The importance of breastfeeding, and of excelling at multiple choice

Last week J and I attended a two-hour breastfeeding class for couples hosted by Yale. I'd been excited about the prospect of a "couples" breastfeeding class ever since I'd signed up. Would it be hilarious? Awkward? Both? I couldn't help myself on the drive over and asked J what he was going to do if someone, like maybe the instructor, actually took her breast out, to which he replied something like "I know. Oh my God," but of course that's not at all what happened. Instead we practiced breastfeeding positions, using heavy plastic dolls with wide-open mouths, talked about pumps and watched a video on the subject (which did, by the way, feature tons of actual breasts, but it's totally different when it's on TV of course).

Any of that stuff could have been funny and, I mean, it was. But the highlight of the class for me wasn't when we talked about sore nipples or engorgement or massage to stimulate milk let-down. It was, instead, when all the couples took this multiple choice test near the end of the class, proving what we knew - and didn't know - about breastfeeding. J and I quietly went through each question, with him taking a very confident lead, and me wondering where in the name of God he'd learned so much about this particular topic all of a sudden. That is until we got to this one question where we didn't agree on the same answer, got into a kind of heated, whispered debate, and I realized it's not that J's been reading up on nursing or anything. It's just that, as he told me, with a dead serious look in his eyes and his hand out as if to stop me from my amateur guessing games, "Look, I am really good at multiple choice tests. You have no idea."