I could write you as a parenting columnist. Or as a parenting advocate. I could write as a breastfeeding advocate or in some kind of official role.
But I'm writing as a parent. As the mother of a three and a half year old boy, like Mayim Bialik's Fred. Like Fred, my boy also continues to nurse. In all the things I do day-to-day parenting-wise, it's the one thing I KNOW I'm not doing wrong. The one thing. Honestly.
But, apparently, you think it's wrong. I'm not sure why. I have no idea why you even had to comment on it. And why that comment had to be so judgmental and offensive is beyond me. The truth is, Randy, I didn't hear your comment. Because, frankly, I'm not a listener. But I heard of your comment and the tone in your voice as you ridiculed Mayim for continuing to breastfeed.
"In the book, she talks about how she breastfeeds her three-and-a-half-year-old son, Fred. Three and a half! What?! I just got over Alicia Silverstone's bird-feeding thing with her son, and now this?!"UPDATE: You can access the audio here. It wasn't just Randy and it's worse than I originally reported. Scroll down to the media player: 99.1HitsFM
UPDATE2: They've taken it down. I meant to record it before they did. But, you know, life gets in the way.
But do you know, Randy, that when you said that, you didn't just ridicule Mayim. You didn't even "just" ridicule every mother out there who breastfeeds into the toddler and preschool years. You ridiculed children. Little three-and-a-half-year old children. Your ridiculed MY SON, Randy. And that's not acceptable. Not in the least.
It might seem wrong to you, that my son, who indeed is no longer a baby, continues to breastfeed. But it has nothing to do with you. Nothing at all. And unlike the standard stunned member of the public at the mall, you're a voice that people listen to. So when you comment on something that has nothing to do with you two things happen:
- You strengthen the voice of those who also feel appropriate commenting on things that have nothing to do with them - their judgmental opinion is now "celebrity-endorsed."
- You feed into a systemic cultural practice of judging - especially parents - on things that are a matter of personal choice.
And the third thing you do? Watch this video clip of my little boy. Pay careful attention to the 55 second mark.
You make my son question something he loves.
Read that again, Randy. And let it sink in... you made a little boy feel sad.
My son loves breastfeeding. It's not the only thing he loves, but, yes, it's in his top-ten for sure. He loves the bonding time with me. He loves the "deelicious" milk. He loves how it soothes and relaxes him.
And I love it too. The part I especially love is knowing that I am doing everything humanly possible to grant him a long and healthy life. My milk didn't suddenly lose its health benefits and antibodies or even its nutritive value when he turned one or two years old. It's all still there. And given that he has a disorder that means that tumours can grow in his body anytime anywhere and breastmilk is the one known safe anti-tumorgenic substance I can give him, guess what? I'm not going to stop. No matter what you think or say.
But my son is sad. He's sad because people like you see fit to comment on something that he loves. They tell him he's too old for it. Or that big boys don't need it. Or even that it's foolish. People say these things to my son and it confuses him and saddens him.
And now you, a public figure, have said it. And I can't let that go. You hurt my son. You hurt the other three and four and five year olds that may have listened to your show and heard your painful words. You hurt the mothers who are trying only to do what's best for their child.
I'm not going to pay a lot of attention to what you said, Randy, because frankly I never do. We don't listen to HitsFM. We're pretty much CBC people, occasionally K-Rock, and when we want to dance in the kitchen while making supper, we tune into OZFM.
But a lot of people will pay attention. It saddens me that in a province with lowest breastfeeding rates in the nation, where our government and health authorities are working tirelessly to promote breastfeeding, someone like you can undermine all that work with a single, thoughtless, throw-away statement.
To them, all I can say is "who is Randy Snow." And what right does he have to dictate what you do? My kids understand it, I hope your audience does too...