some things can’t be unseen

Ever see something so disturbing you wish you could rip your eyes out and trade them in for a new set? Or, at the very least, have the option of inviting over the Men in Black and having them zap away some unpleasant memories? Wouldn’t that be nice? Damn. I read a news article yesterday that reminded me ofΒ something last year that haunted me on a daily basis. Prepared to be disturbed. Or offended. Either is okay…. we’re all friends here.

Men-in-Black

Last summer, I took my 6-year-old niece to the birthday party of one of her classmates. Now, I don’t have any kids and always feel awkward in these situations, so I like to pretend I’m busy on my phone besting my Angry Birds score or something. (It sucks being socially awkward, you know?) Then, another classmate at the party came up to me to talk about the game while she was eating some birthday cake.

Girl: Oh, I’m way past that score! Here… I can show you how to play it right.

Girl’s Mom (to me): Oh, you don’t have to let her use your phone. She just can’t put the electronics down!

Me: Oh, that’s okay. I’m impressed at her game skills.

Girl: I’m thirsty mom, can I have milk?

Girl’s Mom: Sure, come sit here. *Takes her boob out to breastfeed*

*6-year-old girl runs over to suck her mom’s boob while she’s wrecking my Angry Birds score. Phone is officially declared to be in a hostage situation at this point.*

I was…. mortified.

Now… let me just say this – I fully support the movement for normalizing breastfeeding. I think people make a big deal out of it when it shouldn’t be. But… I can’t help but be disturbed by this. The situation legitimately made me feel sick to my stomach. This girl is in 1st grade and eating normal food like cake. The only thing I could manage to do was ask for my phone back and use the bathroom excuse. GOTTA GO, CAN’T WAIT!

How would you have reacted to this situation? Are you disturbed? Weirded out? Slightly nauseous? Or do you think this is 100% normal and okay?

What is going on? This is why I try to stay home as often as possible.

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217 thoughts on “some things can’t be unseen

  1. elizabetcetera says:

    I thought when the teeth came in that was kind of the clue to stop breastfeeding. I mean what if the “little one” gets hungry and starts chewing?! Owwww!

    But they say when you breastfeed (never been there done that) your period stops — maybe mom didn’t like her periods so she puts up with the 6-year-old suckling child?! Just a thought.

    At the very least she could breast pump her milk, put it in a bottle for the little one to suck from! Kidding … very bad idea … bottles can lead to buck teeth if given until 5 or 6 or 7 … changes the formation of the mouth and growing teeth.

  2. Karina Pinella says:

    Actually, I’ve seen that happen in a playgroup when a boy of similar age wanted some milk and the mother said, “Sure.” You hum and play dumb. . . Then, you excuse yourself and go to the nearest bathroom and cringe, wince, and ask, “What did I just see?”

      • lisamariagardiner says:

        Yeah I expect so lol! Breastfeeding is fabulous – it pained me to stop with them all but it isn’t necessary to feed in public with an older child. Personally my children only used it for comfort in the end – I continued as long as I did because it was the only time I had a chest to be proud of πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

  3. The Flying Dutchman says:

    It wouldn’t have shocked me but then very little does. There could be health reasons she’s still drinking mom’s milk, dunno. It does seem that if that were the case then mom could pump it and save it for such occasions rather that whip it out on the spot.

  4. Jena says:

    It’s times like this that I just thank God I can’t see and keep on going. πŸ™‚
    Seriously though, I don’t have any problem with somebody breast-feeding a baby or toddler, but any more than age 2 or three and things just get weird to me.

  5. aheikkinen says:

    I never breastfed my child (not even when he was a baby) in public or in front of friends and relatives. I don’t see it done often but when I see it makes me feel bothered, awkward, embarrassed. I don’t know how I had reacted to sit beside a mom breastfeeding a six year old !

  6. Anxious Mom says:

    Yeesh. I’m also all for breastfeeding, beyond what many people consider the normal weaning age of one, and in public, but six years old? Uhhhh.

    (Btw, I was wondering why I hadn’t seen you post lately, came over, and saw that I must have accidentally unfollowed…looks like I’ve got some catching up to do!)

