A woman named Kasey Madden was visiting a gym in Burr Ridge, Illinois last fall with her 5-month-old daughter. The baby got hungry while Ms. Madden was working out, so she took the child over to the gym’s day care area to breast feed.
An employee of the gym objected to her “whipping them out” in the relatively public day care room, so he suggested, nicely, that she retire to a more private room to feed her baby.
Kasey Madden, overflowing with milk and indignation, wasn’t about to be inconvenienced. And now, as a result, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich* has signed a new law giving nursing mothers the right to breast feed in any public place in the state.
That’s right. Anywhere they want.
Leave it to the politicians to completely overreact, once again. Rather then pressing for a measure that would set some guidelines for public nursing in an appropriate and tasteful fashion, we get a law that blows it wide open. Perhaps Blagojevich’s poll numbers showed that his support was slipping among lactating voters. Plus, it didn’t cost a penny to implement. A true win-win situation.
Except for the rest of us, who now have to contend with unbridled throngs of hormonal nursing mothers who can now “release the hounds” anywhere they like with complete impunity.
While these women were insisting that they should not face any restrictions on performing this “completely natural act,” no one gave any consideration to the majority of people who do not happen to be nursing a child at the moment, and don’t particularly care to participate in the experience.
In the course of a given day, I have been known to perform several “completely natural acts” of my own. However, most people would object, strenuously, if I insisted on performing those acts in public. Private facilities, called “restrooms,” have been created for that express purpose.
Nursing mothers take exception to that notion, however. “Do you eat in a restroom?” they say, as though the baby will object. “I say, Mother, I’ve no complaint with the quality of the meal, but this ambience is dreadful!”
Some years ago, we had a pet kitten that had apparently been improperly weaned from its mother. As a result, the kitten latched on to our older female cat and nursed for comfort. Even though the older cat had never had kittens and was producing no milk, both cats seemed content with this arrangement. I thought it was sweet, too, until the first night I tried to sleep in the same room with them. I’d be on the verge of dozing off, when, from the foot of the bed, the most ungodly annoying sound would emanate. And now, all over the state of Illinois, we will all get to experience that same wonderful sound of a bonding mother and infant, anywhere, any time.
FAST FOOD COUNTER PERSON: Would you like to try a combo meal?
BEHIND ME IN LINE: SCHLURP SCHLURP SCHLURP
ME: Uh, I’m not hungry.
CEO: I’m sure that those of you on the board will be pleased with these second-quarter financial results. Could I have the first slide, please?
FROM PROJECTION BOOTH: SCHLURP SCHLURP SCHLURP
CEO: Do you have to stand in front of the projector to do that?
BOARD MEMBER: Ooooh, shadow puppets! Is that the Three Stooges?
POLICEMAN: Ma’am, I pulled you over because you were driving erratically…what the f-…
BEHIND WHEEL: SCHLURP SCHLURP SCHLURP
And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. Especially since the Boob Brigade is becoming more and more militant, holding massive “nurse-ins” at restaurants that have objected to babies eating, let’s say, “outside food.” One was held at a Burger King in Utah in November of last year. And just last week, more than two dozen nursing mothers descended on a Maryland Starbucks in protest. I can imagine that scene:
ANGRY LACTATING WOMAN: Don’t mess with me! I’ve got breasts and I’m not afraid to use them!
YOUNG MAN WITH MULTIPLE FACIAL PIERCINGS: Please, lady, don’t point those at me! I’m just trying to prepare this man’s latte!
MALE CUSTOMER: Um, on second thought, make that a black coffee.
Just imagine what will happen when La Leche League gets ahold of this. Those yahoos like to nurse their kids until they’re old enough to start college. Perhaps the sight of a woman breast-feeding a twelve-year-old on the Cicero Avenue bus will finally provoke enough outrage that we can get this asinine law repealed.
Until then, the rest of us have a job to do. While the law states that nursing women cannot be restricted from breast feeding wherever they choose, there’s no provision that says we can’t make obnoxious comments when they do so. Here are a few choice remarks you can try:
“Hey, where does the line form?”
“I hope you brought enough for everyone!”
“Can I get a quick shot for my oatmeal?”
I’m sure you can think of plenty more. If we all make a concerted effort, we just might manage to annoy the nursing mothers back into hiding. And I will once again be able to consume dairy products without shuddering.
*Note: For those of you who don’t live in Illinois and don’t know how to pronounce our Governor’s last name, simply drink an entire bottle of Cold Duck and go to bed. Within three hours, you will be shouting his name into the toilet.