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Where do we go from here? Part 2 August 28, 2006

Posted by table4five in BlogHer, I like me some people, personal thoughts.
11 comments

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?(Dawn)        Where do we go from here?
(Buffy & Spike)
 Where do we go from here?
(Giles)
          The battle’s done, and we kind of won,
(& Tara)
      So we sound our victory che -er.
                    Where do we go from here?

(Xander & Anya) Why is the path unclear?
                    When we know home is near?
(All)            
Understand we’ll go hand-in-hand
                    But we’ll walk alone in fear.
(Giles)
                 – Tell me!
(All)             Where do we go from here?
                    When does the end appear?
                    When do the trumpets cheer?
                    The curtains close on a kiss, God knows
                    We can tell the end is ne – ar ….fades
   
                      Where do we go from here?

Who knew so many songs had those words in them? But this is the song I meant.

Also, I feel I should add that my 2011 “A-list” didn’t include Karen, Grace, Jenn, Jenny, Meghan, Carmen or Chris, because duh-everyone knows who they are already!

But I did forget Miss Once More With Feeling herself, JENNSTER!, Fancypants Jess (who needs to come to BlogHer next year!), Amy, Christina , Elizabeth, and…oh crap, just EVERYBODY, okay? EVERYBODY is the “A-list” as far as I’m concerned. If you’re putting some words onto some kind of blog, then you’re important to me.

And if it ever seems like I’m getting too big for my britches, you all have permission to smack me hard for it. Now please make sure to read the post below this one, and leave your own thoughts in a comment. Let’s all give each other a nice big blog hug, mmmkay?

Where do we go from here? August 27, 2006

Posted by table4five in BlogHer, personal thoughts.
24 comments

warning: extremely long post full of name-dropping ahead. Also, bonus points if you know the song I’m referencing in the post title.
Tuesday is my one year Bloggiversary. I know it is SO cliche, but if you had told me a year ago that I would still be doing this, that it would impact my life the way it has, I would have said I doubt it. I’m getting a new blog ready, and once I do I will probably rerun a few of my favorite posts from the last year. In the meantime, I’d like to share some post-BlogHer thoughts with you, brought on by this post from Very Mom. Enjoy.

A month ago, I got on an airplane and flew to California to attend BlogHer. I had absolutely no idea what was waiting for me when I got there. I had never attended any kind of conference, so I imagined something like the training sessions I went to when I worked at the credit union. A large boring room with a huge table and metal chairs, a person standing in front of a pull-down screen, and lots of note-taking.

I knew there would be “poolside cocktail parties”, and so I made an image in my head of a small hotel pool with people standing around awkwardly holding drinks and making small talk.

I had no idea what was ahead.

And now, looking back, it’s like I went to Blog Disneyland and rode all the rides and spent too long out in the sun until I couldn’t possibly go another minute. Like others, I came home riding a wave of empowerment and validation that lasted weeks, weeks during which all I wanted to do was read about BlogHer and look at BlogHer photos and talk about BlogHer until my family wished I would just shut up about BlogHer already and cook them some damn dinner.

The biggest “scandal” at BlogHer wasn’t the showing of boobs, the molesting of statues or the pole-dancing, it was the Friday morning blog post of a fellow attendee who wrote about how sitting near a group of Mommybloggers made her want to do unmentionable things to their unmentionable body parts. I have since seen this blogger in Flickr photos, sitting with Heather and Leah and all I can think is, obviously she likes some Mommybloggers, just not all of them.

The whole “A-List” blogger thing really ticks me off (not the bloggers themselves, the bitching about them). I have something of a theory about it, and it goes something like this: Once upon a time, very few people were blogging. It started out with LiveJournal, and message boards, and people wanting to have more space to write in than just a small comment box. There is a group of bloggers who have been at this for years, and who have come to know each other. I imagine they have learned each other’s fears and secrets, have helped each other through difficult times and celebrated successes together. When they get together, they form a natural group who share a common bond.

