I'm with my BFF (breast-feeding friend) at the Tea Lounge (where else? It's unofficially Park Slope's breastfeeding HQ - with its murky lighting, mangy low-slung couches, and disinterested laptoppers and gen-z counter help, there's no better crowded public place around to whip 'em out). See, though, I'm long done with my foray into the dairy business, and have had it with the sight of her breastfeeding. But as usual, she gives in all too easily to the baby's greedy demands. This child is almost two, by the way, and continues to see this suckling as an inalienable right.
When ready to tie on the feedbag, the child scrabbles at BFF's chest with a sense of indignant entitlement, pushing up her shirt to her neck, exposing her braless breasts, and insisting that both nipples be bared in public — one for sucking and one for pinching and tweaking. On occasion she doesn't want the kid to nurse. So then come the negotiations: eat your lunch first, then you can nurse; take a nap, then you can nurse. You can't nurse now! Here's a fig Newman instead! I will not be surprised to some day hear, "Do your homework, then you can nurse." BFF's first child had full boob access until the child was three, and, I suspect, past that, on the down-low. In the interest of familial fairness, number 2 has been promised the same extended run.
Don't misunderstand me; I'm a 2-time Park Slope mommy; I did the do. And I'm still solidly on the pro side, theoretically. Organize a rally at in front of Chuck Schumer's apartment building on PPW to promote nationally legalized public breastfeeding, and I'll be there, shoulder to shoulder with my nipple-baring sisters. And I don't pretend I haven't discreetly lifted my shirt back at HQ. Truth is, I've bought the party line so much that when I see a newborn sucking from a bottle and not a flesh-enveloped mammary gland, I feel like I'm witnessing child abuse.
But I was sick to death of the sight of my own nipples by the time I'd closed up shop. I feel like I spend way too much time looking at this woman's nipples. They're more like wrists now. That's just not right. Please put them away. You're ruining it for everyone. Women's nipples are supposed to be a yearned-for destination, like, say, Venice, or Disneyland, not some completely de-eroticized subway station with free maps that everyone just passes through without noticing. Know what I mean? Dear BFF, don't turn our nipples into the F stop at 4th and 9th.