Hey Santa…want some milk with that cookie?

Gasping and panting I’m back from hell, er, I mean the mall.

One kid was thrilled to see Santa. The other, not so much. I have to admit, though, our mall has a really good Santa. That’s a real beard.

Anyway, after the big red guy experience we headed up to the play area where I witnessed the mother of a maybe 12-14-month old smack her kid’s hand-hard. His crime? He dropped his sippy cup. Then…get this…she says to the kid, “I forgive you.”

Needless to say I was shocked, appalled, disgusted, etc., etc., etc. All I could do was stare her down with the stink eye. She was with a friend, and as they packed up their kids to leave I heard her say “…you just have to get used to stares like that. We actually discipline our children and we certainly don’t nurse them at that age, in public…”

I had been nursing my 8-month old while all of this took place. And, for the record, my toddler was the most well behaved child in that play area by far. He was politely asking children if they would like to play with him. And saying “thank you” if they agreed.

Now, I am by no means a sit-down-and-take-it kind of girl. I’ll argue you to the floor on my right to nurse in public. In fact, I had been dreaming of this moment for years…a chance to defend my breastfeeding rights.

But all I did was sit there. Dumbfounded. I hadn’t planned on the attack coming from another mother. In a play area. In my family-oriented, California town. I thought this would happen back in Michigan. With a guy. Or at a restaurant. And all I did was sit there, speechless.

And by the time I realized what happened, they were gone. Dammit.


  1. Even if you had said something it wouldn’t have made any difference anyway. People like that shouldn’t have kids.

    You’re a great mom, and your son’s behavior is proof at that. Hey, who knows, maybe one day in 15 years or so you’ll see her again on the evening news, this time watching her child being led away in handcuffs.

  2. She was hassling you for nursing an 8 month old? Did she expect the child to be using chopsticks or something?

  3. I’d also like to point out I was totally covered. You could see nothing. Alough I’m all for whipping them out in public…

  4. She does that to her kid because he dropped his sippy cup – then has the nerve to talk about you nursing an 8 month old?? Wtf? She needs a slap upside the head!

  5. You know what I can’t wrap my head around? All you hear about is how wonderful and beautiful an experience breastfeeding is, how it bonds the mother and child, how it’s much healthier to pass on natural nutrients and antibodies. But apparently you should only be able to do it chained in a dark basement, because God forbid you FEED YOUR CHILD when she’s hungry. I for one would much rather seeing a mother breastfeeding than trying to give a screaming baby a bottle that he or she has no desire for.

    Also, I’m going to have to ask all of you mothers with adorable children to stop posting pictures of their squeezable little selves. Because with each picture I see I can hear the biological clock ticking a little louder!!

  6. Oh. I. hate. when. that. happens. I, too, used to pray for, dream of, an opportunity to show the nipple if necessary, to make my point. I would talk loudly to my friends or husband about the snide comments people (especially women) would make as I nursed one of our babies discretely in public. I mean babies. Not even one, yet. It just never did me any good. And in the heat of a real stare down, I’d give. Just didn’t really want the conflict. But I believe in my right, and yours, to breastfeed whenever, where ever, and not be relegated to some dirty toilet somewhere! What’s wrong with these people? It’s kind of like my uncle, bless him, who said upon walking in on me with my first baby at 3 months…’that’s just not Natural!’. Is plastic natural? Do bottle feeders have to go to the toilet? I think not!

  7. Yeah, and your kid who was freakishly breastfed will grow up all well adjusted while hers will end up in therapy or worse.

    Sad really.

  8. You would be surprised where you can hear such comments. I never expected to hear anythging negative about BF in public in ultra-liberal Holland, but I have been shocked more than once. The other month I was leaving a bagel and coffee shop and a woman was nursing her child. Then I hear behind me, two university students (girls) go “ewwww, shes breastfeeding!” I turned and gave them the dirtiest look possible. Good for you for still breastfeeding!

    And diciplining a 14 month old for dropping a sippy cup? That just confuses me…

  9. Here’s the thing that bugs me about ALL of this.
    All these Mothers that are so flippin judgemental.
    Who the hell cares how you feed your kid? You are feeding it right? That is what counts.
    Some people can’t breastfeed, others choose not to, and then still others breastfeed. My opinion is this:
    It is nobody’s business but yours, your partner, and your kid, how you feed your baby. As long as you are taking care of the child and not neglecting or abusing the kid I think you deserve a medal of honor.
    I think that all this “judgemental-ness” should be reserved for the Mothers who kill, abuse, neglect, or abandon their children….
    Leave the good Mothers alone.

    As for your situation at the mall…
    That woman sounds as if she should have popped an extra Xanex before going out into public that day. What a judgemental jerk.

  10. Turn the other nipple and be done with it.

    And pity her children—-

    She must have rode in on the 1940’s parenting bus.

  11. That woman (notice I’m not calling her a mother) is an idiot. She thinks that disciplining a child means beating them. She also thinks that accidents require “discipline” as if that will stop small hands from losing their grip on sippie cups.

    She probably stopped breast feeding her child after 1 day.

  12. Poor, poor kid!

    She’s probably one of those idiots who has read that horrible “Babywise” book, which wants you to put infants on a schedule and physically discipline even an infant. I have read lots of articles sane pediatricians and most child care related professionals saying these books are downright DANGEROUS, but I know that they are widely used, especially by certain Christian groups. I won’t buy them for my library–though I know other branches have them! Their “advice” is child abuse in my view.

    I have no problem with moms nursing babies in public, and we try to make our library nursing friendly. When a mom whips out a nipple to nurse a baby during a program, I never bat an eye. And an 8 month old is a baby.

    On the other hand I COULD do without LaLeche types who nurse 3 and 4 year olds. But that’s a whole different sort of thing….

    Ah, well, all part of the jolly holiday season–right?

  13. I know I’ve snapped before and swatted a butt. But felt horrible. And not hard. And not because of an accident. What got me the most…and lets just assume this woman just had a really, really, really bad day…and I’m being very nice…what got me the most was the “I forgive you.” She forgives him for dropping his cup? She forgives him for making her HIT him. She hit him hard. This was not a swat. This was a full-on SMACK. Which is why I was staring her down.

  14. That story just PISSED me off!!! What an idiot that woman was.. first, for “disciplining” her toddler in that way, and for a stupid reason on top of it, and then to have the nerve to make a remark like that?

    At least, Erin, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are in fact the better mother by far – and she even realized that, too. See, you made her feel insecure and maybe even a little ashamed or guilty with your glare – and because of those uncomfortable feelings, she needed to lash out at you in some way – and the breastfeeding thing is probably the only thing that she could think of at that moment.

    I bottle fed both my boys, but would never, ever show disrespect to a nursing mother and her right to do so wherever and whenever needed.

    Cute Santa shot 🙂

  15. I am livid just reading this. I want to stalk the venue she frequents so I can get a band of GOOD mommies out there to give her a nice talking to. ARGH. AGHHHHH!

  16. Okay, I’ve smacked hands before, but not for that.

    However, what else are you supposed to feed an 8-month-old.

    I guess you should have opened a can of coke, or perhaps Kool Aid, and poured it in a bottle for a quick “energizing” snack!

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