Breastfeeding in public should be no big deal in this day and age, and yet there always seems to be someone ready to freak out over the idea of a mother feeding her baby.
Fortunately kids like this Australian 6-year-old boy represent the next generation and offer hope that attitudes are changing.
There’s not a whole lot of positivity that can come out of a stranger peering through your tinted windows in a parking lot and beseeching you to “put your tits away” when you’re just trying to pump a little breast milk for your tongue-tied son. That’s what happened to Telaine Smith, an Australian mom who got that very request, but she has one great reason to throw the whole nasty encounter into the win column: her 6-year-old son, Dallas.
The little boy, who apparently has a great deal more emotional maturity than the two strangers who inserted themselves into Smith’s business, had a simple, perfect solution for the woman who issued the nasty request: “If you don’t like it, you don’t need to look.”
It gets tiresome to continue to chronicle the exploits of the international, self-appointed breastfeeding police who lurk in airplanes and coffee shops and apparently go peering into dark cars they don’t own for a glimpse of nipple, with the hopes of chastising the woman attached to it. It is easy to become discouraged by the fact that this conversation has to happen over and over again in what will soon be 2016 in places all over the world where breastfeeding wherever you want is almost universally legal. So today, let’s not focus on the people who can’t see a boob without rudely adding commentary about when women are and are not allowed to show them.
Let’s focus on Dallas.
We can all agree that this little dude is awesome. Let us count the ways: Already more progressive on the topic of breastfeeding than grumpy parking lot strangers? Check. Chill as f*** about a lady (his mom) pumping some breast milk to feed her child? Check. Stands up for his mom when someone gets all lippy with her? Check. Does it without losing his cool or being rude? Checkity-check-check.
Dallas didn’t just school these two idiots on where they can turn their eyeballs when a breast appears; he took them to school on adulting best practices as well.
This little kid’s blasé response to a rude stranger represents something we can all be excited about: One day, kick-ass kids like him will be the adults who learned from a young age that when it comes to mammary glands and nipple shields, there is one very easy way to not become offended — don’t look. That means that in a decade or two, the children who have a better grasp on minding their own business than adults with more life experience do will be the ones cruising shopping malls and grocery stores and encountering boobs in the wild. And they’ll have nothing to say because they already figured out how to keep from passing out when they see a breast pump or a baby’s head covering a breast: “If you don’t like it, you don’t need to look.”