Sunday, February 10, 2008

Public Nurs-ance

A little while back we went to David's art opening. The gallery is a long, narrow, one room space in down-town Murfreesboro called The Alley. The joint doesn't open until 7:00PM and we thought long and hard beforehand on how we were going to attend this thing--since the kids' bed time is 7:00. The last time I didn't go to one of David's openings because of the children he was really bummed out about it--and understandably so. I make a point of going to them now, unless there's a really good reason not to. So our options were:

A) Get a sitter for Perry and Daisy while David, Calvin, and I go to the opening.

B) We all go.

Here's the clincher... The Alley doesn't close until 2:00 AM and we only have one car. Because David's art was there, he had to stay for at least most of the evening in hopes of selling some. In the end we wound up all going. The kids and I left at some sort of a reasonable hour and a friend stayed with David and brought him home much, much later. (Sorry for continuously commenting on how late this place is open, it's just so mind boggling to me why anyone in their right mind would want to be up that late, let alone be out).

We are always nervous when we go out in public at time intervals when the kids would otherwise be asleep. Will they melt into little puddles on the floor? But the kids behaved wonderfully.

While we were there, I had to nurse Calvin. I'm really used to nursing him in public and so it doesn't bother me. I just throw a blanket over my shoulder and the top of his head and we're good to go. No one has ever asked me to stop or to leave and I've got a quick come-back if they ever do.

Most strangers who see a woman sitting with a blanket over her shoulder know what she's doing and just ignore her. That's most people, I guess. While I was sitting there two men walked up and stood two feet in front of me to look at a painting hanging on the wall behind me. I thought they would quickly realize what I was doing and come back to the painting later. They didn't. I guess they were really engrossed. They stood there talking about the painting for a little while before I apologized for being in there way, thinking they would then see that I was nursing and move. They barely noticed that I said anything and continued talking. I just looked down in a sort of sheepish way. Then, one of the men walked right up to me and hovered over my shoulder to examine the painting further. He couldn't have been closer to me if he had been sitting on my lap! And he just stood there, right in front of me, leaning over my shoulder. I finally told him that I would get out of his way and got up and moved. They must have stood there a half an hour more looking at that painting. If only it had been one of David's paintings they were enraptured in I could have forgiven all.

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