Well, I had my first public breast feeding event. I have fed him outside of the house on multiple occasions before this, we were just always in the car. The car can be awkward enough, especially on the OU campus with college guys walking past the window peeking in, but it was nothing like being in a store.
Some friends of ours, the amazing Fortneys, were playing at Full Circle on Friday night. We decided to make it Little Man's first concert and went. Inevitably, Little Man needed one of his many hobbit meals in the middle of the fun.
There was no way I was taking my child into the 50 Penn Place bathroom to eat. For a hoity-toity establishment their bathroom is the most disgusting thing known to man. I also didn't want to just leave the building so I decided to find a nice, out-of-way spot in the store and just feed him.
Now I remembered there being quite a few chairs really poked into secluded corners in that store. And my memory turned out to be quite faulty. There are some chairs in "corners" but none are that secluded. Then I thought I would just use the chair in the kid's book room because, hey, even if I am a little in the open people who come into that room shouldn't mind my actions. However, that chair is directly in front of the check-out counter and there were two employees just hanging out there. I felt that was awkward.
Now, as I cruised around the store looking for the prime nursing location I hadn't really realized just how many times I had lapped the store. Apparently it was enough to make me seem like a shop lifter because on my third time past one of the store employees started up a weirdly forced yet tenacious conversation. I mostly just wanted to get away from him and quit talking about whatever the hell he was trying to talk to me about since it was weird and I felt pretty awkward about what I was trying to do anyways, but I also didn't want my fleeing to look more questionable. It also didn't help that I had a book shoved into my purse that was a library copy, but the telling bar code was not overly apparent and it probably looked dodgy.
I finally decided on a bench in the back that faced the back wall in the biography and history section. Once we got all settled an older gentleman came walking around the corner angling towards the history area. He took one look at us, or really just me with a bright green blanket draped across me, and stutter stepped back eventually just backing out of the room all together. I wondered about whether I scared him or he just was in the wrong place until he hesitantly peaked around the corner nonchalantly and then disappeared a couple times before just walking back in with his eyes cast downward until he got right in front of the book shelves he wanted. This made me feel a little bad.
Little Man got half done and needed a diaper change. So we loaded our stuff up and went back to the cafe area where the fun was. I had felt pretty left out and a little bad that I had been thought a thief and made a man incredibly uncomfortable. So after Little Man got his pants changed and passed around a little I decided to stay amongst the fun and just nurse him on the floor slightly under a table. Though I did get to listen to music more that way everyone kept their eyes off of me, no one talked with me, and Mr. Neruda actually got up and moved away from me (to film something a table over, but it was still bad timing). I don't blame anyone. It is an extremely awkward thing and it seems a lot of people assume I don't want to be looked at as much as they don't want to look.
It seems that no matter the circumstances, nursing is always going to be a lonely job. It's sad because I don't want to make people uncomfortable but I also don't always like to hide myself in a back room or corner and miss out on all the fun. I mean, I am not out to show off my bosom to everyone or anything. I make sure to completely cover myself. However, the nature of the action is that it makes everyone think about my boobs which is fairly odd.
I am not sure there is a solution to this whole thing. I think I just have a long 10 months ahead of me.