Saturday, March 13, 2010

quicko: nursing

I was talking with a friend about his recent visit to see his brand new baby niece when he remarked that he spent most of his time nursing the baby.

"Nursing?" I asked.

"Yeah, nursing," he said, and I had the distinct impression he saw nothing unusual about this.

"Nursing?" I asked again, trying to place the emphasis somewhat differently.

"Yeah," he said, basking in the throes of first-niece-hood.

Thankfully I am now astute enough to realize when something's gone a bit haywire in the translation.

"I think we have different definitions of nursing," I said.

"Huh? What's it mean to you?" he asked.

"It's, uh, how a mother feeds her baby," I said, emphasizing "mother."

"What?! No!" he exclaimed. "Will they back you up on this?" he asked immediately, indicating the other Americans, both of whom happened to be male.

"Of course," I said. "Ask them."

"Guys," he said, "what's 'nursing' mean?"

The squirmed a bit, clearly unsure of the best way to answer.

"Well, er, it's -- um, how much information did you need?" said one.

The second jumped to his rescue. "It's breastfeeding," he announced.

"What!? No!" countered my Australian friend. "It's just looking after a baby -- you know, holding it and all."

"No, it's not," insisted the Americans, the first breathing a sigh of relief. "Gosh, and we thought you wanted us to go into the birds and the bees! Well, um, when two people love each other very much ..."

1 comment:

Sam said...

Hahaha! That's hilarious! :0) But...come to think of it "nursing" can mean lookng after and bottle feeding for me too and it also means breastfeeding. Maybe it's a context thing and an Aussie thing (you know like "on" the weekend as opposed to "at" the weekend...).