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Instead of the Dishes » Featured, Mommyhood » When You’re the Food Truck…

When You’re the Food Truck…

Here in Little Rock and in many cities across the country, Food Trucks are becoming more and more popular.  Apparently the concept of being able to get a quick meal at any given time, and sometimes in an unlikely location, is very appealing to folks in general.  These Food Trucks have to get a permit, and I think there are certain areas they’re not allowed to go, but in general, they’re out there tooling around, enjoying the city, giving people sustenance right out in the open.  People like it.  It’s cool.  It’s hip.

This same concept, however, does not seem to apply to new mothers and their babies.  Even though several laws have been passed to protect breast feeding moms and their babies, mothers are still harassed on a semi-regular basis.  Yesterday I read this article about a mother who was not permitted to nurse her child on a bench in the Smithsonian’s art museum in Washington DC.  The mother had been told to go to the restroom, but when she got to the restroom, there was no where to sit.  It brought to mind my own memories of nursing at the Smithsonian.  It was a very cold day in December of 2006, and we were visiting the Museum of Natural History.  The restrooms there also did not have anywhere to sit down, and all the benches in the hallways were full of boisterous school children and tired grandparents.  So, we found an alcove on the second floor of the rotunda, overlooking the big elephant, and Craig stood over me to block out the throngs of people as best he could.  Luckily, no security guards were involved.

My cousin, Kate, a working mother in Chicago, also told me the story of how she had parked on a quiet road so she could pump on her lunch break. There was no where for her to pump at her job.  She had just gotten started when there was a knock on her window. Startled, she looked up, and was even more startled to see a police officer standing there!  Needless to say, he was embarrassed and apologetic, but basically had approached her simply because he thought it was odd that she was parked on the street by herself.

Other than the possibility of showing a little extra flesh, there’s not much difference between a nursing mother and a food truck.  We’ve got our permit, in the form of federal law. We’re feeding people who need their food on-demand in a quick and efficient way. I hope someday we’re allowed to be as mainstream as Elaina’s taquiera truck and Bubby’s Hotdog cart are.

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11 Responses to "When You’re the Food Truck…"

  1. Sara says:

    Actually, there are quite a few regulations on where food trucks can and cannot serve. They may be transporting the food all over the city, but they aren’t pulling out their tacos anywhere they please. They only pull them out in areas that have been deemed appropriate. Sometimes it’s not the most convenient place (ask any of the trucks), and sometimes they would like to go where they’re not allowed, but they don’t.

    So, pretty much the same.

  2. Fawn says:

    Sara, love your comment. Maybe my analogy wasn’t very good, but I will certainly agree that discretion is in order when considering where we “pull out our tacos.”

  3. Sarah says:

    Ha! I love the analogy! I once left the track at Oaklawn in the middle of the day to walk a half mile to our car so I could pump in peace! You do what ya gotta do!

  4. beth says:

    i do wonder if the security guard (or anyone else really) would eat their lunch in the restroom? i too believe in discretion (coverage is important) but often there aren’t many options :(

  5. I haven’t bought anything from the LR Food Trucks, but I know some people who have. They say there are some tasty and even moderately healthy options. And I support discreet baby feeding in public… of course.

  6. Julie says:

    As a non-mom I may not really have any right to comment here but I will anyway! (HAHA)I think breastfeeding is wonderful and I totally believe that a women has a right to breast feed her child anywhere that it is necessary. That being said I think SOME discretion should be had. Yes, your boob is a food source but the rest of the world doesnt need (or want) a full view of it. One Sunday my husband and I were sitting in church when a woman a few isles across from us (the auditorium is U shaped)LITERALLY lifted up her shirt, pulled out her boob and let it hang there for a good 30 seconds before she ever put the baby up to it! Just as she did this an 11 or 12 year old boy in the row infront of her just happened to turn around. He oogled, mouth agape, and then turned around red faced. My husband sitting beside me was hysterical and NONE of us were thinking about God, worship or church! This ENTIRE situation could have been avoided with the use of a cloth or something. When I have kids – I fully intend to breastfeed. Will I breast feed in church or the smithsonian if necessary? Absolutetly…but…I will cover up!

  7. Jessica says:

    I pretty much agree with the above comments that discretion should be used. If my baby is hungry I am going to feed him wherever I happen to be, however, I try to find a place where it’s not so open. I am a modest person and would be embarrassed if anyone happened to see a glimpse of boob so just plopping it out without even a cover is not an option for me. Although, neither is feeding my baby in a grody bathroom stall for the sake of others.

  8. Ashlee says:

    I have no problem breastfeeding in public. I have always thought that many swimsuits reveal much more skin and boob than the average mother nursing in public shows when feeding. I cannot believe that someone would actually ask a nursing mother to leave.

    Nursing can be a very isolating experience if you let it. A baby eats so many times a day. Hiding in a corner is simply not an option for some. For the most part I nurse wherever and whenever. When the timing is right, I do try to nurse in my car before going into a public business. But have no problem nursing on a bench. There is one place I do not nurse – eating establishments. I have no problem nursing in the restroom (not the stall) if it’s clean and comfortable and will not hesitate to grab the nearest chair and drag it into the restroom with me.

  9. Fawn says:

    Julie, I think most nursing moms do cover up, depending on the situation, and, perhaps the amount/type of clothes they’re wearing. But, I also think that after everything you go through during pregnancy/childbirth and after a certain amount of time of nursing a baby (or babies) many moms lose a certain level of modesty that most non-nursing folks still have. I can’t say for sure, but I bet that mom in your church was not even thinking about what she was doing. Not that that makes it right, but just a though on the mindset.

  10. Fawn says:

    Yes. Of course the original article that made me write this post did not specify HOW the woman was going about feeding her baby, so I’m assuming she wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary.

  11. Fawn says:

    Well said, Ashlee. I completely agree that people seem to be much more reactionary to a woman breastfeeding than they are to other forms of potential indecent exposure. And regardless of people’s own personal feelings about what is appropriate, I think a mother feeding her child superceeds all of it.

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