For my family, this summer has been defined by one thing: nudity. Let me clarify. My children’s nudity. I cannot keep their clothes on. They are rebelling against the very cute, carefully curated summer wardrobes that I painstakingly shopped for in the wee hours of the night when I should have been catching up on sleep.
It’s not like we’ve had an exceptionally hot summer either where stripping down would physiologically make sense. Quite the opposite, it’s been relatively pleasant and our house never creeps above 71 degrees. No, they seem to get some sort of satisfaction in stripping down and giggling as their little booties scamper throughout the house. It’s adorable the first 3-5 times this happening. Then it becomes annoying because 1. Clothes are dispersed throughout the house and I have to rack up a good 5,000 steps on my FitBit to collect them throughout the day 2. Olivia has decided that her diaper is also optional, which has led to me testing out Bounty’s quicker picker upper status all too regularly as she pees wherever she sees fit.
Usually the stripping down is just for fun and happens within the confines of our home. But God Forbid they are in public and one single drip of something lands on their clothing. These clothes are immediately deemed forever unclean and must be shed immediately. This syndrome particularly afflicts Olivia at the pool. She hasn’t quite figured out that swimsuits are allowed to be wet. Within two minutes of her entering the pool she’s immediately pulling off her top and I’m left praying that this is something she grows out of prior to spring break her senior year of college.
There are few things cuter than a baby / toddler booty. True story. But my children’s nudity has forced impromptu anatomy lessons that have left me at a loss as to what in the best way to proceed. I know that many parents use “pet names” for their children’s private parts. I had casually decided during potty training that we would refer to AJR’s member as his “wiener”. As in “POINT YOUR WIENER DOWN! YOU’RE SPRAYING PEE EVERYWHERE!!” Wiener felt slightly more mature than pee-pee yet not so sophisticated as penis. Lately, AJR is very in touch, quite literally, with this part of himself. I’m always wondering whether he has to pee or is giving a quick check to make sure it’s still there. It’s also a major source of pride for him too. The other day he was taking a nude stroll around the house when he casually asked me to take a picture of IT. I explained we don’t take pictures of our private parts. “Baby’s first d*** pic” is probably a tad bit inappropriate for the baby book. As if I’m keeping up with that thing anyway. I’m constantly yelling “Not at the table!” or “Please pull your underwear back up!” I’m toeing a fine line between teaching him inappropriate behavior and giving him a complex about it that will come back to haunt him when he’s 30-years old and finally allowed to date.
We’ve also been having some earlier than anticipated lessons about the female anatomy too as co-ed bath time has led to some natural observations about the differences between him and his sister. I felt like I stepped into that scene of Kindergarten Cop having to explain that Olivia actually has a vagina, whereas he has a penis. This created a great deal of confusion in our house. AJR was convinced that as a baby he had once possessed a “pa-china” (hey, we’re working on our “v” sounds here) and then it grew into a penis. Or “peanut” according to him. I appreciated his thirst for knowledge but for a solid week he would announce “boys have a wiener and girls have a pa-china” at random times to make sure he had his facts right. Thankfully, he only clarified with me at the house rather than say, at the grocery store checkout line.
It’s not all cute tushie pics and hilarious, yet innocently inappropriate things coming out of my 3-year old’s mouth. I’ve already begun having the conversation about making sure we keep our wieners and pa-chinas private. That we are the only ones allowed to touch them (another lesson that we had to fast track as Olivia kept tugging on AJR’s member in the bath tub) unless it’s mommy or daddy helping with bath or potty. It felt a little silly at first – they’re kids after all, right? But what better time than now to start letting that lesson sink in, especially since clothing is clearly optional these days.