When my youngest was a newborn I was a breastfeeding mother. My husband and I were planning to have family over for a cookout. The first thing to do was to go to the grocery store. My husband was asking me “What do we need at the grocery store?”
I was rattling off the list of things as his eyes were glazing over because the list he wanted was three items, the list I was giving was more like the Gettysburg address of lists. I mean when your list begins with “Four Score and Seven Years ago” there is going to be paper involved. So as his eyes begin to glaze over and the three hours of sleep that I was running on and also the possibility of me getting out of the house I naturally answered with “I will just go!” He looked relieved at the opportunity to be in the house alone. I was looking forward to going to the grocery store alone. I finish feeding the baby and I know I have a two and a half hour window to work with. I put the baby in the bassinet and I go outside and hand my husband the monitor so that he can hear when the baby is crying.
“Aren’t you taking the kids?” he asks (Are you serious? I just evacuated the last one from my body so no I don’t have to take them with me everywhere I go!)
“No! The baby is sleeping. The other two are playing nicely and you are an adult so I am able to grocery shop alone.”
“Becki, you are just going to leave them here with me?”
I would like to think that I was all understanding and thoughtful and handled things like a good-natured human being. Instead I turned to him and I said. “Yes. Surprise and congratulations you are a father. It’s a girl and a boy and another girl!” I turned on my heels and walked all the way to the minivan and started that bad boy up like the rock star that I was.
I drove all the way to the grocery store listening to music. At first it was Ernie singing about his best friend “rubber ducky” and then I was like “Wait, I can listen to whatever the Hell I want to. It can be the most violent of all music I can find.” So naturally I blanked because what even is popular these days. I turned to some pop channel and there was Britney singing about spousal abuse or some such thing and I was all like “No Britney do not let him hit you.” I finally found Alanis and she is singing about the ironies of life. I can really get into that and so on my way I go. I don’t know the words but I sing anyway, because I AM A ROCK STAR!!!!
I get to the grocery store and the first thing I look for is the cart with the car that the children can play in while I shop. But guess what folks I don’t need it. I can push a regular sized cart and shop in peace. I am going up and down the isles and I start getting these guys that look at me and smile and say “HELLO!” I am impressed because did I even shower today, or this week? These men are all into me. I am floating because I am getting the “look” from all of these guys. “I still got it!” I think to myself.
*I know that I shouldn’t get my self-worth from a man or many men. I know that I am supposed to be better than that. But to be completely honest I have been feeling like such a host to a parasitic condition for so long It honestly felt good for someone to look at me not as a person that was going to feed and clothe them but as a hot piece of ass. A desired human being. My husband at this point in time looked at me as the person that was going to help him avoid parental duties. So yes I was flattered by all of these looks.
My self-esteem was soaring by the time I get home. My sister was there when I get homw and she helps me unload the groceries. Then as I was standing in the kitchen telling her how all of these men were giving me the “LOOK”. She says “Your shirt is opened.”
“What?” I ask
“Your shirt is open!” she states again and points to my chest.
I slowly look down and low and behold there It is. My shirt was wide open.
*flashback to what I was doing prior to my shopping trip. BREASTFEEDING the baby!
Holy fucking shit! These guys were definitely into me because there I was with my enormous milkshakes hanging out for anyone to see. The baby cries and now I realize that I may or may not just walk around with my blouse wide open because all I ever do is feed the baby. Why bother buttoning up when all I am going to be doing is unbuttoning every two and a half hours until she is old enough to say “button your shirt mom!”
Moral of my story: if you breastfeed check yourself in the mirror before you leave the house to make sure that the goods aren’t on display. Also, they still were checking me out so it counts. The irony is not lost on me that I was listening to that song on this particular shopping trip.