Saturday, May 3, 2008

"Extended" Nursing on NPR

It's an all-too-common situation: Elissa indulging in her NPR addiction, parked outside her destination with the van running and her hand on the key, unable to shut the car off until the fascinating interview or commentary or whatever is over. I am a public radio addict. I listen compulsively, and then I talk at length to anyone who will listen about my thoughts on the programs I listen to. Unfortunately, I also don't really have a very good memory for names, so it usually goes like, "Yeah, there was the guy on, and he was talking to this other guy...I think the second guy climbed a mountain or wrote a book about climbing a mountain, or something like that, but anyway, I can't remember exactly how it started, but..."

Today I was listening to "Weekend America" on my way home from grocery shopping, and I heard this segment from Bill Radke. The story itself is relevant to parenting, and interesting to me because his daughter is a month or two younger than my son Monkey. It is all about the anxiety that parents feel about our own parenting abilities--how we want our kids to feel self-confident and secure, but yet we don't always take our own advice when it comes to relaxing and having confidence in ourselves as parents. Instead, we compare ourselves and our children to our friends, neighbors, and preschool cohorts.

But what really got my attention about this segment was when he was describing the home visit that the clinical psychologist did with his family to determine the things they were doing right and wrong in the raising of their first child. The psychologist asked Radke's wife, Susanna, to describe her morning routine, and the first thing she talked about was snuggling together in the glider, nursing! Yes, nursing her fifteen-month-old toddler! Hurray!!!

I realize this is not huge news, but just the fact that it wasn't news is terrific. I dream of an America where breastfeeding, and even breastfeeding beyond infancy, is just so much a part of our cultural norms that it doesn't get any special mention. Now that would be huge news.


Shana said...


Mary's List said...

I just heard a report on the news that said that breastfeeding is at its highest point in recent history. I can't remember the exact no.s but it was something like 80 % of women now breast feed. I am enjoying your blog. MEL

Beverly said...

Yeah, it's kind of a "no news is good news" situation, only different. :-)