When breastfeeding is just like urination

I enjoy reading fun little articles on my news site of choice, something to take away from all the tragic tales of world and local horror. Yesterday, this piece appeared, sharing the happy little anecdote of a mom with skills so mad she pumped her breasts while running a half marathon. Yes, Ms. Anna Young has some mad pumping skills and running skills. I can manage a pump while I browse the internet during recess and maybe one day I will think about running around the block. I salute you.

However, as comments go, the expected sort came rolling around in due time: How dare she be flashing her non-exposed breasts while people are about! How immodest! How inconsiderate!

And, of course, my favorite: “Peeing and pooping are natural, too! Should we do those in public?”

I respond to that: No. Under most circumstances you should not pee or poop in public. That is gross.

And what in the world does the natural physical actions of urination and defecation have to do with other natural actions?

Are we really failing category sorts that badly in kindergarten?

Many things are natural. That doesn’t mean we lump together in a single category. If you are doing this, you need to return to kindergarten and explore new and more specific ways of sorting objects and concepts.

Because if you equate breastfeeding with urination, there is something very and probably irrevocably wrong with you.

But Emily! I’m not saying breastfeeding is a way of expelling disgusting waste from the human body! I’m simply saying that if urination is done in private, other things ought to be done privately as well.

Gotcha and thanks for that extremely general phrase. Some things ought to be done in private. Okay. So what’s the connection between urination and breastfeeding? That’s a bit of a leap without any steps of logic. What other vague notion should be done in private? Or in public? I think we’re going to need a few more definitions before we start with better categorization.

Breastfeeding is eating. Urination is peeing. They’re extremely different. Ask a medical or biological professional. I’m quite positive they will assure you they are different. Different organs, different purposes, differing fluids.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s see how urination and breastfeeding are the same.

  1. Urine and milk are both liquids and come out of the body.
  2. That’s about the long and the short of it.

This means that if anything is liquid and comes out of the body, it should be done in private. Like crying and bleeding. Crying is for wussies and your arterial damage had best be done away from others.

If you honestly think urination is anywhere in the same ball park as breastfeeding, you also have to keep this straight across the board. If breastfeeding is like urination, it’s unsanitary for human consumption and should not be done to any infant no matter where you are.

But most people don’t think that way, do they?



To parents who can’t get their act together yet send their kids to school anyway…

I write this to all you givers of genetic material who have as of yet not been able to properly grow up. You know, grow up as in act like an adult, pay bills, take care of kids, be responsible members of society. Not those of you who act like the fact that you reached legal age emboldens your special snowflake status. You special snowflake drama queens are the ones I’m talking to.

Thanks a lot for sending your kid to school. Yeah, I’m the teacher. I will love your child and give all that I can reasonably give and probably what I can’t reasonably give to help your kid.

But that doesn’t change the fact your kid is a piece of work and yes, I’m blaming you.

You, the parents who seriously thinks violent pornography is an appropriate passtime show for small children.

The ones who managed to make it to 18 with no concept of how to hold down a job. The ones who grew up in generational poverty and have reached a point of lack of compassion but a nice big entitlement complex. The ones who cry and moan when their bosses tell them they need to get with the program.

You parents who think abuse is funny, that because you survived it it’s A-OK for you to do it to your own kids. And then you get your panties in a bunch when someone suggests otherwise.

I’m blaming your kid’s issues on your complete unawareness of normal human relationships. Because boyfriends and girlfriends who scream and hit are apparently sexy to you. Because your single mother insisted that long-term committed relationships are for pansies and that your freedom to be you is more important than the age-old foundation of society.

I’m blaming you because you think drug and alcohol addictions are the best parenting tool to have.

Because you don’t know how to have a normal relationship with the other parent of your child, whether you’re together or separated.

And then, because you’re just too tired to be a good parent, you send your kid to my classroom only to freak out when I have to spend more time developing semi-normal social and behavioral skills with them instead of “challenging” them with stuff far above their ability level.

You look around and see the other kids who are less than perfect and you think you’re good to go. Well, sometimes and even fairly often awesome parents have kids who are troubled, who need as much help as your kid.

This does not excuse you from being a complete failure as a parent.

Why I use chalkboards in my classroom

Earlier this year I began a DonorsChoose campaign to buy a bunch of lap chalkboards for my classroom. Yes, chalkboards. Chalkboards, mini erasers, and chalk, reminiscent of days gone by happily replaced by white boards and of course the grand almighty Smart Board (and I still don’t know what those really are.) Every person I have talked to shows surprise that chalkboards still exist, let alone are sitting for the purchasing in the Lakeshore catalog, but they were there and on my DonorsChoose campaign they went. A few donations later and they were in my classroom, ready and waiting for student use.

And I love them.

Chalkboards are a thing. That is, the illusion of chalkboards. They’re trendy, they’re pretty, and Pinterest is full of them. Why not the classroom? What is this fear of chalk and chalk dust that has sent us all to Expo marker hell?

A few years ago, my teacher grandmother was going through her things. She had a bunch of mini chalkboards left over from her own teaching days. I was not teaching at that time and my sister took them. Ever since then, they’ve been on the back of my mind. Not overly so; after all, whiteboards are the way to go and you can even buy shower board at the home improvement store.

But some point last year I realized whiteboards aren’t all that awesome. They can get scratched to the point of uselessness and let us not forget their companion, the dry erase marker. Now that is a demon. That innocent little marker gets its tip broken constantly by overeager children and dries up in a flash. How much money did I spend over the years on markers?

My classroom isn’t whiteboard free. I have a big whiteboard on the wall upon which I write. And I even have an almost-class set of little whiteboards. But chalkboards kind of rock and here is why:

  1. Chalk is cheaper than markers. Seriously, chalk is dirt cheap even though it’s better than its icky predecessors. I can buy a whole bunch of chalk for a few dollars and not panic about the financial loss because chalk never dries out! Even broken chalk can be used for its time.
  2. Writing on a chalkboard is ever so much more difficult than writing with marker on a whiteboard. Yes, difficulty isn’t always a good thing, but I’m working with second graders and some of them have crappy motor skills. I noticed this the past two years of working in my current school. Not with chalk, of course, but with crayons. I began to question whether these kids had ever colored before. Then, as a remedy for their terrible fine motor skills, they brought in markers because those were “easier” to color with. Which defeated the purpose. Crayons take more effort than smooth-gliding markers, requiring more muscle coordination, focus, and energy. And up go fine motor skills. Writing with chalk on a chalkboard vs writing with marker on a whiteboard seems to work the same way. I still have kids drawing with the chalk, but it’s not the random scribbles of markers. They have to work a little more, and they honestly seem to think more.
  3. The kids have more fun. Face it, kids love chalk. Sidewalk chalk is still an awesome gift. Even though I have my rules about focusing on the lesson, my kiddos have embraced the chalk and chalkboards. It’s different for them and the chalk comes in more colors than the basic Expo black.
  4. It was good enough for our forefathers. Referring back to Grandma’s chalkboards, I love the classic nature of these things. This is old school elementary.
  5. Less waste. I don’t have a ton of plastic lying about. No dried-up markers, no boxes, just chalk getting used up.