What Is Up With The Breastfeeding On 'The Slap'? And More Importantly, What Does It Tell Us About Rosie and Hugo?

In the preview for the Feb. 26 episode of The Slap, Uma Thurman's character Anouk said that five-year-olds get slapped all of the time. Besides the disturbing message behind that, I took away the fact that Hugo is five-years-old — so why is he being breastfed on The Slap ? Nothing stops people in their tracks faster than a mom breastfeeding in public. While I am in full support of mothers breastfeeding their children, when that child is five-years-old, we've got a (social) problem.

The Mayo Clinic says that babies are usually weaned between two and four-years-old worldwide. This "extended breastfeeding" may be more rare in the U.S. (or in public), but it does make me feel a tiny bit better about mom Rosie still breastfeeding her son Hugo on The Slap. Beyond the social taboo of breastfeeding beyond a toddler age, the act of breastfeeding gives us insight into the dynamic between mother and child on the show. (It's not like we saw the breastfeeding once — it's been three times in two episodes.)

Anouk described Rosie during the Feb. 19 episode as "fragile and haunted." She has an intense bond with her son — and I'd go out on a limb and say it's a bit too intense. He is coddled by his mother's side (beyond the breastfeeding), but then allowed to run rampant and terrorize a birthday party with no discipline. Yes, of course, he shouldn't have been slapped by a random adult, but this child is a terror — and I have a feeling that the breastfeeding isn't helping.

Yeah, I think it's a cheap way to show us that Rosie is unconventional (as Harry would say, she's a "hippy") and possibly needy, but the ploy did make me question her parenting skills more. That might not be fair and if I were to meet a woman who participated in extended breastfeeding, I'm sure I could have compassion and understanding of the situation. But in the case of the monster-child Hugo, I'm going to go back to my high school parenthood ed teacher's advice on breastfeeding: "If the child can ask for it, it's probably time to give it up."

Image: Christopher Saunders/NBC