They are also generally good at blogging, have spent years honing their writing skills and finding their voice, and because of that, they get a lot of hits and can now make money selling ad space. Advertisers seek them out because of the very simple advertising formula that lots of readers=lots of people seeing the ads=lots of people potentially buying the goods or services.

So if it’s that simple, then why all the grumbling about how the “popular” bloggers only wanted to talk to each other, how they partied in their hotel rooms instead of by the pool, how they went out to dinner together instead of eating cold taquitos with the rest of us? Why the complaining about how only they get asked to run ads and how it’s not fair for everyone else? I just don’t see it that way.

Here’s what else I think, and I’m going to use as examples the bloggers that I knew when I went to BlogHer, but I am not specifically excluding anyone who wasn’t there-If, in five years, Nancy, Tammie, Dawn, Roo, Liz, Julie, Izzy, Suebob, Catherine, Kristen and I (did I forget anyone?) are still blogging, we might just be the “A-list”. We might go to BlogHer 2011 (God, I just felt a chill down my spine) and feel just like Heather, Eden, Alice, Maggie, Jen, Melissa, Leah and Angela do. We might want to just sit together, just party together or just eat together because we have had five years of friendship. Five years of sharing, supporting, and encouraging each other that will bond us together. Will we act bored when new bloggers excitedly squeal when they meet us? Will we chat politely while looking off in the distance for someone else? I sincerely hope not. Does it even matter if we are the “A-list” or if there even IS a list? Absolutely not.

My point is that like the saying goes, you have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Imagine being Heather Armstrong for a minute. Whether you like it or not, you are probably the most popular blogger anywhere. Everyone wants to look at you, try to meet you, talk to you. You want to see your friends and have a good time just like everyone else. But there’s always the knowledge that wherever you go, people are looking at you like you are an exotic zoo animal. Wouldn’t you prefer to go out to dinner with your friends and party in your room too?

The other point I want to make is that another thing the “A-list” has in common, and has in common with me and many of my friends too, is that they are all Mommybloggers. There was plenty of complaining at BlogHer about that, too. I say if there is another group of bloggers that wants to band together, stand up and be noticed, then let’s see them. If next year’s BlogHer is all about food bloggers or craft bloggers or political bloggers, that’s fine with me. I know who I am, I know what my place is in the Blogosphere, and I know who my friends are.

So I say let’s stick together, share and support and encourage, and let’s remember to help new bloggers, too.

Oh, and next year, if I happen to be sitting right in front of Heather Armstrong at a session like I was this year? I’m going to say “excuse me, hi, I’m Elizabeth” instead of gawking at her over my shoulder. She’s not a zoo animal after all.

Where there’s smoke… August 22, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, personal thoughts.
27 comments

This is how this morning was supposed to go:

I wake up around 6:15 am. My Dad’s girlfriend Jean drops him off at the hospital at 6:45 am. She then drives the five minutes to my house to spend the day watching my kids. I am showered, dressed, have my bag packed and am ready to go. I kiss my husband and kids goodbye, and leave.

This is how today actually went:

6:40 am “Shit! Chris! We overslept, Jean will be here in 20 minutes! Shit!”

6:45 am “Shit, I forgot to make formula last night and the pitcher is empty. I’m putting water on to boil and hopping in the shower.”

7:00 am “Shit, is Jean here already? I’m not even dressed. Why is the dog barking like that?”

7:00.1 am “ELIZABETH!! ELIZABETH!! OH MY GOD!!!”

7:00.2 am “WHAT? WHAT’S WRONG? OH MY GOD IS THAT SMOKE???”

7:00.3 am

kitchenfire.JPG

Apparently I have not given myself enough reasons to believe that I might need a new antidepressant this week.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t hear the smoke detector going off. Just don’t.

It wasn’t the saucepan boiling dry, it was the coffeemaker which was sitting on the stove next to the pan. The glass cooktop surface gets very hot, and the plastic started melting and then whooooosh. Chris said there were flames shooting up around the coffeemaker. FLAMES. Edited to add: As if I don’t already feel like enough of a dumbass, it turns out that what I actually did is turn the BACK burner on, the one the coffeemaker was sitting on, and not the FRONT burner under the saucepan. And I turned it on High to get the water boiling. I still can’t wrap my head around just how lucky I was that the kitchen curtains or cabinets didn’t ignite.

