Rehab Addict’s Nicole Curtis is sick of having to defend her decision to continue breastfeeding her 2 1/2-year-old son, Harper. He’s 30 months old and has not self-weaned yet, and Curtis thinks weaning should be up to him. That’s totally fine. Millions of kids nurse at that age. It’s not at all weird or inappropriate to breastfeed a 2 1/2-year-old. But Curtis is not just defending her right to breastfeed her son to a bunch of nosy onlookers, because her breastfeeding choices have become a key point of contention in a long-running and extremely bitter custody battle with her son’s father.

According to People, Harper’s father, Shane Maguire, was awarded joint custody and two days of visitation a week when Harper was six months old. The custody battle has been bitter, and breastfeeding plays a big part in it.

A judge awarded joint custody and visitation.

“He had never had a bottle before, and then all of a sudden that was his only option while he was with his dad,” Curtis said of Harper.

Curtis took the judge’s ruling that her ex would get visitation to be akin to being ordered not to feed her child.

“I had no idea that a judge could say, ‘You’re court ordered to not feed your exclusively breastfed child,’” Curtis told People. “It’s important that children have both of their parents. But (preventing) me from breastfeeding my child just so he can see the dad is not right.”

Harper is two and a half now, and the argument is still going on. Maguire has argued in court that Curtis is still using breastfeeding to try to deny him visitation. Curtis says she’s not trying to interfere with visitation, she’s just committed to breastfeeding and letting Harper self-wean.

Curtis’ custody battle is extremely nasty.

This custody battle sounds awful. The stories coming out of the exchange are mind-boggling. Maguire alleges that at one point when Harper was 15 months old, Curtis showed up at his house in the middle of the night and tried to drag their son away.  Her lawyer denies that happened.

Curtis also reportedly challenged the joint-custody ruling on the grounds that Maguire drove unsafely while the baby was in the car, and also that he had “taken the baby to a Black Lives Matter protest.” Maguire’s lawyer denied the driving charge, and said his client lived on a street that was closed by police for a Black Lives Matter protest, but that didn’t count as actually taking the baby to a march. (The governor reportedly lives on the same block.)

Maguire’s lawyer also reportedly told the judge that Curtis had taken the baby out of state on a trip without warning, over a weekend when Maguire was supposed to have visitation. In other court documents, Maguire has accused Curtis of refusing to let their son leave with him, and of intentionally manipulating her work schedule to skip visitation.

This whole thing sounds extremely difficult, and it doesn’t seem likely to stop when the child weans, either.

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(Image : Instagram / DetroitDesign)