Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
« I Drank While Pregnant | Main | Mother's Little Helper »

At Least Three Creepy, Old Dudes Saw My Boobs Yesterday

Yeah, yeah. Another post about my boobs. It wasn't meant to be that way though! I was all set to write a post about my triumphant shopping experience at what has to be the most crowded WalMart on planet Earth but alas, the universe sensed I was about to boast and bitch-slapped me back to reality.

Most of the time Serge and I do the grocery shopping together on the weekend. But we hate shopping with each other.


I rush him or he's too slow. Or both. I dunno. I do know he can stand for hours in front of yogurt, debating the merit of one flavor over the other and once he's made a decision he'll notice another brand for a different price and the whole thing starts over again and I just want to leap over the deli counter and slice my face off with their big, steel slicer. Because it isn't just yogurt. Everything requires careful consideration, even stuff he isn't planning on buying.

I mean, I don't go down the pet aisle if I don't need dog food, right? This dude, he'll lollygag down the pet aisle with no particular goal in mind, pick up and handle at least a dozen different dog collars, asking questions like, Wouldn't Milo look great in camouflage, before noticing I'm standing at the end of the aisle breathing fire.

But I'm way off subject now.

Last week Serge worked on Saturday so I decided to sack up and take both kids to Walmart to get the grocery shopping done for the week. I put Henry in his Bjorn and Violet in the cart and both kids behaved so excellently I floated down the aisles, slam-dunking food into the cart like Michael Jordan back in the day, congratulating myself on my obviously stellar parenting skills. Surely the Walmart crowds were in awe of the beautiful, young(ish) mother negotiating the grocery store with such ease while caring for two children no less!

When Serge announced he was going fishing this past Sunday I figured a repeat performance was in order. I cavalierly loaded the kids in cart and Bjorn respectively and wheeled into the veritable buffet of humanity regularly on display at Walmart.

The minute we crossed the threshold Henry, who heretofore had been dead asleep, began screaming. Not just any scream. He has this thing he does, this ragged, primal scream that sounds very much like I imagine an adult would in the midst of getting his fingernails ripped out with pliers.

So Henry starts in and my bravado begins to crumble. But I can't let them see fear, you know? The toddler can sniff out fear like a bloodhound and use it to her advantage. I remain stoic. Try to jam Henry's binky in the gaping hole currently emitting enough noise to rouse the oldster greeter from his deep slumber at the front door.

I wheel to a relatively deserted aisle (deserted at Walmart means at least three people are still browsing said aisle) and attempt to comfort the boy to no avail. Still not ready to toss in the towel on what was supposed to be another triumphant shopping trip, I maneuver the cart toward the back of the store where the bathrooms are located. Sweat (or milk, who the hell knows?) is trickling down my boobs and onto my stomach as shoppers turn to stare at the fire engine mouth I have strapped to my chest.

At home, when Henry cries, I'm fine. But there's something about being the source of such a loud noise in a public setting that embarrasses the hell out of me. We get to the restroom area at the back of the store, but there is no "family restroom". Instead there is a bench sitting outside (oh joy) the men's restroom. A bench which also happens to be right on the path to what appears to be an employee area that contains the Walmart punch clock.

Whatever. One of this old gal's boobies is coming out, I've got no other choice. But have you ever tried to find one of your boobs inside the labyrinth of straps on a Bjorn? I try to position Violet and the cart in front of me while I pull Henry out of the Bjorn and stuff him onto a boob. I know you regularly see tits of all sizes and shapes on display at Walmart, but I never thought mine would be out for public consumption. Yet there they are. I get Henry situated, pull my shirt as far back over my chest as I can considering I still have a Bjorn danging from my torso and get my breastfeed on.

Here's the thing: of course it was time for a shift change. God almighty. There I am trying to breastfeed discreetly when a steady stream of Walmart employees are traipsing past me to clock in. If there's one thing about public breastfeeding I never worried about, it was having my rack checked out. I expected disapproval, maybe, from some, but you guys, at least three creepy old dudes could not take their eyes off my chest area as they shuffled past in their blue smocks. Didn't even try to hide it. Corneas just glued to the chestal region in hopes of spotting an errant nipple, I guess? Gross. I'd way rather the disapproving glances of uptight assholes than dudes trying to gander milkboobs.

Anyway, I got the little dude good and milk drunk and was able to shop until I nearly dropped, and not in a good way. But man, I'm stressing next weekend's shopping expedition. At this point, I'm not sure which is worse, grocery shopping with Serge or creepy, old dudes checking out my rack.

Reader Comments (15)

So you're a stay at home mom and you grocery shop on the weekend?? Dude, if I could stay at home with my kids I would shop on a weekday while NO ONE is there. And if there are people there, it's other stay at home types with their kids, and they would understand! But much kuddos to you for the first successful shopping trip, and for keeping your composure on the second trip!

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjen


I agree. Try to shop during the day during the week.

