A Query for Mr. Darwin

October 9th, 2010

Dear Darwin,

Here’s my question for you. Given the general rules of evolutionary theory, and that whole “survival of the fittest” thing, how is it that the dominant species on the planet has managed to retain the most anti-survivalist instinct in the world? Namely, interfering with its own feeding source.

Every time I whip out a boob to nourish my darling wee Bear, he insists on immediately stuffing his hands in his mouth. What gives? A nurse at our doctor’s office tells me this is a reflex that all infants demonstrate. Well, what kind of stupid reflex is that? You’re putting a barrier between your mouth and your food, kid. WHY?

This bizarre trait is annoying under the best of circumstances when you’re a new mother, struggling to get the hang of breastfeeding. I often feel like I’m wrestling a baby alligator and that I need at least three more hands to really feel in control of the situation. This general problem is compounded severely when you’re out in public and you’re trying to discreetly force your boob at your child under cover of a voluminous nursing blanket. You need one hand to hold the blanket up so you can see what you’re doing. One hand to hold the kid. One hand to hold the boob. And at least one more to pin your offspring’s flailing fists to his sides so he can’t stick them in his mouth!

So, Mr. Darwin. What gives? Care to explain this ridiculous piece of human behavior?

Sincerely,
Kate

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