September 19 Editorial

By: Kelly Woodard

In life there are certain things some people prefer not to see. Whether it is a scary movie or the scary guy at Wal-Mart with his butt cheeks hanging out of his too short shorts, some things, once seen, can’t be erased from the memory. This was the case for me while at the beach this week.
It was a perfect, sunny day with a light breeze blowing so I packed my bag, grabbed my chair and a book, and headed for a relaxing day listening to the surf. When I arrived on the beach, there was no one in either direction for hundreds of feet. I set up shop and took in a deep breath of salt air having found my happy place.
That happiness was short lived when about ten minutes later, a gang of screaming children came streaming down the beach with their mother in tow. The rowdy gang set up about an arm’s length away from me, oblivious to the fact that the entire beach was free and this was an intrusion on my personal space. As the mother and her friend set up chairs, blankets, shade tents, and a wagon full of sand toys, my skin crawled with goose bumps at the sound of every shriek and scream.
I did my best to ignore the group and re-center myself, but as the sand flew and complaining started, I had had enough. I gathered my things and headed the other way just far enough away from earshot. Unfortunately, I was still within viewing distance.
A few minutes later, I watched in horror as one of the women called her child over for what I assumed would be lunch. What I didn’t expect when the toddler came over, who was old enough to say his ABC’s and chew steak, was for the woman pull her bikini top to the side and commence breast feeding. I kid you not….the child was standing up beside her, attached like any normal kid his age should be to a juice box.
I literally gagged. Don’t get me wrong. If you are the kind of weirdo who wants to breastfeed your kid until he goes to college, that’s fine. But little Bobby needs to have lunch in private or under a blanket.
Now I’m sure there are many mothers out there who will disagree with my standpoint, and again, that’s okay. I just feel like a mother nursing a child of any age should cover it up in public. While it is natural, not everyone finds it as beautiful and appealing as you do while they are trying to eat a meal, sit at the DMV office, etc. Furthermore, don’t you know what kind of creeps are out there staring at you exposed? Believe me, there’s more than you know.
As for the mom and her little man at the beach, she seemed less than concerned about an audience. This became more evident as she lay back in her chair to relax as junior went to town. If I could pour bleach in my eyes and make this scene melt from my brain, I would.
But for now, I guess it’s night sweats and terrible dreams of a giant toddler chasing me down the beach yelling, “Mama, mama.” Maybe I should go track down that scary guy at Wal-Mart so I can get some sleep?