You know when someone says something that really irritates you but you can’t think of the perfect response at the time? Well, for once, I did! And, I was brave enough to actually say it!
This morning we decided to go to Dinosaur World (Dinosaur World!) so I packed up the kids and we headed out. When we got there Will needed a feed so I decided to nurse him at the picnic tables by the playground so Harper could keep busy while we were immobile.
I should pause here and explain my stance on nursing covers. I own two, but I don’t always use them. If I feel like using them, I do- like if it’s chilly out or if it’s too bright for Will or if I don’t want to deal with ogling onlookers. But there are times I don’t use them- like on a hot and humid Florida day like today (covering up a baby on a day like today would be tantamount to child abuse, in my opinion). On those days I try to be as stealthy as possible, but it is what it is. (I would also like to point out that, if the baby is actually nursing, the baby is covering all of “the goods,” and all anyone has a view of is the back of their sweet little head.)
So there we were, Harper running and climbing and swinging while I was minding my own business nursing Will in the Great Out-Of-Doors. There was a school group there, too, eating lunch, so I had positioned myself so that my back was towards them, and I had the stroller situated so that the view of me from the playground was partially obstructed but I could still see over the top of it to watch Harper, when a group of two families sat down directly across from me at the next table. The kids (four of them ages maybe nine to twelve) were all sitting with their back towards me and their parents were across the table, facing me.
Then the kids started telling jokes which got progressively more off-color. Their parents were going back and forth between chatting with each other and snickering at the punch lines, which only emboldened the kids. The situation culminated when one of the kids told a terribly racist joke, which made whole group, child and parent alike, howl with laughter.
I was dumbfounded, and as I glanced at one of the chortling fathers we made eye contact briefly and it was clear by his expression he had just figured out what I was doing there. I immediately looked away but it was too late.
“Hey!” he barked, obviously heated, “What you’re doing there… cover yourself up, for God’s sake! No one wants to see that kind of thing!”
“Well,” I answered (probably a little self-righteously), “I’d rather not hear what I just heard, but I also believe in the Freedom of Speech. Luckily, the Law protects both of us.”
I guess the ruckus got the attention of a couple of the teachers who were sitting behind me, and I heard one of them say, “Amen, sister!” and start to laugh under her breath. Then the man’s wife hushed him and they started packing up to leave. When I got up a few minutes later the same teacher gave me a sly “thumbs up.” And that was the end of it.
It’s so strange how just a few, simple, perfectly timed words can turn a situation completely around.
Here are some photos we took during the rest of our day, after the high wore off.
Harper wore her brand new T. Rex baking cupcakes T-shirt (thanks, Crystal and Jeff!!).