We regularly take Granddaughter to a number of soft play centres, but one in particular seems to be a popular venue for breast-feeding mothers. Public breast-feeding is hardly an uncommon sight these days, but when a chap is just sitting there minding his own business and sipping a coffee amid hordes of shrieking kids he has to know where the suckling zones are. This is particularly true when there are a number of them scattered around the venue.
I’m not sure what the etiquette is with public breast-feeding, but that may well be an age issue. Does one act cool and smile at the life-affirming freedom it seems to represent? Possibly not; leers and smiles can be similar. I suppose male staring is bound to be frowned on or worse, but what constitutes staring? Hard to say with any accuracy, but in this case I prefer to be on the safe side. I assume a stare is where the gaze lingers for more than a few milliseconds.
Yes it’s tight, but we live in a socially tight world and one has to be tooled up for it so to speak. The trouble is even a slightly lingering gaze has two fundamental problems. Firstly a chap may come across as somewhat dim if he appears to take an age working out what exactly is going on. Secondly – well that one is really, really obvious.
So what to do? For obvious reasons it is no good sitting there at the table staring into space with an unfocussed gaze. If a sudden bout of suckling were to occur within what another person could deem to be one’s line of sight -
No it is better to remain focussed and aware without actually looking anywhere in particular. As for keeping an eye on Granddaughter as she flits around, that’s okay as long as I take good care to remember that my line of sight must be as nimble as she is and skip lightly over certain areas.
Life was certainly easier when kids just went outside to jump in puddles and climb trees.