We’re a naked family. It wasn’t something we planned on, or really thought about. My man and I sleep naked, we walk around our room naked and we’ve never thought to cover anything up.
When my first son was born, I pretty much spent a year with my tits out. After all, a kid’s gotta eat, right? And when sons number two and three arrived, each one got their year on the boob. Being topless, or completely naked, in front of my sons didn’t strike me as anything other than natural – and comfortable. Penises were penises, vaginas were vaginas and only breasts had alternative names (see above).
Chatting with other parents, I was shocked to hear how many kept their bits under wraps. And they were shocked to hear that I didn’t. Though lately my husband has started to wonder when it might be appropriate for me to throw something on, though he too enjoys the comforts of his own skin. It’s not like either of us is bouncing out of bed and heading down to the kitchen stark naked to prepare breakfast. T-shirts or bathrobes are usually in place before we head down the stairs. But in the confines of our personal space? I see no problem with going au naturel.
Years ago, a friend gave me The Bare Naked Book by Kathy Stinson. Sure enough, the book showed all kinds of people in various stages of undress. My kids glanced through it a couple of times but reading about nipples and testicles was kind of boring for them. Being used to the real deal, they weren’t phased by the labels on the cartoon version.
Each boy has gone through a body-analysis stage. They’ve been amazed at the sight of my pregnant belly. And post-pregnant pot. They’ve grabbed my ass and pulled my man’s chest hair. They’ve also compared, um, ‘parts’ with their dad. Nothing says ego boost like being told you have an enormous shlong – by a three-year-old. And while my then five-year-old’s “shaky shaky bum bum” song will go down in the annals of our family history, for the most part we’re a pretty tame lot. We only channel our inner Matthew McConaughey in the privacy of our own home. We don’t strut our stuff – in the buff – anywhere else.
According to Dr. Ruth, by the time our kids reach their teens, we should all be keeping our privates private. Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears thinks it should happen as early as kindergarten. As a kid, I remember going bareback. But even before puberty hit, it was doors closed all around. I didn’t want to see my parents naked and I certainly didn’t want them seeing me. I figure it’ll be the same with my boys. Presumably, they’ll reach an age where the thought of seeing their parents in all their glory will repulse them.
But for now, at ages eight, six and three, they barely even register the site of skin. So we’ve still got time before we have to cover up.
(Photo: Brand X Pictures)