Cerabino: The real villain in Boca’s breast-feeding mom saga


Time to alert the public breastfeeding quick-response team.

We here at NIPPLE — Negating Ignoramuses Preventing Proper Lactation Entitlements — are dedicated to informing the public that while there are many amazingly annoying behaviors in South Florida restaurants, moms breastfeeding their kids doesn’t even register on the Old Man Eating Coleslaw While Talking Way Too Loud Scale.

Breastfeeding in public is not only legal, but it’s far less of a spectacle than a table of six asking for separate checks.

As you may have heard, there was an incident in a Boca Raton restaurant, and we’ve got to nip this one in the buds.

A woman breastfeeding her 10-month-old son in a family-owned burger restaurant called Relish & More was told she had to stop by an employee who was later fired by the restaurant owners. They issued an apology to the nursing mother on Facebook.

“As proprietors, we are staunch proponents of and fully subscribe to the viewpoint that the breast-feeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which must be encouraged in the interest of maternal and child health and family values,” co-owner Desiree Tobin wrote.

End of subject, right? No. This is Boca. The restaurant’s getting filleted on social media by militant breastfeeding enthusiasts who are missing the real culprit here.

It’s not the restaurant owners and not the employee. It’s the unknown patron in the restaurant who saw a woman breastfeeding her baby under a blanket and told the employee to make the mother knock it off.

That’s the person we at NIPPLE are trying to reach. This incident didn’t happen because an overzealous restaurant employee decided to make an issue of it. It was another diner, a far-too-nosy diner, who complained to the employee, who then made the mistake of trying to mollify that diner.

Rule No. 1: Some people who eat out at South Florida restaurants can not be made happy. They will hate whatever table they are seated at. They will say the coffee’s too hot, or not hot enough, and there will be an intolerable draft (otherwise known as air conditioning) wherever they sit.

They will find every reason to criticize everything about their own dining experience, and when they run out of those complaints, they will widen their zone of critical appraisal to the rest of the restaurant.

I have an aunt like this. I don’t think she’s had a restaurant experience yet that didn’t involve some high drama, an insult to the chef, or a change of table.

We here at NIPPLE are here to tell the legion of waiters and waitresses to be strong. We know. These diners will wear you down, get you to the point that you will do just about anything to get them to just stop complaining.

Even if it means denying a 10-month-old child his legally protected sustenance.

So our mission is to get the word out. To make their complainers avert their eyes and shut their mouths.

Moms aren’t breastfeeding kids to put on a show. And if you do happen to see a flash of something private, that’s on you.

Why are you staring at a nursing mom when you could be looking for your waiter to complain that the sauce is too salty, the table is too sticky, or there’s not enough ice in your drink?

Instead of focusing on the breast feeder, you could be staring at the people at another table and asking your dining companion in a loud voice, “Is that person over there a man or a woman?”

Or lament about having to listen to people speak Spanish in public while the Guatemalan busboy is silently clearing the plates from your table.

There is an endless list of intrusions you can make on other people’s lives without involving breastfeeding moms.

Leave them be. They’re already at their quota of cranky behavior.

We here at NIPPLE believe that the best way to fix this is with a public service campaign, one that will raise the level of awareness among the sizable pool of complainers so that in the future, they get the message, and find other ways to torment their servers and engineer their surroundings.

A good place to start might be a pro-breastfeeding specialty license plate. Florida’s license plate would just require a few minor cosmetic changes.

Those the two oranges on the standard Florida plate could be slightly redrawn under a breastfeeding call to action.

Maybe something along the lines of “Florida Sucks!”



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