My daughter loves boobies.
When she was a little younger and had just been weened for a few months, she thought nothing of tugging at the tetons in public. She once even got a little friend in on the act and together they unleashed the mountains in public.
At home she likes to proudly pat my shirt and declare “Mommy’s boobies.” This is usually followed by stuffing toys in my shirt: playdough, crayons, a tea cup, a Kermit the frog Pez dispenser. Things like that.
She stuffs away and then gives the ensuing bulge a satisfactory pat and a kiss as if to say “No place like home guys.”
She even has a song about my breasts which is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells and goes: “Boobies, boobies, boobies, boobies, mommy, mommy boobies.”
Yesterday she reached down, parted my two boobs like the Red Sea and shouted “Hello! Hello!” into the cavern between.
I bore this new experiment with something of a mixture of patience and bemusement.
You see, I’ve always been well endowed.
As a 12 year old my chest went from desert plains to mountain range seemingly overnight.
Pretty soon I was wearing two bras just for support.
As a preteen and then a teen my very large breasts drew no small amount of unwanted attention. I once had a man stare so intensely at my breasts that he walked smack into a table at a mall food court and tripped.
Friends would often tell me jealously what they would wear if they had my breasts.
My college dance coach suggested I nix ballet (which I’d loved and taken for years) because “you have one of those more juicy, sexy jazz dancer types of bodies.”
Meanwhile, my then very thin frame struggled under the weight of breasts so large they required a specialty bra. And even then the straps still left huge bruises on my shoulders.
A doctor recommended a reduction and, amazingly, insurance took one look at the photos and approved it in less than a week. Five pounds of breast tissue was removed.
Mind you, this surgery took my gigantic breasts and made them merely D cup large. But at least I could better function on a day to day basis. I no longer needed several Advil a day to help with back and shoulder pain. The strap bruises were gone and I could actually buy tops and bras at regular stores.
But it also hampered my ability to fully breastfeed. As a new mom, I struggled to get milk to my child. I tried a lactation specialist, special herbs, and a hospital grade pump. Even with all those aids, I was only able to produce a few ounces at feedings and I had to supplement with a bottle.
Still, it was so worth it when I put my daughter to my breasts and she looked up at me with such love.
So perhaps it is for all of those complicated reasons that I am very patient with my daughter on the boobie issue. I never want her to feel ashamed of her body. I want her to celebrate this very uniquely female aspect of her frame.
I love that she loves my boobies. Doing so has taught me to love them too.
The other night, she grabbed her bath toy cow (which despite its otherwise cartoonish proportions has surprisingly realistic udders). She asked me “Poo poo wet?” meaning is that poop?
I said no honey, that’s the cow’s boobies. That’s how the mommy feeds the baby cows.”
A look of understanding crossed her face. Then she lovingly patted the cow’s “boobies” and placed the toy on the edge of the bathtub where it watched over the other toys for the rest of her bath.