Yes, you read that headline correctly. This really happened. In a testament to the Globe’s avid, ever-growing readership, a column penned by Leah McLaren last week has suddenly put Canadian news at crisis level TABARNAK-1.
In her now-removed column, titled “The joy (and politics) of breastfeeding someone else’s baby”, McLaren reminisces about the days of her youth, where she was like every mighty, mighty woman–young and in her prime. She did all the things that a lady does at that age: attending “casual and expensively lubricated” parties, contemplating what the future may hold, and breastfeeding the child of a stranger. You know, the basics.
McLaren had wandered away from the centre of the party, only to have fate make her run into “the cutest baby [she had] ever seen.” Frank Sinatra would have said ‘they were just strangers in the night, exchanging glances.‘
It didn’t take long for them to notice they had “a connection.” So, she picked the baby up, basking in his “warm and lumpy and milky-smelling” fragrance. Somehow, she says, her pinky finger ended up in the infant’s mouth, and that could only mean one thing.
Apparently–and this is a direct quote from McLaren–“‘C’mon lady,’ said his eyes. And I suddenly knew what he wanted”
McLaren added a useful footnote to her story, reminding the reader that she did not have a child of her own, and therefore was not lactating. But she felt like giving it a go anyways. Give it the ol’ ‘did-you-go-to-college’ try.
Before she could transition from their spiritual connection to physical connection, a “shortish” man walked in on them. It was the infant’s father, Michael Chong. This was before his career in federal politics. Still, needless to say, things were awkward. He didn’t seem to make a big deal of it. In the end, the father took the child and presumably left the party with his family. Props to the father for not playing tit-for-tat. They could have seriously milked a guilt trip from all of this.
What was the point of this story? Something about it not feeling odd to breastfeed another’s child. Except for the part where it is (especially when you don’t have permission).
That’s all fine and dandy, except for the part where McLaren says she was 25 years of age when this act of divine providence graced the world. The problem is, none of Michael Chong’s children were born yet. If she wasn’t fake breastfeeding Michael Chong’s kid…then whom?
And is every navy-blue suit wearing, visible minority, shortish, and generally blasé man suddenly Michael Chong? (The answer is yes).
Perhaps this is one of life’s great mysteries, to forever puzzle the great philosophers of our time. Some things are better left unsolved.