Normally, I would never take my boobs out in a restaurant of any kind, much less one that features industrial sized ketchup dispensers, but it was an emergency.
Here's how it happened. In Millie's third month, we were traveling to a wedding in Michigan-- the first leg of a long and unfortunate road trip- and she was sleeping mercifully in the back seat. We began to speak about lunch. "Let's stop when we get off the toll road," we told each other, "and grab a bite to eat." Fools.
Millie heard us and-- sensing an opportunity to escape her carseat-- awoke screaming like a valkyrie. We abandoned our conversation about where to stop for lunch. It was silently understood that we would pull over at the first available restaurant, even if it it were (god forbid) a McDonalds.
It was a McDonalds.
Now, I don't have anything against McDonalds per-say-- it's just that if I'm going to get a huge fat ass from eating fast food, I'd prefer it to be from eating delicious burritos and mexi-melts. But, in this particular instance, I would have stopped at any establishment, including a strip club just to get her to stop screaming.
To the credit of the McDonalds, it was very clean and nice. We were greeted by a very friendly woman distributing samples of their latest chicken wrap. Millie and I had this conversation with her:
McDonalds Lady: "Would you like to try a sample of our new crispy chicken wrap?"
"SCREAAAAAAAAAAAM!" We told her.
McDonalds Lady: "What a beautiful Baby! What's Her name?"
Us: "SCREAM, Scream, scream, scream, SCREAM."
"What a great name, very old fashioned. Are you sure you won't try some wrap?" She persevered, "it's made with all white meat."
Us: "SCREAM. SCREAM. SCREAM."
McDonalds Lady: "ISN'T SHE A DOLL! Is she a good sleeper?"
"WE HATE YOU NOW LEAVE US ALONE" We said to her. (Ok, technically I guess we only said this in our minds, but it's what we were both thinking.) I think what we said aloud was actually: "Oh you know, some nights are better than others."
"SCREAM, "we added."
The conversation ended when Sean rescued us by trying a sample of her chicken wrap. Millie and I skulked away to the back of the restaurant to nurse in privacy.
Now, you would think when a harried new mother sits with her screaming baby as far away from other people as possible, AND puts a nursing cover on to hide the activity of feeding, it would send a very clear message. That message is:
HELLO PATRONS OF MCDONALDS.
I DONT WANT YOU TO SEE MY TITTIES.
PLEASE STAY AWAY.Apparently, you would be wrong. Based on the behavior of the people I interacted with, the actual message I was sending out was more like this:
HELLO PATRONS OF MCDONALDS.
I AM BORED.
PERHAPS SOME OF YOU COULD APPROACH ME AND CONVERSE WITH ME WHILE VIOLATING MY PERSONAL SPACE?
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES WITH BABIES, AND SEE PHOTOS OF EVERY ONE OF YOUR F-ING GRANDCHILDREN.
I can't prove it, but I think the man at the register must have been directing the other customers over to talk to me.
The worst moment was when an affable older gentleman with a walker ambled over to me and gingerly reached out and pulled back my nursing cover to "get a look at the baby's face." Her face. Which was attached to what? That's right, MY TITTY DAMMIT. A 70 year old man in a McDonalds helped himself to view of my titties and I was powerless to stop him. He moved like a dammed rattlesnake. The attack was over before I knew what had happened.
Sean had to hold back a smile as he ushered me away and out of the horrible McDonalds. As we reached the door the chicken-wrap-lady gave us a plastic happy-meal toy. The other customers seemed sad to see us go, probably because--without the distraction of my titties--they had to face the fact that they were eating a McRib Sandwich. How had their lives gone so wrong?
As for us, we got on the road and made it to Michigan safely. The next time we're traveling and Millie starts screaming, we won't be fooled again. We'll drive right past those golden arches, and stop at the strip-club. Not only will their all-you-can-eat lunch buffet taste better than the McRib, but at least the creepy old men there will tip us handsomely for the peeks they steal.
To read other posts about travel with an infant, click the link below:
Episode 1: Millie's first French Kiss