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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just needed dishwasher detergent. I told my husband I would run to K-Mart and be back in a half an hour -- and I apologized profusely upon my return an hour and 10 minutes later. I never would have anticipated what would have occurred in those 70 minutes, but it was a shockingly raw experience.<br><br>
As I was checking out, still on schedule, I saw a family approaching. They look haggard and worn-out, and they had a newborn screaming from his place in the back of a double stroller. The baby was inconsolably crying, but hey, I had my stuff and I was trying to stick to my time-table. I walked out with my detergent. At the car it hit me I had been overcharged. Righting this error was worth a bit of tardiness.<br><br>
As I walked back into K-Mart I noticed the mom had her baby to breast, and he was feeding (silently!). So happy was I to see a mother meeting her child's needs I smiled and remarked, "That's what he wanted." She, dressed modestly in jeans and a T-shirt, looked a bit shook-up, and she proceeded to walk out of the store, her baby still latched on.<br><br>
I took my place at the customer service desk. Immediately this lady's husband, his booming voice preceding his actual physical person, was mumbling something about how he was going to talk to the manager, and that wasn't right. He was obviously upset, but I did not know why. I was first in line but he apparently got more attention than I -- and I let him take the lead and pour out his disdain.<br><br>
Apparently, his wife had begun nursing her baby while they were checking out. The cashier felt that was out of line and told them, "That's not right." She handed them their receipt and was anxious for them to leave. She also felt the need to apologize to the other customers in the line for the inappropriate display they witnessed.<br><br>
Once I realized this was about breastfeeding, my ears perked up. I even felt brave enough to offer the following to both cashier and affronted customer: "Did you know in the state of California a woman's right to breastfeed in public is protected by law?" The angry man did not really hear me -- he had a story to tell and he was going to tell it. That was fine by me, though, as I noticed the cashier heard. At that point I realized the person who needed to hear what I had to say was sitting outside on the curb, breastfeeding her baby.<br><br>
I approached this young mother and let her know it was wonderful that she was breastfeeding her baby. I also let her know I was a breastfeeding mother, and that I lead meetings for other breastfeeding moms in this area. I made her aware of the fact that Assembly Bill 157 protects a mother's right to breastfeed -- any public area a mother and baby are welcome or allowed to be is a safe-haven for said mother to meet her baby's needs through breastfeeding. She still seemed upset -- there were tears in her eyes, but I could see she felt better by my intrusion of information.<br><br>
Soon after her husband walked out. The first thing she told him was, "She's a breastfeeding counselor." I stayed and chatted with this family. By all worldly standards they did not look like much -- they had missed the last bus to get home and needed to call for a ride (I myself was tempted to give them a ride -- I even had two carseats to accommodate their babies, but I was still on a time-table and they lived out of town). I am sure the initial offended cashier saw them as people on the fringes of society, and thusly took the simple art of feeding one's baby as a disgusting, filthy act.<br><br>
I said my goodbyes to this family with their 17 pound three-month-old (only breastfed!) and their doe-eyed 2.5 year old, and with a prayer in my heart for them I walked back into K-Mart to settle the score (oh, and get my money!).<br><br>
The same young male cashier was at the service counter. I told him I had been talking to the family and the almost-irate father had calmed down. I was pleasant and light -- I wanted to get my point across without being pushy or sassy. As he worked on getting me my due money I chatted about how I would loathe to be a store or business where a breastfeeding mom felt her rights to nurse her baby had been impinged, and how if that would have been me, smiling and sweet-looking, I would have been on the phone in a heartbeat, ha, ha, ha. He assured me women can breastfeed in K-Mart -- that they do all the time -- but that they are usually covered with a blanket. "She can breastfeed, we don't have a problem with that, I think she should have been more discreet about it." I shared how trying to nurse discreetly with either of my two boys via a blanket only served to make us a bigger spectacle. I think he became flustered, and he finally conceded he did not know how he felt about it -- he did not even have kids.<br><br>
I don't know what I expect from this world. No, not this world, this country -- this society. It is perfectly acceptable for a women to walk into a public place dressed in a "shirt" which barely covers the colored part of her breasts, but worlds collide and planets cease to be if a mother, inadvertently, exposes her breast while trying to feed her child. What is to become of us? One thing is for sure: The more we push ourselves away from our innate design (are we not mammals?), the more intense the repercussions which come floating back -- ripple-style -- on our health, our people, our society.<br><br>
Then again, that is something I would expect to hear from a K-Mart cashier's mouth, no offense.
 

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Bless you for standing up for those people! Bless you for comforting that dear woman! And bless your husband for being understanding about the whole episode.
 