Not wishing to subject my loved ones to spending the day in a house that smelled like burned plastic, we had to quickly throw together everything three children would need to spend the day at a different house, including:

A fully stocked diaper bag, a can of formula, four clean bottles, a bib, a baby spoon, two jars of food, the Pack-n-Play, a change of clothes, toys, more toys, books and DVDs, snacks, toys, toys, and toys. Jean and the kids spent the day hanging out at my Dad’s house (more room than Jean’s), and the dog spent the day hanging out in our backyard with access to the garage if needed for shade. According to the neighbor kid, he whined a lot.

The dog, who I have been bitching about for weeks because he barks all the damn time? SAVED OUR FUCKING LIVES TODAY. He can bark all he wants, and have cooked chicken breast for dinner tomorrow night. And sleep on my bed.

You can never have too many conversations with your children and loved ones about what to do if there is a fire in your house. You must discuss all possibilities-what to do if the fire is right outside their bedroom, what to do if they are up watching cartoons and smell smoke and Mom and Dad are still sleeping, whether or not to worry about saving the dog, cat, XBox or Bionicles (NO), whether or not to go back into the house because they can’t find Mom or Dad (NO), whether or not to try to carry the baby out of the house (NO, unless Mom and Dad are obviously unconscious). Man, there is just no way that is not going to be a hell of a conversation to have during dinner.

Please, for the love of God or whomever you find holy, check every smoke detector in your house RIGHT NOW. Drive to Home Depot and buy a small fire extinguisher for your kitchen. And whatever you do, do NOT, I repeat NOT, store your plastic coffeemaker on your glass cooktop stove, just because you’re too lazy to find another place to store the toaster.

This morning could have been a very, very, VERY bad day for me and my family, in more ways than one. Tomorrow, I’m refilling the Wellbutrin XL.

edited to add: Javajabber’s comment reminded me of something else that you need to discuss during the what to do in a fire conversation-HOW to get out. We live in a Ranch-style house, so we told the boys to climb on the dresser and kick out the screen in the window if they can’t get out of their room. If you live in a two-story house, you can buy fire ladders that hook on to the windows to climb down. Practice doing this.

Liveblogging from the Surgical Waiting Lounge August 22, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, personal thoughts.
16 comments

Hey guys, just wanted to update you all o my Dad’s surgery today. I’ve been sitting here for six hours, and then in come these two guys with wireless monitors and keyboards and now I’ve got an Internet connection. Because being unplugged was going to kill me, you know.

My Dad is out of surgery, we are waiting for the surgeon to get a pathology report back and for my Dad to be taken up to the ICU. The surgeon was able to remove the entire esophageal tumor without having to remove any stomach. He did, however, find a piece of small intestine that looked and felt abnormal, so he removed that as well. i don’t know yet what “abnormal” means exactly, but whatever it was it is out now.

Because his lungs had to be deflated during the surgery, the plan is to keep him sedated and on a breathing machine, I assume at least until tomorrow. Five hours in surgery is a lot of trauma for a person’s body, and they want him to rest without having to struggle to breathe. So I am bracing myself for the sight of him covered in tubes and wires, but I’ll take that over the alternative any day.

Thank you all for your suportive comments and emails. Just knowing that you are all out there thinking about me and my family today helps so much. I love you guys.

In a separate post, I have a story to tell you. You are NOT going to believe what I did this morning.

The one with all the books. August 14, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, Parenting, personal thoughts.
17 comments

Today marks the 37th season of Sesame Street. And while I’m still reeling from the fact that I am older than Sesame Street, I’m also joining Mrs. Davis from The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What To Think in commemorating the occasion by posting about my favorite childhood books and TV shows.

