In a recent ABC article, mother of three Robyn Paul has some good things to say about breastfeeding children beyond infancy.
“In this culture, breasts are viewed as sexual,” Paul said. “We use breasts to sell everything from beer to motorcycles, then a toddler is in mom’s arms nursing for what they’re supposed to be used for and everybody freaks out.”
I agree one hundred percent. Nobody should bat an eye at a nursing toddler. But a nursing Kindergartner?
Enter Paul’s 6-year-old son, Tiernan. When he’s tired or upset he requests “nummies” from mom. “We’ve had conversations about what it tastes like and he says it’s very sweet,” saith Paul. Like vanilla ice cream.
She says it’s “perfectly normal.” I say that’s debatable at best. Worldwide, average weaning age is reportedly 4 years old. I understand that children in developing nations are breastfed long past infancy for nutritional purposes, a practice I heartily applaud. But psychologically, there’s a big difference between a 4-year-old and a six-year-old. A kid who’s old enough to attend Kindergarten is old enough to learn and use self-comforting measures.
So why should I care? I don’t, not much. I mildly resent people who try to stretch the boundaries of “perfectly normal” in an area (ahem) that’s already so controversial. Let’s reserve the breastfeeding media hype for moms like Heather Farley, who dared to show (gasp!) a scrap of nipple on her Facebook profile photo.
But mostly, I just wanted to take this opportunity to write a post featuring the term “nummies.” Now I can die happy.