nothing against public breastfeeding, especially done with the respect and circumspection that she exhibited.

The issue is that, for my entire pubescent and post-pubescent life, I have been trained not to pay attention to that area of the female anatomy. There is no heterosexual human male that I know of who always succeeds at this, but the decent men at least make every effort. The somewhat less decent males at least know how not to get caught.
While I had developed an acceptable amount of self-control, discretion, and (to be honest) sneakiness regarding the female decolletage and such, my training did not cover breastfeeding. Before I became an @home, I didn't encounter it much, so I hadn't added the behavior pattern to me repertoire.  Now, however, I was entering a circle where such encounters could be become regular, a plan of appropriate action will need to be devised.

I imagine that it may be just as strange for a lot of these women; they are probably mostly used to having nothing but little kids and other adult women around them. The increasing addition of Dad@homes must fill them with questions about proper behavior as well. In that regard, I think the mom at the Library did an exemplary job - specifically that her behavior made it such that she was above reproof by current societal standards on the matter. All onus was on me not to be a letch.

Well played.

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