On the day in question, the sun was shining bright. Temperature was a comfortable 21 degrees. I’d just finished work, enjoyed the two mile cycle to Springfields (a small ‘relaxing’ area just outside the town centre)
I was sat on the grass munching on my Twix, taking in the rays, getting a tan (not that I really needed a tan, my ethnic origin being what it is)
The big screen was on and there were a lot of people gathered round it.
During the wintery days I used to get the bus to college after work and wait in the canteen or library for lessons to start. But on days like this I loved sitting in front of the big screen watching the world go by. I still had 40 minutes before lessons started.
The builder looking bloke sat on the hill opposite me looked like he was also killing time.
As did the group of hooded teenagers stood outside the newsagents smoking and spitting.
There were a few of groups of couples in the coffee shop that spilled out onto the patio area on days like today.
There was a woman breastfeeding her new-born child in plain view.
A policeman walking alone. I recall thinking ‘don’t they usually walk in pairs?’
Whoa – hold on a minute.
Let’s rewind a little.
A woman breastfeeding her child? In Public? What’s that all about?
So I done the right thing. The thing anyone would do in a situation like this. I took out my smart phone, logged onto Facebook and updated my status.
“Sat here enjoying my Twix in the sunshine. The last thing I expected to see was a woman breastfeeding her child.”
I had a few inappropriate comments from a few inappropriate people, but I also had some genuine comments.
Someone wrote that they recall watching a documentary about a group of women who thought there’s nothing wrong with this and arranged times and they went out for the sole purpose of feeding their new-born in public. They sat around in coffee shops and on park benches, breast fed their child and returned home.
I was most shocked at a comment from my girl cousin. She wrote “Why do men have an issue with it? There’s nothing wrong with it. Although I personally wouldn’t do it, men need to realise that it’s a completely natural thing for a woman to breastfeed her child”
So I just had to reply “I agree that it’s natural. It’s about as natural as going to the toilet or having sexual encounters with ones life partner. But there are some natural things that should only be done in the privacy of your own home.”
I understand it’s not a popularity contest, but I had 22 ‘likes’ on my comment whereas she only got 3 on hers. To me this suggested that more people are of the opinion that breastfeeding, although natural, should be a private act.
From their reaction, I took it the hoodies had noticed her too as they were giggling and pointing.
The woman just carried on as anyone bottle feeding a child would, finished, buttoned up, and was on her way.
Looking around I saw that quite a few people had spotted her.
As she was leaving Springfields, I caught her glancing round to check how much of a stir she had caused. Her smirk suggested that it was a deliberate attention seeking stunt.
Almost as if by magic, another police officer had appeared out of thin air.
The builder had gone.
There was 5 minutes left for the lesson to start so I got up, put the Twix wrapper in the bin, locked up my bike and went to class.