Friday, April 1, 2011

Laughing all the way to the Breastmilk Bank

So. Someone gave my five-year old one of those doll care kits a while ago, including a bottle, a car-seat, and a disposable diaper. You know, plastic things for raising plastic babies.

I boo the toy industry for including a bottle with every baby doll. It's one way bottle feeding is normalized when it should be the exception. It's one of the reasons I steer clear of beyond-pink doll aisle. I don't want our babies, even our plastic babies, to be bottle-fed. I want them to be breastfed. It's important to me.

I wasn't so mean as to take the things away from my daughter. But I did bury them in the chaos and debris of life with small people. 

They resurfaced.

And they got my daughter all fired up about taking care of her usually neglected dolly again. Which made her younger siblings, of course, crazy with desire to possess the thing for themselves. Which is how I ended up at the library with a 5 year old, a two-year-old, a 1 year old and a carefully swaddled doll named Susy. They wanted her to come with. It was her first outing. She got dropped several times in the parking lot (by her two-year old Daddy), fought over prolifically, and had a real close call with the book-return conveyor belt. 

No matter. I quite enjoyed the whole thing as I can't help but to equate my son and daughter fighting over who gets to hold a baby doll with a promise of grandchildren. My daughter had a fairly elaborate scenario worked up, in fact, in which I am the grandmother.


So. My little five-and-a-half-year old daughter is sweetly feeding her baby doll at the library with such tenderness and care, that a nice lady couldn't help but to stop and ask, "Are you feeding your baby a bottle, Dearie?"

And Dearie replied, "Yes. It's breastmilk." Then she went on in a sweet and conspirational tone, "I can't breastfeed her because I'm not her mother. I'm her babysitter. That's her mother over there," she said gesturing to her baby sister who was sprawled out sleeping in her stroller. "She can't breastfeed her right now. So I have to feed her a bottle. I'm the babysitter. She pumped the breastmilk with a breastpump and I put it in the bottle to feed the baby."

Then the nice lady backed away slowly while I giggled and grinned and chuckled and laughed all the way to the breastmilk bank.

It makes me sad to think what a senseless trauma it was for a generation or two of babies not to have been breastfed because it was, basically, out of style. And it warms my heart to think how surely the damage to our breastfeeding culture can be repaired, just by doing it. 

Our daughters and sons are watching, they are. 



  1. yes. exactly.

    this made me laugh, tear up, and be proud all at the same time.

  2. Way to go, Mama, for teaching your little one right. :)

  3. Yes! That is an amazing response :-)

  4. Hilarious! It's amazing how kids pick up on everything we say or we do. I've never thought about the doll with the bottle. That's truth!!! At the current moment I'm campaigning at home to make my partner play with E. and his doll. I told him that I don't want to be the only one doing this. So here we go, I can listen to them now in the room... dressing and undresing the poor doll...

  5. Oh my, that's wonderful!!! I'm pretty sure if my daughter was given a baby bottle she would give it a "what the heck is this?!" type look!! I hope she is able to be so eloquent about breastfeeding some day (you know, when she can talk).

  6. i feel the same way about babydoll bottles lol except i take them away bc 'you wont need a bottle since the milk comes from your boob-uhs (what my kids call them)' :)

  7. That is awesome! I would be so proud!

  8. This is so, SO lovely! You should be so proud mama!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. The ones that come with the magnetic soother also drives me nuts. My son never used one, and has been a finger sucker since birth. Somehow it went 'missing'... oh well! :)
    Great post! Love it!

  10. I recommended your post in my Sunday Surf :-)


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