Many people have come to me and asked "Hey Dan, what's your take on the Time Magazine cover with that big kid nursing?"
OK, no one has asked me but I read that a lot of other people online are putting their unsolicited two cents in and I figured, why not spout off on something I have no control over nor vested interest in? If those other self-proclaimed experts can get quoted simply because their opinions can be accessed via google, then why can't I? So I'm ready to put down exactly how I feel so all of you looking for a ready voice of reason to latch on to (HA!) so you can avoid personal responsibility in formulating your own opinion will have someone to quote in your Facebook status updates.
Here it is:
What's the big deal?
Maybe you don't know, but I am currently seeing a woman who is heavily involved in breastfeeding education. Actually, I'm currently seeing a pile of papers, my car keys and a banana, but I am not married to any of these. I'm married to that woman I referred to a bit earlier. She embodies many of the best traits of the papers, the keys and the herbaceous Cavendish but doesn't often sit on my desk at work which is especially convenient because I don't have a desk anymore so she would be keeping someone else company were she to perch on what used to be my desk.
But I digress.
Fact is, I never had any really thoughts about nursing before marriage and children and now, it seems perfectly normal for a child to nurse until 3, if not older. I could cite biblical or anthropological precedents about it but I won't. Do I think the cover was an affront to anyone? Sure -- the kid's positioning was wrong and the value of skin to skin contact and private mommy-child time was compromised by the physical distance, the poor latch and the presence of the photographer. Also, standing up would, to my mind, not be good for anyone's back. And to have the kid standing on a chair? What is he, an acrobat?
So there you have it. Show a kid nursing. Who cares. Let a kid sleep in my bed. Who cares. You want to know a secret? When I go to visit my parent's house and want to shmooze with a parent or sibling, my parents' bed is still a comfy and central place to hang out. Now, if Time wants to take a picture of me asleep on the bed, that's fine. They can do an entire photo essay about people who like their parents and appreciate good parenting so that the masses who feel it is more appropriate to be estranged from mom and dad starting at age two can be offended. Nursing at age 3 is somehow bad but Toddlers in Tiaras isn't child abuse? Parading the Olson twins across the aither wasn't more offensive than showing a kid having lunch? Movies like Kick Ass which have profanity and violence all around them are somehow more acceptable than showing a little kid doing what little kids have been doing for thousands of years?
Please people, get some perspective.