Oh geez. Bring on the breastfeeding warrior mamas.
On Thursday at the Brad Paisley concert in California, a mother with an infant strapped to her chest was approached in the "pit" area by security who were worried about her baby's eardrums. They asked her very nicely to find another spot to enjoy the concert. Actually she was offered two options … allow security to seat her somewhere else or leave and receive a full refund.
The woman chose to leave, but not until after she tearfully accused security of singling her out because she was breastfeeding.
The woman was in the pit area where drunken fools like to push and dance and bump and spill beer and get crazy. This isn't the place for an infant. She also had no ear protection on her baby. NO EAR PROTECTION. Seriously, what was she thinking? Her defense was that her baby was sleeping soundly. Look, babies can sleep through pretty much anything. Just because your baby can sleep through a tornado doesn't mean that you should push things by placing your baby in a tornado's path.
I've been in the pit area of several concerts and they are deafening. You can be up in the nosebleed section of a concert and it can almost be too loud sometimes, but right up near the stage where bands tend to keep their most impressive speakers? What was she thinking? Being a parent means sometimes having to say, "Just because I can doesn't mean I should."
Here's the problem with this story though. While arguing with the security guard she decided to accuse security of asking her to leave because she was breastfeeding. Who the hell brings a baby they are still breastfeeding into the pit area of a concert? Again, just because you can doesn't mean you should.
The security guard countered her accusation by pointing out that the volume of the speakers and the danger of being crushed alive by other fans could possibly constitute child endangerment. I have to say that I completely agree.
It wouldn't be any different than seeing some person with an infant sitting on the front bleachers of a drag race (cars not queens) with no hearing protection on their child. What parent in their right mind does that?
Heck, even Luke Bryan has his son wear hearing protection when he brings him to concerts.
Hey, let your kid be cool like Bo.
Unfortunately, I've seen the headlines starting to appear this morning and this is being turned into a story about a breastfeeding mom being escorted out of a Brad Paisley concert.
Here's the Chula Vista Police Department's statement on the subject.
Last night at the Brad Paisley concert, amphitheater security notified Live Nation Management that there was a female in the “pit” area with an infant baby strapped to her chest. The female was near the stage wall area and mere feet away from the speakers. Security asked the female patron to move from the “pit” area due to the danger to the infant child (crushing from potential crowd surge and excessive noise level from the adjacent speaker). The female refused to leave the area. CVPD officers were summoned to the area to check the welfare of the infant. She was advised of the danger posed to her infant child (crowd surge and excessive noise) if she remained in the pit area. She was presented with two options; she could be relocated to a seated area (free of charge) or receive a full refund. The female elected a full refund and left the venue. The Chula Vista Police Department’s involvement in the incident was due to the welfare and safety of the infant and not due to a mother’s legal right to breastfeed in public.
Unfortunately, this is the kind of story that breastfeeding warriors will sink their teeth into and turn into a national issue to prove how all breastfeeding moms are unfairly treated rather than what it really was … one mother putting her own concert-going pleasure before the safety of her young child (and her child's ears) who had no say in the matter.
Update: Us Weekly now has the story up and says that the mother, Megan Christopherson, has now retained an attorney and is asking for a formal apology.
"It's a country concert," she told ABC 10. "I wasn't at a death metal or a rap concert. It's pretty somber at country concerts."
"I trust my motherly instinct that if my baby's ears hurt, she would cry, and then I would move out," she told NBC.
Christopherson says she plans to hire a lawyer and wants the security company to come forward with a formal apology.
"We all parent our children different" she said. "That's our right. You're gonna choose something for your child that I'm not gonna choose for my child."