    • Blair (The Shameful Sheep) says:

      Same, I don’t mind it in public either. As long as the person doing it feels comfortable. The age is shocking though lol. And… someone else told me recently they randomly realized they weren’t following me anymore either. I think WP hates me.

  7. lolabipola says:

    My neighbour (when I lived in South Africa) was breastfed until he was 7 years old. I thought that was a bit excessive. I’m all for breastfeeding. I think its awesome. The longest I breastfed for was 13 months (with my youngest), but I honestly think that as soon as the child can talk, its time to stop whipping the tit out. For realz. But, hey, whatever blows your skirt up πŸ˜‰

  8. Rosie Scribblah says:

    I think it says more about the needs of the mother than the child. Unless there is a medical need for the child to have breastmilk at that age. In which case it can be put into a cup.

  9. chattykerry says:

    I am fascinated by all the responses and have just one more thing to say. If breasts were truly only for feeding then there would be no need for them to be so large or shapely. We have evolved for men to be turned on by both our breasts and butts. (Its a twofer πŸ™‚ ) Otherwise why not just have a rows of nipples like cats. I hope this now starts the anti-Darwin crowd because I am really enjoying your pain, LOL!

  10. toutparmoi says:

    Weird. I wondered why the 6 year old hadn’t noticed that other kids aren’t still being breastfed – where’s her spirit of independence? Most little kids are keen to be big kids, if you take my meaning. But then it occurred to me that as a lot of people nowadays only have one or two kids, maybe the kids themselves no longer associate breastfeeding with babies?

  11. Cookie says:

    I find super extended breastfeeding strange too. Once a kid is school age, I think they would have a hard time explaining to their peers that they still latch on.
    To each their own I suppose….

  12. Dandelion Buttons says:

    I actually began to back away from the monitor as I read the bizarre complexity of the situation.

    Awkwardness…I think the normies would find this as equally awkward.

    I feel awkward just having read this…for you, the niece, and the 6 year old kid that doesn’t know any better.

  13. imsonot says:

    My wife works at WIC and sees all kinds of breastfeeding behavior, and we both think that if the kid can ask in a fully-formed English sentence…maybe they’re too old to get the mom-faucet. If they start bringing Mom flowers and candy when they ask…definitely too old!

  14. ericka says:

    It might be “natural” but that doesn’t mean I wanna see it. I prefer not to see other “natural” acts, either. Such as those that involve a toilet bowl. Sorry, not sorry.

  15. Healthy Not Nuts says:

    Don’t like it! It’s weird. I don’t really care what people do but be private about that kind of stuff, you know? Breast feeding a baby is one thing, a 6 year old is a whole ‘nother thing! I knew a woman who was still breast feeding her son at 5 years old. I thought she was weird, and she was weird. She hugged EVERYONE, all the time, multiple times. Quite honestly, I didn’t like that either but, you know, at least she was harmless. πŸ™‚

  16. Nyx says:

    O.o Teeth are for chewing, not for boobies. That’s when you’re supposed to stop. Isn’t it?

    Mind you, I saw a doco on a woman who was breastfeeding her two daughters (8 and 6, I believe) because she thought breast milk made them smarter.

  17. hotmessmemoir says:

    Well Blair, you are getting Hot Mess after 4 glasses of wine so here it goes. Holy Shit. After you said the victim went back to her mom to get a drink I immediately scrolled back up to confirm you had put 6 years old and not 6 months. The minute I felt a tooth was the minute I ended breast feeding which was approximately at 5 months. I’ve never been so miserable. Breast feeding is the worst! In addition to the other 300 things the Mommanti’s keep secret about motherhood, you can add that your other boob leaks while you are breastfeeding. Yeah, it’s not Burger King. You don’t get it your way and choose which one to dispense from. I didn’t breast feed my second son and news flash, he’s not a drooling imbecile that I have absolutely no bond with. Ok, I’m done. I will put down the wine. πŸ™‚

      • hotmessmemoir says:

        This is a long story and I’ll tell you sometime but I was invited on what is known as a jet trip where we go and visit stores all over America on a private jet. There was no electricity since it was an airplane and I had to use a manual pump and sit in a restroom for 15 minutes every other hour pumping, knowing that my co-workers were questioning why I was taking so long since the bathroom opened up directly into the area everybody was sitting in.

