This is not a professional picture. This is an actual picture I took of The Professor when he was little. We had just got a piano, and he was so excited about it that he came running out of the shower and jumped up on the bench to play. This is a very famous photo in my family, we call it “The Naked Pianist”. Someday my son will probably be mad at me for his ‘buns seen round the world’. For now I’ll just enjoy the fact that he’s ok with it.
When is it exactly that we become uncomfortable with our own nudity?
This question came up today after seeing my daughter come streaking down the stairs and through the living room with nothing on but a scrunchy. I hollered at her as she ran for the room with the shower-“I DID NOT tell you to take off your clothes!!!!”
My children never miss an opportunity to be naked. They don’t just like being naked, they revel in it. The Professor, for example, never fails to have to go to the bathroom the second he is clothesless. I don’t know how many times he has come darting out of his room, his hands over his boy parts saying very loudly, “Oo! Oo! I’ve really got to go to the bathroom!” And has been shooed back into his bedroom to at least put on underwear (he thinks he can’t make it that long, I think otherwise). The problem with this is that his room is clear downstairs in the back of the house, and we have one small bathroom clear upstairs. In order to go from point A, his room, to point B, the bathroom, you have to go clear through the kitchen and into the living room to get to the stairway. We’d love to have a downstairs bathroom, but that costs money. In addition to the bathroom being upstairs, things have to be that much more interesting by our shower being downstairs, in a CLOSET. So you have to go into my son’s room to open the door of the shower closet. The poor kid gets shooed out of his room pretty much any time anyone needs to take a shower.
So we have lots of nakedness opportunities in our house with that situation. We deal with two types of nudity in our house, accidental nudity and on purpose nudity. Accidental nudity being my son and on purpose being my daughter. And both kids just love to be naked. Princess Naked will make sure that she has enough time to dance around in front of the mirror doing what she calls “The Naked Dance” appropriately enough. Sometimes this dance will be accompanied by a song, usually her singing the words “I’m naaaaaaaaaaaaaked, I’m naaaaaaaaaaaaaaked!” The Professor will stand completely naked in front of the mirror and just grin at himself. I don’t know if he actually realizes he is naked, I think he’s just making faces in the mirror.
I don’t dance in front of the mirror, clothed or naked, because I don’t like to look at myself. I do not like to be naked because a) I do not like to be cold and b) I do not really like to be naked. Does that make sense? I don’t want to subject anyone to my body unless absolutely necessary. I can’t even sleep naked, lest I have very strange dreams.
I’m convinced that somewhere in my house there is some sort of alarm that only children can hear, the “Mom has nakedness alarm”. It goes off only when I have removed an article of clothing and causes my kids to have to come be in the same room as me for some reason. If I have to use the toilet automatically one of the kids will have to go as soon as my pants come down. If I have to take a shower it’s guaranteed that one or both children will have to come in to ask about something. If I’m changing clothes in the bedroom there will be some sort of crisis that I will have to solve RIGHT THEN! I’m sure the neighbors wonder about us, because I don’t know how many times I have yelled, “NOT until I get my clothes on!”
I’m sure that some people outside of our neighborhood wonder what really goes on in our house. Perhaps they think we walk around naked all the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought we dropped our clothes just inside the door. In kindergarten my son had a bit of an incident: One afternoon he came in from lunch recess and proceeded to take off his boots, hat and gloves, coat, snowpants, and then the rest of his clothes until he was completely naked. Luckily, his teacher was a fast thinker. She quickly ushered him into the bathroom, handed him his clothes, and hissed “GET YOUR CLOTHES BACK ON!” He was completely clueless that he had done anything out of the ordinary. I’m sure he was probably wondering why everyone didn’t take their clothes off after recess. After all, you want to be comfortable for rest time!
I am glad that my kids are comfortable with their bodies so they don’t feel weird when they are naked. Maybe they are a bit TOO comfortable with that? Perhaps. Maybe this is one of the lessons that we can learn from our kids: Don’t be ashamed of your body! Be comfortable in your own skin. Life is too short, so run around naked!