Also? Whenever you are going somewhere, as soon as you park take Henry out and nurse him while you are sitting in the car. Always get him milk drunk before you even get out of the car. That buys you some time.

If you need to nurse in Walmart? Grab the first item of women's clothing you see and make a bee line for the dressing room and go nurse in there.

The only obstacle is keeping Violet occupied. You could carry snack for her (like a baggy of cheerios) or some kind of finger puppets you can use and tell her a "story" while you nurse.

Just my two cents as I nursed three screamers.

that is all

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmyLynn

@Jen - Good point except that I have a lot of writing for Babble I have to get done on the weekdays. If I were a more organized individual I would figure it out so I could shop during the week but I'm still in Still Figuring Out Two Kids mode, you know?

@AmyLynn - Excellent advice. Especially the dressing room tip.

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

Oh hell! The nice thing about having a husband around when you have a "I must breast feed this screaming banshee before he harkens the zombie apocalypse by waking the dead" emergency is that Hubs can stand in front of you and mean-mug the nosey geezers... as in, "Dude, I see you trying to check out my girl's nips but if you dare, I'll knock the false teeth out of your head... She's feeding my baby so keep it movin', gramps." Otherwise, keep the dressing room trick in your back pocket. Those ladies handing out the hang tags are more than happy to help a nursing mama out.

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E.

I say grocery shopping with Serge is worse...he sounds just like my boyfriend and I refuse to EVER go grocery shopping with him again. He looks at things that he has absolutely no intention of buying, knows everyone and takes forever. Me, it's like I won one of those 90 sec shopping sprees, can't get out of there fast enough!!

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkacy

Ahh, you made me laugh describing both your giddy grocery slam-dunking and your shopping ventures with Serge...! My husband and I aren't crazy about going shopping together, either. It's not that I'm SLOW, per se, it's just that sometimes he gets pissed off that it takes me up to a minute to pick brown onions, for instance.

"But most of the time they suck, just LOOK at them!" is usually my response as I pointedly graze my nail across the crappy, peely layer. And dude, they soooo do. I don't know what the hell is wrong with these green can they put out crappy onions for the masses?!


Aaaanyway, all the best for the next shopping trip with the kiddlies!

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPretzel Thief

I say dressing room too - I have fed mine in many a dressing room, even when I was bottle feeding. And I usually wouldn't even grab clothes, I would just ask to use a room. But grabbing clothes - any garments within reach - ties in with my entertainment suggestion for Violet - let her try on grown up clothes. I can only take my four-year-old girl into dressing rooms if I let her try on stuff that she thinks looks funny.

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Oh, and I forgot to address shopping with the husband. I loathe grocery shopping with my husband. I could go on about this FOREVER, but I'll stick with the biggest thing - he has a gift for stopping in aisles and doorways in the perfect position to block all traffic. One of the kids makes a noise, and he will seriously stop in the middle of automatic doors, oblivious to the people stacking up behind him. I go slowly crazy on each trip, asking if we can move over there over and over and feeling like a jerk pulling him out of the way. It's really better if I not witness it, since I can't seem to just let it go. Also, I totally browse for fun, and my husband would probably like to use the cart to just shove me along once I start pointing out pretty things that we're not going to buy.

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

the nursing poncho is always discreet and sometimes even fashionable: :

Walmart carries a nursing shawl:

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

men will look at boobs any chance they get, no matter what! most men are not picky about boob sightings.

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarrie

no doubt men are pigs when it comes to that (albeit, usually due to the lack of enough sex in their life), but the fact that you are an attractive woman definitely adds fuel to the fire...

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfahrenheit

Can you send Serge alone to shop?

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Laughed until I cried! Haha... I love knowing that there are others just like me! I was a total prude about nursing my first - always behind closed doors - and he was incredibly, well, slow... Some feedings would take up to an hour! So, when number two arrived I knew I couldn't entertain a toddler and nurse a baby forever in the bathroom or changing room or car... Wal-Marting in the early months usually consisted of me pushing Baby One in the cart and toting Baby Two in the front carrier. If he was hungry I'd toss on my Udder Cover and nurse, push the buggy and shop away. Funny looks? Sure! Curious stares? Absolutely! Odd questions? Uh huh. Happy Boys? Yes!!! haha

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

ohh the bench... try a fitting room. Ive never been turned away with a crying baby.

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLLRC

I remember those days well. For me it wasn't grocery shopping, it was finding anyway possible to get out of the house with my infant baby boys before I lost my mind. I ended up at the mall just pushing them around in their stroller - and I don't even LIKE the mall! By the time they got hungry, I realized my plan had a major flaw. At least with my singleton daughter I could nurse her somewhat inconspiculously, but there is no way to nurse two babies at the same time without drawing a crowd. Luckily I discovered that some of the upscale department stores have really, really nice restrooms that actually have sitting areas, so I got to nurse them in luxery, just ignoring the stunned double-takes of the women coming in to use the bathroom. Aaahhh - those were the days. ;)

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Mommy

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>