How old am I? I am SO OLD, when I was a kid there were only four channels on TV. FOUR. ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. We also had this huge box that sat on top of the TV with a giant dial that turned the antenna on the roof (remember those?), and on really clear days we could pull in CKLW, a Windsor, Ontario station that showed “Bill Kennedy at the Movies.” My parents dictated everything we watched, except on Saturday morning when my brother and sister and I watched cartoons. I know Sesame Street was on, but I honestly don’t remember watching it. When I was a pre-schooler, I have no memory of watching TV at all.

I do, however, have a crystal-clear memory of being in the second grade, during a rainy day when outside recess was cancelled, and we sat on the floor in our classroom and watched “The Electric Company” on a TV that was wheeled in on a cart. I’ve looked at the DVD of the show, and none of it rings any bells, except for one thing. There was a song, used to teach kids how to pronounce “tion” at the end of a word. The only part of the song I remember is the chorus, which went “t i o n shun shun shun shun!” So I would like to buy that DVD, and share that little bit of my childhood memory with them.

Books, however, are an entirely different story. I started reading when I was three. I progressed from Golden Books to chapter books by first grade. The first book series I read was “Little House on the Prairie”. My Mother had to write a note to my first grade teacher giving permission for me to check out those books from the “older readers” section of the school library, and I had to read a page out loud to my teacher to prove I could read all the words. This, I remember doing.

My boys have shown no interest in the “Little House” books, not even the “boy” ones like “Farmer Boy“. I’m hoping Kaitlyn will want to read them, and will be careful with my first edition paperbacks. My Mother saved every book she ever bought me, and I now have them in carefully packed boxes in the basement. I’m hoping Kaitlyn will want to read “Harriet the Spy“, “The Moffats“, “All-of-a-Kind Family“, and “Understood Betsy“. I want her to read “B is for Betsy“, “Papa Pellerin’s Daughter” (out of print), and “Laura’s Luck“.

There’s “The Good Master“, and “The Singing Tree“, “A Wrinkle in Time“, and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”.
And then there are my Raggedy Ann and Andy books. I have first edition hardcovers of every book in the series. These are extra-carefully packed away. I got them out once to show Nathan, hoping he would share my excitement at the wonder and magic of the stories. But he didn’t, because the stories are about dolls and stuffed animals. If Kaitlyn doesn’t want to read them either, then I will just keep them for myself. Because there is NOTHING that will make me part with those books.

Even though I have much stronger and fonder memories of the books I read as a kid, I still have great respect for Sesame Street. We’ll be tuning in to see the new season and meet the new Muppet Abby Cadabby. In fact, my husband, who I never think is paying attention to things like kids’ TV shows, told me about it today, and said “they have a new cute little Muppet this season.” Awwww! He is such a Dad.

A Post in Three Parts: Part Three (Bullshit) August 11, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, personal thoughts.
18 comments

Subtitle, courtesy of Fancypants: Happy, Shiny, BULLSHIT. Scroll down for parts I & II

PART THREE:

Bullshit: Running around in my head, I keep hearing that song-“Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now, yeah”. The warm fuzzy feeling that I brought back from BlogHer and kept wrapped around me has been replaced by my old familiar friend anxiety.

This is going to be another one of those really sucky months. Three days, in particular, that shall suck to the highest degree, and bring all kinds of fresh hell to the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Starting with Sunday, August 20th. The double funeral, double memorial service for my Mother-in-law and Grandma-in-law. Two women, who died under very different circumstances, both cremated, both to be laid to rest in the same cemetery.  A gathering of the remaining daughter, the children and grandchildren, siblings and cousins and their families. The circumstances of one death almost overshadowing the unfortunate timing of the other. A picnic, at a park famous for it’s gardens, with food and children running and playing, and yet the cloak of sadness and loss on top of everything else. A sad day.

Monday, August 21st.  A visit to a pediatric urologist, to see if there is a physical reason why my son occasionally wets the bed at night. And I’m sorry in advance, honey, if some day in the future one of your friends unearths my archives and finds this post. I suspect the doctor won’t find anything, but I still have to take all three kids to the appointment, and then figure out what to do with Nathan and the baby while Ryan and I see the doctor. There may be unpleasant tests involved, I don’t know. I really hope not.

