In the months leading up to Tillman’s birth Felix and I had several conversations about how we thought Dylan would respond to certain things that come with having a newborn. One of them being breastfeeding. We decided that we would explain that Tillman could only eat Mama’s special milk that only baby’s can eat from Mama’s breast (as opposed to “chi-chis” as my husband so lovingly wanted to call them). I figured that was enough and was more concerned that he’d try and feed Tillman Goldfish or something. It held him over for a while and then he wanted to try the milk himself so we let him taste some that I had pumped. Yucky. Then during his “naked potty training” he realized that he had nipples too. Apparently during his last almost three years of life he’d missed them. As I was getting ready to nurse I saw Dylan trying to lay next to Tillman and try to get him to eat from him.
Me: “Dylan what are you doing?”
Dylan: “Look Mom I have those I could feed Tillman too!”
Me: “Only Mommies have milk to feed babies.”
Dylan: “Oh just girls, not boys.”
Me: “Not little girls, just Mommies.”
He stares at me for a little while then he grabs his monkey and jumps up on the couch next to me. I look over and he’s mimicking me while nursing his monkey. At least it wasn’t Tillman I guess that would’ve been quite a surprise and a little different than monkey.
Ironically, my Mom called later that evening asking what I thought about the breastfeeding dolls that are now being sold. I told her that I thought that they were unnecessary. I think it makes more sense to visit the topic during a sexual education class withteens rather than with a two year old that can’t truly understand. Then I told her, “But then again kids are going to do what they are going to do with or without the toys – my son nursed his monkey today.”