Sunday, February 08, 2004


Janet Jackson's boob exposed! Yeah, big deal. I was a 4 year old birthday party today, and saw a ton of boobs. There were no strippers at the party, just breast feeding moms sitting on the sofa as the older kids played on the floor. My kid probably saw four or five exposed breasts today and, so far, there are no visible signs of scarring. None of fathers looked twice. Of course none of the breasts were festooned with jewelry like Janet. Just a small infant latched on.

Nothing says modern motherhood like breasts. I breast fed my kids for 3 months full time, and then another 3 or 4 months part time. 7 months longer than my mom, but far less than others. Some friends are still giving their 4 year olds a night time snack of Grade A mom.

Everyone is quite open about it. Baby is crying in the playground, and mom will whip out a mammary gland. No protective blankets to cover herself. No blushs. The kid's hungry and that's that.

It took me awhile to get accustomed to public breastfeeding. Raised a demure little Catholic girl, I was not used to baring all before strangers. But unless you want to spend close to a year cloistered in your apartment, you learn to unsnap your bra in public. Playgrounds, diners, park benches, family functions were all venues for exposure. One time, on one very long A train, I gave the morning commuters a little show to prevent dehydration in my infant.

My parents are sometimes uncomfortable about the new public whipping out of the breasts. Theirs was a time when children were fed only by carefully measured scoops of formula. It was all very sanitary and proper.

The Janet Jackson scandal continues to live on. Front page in the Week in Review today. I'm a bit mystified about the complaints that the Super Bowl is a family show and that children were harmed by Janet's act. I doubt any of the kids cared. Just maybe the grandparents.

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