Tuesday, August 21st. The biggest cause of my feeling like a load of bullshit has been dumped directly onto me, eradicating any residual good feelings I had. At 6:30 am, my Dad goes into surgery for an esophagastric resection. I tried to find a good link, but reading what Google returned in the search made me so upset that I couldn’t continue. Dad has a tumor where his esophagus meets his stomach, at the gastric sphincter. It is very small, so small that it didn’t show up on a CAT scan, but did show up during  whatever that test is called where they put a tube down into your stomach with a little camera on the end. The surgery involves cutting out a section of both esophagus and about a third of the top of his stomach, and then joining the sections together. His surgeon told him that it was considered “very difficult” surgery, but that it is the best way to ensure the removal of the tumor.

Afterwards, he should be able to eat regular food the next day, but will also have a feeding tube for supplemental nutrition. He will leave the hospital with the feeding tube in place. He is hiring a nurse to come every day to treat him. I don’t know the details of that yet. Here’s what worries me the most:

1. My Dad does not handle anesthesia well. When he had surgery after he broke his back, he experienced post-anesthesia hallucinations. He spent two days talking nonsense, at one point loudly ordering the “nazis” out of his room. This scared the bejesus out of me, and I don’t look forward to it happening again.

2. He lives alone. And although he has a wonderful girlfriend who I’m sure will do everything she can for him, she won’t be there every minute of the day. He is 72, needs a cane to get around, and eats lunch and dinner out. So this will require a major lifestyle change for him. Not to mention that the only way I can be with him during the day is IF I can find someone to watch all three kids.

3. “Very difficult” surgery. The fact that they are removing a TUMOR. We haven’t even heard about the likelihood of chemotherapy. The word CANCER. The fact that I am his designated patient advocate and may be called upon to confirm his D.N.R. order or sign papers that say no, he does not want to be kept alive on machines.

So there you have it. Between now and then, I plan to continue on as normal. But I’m sure I’ll have an even harder time sleeping next Saturday night, and then I don’t know what I’ll be doing. I may find lots of time to lose myself in the Blogosphere, or I may stay off entirely to preserve my energy.

Sigh. Thanks for listening. I’m so glad I have you all to talk to.

A Post in Three Parts:Part Two (Shiny) August 11, 2006

Posted by table4five in personal thoughts.
8 comments

Subtitle, courtesy of Fancypants: Happy, Shiny, BULLSHIT. Scroll down for Part One.
PART TWO:

Shiny: One of the items in our BlogHer swag bag was a free 3-Month trial of Weight Watchers Online. It had a promotion code that needed to be entered at signup to change the cost of the program to zero dollars. It was like a sign from the heavens. I had started a new “eating plan” (sounds better than diet, right?) right before my MIL died, and had since gone waaaay off the track. But after seeing the photos from BlogHer and wishing I was happier with the way I looked, I decided to take the plunge. Besides, I’ll be 40 in January, and I want to lose 40 pounds by then.

So I enthusiastically went through the sign up process, except I made one teeny mistake. After entering the promotion code, I didn’t click the “Update Pricing” button. Without the clicking of that button, the registration program doesn’t recognize the promotion code at all, and my confirmation page showed that I was charged the full price.

I immediately fired an email to Weight Watchers Customer Service. I explained all about BlogHer, about the tote bag and the free 3-Month trial, and how I accidentally didn’t click the button, and how I didn’t want to be charged, I wanted 3 months FREE.

I was EMPHATIC in that email. I threw CAPS around as if I were punching the air for emphasis. I made sure that IMPORTANT WORDS AND PHRASES like “free” and “promotion” and “FREE” were properly capitalized. I was sure it was clear as day why I was emailing them and what the problem was.

Oh, the confusion on the part of Weight Watcher Customer Service. They didn’t understand these words I was using, like “free” and “BlogHer sponsor” and “HELP”. It took several exchanges before I finally begged for someone who could understand what I was saying to please respond to any further emails.

