One less thing to fret over

This post is going to make me look a bit like a neurotic idiot, but the truth had to come out sometime, right?

Three years ago, I took Mallory to her preschool orientation. Phoebe was a wee little thing, about two months old, and I toted her along in a sling. (Loved the sling, by the way; I think Phoebe spent much of the first four months of her life in that thing.) A mother of one of Mallory’s new classmates approached me and cooed over Phoebe, and then mentioned that she had a month-old baby at home. (Let’s call the mom Anne and the baby Sarah. Because why not.) Then she said, “I love your sling…is it easy to nurse while you wear it?”

“Actually, I don’t –“ I began, and she cut in and said, “Oh, you don’t—“ and then Mallory came over and needed me and I never got to finish the conversation with Anne.

And for three years, I’ve worried about that conversation. What I had been planning to say was that I never nursed Phoebe in the sling because nursing Phoebe successfully required a stack of pillows, a chair with arms, both hands, and lots of patience. But I was afraid that Anne thought I meant that I didn’t nurse at all. Now I know, or I tried to convince myself, that in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter what Anne thought about how I fed my baby. I certainly wouldn’t judge another mother for nursing or not nursing or wearing a sling or not or any of those things. Maybe it was because Phoebe was so difficult to nurse, and because I was proud of sticking with it regardless, that I didn’t want Anne to have the wrong idea. Maybe I’m just a freak. But every time I saw Anne – and I’ve seen her a lot, since our kids are in the same school – I’ve wanted to go up to her and say, “You know, I really did nurse Phoebe! Really! I did!” – but I never did, because obviously she would think I was nuts.

You will be glad to know that this story has a happy ending. Sarah and Phoebe are now in the same preschool class, and we went on a field trip last Friday. Whilst listening to a park ranger talk about trees and roots, I noticed another class mom nursing her small baby. I glanced over and happened to catch Anne’s eye, and we both smiled at the baby, and then Anne whispered, “Brings back memories, doesn’t it?” I said yes, and then she said, “How long did you nurse Phoebe?” I told her, and she said that Sarah had nursed for about the same length of time, and we talked about how special that was. So, hooray! I no longer have to worry about what Anne’s mother thinks about me! And obviously, since she asked the question first, I should have never worried about it to begin with, which, really, is the moral of the story.


aimee said...

Isn't it funny the things we worry about when really no one else even remembers? Unless it has to do with them, then they'll never forget.