On Cows and Milking

Jedi called out to stop me as I walked past his room after putting him to bed. He was supposed to be fast asleep already, especially after complaining about how tired he was. There’s always a stall tactic, however.

“Hey, Mom?”

“Yes”, I whispered, not wanting to wake his brother or sister.

“So let me get this straight. Cows just have milk in their body? Like, how do they make it?”, he wondered. I had to give him credit for the inquisitive question, though.

“Well”, I considered, not sure exactly how to phrase my response for an almost 8 year old boy. “Do you remember how I used to feed Abby, with milk from my body? Cows make milk like that, too.”

Thinking a string of thoughts along, he questioned next, “So the milk we drink is supposed to be for the baby cows?”.

With my limited knowledge on the nature of farm animals, I went with the safe, flippant approach. “Yes and no”, I mustered. Then I began to worry that this may cause him to feel sad for the cows, and thus refuse to drink any more milk. To thwart this, I suggested a story of how the farmers are really doing the cows a favor, because if they didn’t empty their abundant supply they’d get sore and full. Like engorgement. A tale taken from a combined total of 5 years personal breastfeeding experience on this farm I call my life.

After we said our goodnights again and as I was making my exit, he called out one last time. “Hey, Mom? I’m glad I’m not a cow.”

I’m glad I’m not a cow anymore, either. My milking days are done.


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