Today, I received an email from a wonderful lady named Rosa at WWCS. SHE UNDERSTOOD. She cancelled my not-free membership, issued a refund to my credit card, and asked me to sign up again using the free promotion code. Getting something for free and having someone go the extra mile for me? Shiny.

A Post in Three Parts:Part One (Happy) August 11, 2006

Posted by table4five in Parenting, personal thoughts.
5 comments

Subtitle, courtesy of Fancypants: Happy, Shiny, BULLSHIT.

PART ONE:

Happy: This was a morning that required more than just my usual drip coffee with half n half and Splenda. No, this was a serious coffee morning. My ability to sleep shrinks ever more greatly as the days pass, until I am now up until at least 2:00 am, and yet must awaken by 7:30 in order to do something that approximates parenting. And so, after getting Kaitlyn changed and started on her morning bottle, I went to Beaner’s for a Grande Mocha Caramel.

Yes, that means I left my kids alone in a house locked up tighter than Fort Knox for twenty minutes. Ryan is beyond capable, some days he is a better parent than I am. They know my cell phone number, they know not to answer the phone or the door, they know to only leave the house if it is on fire, and then to go only to the next-door neighbor’s house. That doesn’t mean that I linger at the coffee shop for even a second longer than necessary, no. I get my ass there and back fast.

So, back to the happy. As I stood there, locking the front door, a breeze swept in through the trees, ruffling my hair a little. I looked up, taking in the bright, clear blue sky, and registering the fact that it was a good ten degrees cooler. My first thought was “oh no, that’s a FALL breeze.” But it wasn’t. It felt different than a fall breeze.

The fall breeze is smoky, with the rustling of dried leaves and a chill behind it that portends the cooler temperatures to come. Fall breezes send Mothers looking for last year’s Old Navy hooded sweatshirts, zipped onto protesting children and no doubt abandoned the second they are out of sight, stuffed into the bottoms of backpacks along with the Kleenex pocket packs we always make them take but which they never use.

No, this was just a good Summer breeze, the kind that lets the kids stay outside longer than usual. The kind of breeze that lifts kites into the air and keeps those decorative flags my neighbors attach to the front of their houses flying briskly. My dismay at the possible onset of Fall was replaced by the happy feeling that Summer is not yet over.

Joy and ice cream August 9, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, personal thoughts.
12 comments

Last Saturday, after months of batting the idea back and forth, I finally got a chance to get together with Joy, the blogger you may know as GingaJoy.

The first thing I should mention is that most likely, you have been saying the name of her blog incorrectly. “Ginga” is not pronounced with a soft G like “Ginger”. No, it is pronounced with a hard G, so that “Ging” rhymes with “sing”, as in “sing Joy a song.” Good to know!

Secondly, you should know that she is terrific. As soon as I walked through the door of ColdStone Creamery, carrying Kaitlyn and guiding the boys, I heard “There’s Elizabeth” in a lovely British accent. And then striding up to me with a BIG smile was Joy. She was accompanied by her three-and-a-half year old son, who introduced himself and then gazed wide-eyed at my big boys.

It takes a while to get six servings of ice cream made at ColdStone, but we finally got settled into two tables sort of pulled together (not easy with round tables). There was no high chair for the baby-and hey, ColdStone, what’s UP with that? Your customers have babies!-so Joy and I took turns holding her, while keeping an eye on our three boys.

Three boys hopped up on ice cream and various sugary mix-ins meant that eventually we had to put a stop to the foot races they were running and say a reluctant goodbye. I told her a little about BlogHer, and she thinks that not only will she be able to go next year, but she might drive there with me. I hope that works out, because she is delightful company. We’re hoping once school starts to have a more leisurely lunch-hour meeting.

