Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

Things I Think Of Saying…But Don’t

A lot of times there are things I’d like to say to people but they’re so inappropriate that I don’t.

Like there’s a cute older woman who works at the local Walmart neighborhood market where I do most of my grocery shopping. To me she falls into the category of “Once a hottie, still a hottie…” Helen Mirren and Jamie Lee Curtis fall in that category as clarification of what I mean. Anyway, sometimes when I see this lady at the store I’d like to say, “Listen, if I should collapse in some aisle here, I’d like you to be the one to give me mouth-to-mouth until the paramedics get here.” But I keep my mouth shut.

Down in Panama where I lived for eight years breast feeding openly is simply normal. Nobody thinks a thing about it unlike here in the Puritanical Great White North. The women of the Ngäbe-Buglé, the largest of the indigenous tribes, and who flourish in Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui provinces, wear a traditional dress called an “enagua” (pronounced nah wa).

Breastfeeding is so common that these dresses often have slits in the bodice which the women use to expose the breast for the child to suckle. Non-indigenous women in western clothes would simply unbutton their blouses to give the baby access to the breasts.

The buses in Panama are generally nice, air-conditioned, 30-seat Toyota Coasters instead of discarded U.S. school buses, though there are still a few of those around.

I used to ride this bus into David (dah VEED) all the time.

There was a narrow aisle down the center of the bus and seats on either side. These seats, of necessity, weren’t very wide and could barely hold two normally-sized people. No such thing as “social distancing” when you were riding on these buses. In the years that I rode them there were many times when a pretty, young mommy would board with her infant and sit in the empty spot beside me. Probably a half-dozen times when the infant got restless the girl would unbutton herself, whip out a boob and stick it in the kid’s mouth to calm it down. Well, naturally, we’re sitting there literally rubbing shoulders and it’s totally impossible NOT to see what’s going on. That’s when I sometimes thought of saying, “Listen, if you’re not using the OTHER ONE right now…” But I kept my mouth shut.

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