Thanks to Ann Romney, Hilary Rosen, and the absurdist theatrics of the presidential race, the ancient human condition known as motherhood is having a controversial moment. This week, TIME jumps into the fray with a cover story on “attachment parenting,” the school of child-rearing popularized by The Baby Book. Baby Book author Dr. Bill Sears prescribes breast-feeding into toddlerhood, letting babies sleep in your bed, and wearing babies around all day in a sling.
The eye-catching cover (The look on that kid’s face!) features 26-year-old Jamie Grumet, who writes an attachment parenting blog I Am Not the Babysitter and breastfed until she was 6.
“When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids,” cover photographer Martin Schoeller said on TIME’s Light Box blog. “I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.”
Kind of the same principle as New York‘s Ellie-winning motherhood cover—it put a fiftysomething woman in Demi Moore’s iconic pregnancy pose— but with less photoshop.
According to a Q&A with Ms. Grumet, she fully anticipates TIME readers’ ignorance, moralizing, and disgust.
What do you say to people who say breast-feeding a 3-year-old is disturbing or wrong?
They are people who tell me they’re going to call social services on me or that it’s child molestation. I really don’t think I can reason with those people. But as far as someone who says they’re uncomfortable with this, I don’t think it’s wrong to admit this. But people have to realize this is biologically normal. It’s not socially normal. The more people see it, the more it’ll become normal in our culture. That’s what I’m hoping. I want people to see it.
Consider it seen!
Another extended breastfeeding mother featured in the article, Dionna Ford, said she was inspired by the best viral breastfeeding documentary available on YouTube, Extraordinary Breastfeeding. We’ve embedded it below because it includes the rare child’s review of breastfeeding.
“One of the really nice things as children get older is that they can verbalize their experience,” says mom Veronica.
And her eight-year-old Bethany gives it two thumbs up: “Better than anything in the world, better than mango even.”
Follow Kat Stoeffel via RSS.