I’m a big multi-tasker. I can make lunches while drying the uniform pants I fogot to wash last night while checking my email while talking on the phone. And there have been plenty of times when I had to feed my kids in the car. Microwaved bagels with butter are a big one for us. Or dry cereal in a baggie. Or a Happy Meal (but no ketchup – I draw the line at letting the kids open ketchup packets in the car). And, I’ve breastfed my kids in the car. Parked. With the car completely off. And even that made me nervous. I called Saturn once trying to find out if the airbag would go off if I was parked and somebody hit me (I was never able to get a clear answer on that, so I did it in the back seat when possible).
But never, ever, in my wildest dreams, on my most harried, late, crazy day, did it ever occur to me even once for a split second to breastfeed my baby while driving. But apparently Genine Compton of Ohio thought that this was an OK thing to do. With her other children in the minivan, and her baby on the steering wheel having breakfast, she drove to her kids’ school. Oh, and as if that weren’t enough, she was also talking on her cell phone.
Luckily for her kids, another driver saw her, and called the police: “I’m following right behind her right now on Far Hills Avenue,” the caller said as he spoke to a Kettering dispatcher in a recording of his non-emergency call that was released by police on Friday, Feb. 27.
“I tried to say something to her. She literally has the little girl on the steering wheel and I said, ‘I can’t believe you have that kid in your lap’ and she said, ‘You want to pop your titty out and breastfeed this kid?’ That’s what she said to me. I’m like, ‘You can feed your kid when you stop.’ It’s like wet out here. It’s full of traffic. It’s ridiculous. She’s got like three other kids in the car.”
The cops were very quick to point out that the fact that she was breastfeeding had nothing to do with the fact that she has been charged with child endangerment and unlawfully restraining a child. They said that even if the child had just been on her lap, the charges would have been the same. I’m sure they’re trying to avoid protests from moms who think they can breastfeed their kids anywhere, anytime, no matter what the situation, no exceptions. But clearly this was not about breastfeeding, it’s about safety.
You have to take a test to get the license to drive the mini-van, so I have to assume there’s no question on that test asking whether or not it’s OK to breastfeed your baby while driving. I guess whoever made the test assumed that that was the kind of thing a person would just know, just like you know not to stick your hand in a pot of boiling water. I mean, when I took the test to get my learners permit, there were no questions like these: “True or False: You should not put cruise control on and climb into the backseat and take a nap while driving.” Or “True or False: If you are low on gas, you can fill your tank with chocolate milk.” There are just some things that should be assumed.
But no, apparently it is no longer safe to assume that drivers will instinctively know not to whip out their boobs and prop their kids up on their steering wheels and grab their cell phones and put it in drive. And if this woman is making such a huge, horrible, dangerous mistake on this issue, what are the odds that all of her other decisions are OK? She faces jail or a fine or both. I’m not sure her kids will be better off if she’s in jail, but maybe a big fine will make her think twice before doing something like that again.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom
Breastfeeding while driving gets woman a ticket [Dayton Daily News]