Q&A: gropey baby

S writes:

"My son is 18 months old and was weaned at 14 months. My problem is thatwhenever he sits in my lap he tries to play with my breasts. Also, when he drinks milk, he likes to sit in my (or my husband's or babysitter's) lap and relax by touching on my breasts or sticking his arm down my shirt and just resting it there. I guess this started back when he was nursing and would touch one breast while nursing from the other. I don't mind when he rests his head or hand on them to rest, but he actually has to fluff them like pillows before he does so. This behavior makes me very uncomfortable and I don't know how to get him to stop. Any advice?"

Oh, this question made me laugh out loud. File it under "It's funny because it's true." I remember sitting around at playgroup when my older son was this age, talking about how supremely annoying the groping was. It's just so undignified. One of my friends who adopted her daughter as a 9-month-old used to say, "I never even nursed her! Why is she so into my breasts?!"

I think they do it because a) they're there, and b) breasts are fun and comforting. If they weren't, no one would go to Hooters. Or put carvings of women on the prows of ships.

It doesn't really matter why they do it, though, when you're trying to get them to stop. Probably your best bet is to redirect his attention or distract him with something else. Maybe he wants a nice strand of Mardi Gras beads (just to go along with the showing your breasts theme) to hang onto while he nurses. Or a soft stuffed animal, or set of keys to jangle, or something like that. Anything else he'll hold onto that isn't you is going to make things easier for you.

Would anyone else like to commiserate or reminisce about the groping thing?