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Time magazine cover shows mother breastfeeding 3-year-old

And just like that, Jamie Lynne Grumet has become the poster mom of attachment parenting. With her almost-four-year-old son, Aram, at her breast, the Los Angeles mother's turn as a Time cover model has given the world a lingering visual of what so-called extended breastfeeding looks like.

Many online observers - the magazine doesn't hit stands until Friday - went from zero to outrage in seconds flat.

For one thing, it's rare to see a mom publically breastfeed a child who is older than one, maybe two. But Ms. Grumet also subverts the fringe-granola stereotypes by being modern and model gorgeous - which seems to be reminding people of her sexuality in a way that those old tropes don't.

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Kelli Catana ‏of @kellidaisy chimed in "Ew" to @HelpWeveGotKids' "Disturbing IMO" Twitter response to a call out. And @Meg_Casserly wrote: "Ugh. TIME Magazine. Just ugh."

Vice magazine wrote: "@TIME Magazine comes out with a cover wayyyy dirtier than anything we've ever done... #GoodnessGracious"

Others were astonished that Ms. Grumet, 26, would sign her son up for precisely these reasons.

As @KenTremendous mused: "'You're that kid on that Time Magazine cover?! Cool! Let's be best friends.' -- no one, ever, to that kid"

In an interview on Time's site, Ms. Grumet, who was breastfed herself until she was six, discusses her choices - including the fact that she also breastfeeds her five-year-old son, who was adopted from Ethiopia in 2010.

As for people who shudder at extended breastfeeding, she says:

"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."

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Mission accomplished. Whether they'll actually open up the magazine remains to be seen.

How long were your kids breastfed? Do you judge mothers who breastfeed past a certain point?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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