Shadow Ninja breastfeeding techniques...I mastered them all, except one part.
When my first child was born, I was an adamant breastfeeder. Whether at a restaurant, at the mall, or teaching piano, I was determined to give my baby only breast milk. I was a modest breastfeeder (until I got to the third child, and then I was too tired to care!), which meant I had to master the skill of "The Cover Up."
"The Cover Up" is the subtle act of breastfeeding while trying to look like you're not. You know, baby begins to cry and starts wildly shaking its head round in circles, kind of like the Exorcist, with mouth wide open and a look that says, "You better do it fast before you pee your... shirt!" Then, the mother begins her James Bond moves, trying to get the "pacifier" out without exposing herself and freaking out all the men around her. Somehow she is supposed to put a blanket over a screaming baby who is kicking the stupid blanket and causing it to fall on a dirty floor AND breastfeed AND look like you mean to use your blanket as an off-the-shoulder fashion statement.
I just couldn't master that skill.
Instead, I invented "The Tent."
It all started in a nice restaurant with my mother, step-father, husband and I think my brother. Just when our dinner is served, my firstborn begins to cry. (Have you ever noticed that babies always get hungry when you're just about to eat?) I pull out the blanket and begin the "The Cover Up".
The baby is screaming as I try to move my outer and inner clothing out of the way without losing my "boob pad" on the floor with a blanket draped over my shoulder, all the while holding a screaming newborn. I am getting quite frustrated at this whole process and the people in the restaurant are getting quite irritated at the screaming baby.
But what can I do? I cannot expose myself in the restaurant. My brother and step-father are already turning red and I think I can see the manager debating over which would be worse-having an entire restaurant of patrons walk out the door or having to approach...(Insert sound of Beethoven's 5th Symphony) ...The Breastfeeder.
"Forget this!" I say. "I don't care what everyone thinks. Forget the stupid, 'Cover Up!' I am inventing a new skill...'The Tent!'" and I pulled that stupid blanket...
...right over my head!
There I sat in my chair, baby in arms and blanket over my head.
The only problem was that I looked completely mental.
Poor Travis...he was so incredibly embarrassed, especially whenever the server came to check on us and wondered if I was clinically insane.
Oh, well. It worked. (Shrug)