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I'm so glad you were there for her. And maybe the clerk might actually stop and think about how he does feel and why. Planting seeds ... so many more to sow! =)
 

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You know, it's sad. That's why I don't nurse in public. I go to the car or find a dressing room or whatever. So I don't have to be embarrassed because I am doing what is natural.I wish I had the guts like that lady and just whip it out whenever wherever. But I don't and it's because of idiots that make us feel like its wrong to do that.<br>
Thank you for standing up for the lady. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by ldsapmom</i><br><b><br>
Then again, that is something I would expect to hear from a K-Mart cashier's mouth, no offense.</b></td>
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And that sounds to me like you are judging people that work those types of jobs. Just like the cashier may have judged those people.<br><br>
I do think you should be commended for what you did. Many of us could not have spoken up like that. I try to smile at nursing moms to let them know they have support -- even when I worked as a cashier at Wal-mart.<br><br>
I hope that experience didn't make that mother feel bad for nursing and I hope she continues for a long, long time.<br><br>
It might be a good idea for people from that area to write to Kmart. Do you think the people from that group would help out with that?<br><br>
It's not just Kmart that has given Moms trouble. My friend was nursing in Wal-mart once when an associate came up to her and asked her if she was almost done. She didn't know what to say, but I would have said something like, "Why, are you hungry?" :LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ann Marie you are totally right. I posted this to another board:
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">know, I know -- I almost left out the last line. But I did put it in as it typifies my shopping experiences at my local K-Mart (I don't know why I go there except its locale is optimal compared to Wal-Mart or Target when I need something in a hurry). I understand not all K-Mart employees are that ignorant and I took a chance (a big one!) by putting that last line in. In my old city I used to love shopping at K-Mart -- it was a brand new store and it was always neat and organized. My local K-Mart now seems to alwasy have that "Christmas Rush" disorganized feel and look to it.</td>
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Point taken -- I knew fully I was throwing that judgement out there, I just thought one good turn deserved another...although it was petty and small.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by ldsapmom</i><br><b>Ann Marie you are totally right. I posted this to another board:<br><br>
Point taken -- I knew fully I was throwing that judgement out there, I just thought one good turn deserved another...although it was petty and small.</b></td>
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I think we all do it from time to time and we don't even realize it. I guess we all need to think a little more before we speak/type. We are only human though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">One thing is for sure: The more we push ourselves away from our innate design (are we not mammals?), the more intense the repercussions which come floating back -- ripple-style -- on our health, our people, our society.</td>
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So true, and well put. I think about this all the time, and it spills over into so many aspects of life. I'm so glad you were there to help that woman. No one should have to squelch their urge to nurture their child for fear of being shamed. Good for her and good for you!<br><br>
Courtney
 

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Stacie---<br><br>
Way to go!!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I hope I would do the same in that situation. I'm pretty sure DH would go nuclear.<br><br>
Kay
 

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Oh, how wonderful of you to be there for that family...That poor mother. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I'm so happy you were able to comfort her.<br><br>
A slight aside...I was reading this post to dh, and expressing my feelings about how sad it made me that breastfeeding is still so often seen as dirty or inappropriate, and I was reminded why I married him. I said "I'd be really upset if someone said that sort of thing to me" (meaning what the cashier said to the woman) and he said "I'd put the stuff I was buying down and tell them I wouldn't be purchasing from their store again, and demand to see the manager." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

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ldsapmom, I thought you handled that situation wonderfully!!! That's a great example of how to educate ignorant people. Most of those cashiers are just young kids. It's maybe the first time they've encountered such a thing. Gee, I've had cashiers who have had to ask me what some of my vegetables are - they couldn't even recognize a zucchini. Worries me some people live such limited lives.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Gee, I've had cashiers who have had to ask me what some of my vegetables are - they couldn't even recognize a zucchini.</td>
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Wow! That is a problem.<br><br>
But, thinking about it, I hope this was a learning experience for the cashier. When DD was born, DH's younger DB was totally uncomfortable around DD nursing (he was 17). By the time she was even a few months old, he was telling GFs of his that he would never marry a woman who wouldn't nurse, that formula was gross, etc... Of course, he *was* nursed til he was 2, so I guess he just needed a wake up call. When DD was still nursing at 18 months, FIL mentioned she looked so big to be nursing and we just all looked at him. She was a petite baby, his sons had nursed as long, but the last two were HUGE (10.11 and 10.5 at birth) so she was probably the size they were at 9 months. He had forgotten, though, what that size of baby looked like. LOL<br><br>
Kay
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by ldsapmom</i><br><b>I don't know what I expect from this world. No, not this world, this country -- this society. It is perfectly acceptable for a women to walk into a public place dressed in a "shirt" which barely covers the colored part of her breasts, but worlds collide and planets cease to be if a mother, inadvertently, exposes her breast while trying to feed her child..</b></td>
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LOL! good for you!!!<br><br>
Was recently at a mall. A youngish, say 30 yr old woman passed by the window of the restaurant I was eating at. Huge fake looking breasts falling out of the lowest cut tank top ever. Long fake dyed blonde hair. Teeny tiny white micro-shorts, unzipped! with the flaps turned back. Platform sandals. Hooker chic? I doubt anyone said a word to her about inappropriate clothing for a family mall. Maybe just a few men followed her around with their tongues dragging. Maybe the K-Mart cashier guy was one of them.<br><br>
Now, on the beach, OK, people are supposed to be almost nude, and actually a fully nude beach would be a great idea. But this particular getup just blew me away, as streetwear.
 

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way to go!!!! it's great you werew able to be there for that mama!<br><br><br>
daryll, i kwum about that distrubing fashion trend <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 
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