Last night, an online acquaintance from car-seat.org was kicked out of a McDonald’s restaurant in Phoenix, for discretely nursing her infant son.
Obviously, that’s not my “happiness” for today. I support breastfeeding mothers, have nursed both my girls (Book Girl until 15 months, Book Baby until ???), and have no problem with women nursing their babies in public. Heck, I even did it with each girl until she hit the nursing gymnastics phase. 😉 Not to mention, of course, that in most states (including Arizona), mothers have the legal right to nurse their babies anywhere that they themselves are legally allowed to be. Including restaurants.
No, my “happiness” for today is the incredible amount of support that Clarissa has received. From the car seat board, to Facebook, to other message boards, to two of her local TV stations. I’m proud of her and the awareness she has brought to this important issue.
For the record, her story (as told by her friend) is pasted below. Clarissa is encouraging people to spread the word and support the cause.
“Tonight my friend and I, and our 6 children, visited the McDonald’s located at 51st Avenue and Cactus in Phoenix, AZ. We
were promptly advised by the cashier (night manager Tyler Pearson (sp.?) that our kids could play in the play land area but that we could not eat in the dining area specifically designated for families to eat while their children played. We were directed to sit in the dining area out of sight of the McDonald’s play land.
Upon completing our ice cream we returned to the play area about 10 minutes later so that our children could play. After a few minutes of sitting, I walked over to the cashier (again, night manager Tyler Pearson (sp.?) to order some drinks. Without even taking my drink
order, Mr. Pearson advised me that we were being kicked out. When my friend asked Mr. Pearson why we were being kicked out he immediately stated that several customers had complained that she was breastfeeding her baby in McDonald’s and that because of that mere act we were not welcome! This COMPLETELY humiliated and mortified the both of us. My friend then appropriately advised Mr. Pearson that she was within her Arizona State rights to breastfeed her son. Mr. Pearson dismissed her comment, grew agitated and repeated his early statement that we needed to leave (regardless of Arizona Law). In response to this event, we told Mr. Pearson we needed his full name and the telephone number to the corporate offices of McDonald’s so that we could call and complain.
Embarrassed and hurt, we exited the McDonald’s with all of our children upset and confused as to why we were being kicked out
and why they could no longer play there. I stopped outside to immediately make a telephone call to the number provided by Mr. Pearson 480-585-5653. As I was leaving a message regarding my complaint Mr. Pearson approached us outside only to aggravate the situation by threatening to call the police for trespassing. He scared our children and one of the older children was in tears and beside himself because he thought he and his mom and everyone else were going to jail. As if that weren’t enough, Mr. Pearson continued
the show by following us into the parking lot, as we were buckling our children in, to write down our license plate numbers. This made the children even more upset. Not to mention the baby who is crying and hungry and can’t eat because his mother is being forced from the McDonald’s establishment and slightly harassed in the parking lot so that she wouldn’t even be able to sit and nurse the baby in her van!!! Unacceptable and completely discriminatory!!!”