Italians are very open, sometimes so much so that if you are not used to it, you will find them offensive or intrusive. Ever since having the baby people ask me if I am breastfeeding. I am no prude, but I think this is a rather personal, private thing. Furthermore when I say people have been asking me, I mean everyone has literally asked me - men as well as women, people who I don't even know, people I have never even met! Not one visitor has passed who has not asked me this question. People phone day and night to enquire after the baby, and this is a lovely gesture, but when they are people whom I have never, ever met and they ask me this question then it really annoys me.
You can imagine then, that I was getting a little miffed to say the least. My mum and dad flew home this morning, but they also thought it very odd and a little rude that everyone asks me this question. This is my first baby, so I am not sure the way things go in Australia, but I am sure every Tom, Dick and Harry didn't ask my twin if she was breastfeeding.
And for the record, no, I am not breastfeeding. I had just been discharged from the hospital, and after having been inside for 10 days was not feeling the best. We had to buy formula before the chemists all closed for the lunch break. I stopped at a chemist near our village and went inside with my mum. I asked the woman behind the counter, the pharmacist she was, if they had X or Y brand. They had neither she said. I asked her if she had any formula and she said no. I asked when they would be getting formula in, and she said she didn't know, but really I should be breastfeeding.
Excuse me? Did I hear right? Did she honestly just tell me that I should be breastfeeding when I was wanting to buy formula?
I was tired, sore, I had not seen daylight for 10 days, I hadn't washed my hair for even longer, I wanted to go home and I was anxious as I needed formula to feed the baby. So I told this pharmacist fool in a not so polite voice that I had just had a C-section, that
I had no milk so it was physically impossible for me to breastfeed.
Unfortunately I cannot be rude when I reply to bel fidanzato's friends and family. It is only the old people that ask me, friends our age have not asked, but the old people....well there's no holding back with them. They don't listen either. When I tell them that I have no milk, they still like to tell me that really though, breastfeeding is best. Are you deaf - I feel like yelling, but I don't. Why don't you mind your own business? Why are you bothering me? Why don't you go and harass some other tired, new mum with a 15 day old baby. Why don't you go and get a life? I don't yell these things at them, but maybe I should...it would make me feel a lot better!