Things I Was Thinking as I Swept the Parking Lot

I was thinking about the great oil reserve discovered in the South China Sea near The Philippines; how it was just what we need, considering the growing energy needs of most nations. However, there is a dispute over who has the right to drill for the oil. China is claiming that right, but so is The Philippines, as well as, Vietnam and perhaps other countries. Tensions are increasing as China is frustrated with talks and is perceived to be intimidating the other contenders. The smaller countries are building up their navies. Oh, and the smaller nations are aligned with the United States. China says the U.S. has no business getting involved in the conflict, but the U.S. is standing by its allies. Suddenly, discovering oil in The South China Sea seems like a problem.

Then my attention shifted to something far more important than war in the South China Sea; breastfeeding. Yes, Time magazine ingeniously devised a plot to stir controversy and sell millions of magazines. Breasts will incite debate every time. On the cover of this issue stands a young mother breastfeeding her toddler. Commentators made it their business to discuss every possible angle of this consequential matter.

Was Time just using sensationalism to sell magazines? Yes, and it worked. I visited two magazine stands and both were sold out.

Was the mother immodest? Somewhat,  but not compared to Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue. (Forgive me Kate Upton.)

“The child will need therapy.” I doubt it.

The problem with the Time cover is the headline. “Are you MOM enough?” must have been written by a bully. New mothers can feel an undue pressure to breastfeed their infant as it is, without having an authoritative news journal hit them over the head with it.

Further, babies can be harmed by the pressure put on mothers. Consider the experience of one of my family members whose newborn would not nurse. After a few hours the grandmother and a family friend who is a Registered Nurse intervened, insisting that the infant be fed from a bottle immediately. The baby took the bottle nipple right away. Later the baby would nurse some. If loving support had not been available, the newborn could have become dehydrated or even malnourished, causing longterm damage to its health. I have read stories of healthy babies being starved to death because they would not nurse or the mother could not supply sufficient milk. Behind the problem were breastfeeding extremists, who insisted that ‘good’ mothers breastfeed, ‘selfish’ mothers do not. One of the early tv courtroom dramas even created a ‘ripped-from-the-headlines’ episode on the subject.

Next, I thought about the viral video of my girlfriend, Kate Upton, dancing the Kat Daddy and I realized that it was time to turn out the lights and go home.

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