  18. bg says:

    It’s not right in my mind but I think I’ve been brainwashed once or twice.at least she did jiggle the breast first because she likes milk shakes lol sorry πŸ™‚

  19. spartacus2030 says:

    Well I dunno… If I’m fresh out of milk, I wouldn’t mind if you’d lactate in my tea, but shouldn’t a 6 year old be on cool aid already? We drink cow’s milk ’till we’re 90… I find that weird!

  20. KatieComeBack says:

    OK, I’ll admit to being somewhat of a militant lactivist, and will support your right to nurse wherever and whenever baby wants. Baby’s hungry, I was whipping it out. (Now, I wasn’t tooling it in circles around my head and posting neon signs saying HEY LOOK I’M NURSING HERE. I was appropriately discreet. But if baby wanted to eat, baby ate.)

    BUT THAT SAID…

    I can’t help but think that nursing to the point where you’re old enough to REMEMBER it has to be traumatizing to some degree. Doesn’t it??? I mean, I know how babies are made and born, but that doesn’t mean I need to go back up the birth canal with a miner’s hat every birthday to commemorate it. Some things are better left in the unconscious experience….

  21. Lisa Pomerantz says:

    Teeth, complete sentences, reading aloud themselves, all red flags to call it a day. Imagine that kid at a Starbucks? I’ll have a decaf, no foam, non-fat breast milk latte? No you didn’t! Thanks Blair for telling it real! Great post.

  22. bigbadmomblog says:

    Okay Blair I have one for you that even though I EBF my kids until a year old this creeps me out and I’m sorry for whom I may upset by this statement but have you heard of Tandem Nursing? That is where you may have say a three year old, a one year old, and a newborn and BF all three of them. The idea of that really freaks me out and I first heard of this a few years ago from my nurse in labor and delivery she Tandem nursed two kids and was pregnant with another. It still freaks me out to think of it. I wish however I could’ve cut my ears off because honestly I’m thankful I didn’t have to see it.

  23. Lisl says:

    Holy crap. Reminds me of the Adam Sandler movie _Grown Ups_. Breastfeeding is great and I did it myself, but even my 18 month old knew it was time to stop.

    Six is just too old and inappropriate. And trust me, I know inappropriate πŸ˜›

  24. Po' Girl Shines says:

    I’m totally with you. I breast fed my children and when they got teeth, they were weaned as is fairly normal. This is how nature intended it to be. It was gross and disturbing to see a child of that age suckling like that. I was freaked out when one of my friends started nursing her 3 year old in front of me. I had previously stopped nursing my child when he was 8 months old, had teeth, could eat and drink stuff. It’s ok to nurse if you want til about a year or two but past that is just a very bad idea. You are not supposed to be sucking stuff past a certain age per Drs and Dentists. If you are still nursing your child at 6, when is the cut off? 16? You have your teen age son sucking your breasts? Sorry, that’s just too f’ing weird and perverted, but a definite sign of the times. Very funny and brave to write about this.

  25. rgayer55 says:

    I love the title and can think of several things I’ve witnessed that fall in this category. Sometimes it grosses you out to look, but for whatever reason, you can’t look the other way.

  26. i'm_going.home says:

    Your lead had me preparing for worse. I don’t know enough about the possible health issues or benefits breastfeeding a 6 year old to form a thought. The social aspect would be a bit awkward for me, because the Mother is practicing her way of life that is different from what I’ve seen and from what I’ve been taught. If I got too uncomfortable, I’d probably like you, quietly relocate myself. I’ve heard of it, but hearing and seeing are miles apart.

  27. itsgoodtobecrazysometimes says:

    Its actually recommended to breastfeed till 2 and there are some studies that show extended breastfeeding have got real benefits.

    I did double check with a friend, who is massive on extended breastfeeding and she made a good point that you thought that the breastfeeding was weird but not a child drinking another animals milk.

    I am still not sure where I stand on the issue to be honest

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