My little niece is five years old and she stays with me while her mother works. I have a small farm with horses, cows, sheep, dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, goats, a rabbit, a mule, and a pig. I have a five month old daughter and my niece has asked me a lot of questions about breast feeding. We currently have two litters of puppies that will be going to their new homes this weekend. Since they are nursing, she has asked a lot of questions about the difference between mommy dogs and human mommies. I explained to her that horses, sheep, dogs, cats, humans, ect are mammals so we breast feed our babies but birds and fish and turtles are not mammals and don't nurse their babies. We've had calves and lambs and puppies and kittens so she is familiar with animals that nurse.
We also got into a discussion about my pig that I bottle fed because his brothers and sisters wouldn't let him nurse (he was the runt) but we still got the milk from his mother (she belonged to a friend of mine). My niece was old enough to remember (she loved to give him a bottle). She asked me if why the milk was different so I showed her the milk that I pumped for my baby and squeezed a few drops from one of my nursing dogs and showed her how it looked a little different and told her that it had different nutrients in it. Suddenly, as she's watching me milk the dog, something occurs to her.
"Aunt Ari? When we drink cow milk, isn't that breast milk?"
"Yes, actually it is. It's still breast milk but it has doesn't have the same nutrients that breast milk has."
"But we are still drinking cow breast milk?"
"Well, yes technially." She got this look on her face of complete horror and yelled "EWWWWWWWW!!!!!"
Later that day I got a call from my sister in law, asking me why her child suddenly won't drink her milk.
I didn't realize that she hadn't made that connection yet. Uh oh. I am like the worst aunt ever.