Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm Taking "The Boys" on the Road!

Renee Bernard
Controversy abounds as I face the inevitable...I have to take "the boys" on the road when I travel to my parents for the holidays. Of course, the boys go with me everywhere but things are different now.

I should clarify right away that while some women refer to their breasts as "the twins" or "the girls", I have always called mine "the boys". Because while the grass is always greener on the other side, I've had them since I was eleven, they are mostly a hassle (i.e. 'No, Victoria's Secret doesn't have your size, ma'am.' and 'Ummm, my eyes are up here, guy!') So, somehow, "the boys" just seems more appropriate.

Anyway, flash forward to now. A woman was asked a few weeks ago to step off of a plane for breastfeeding. Big fuss, and the inevitable flurry of protests and big deal most people would say. Except now I'm eyeing my plane tickets and praying for mercy...because my daughter is coming with and as you guessed, 'the boys' play a Critical Role in her nutritional intake. (aka the Only Role to date.) And while the normal person doesn't have to worry... I'm never that lucky. "The Boys" are hard to hide, and juggling a wriggling baby, a pillow, aforementioned boob and then the socially required shawl/blanket/scarf is...well, a challenge. Last time we attempted a public feeding (it was an emergency) at a public park, I believe we did more entertaining of the crowd than anything else. I kept trying to picture all these serene pairings of woman with child during a tender moment, and instead probably looked like a woman determined to lose a wrestling match topless to a ten pounder with attitude.

sigh. Beyond modest, it is my lot in life to face the inevitable. It's not a political statement. It's sustenance for my daughter. I'm a first time mom and while other women seem to be able to feed their babies and balance a book on their heads, I've never been that graceful. And so, here it comes. It's inevitable that this won't go as smoothly as I'm hoping and you know what they say about 'good intentions'. Odds are high I'm going to sit next to someone openly displeased with the two of us (or is it the four of us?)

I'm blushing already. But she's worth it. So, if you're the unhappy soul sitting next to us on the plane, glaring at me, baby and the boys--what can I say? "Excuse me, could you hold this scarf for me?" Or should I throw caution to the winds? "Got milk?"



Blogger Eva Gale said...

renee, I have beastfed 7 and I'm still not that graceful. Although I once saw a woman who was.

Here are my hints. Do you have a sling? If you do, wear it then layer. A light tee shit with a button down. I have to pull up and my whole side pokes out. When I wear the buttondown, it hides my side. Then with the baby in the sling you can position her and still have two hands free.

If you don't have a sling, I'll make one for you and mail it.

Other ideas:

1. Can you pump? Aventis has a great pump that I swear by and it's about 50 bucks.

2. Can you ask the attendant to put you at the back window?

Is the Dh going? Can he hold a blanket up for you? If not, find the nicest most easygoing woman on the plane and ask her to guard for you.

Part of me wants to tell you to unveil the boys and bare them with pride. Sucks to have to do this to nurse. Sophia still nurses at a almost a year, so I feel for ya.

7:45 PM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

I cannot EVEN believe you blogged about the boys. I mean, you said you were gonna ... but I ... well. Quite frankly I figured you would wuss.

I never nursed in public. I have no advice on how to do that gracefully. Just try not to get arrested.


8:04 PM  
Blogger Renee Bernard said...

Sling, check! Pump, check! Easygoing woman, check!

Although with the new panic over liquids on planes, can I bring pumped breastmilk without them yanking me into a security cubicle? I suppose the only way to find out, is to find out. I'll have to go online and see what the regulations are when it comes to infants, because that 3-1-1 rule just isn't going to cut it!

As it stands, I'm just going to try to keep my sense of humor. And if the Boys make the trip more interesting, then so be it!

10:36 PM  
Blogger Janet W. said...

Hi! So lovely to never talk to someone before and plung into your nursing experiences: but Oh Well! I have three children -- the youngest is now 17 :) and I nursed them all ... past their first birthdays. I adored nursing ... why? Because no one could say "Why are you reading"? Hey, I was nursing wasn't I? Big shawls, practice and just give them the evil eye! What the heck, don't they have their own book to read.

But I digress. I am a regular on the Suz Brockmann BB -- here's a link --

and you are getting the BEST publicity there. I have your book: so do others -- we all think it could melt the polar ice caps and we can't wait to read the sequel. I have decided it will be even spicier ... but hints are, of course, always welcome :)

Did you really sign books at Book Passages in Corte Madera? That is super close to my house. Do you live in NorCal? I'd love to come to a book signing if you have another one planned.

Thanks! And I guess you're happy with your review on AAR: it is what made me search out your book!


3:48 PM  
Blogger Eva Gale said...

Cindy Said- "Renee is a total pussy. She wouldn't do it. No point in asking her."

I don't think you're a pussy. You'd post Cindy's "50 ways to kill a writer" blog post, wouldn't you? In the name of social science?



9:42 PM  
Blogger Renee Bernard said... science! Okay...point me in the right direction....I'm heading for Cindy's blog and I'm posting!

1:05 PM  

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