Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Boobs & baseball

While few things in life are certain, there are reasonable goals that should be relatively easy to accomplish. Chief among these are winning a baseball game with a $205 million payroll and successfully breastfeeding a baby. Unfortunately, as we have learned in 2008, both of these are surprisingly difficult to achieve.

Stop me if you've already considered this, but baseball & breastfeeding are actually quite similar. In baseball, you field a team of nine starters, plus a bench and bullpen. Egad! Breastfeeding is exactly the same! Between the doulas, the midwives, the lactation consultants and the occupational therapists, we have to actively manage our roster to keep it within the 25-man major league limit. This doesn't even count our farm system of friends, relatives and grocery store checkout people. These folks are all actively playing the game, backing up the battery of mom and dad as they throw their best stuff at the baby in the batter's box, while the ump (apparently, anyone that has ever seen a picture of a baby in a magazine) judges your decisions and calls balls and strikes.

And why/how is breastfeeding so difficult? Isn't it the most natural activity in the world? Didn't the survival of our species depend on our ability to get this one little activity right? I'm pretty sure that they didn't have Similac or breast pumps at the Sumerian Babies 'R' Us, so how did they overcome issues like the ones we've had? The experts will tell you that while they may not have had occupational therapists back then, there was more in the way of community nurture. There were wet nurses and there were female relatives to assist.

I'm sure that's true, but is our issue also due at least in part to an overabundance of information? Do we stress out about the problems we're having primarily because we can read blogs/articles/bathroom walls discussing these issues and therefore feel validated that there is a problem? Were the folks in the olden days just blissfully ignorant, breastfeeding away while their boobs felt like they were being mauled by wolves? And what about those kids that just couldn't breastfeed properly due to something like -- oh, I don't know -- a tongue tie? Did those children just not survive? Were they the cost of evolution, eliminating the weak genes from the pool? If the bottle had never been invented, would we now be a race of Gene Simmonses?

(Incidentally, it's no secret that evolution has stalled, or even backpedaled, along the way. You only need to spend some time online or in a corporate office to see how far we've fallen. OMG! LOL! Irregardless, we're not here to boil the ocean, are we?)

I don't have any answers. Just questions. The only thing I do know for sure is, if my baby needs a therapist for his current occupation of breastfeeding, that does not bode well for his future career success. Of course, if he goes the corporate route, he'll have no problems whatsoever. There are many successful business folks that are completely unable to recognize a boob.

And that's the only reason that I've still got a job.

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