So thus ended yet another successful blogger meet-up. Thanks Joy! I took my camera, but could only get a few photos snapped. Here’s the best two:

gingajoy2.JPG
kaitlynjoy2.JPG

Breastfeeding backlash August 6, 2006

Posted by table4five in BlogHer, Family, Parenting, personal thoughts.
12 comments

That’s right, I said BREAST. I apologize if that makes this post NSFW for you, or if your work email filters won’t let you read it at all. But we all have ’em, and we need to talk about them.
There is a controversy swirling around the latest cover of BabyTalk magazine, which shows the profile of an infant in the act of breastfeeding.

babytalkcover.jpg
This is one of those hot-button issues in which mothers seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Pregnancy and Parenting books and magazines are full of information about why and how to breastfeed. Women fight to have private nursing rooms set aside for them at their workplaces. But what are you supposed to do if you want to actually leave your workplace or home and go somewhere in public? Consider this excerpt from an article at CBSnews.com:

“It’s a new age,” says Melinda Johnson, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for ADA. “With the government really getting behind breast-feeding, it’s been a jumping-off point for mothers to be politically active. Mommies are organizing. It’s a new trend to be a mommy activist.”

Ultimately, it seems to be a highly personal matter. Caly Wood says she’s “all for breast-feeding in public.” She recalls with a shudder the time she sat nursing in a restaurant booth, and another woman walked by, glanced over and said, “Ugh, gross.”

“My kid needed to eat,” says the 29-year-old from South Abingdon, Mass. And she wasn’t going to go hide in a not-so-clean restroom: “I don’t send people to the bathroom when THEY want to eat,” she says.
That is exactly right. And as for the magazine cover, people do realize that the image was chosen for effect rather than accuracy, right? I have never seen a woman at a restaurant take her top off in order to give Baby unfettered access. There may sometimes be the occasional flash of skin, especially with older babies that like to pull at clothing while eating, but I doubt any nursing mother is intentionally trying to show her breast to the general public.

The best quote I have seen or heard anywhere on this topic has to come from Suebob‘s Mr. Stapler, who had this reaction to seeing the magazine cover and hearing about the controversy:

Suebob: It’s ok for other magazine covers to show women with their skirts up to their heez and their plastic boobs covered with 2-inch wide fabric strips…”

Mr. S: “Yeah. And this…It is someone EATING. It is a baby. It is the most natural human thing on earth. If people can’t get that, if they can’t get past that it is a breast, God help us all. I mean seriously. If they can’t get past that, we have no hope. No hope.”

A virtual standing ovation to Mr. Stapler, for saying “It is someone EATING.” I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the post, entited “Why We Love Mr. Stapler”. What this world needs is more men like him.

I found a link on the Huffington Post to a blog post written by Susie Bright.(Careful, this site is definitely NSFW) Ms. Bright is an author and teacher of women’s sexual issues, especially as they relate to politics. She was one of the leaders of a BlogHer session called “Let’s Talk About Sex.” And while the post she wrote pertains to BlogHer, I felt that she made a lot of points that can be applied to the breastfeeding issue. For example:

Remember when AOL shut down the chat room for breast cancer survivors, because they used the word “breast”?

And yes, we watch the news about children being bombed to bits, skin flambeing off their bones, because it’s all Absolutely Safe for Work, as long as you don’t show any woman’s tits.

Why are women nursing their children considered a prelude to a sex panic?

Every time a woman’s blog proclaims her intellect, her sexuality, and her nurture — all on the same page– she has diced the dominant paradigm.

The hand that blogs the cradle informs the world –this, the blog-her generation, is the crux of women’s liberation that I thought had passed its due date.

Another standing ovation, please, for that last sentence. I have been murmuring “The hand that blogs the cradle informs the world” to myself ever since I read it. I would like to put in on a t-shirt, a button, a bumper sticker. I would like to drop a few thousand leaflets printed with it from an airplane.

Damn it, it is like women’s liberation is moving in reverse. And we, women bloggers, have the power to stop it. Whether you are a Mother or not, you should be concerned that the sight of a photograph of the SIDE of a woman’s breast is causing so much controversy. My next post will be about BlogHer backlash, and how the sight of both a condom and a baby’s bib in the free totebag is causing even more controversy. I can’t be silent about this, and I can’t write a few sentences in which I once again invoke the Golden Rule and ask why we can’t all get along. Nope, this time, I got things to say, and thanks to the Internet, I got a place to say them. Stay tuned.