Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Benefits of Nursing in Public

Nursing in public is a highly controversial subject. Should you or shouldn’t you? I was conflicted on this issue for a while, then something happened that helped me make up my mind about it. It was when I12 was five months old.

Mr. Goldie and I are, of course, (being Orthodox) big believers in infant baptism, so we arranged to have ~I~ (I hesitate to call him I12, because he wasn’t twelve then) baptized on his nameday, which (by the Russian calendar) is August 2nd. (Now you can go ahead and figure out his name.) At that time, we were living in a small town in Moscow region, in a tiny apartment, and, back then, Mr. Goldie was leading a highly spiritual life. He attended church, he went to Bible studies, he went to home-based small groups, and who knows what else. I didn’t go to any of those gatherings, because of the baby. Anyway, when the time came to baptize ~I~, it was Mr. Goldie who made the arrangements. The ceremony was scheduled to take place in our apartment, at a certain time. After the ceremony, we planned a small tea party for everybody. We were really short on money back then, but we scraped something together and bought a few nice treats and a box of chocolates.

I need to tell you at this point that my husband is famous for his extreme hospitality. He loves having people over and he tries to make sure that his guests have a good time. You will see later where I am going with this.

So, the day came, and Mr. Goldie went to get the priest and the godparents. They were in some Bible study group across town somewhere. I dressed ~I~ in his best baby clothes, got everything ready, and waited. Pretty soon the door opened, and in came the priest, followed by Mr. Goldie, followed by the godparents, followed by twenty-five other people that I didn’t know from Adam! Turned out, Mr. Goldie’s heart was so softened by the sight of the Bible study group that he invited everybody over to our place!

We all crammed into our apartment, which was not an easy task, and proceeded with the baptism. ~I~ was baptized in his little baby bathtub. He loved it when the priest dunked him, because he thought he was about to get a bath. But, in the next moment, the priest pulled him back out, and poor ~I~ was severely disappointed. He cried miserably through the rest of the ceremony.

Finally, all was over, we put the dress-up clothes back on ~I~, the men carried the bathtub to our first-floor window and poured it out on the lawn beneath (you are not supposed to pour baptism water into the sink!), we set the table, and all thirty people somehow sat down. Or maybe they stood around the table, buffet-style, I don't remember. Right at that moment, ~I~ got very hungry. Not wanting to nurse him in front of total strangers, I took him to the kitchen and nursed him there.

Fifteen minutes later, I returned with ~I~ and saw that everyone except for the godparents was leaving. I looked at the table – it was empty of all food. No treats, no chocolates, everything gone. Those guys didn’t leave me anything to eat. I never saw any of those people again.

From that day on, I’ve been a big proponent of nursing in public. You never know what you can miss out on while you’re nursing in another room, you know!

The Goldie has spoken at 7:00 PM

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