Nudity is very common in our house. It’s not gratuitous; it’s just that we’re just not that fussed about it. Parenthood does that to you; there’s no time to be prudish when giving birth, quickly shoving a breast into the mouth of a screaming baby in the middle of the shopping centre or changing clothes after being spewed or poo-ed on. It seems to have been a natural evolution to be more comfortable with my body. Maybe it’s because being a mother somehow takes away the ownership I thought I had of my body – it worked hard to sustain another person from the moment of conception in an all-consuming way. The demands on your body only get worse when you then have to raise your child. Getting me back is part of the reason I started this blog.
Whatever the reason, we love getting our gear off. We are often dashing about in a mad rush from the bathroom to the spare room to fling through the pile of clean clothes or we only managed to get partially dressed before the phone rings, someone knocks on the door or someone chases you off the toilet because they need to go.
Suffice to say that around home we are all pretty relaxed about our bodies and the children think nothing of stripping off to play under the hose or joining either of us in a bath or shower. While this is fine amongst ourselves, we are wary of other people seeing our children naked either perversely or offensively. We do our best to make them self-assured about their bodies but protect them also.
This openness about our bodies has allowed us to teach our boys how their bodies work and help them toilet train more easily. It has also helped us explain simply about how humans fit into the world and our responsibilities to look after our planet. E.g. answering questions about where we get our clothes and why does poo go into the ocean.
However, we’re aware that this attitude towards nudity becomes a finer balance as the children get older. Added into the mix is the fact that Master 1 has reached an age of rampant curiosity. If something is colourful or shiny he has to touch it, if something looks like food he’s going to taste it and if it dangles he’s going to grab it! Mr Magentafrog has been through this stage with both our other boys. They wonder what that thing is hanging from his body and reach up to give it a yank.
This happened most recently when he was busy helping one of the other boys. He knew Master 1 was approaching and even knew what he was about to do but was powerless to defend himself. Master one grabbed a handful of pubic hair and scrotum and then turned to walk away twisting the whole package! Mr Magentfrog was brought to his knees in a kind of half-cry, half-laugh while I watching from the next room nearly died laughing.
But I shouldn’t have laughed so hard. Later that night Master 1 decided to reach up and give my nether regions a tweak. I was surprised since he’s the only one out of our three boys to do this to me.
I don’t know when it’s appropriate to start covering up in front of the children, especially since I’m the only female in the house. Of course it’s not something we’ll do indefinitely and I suspect the timing will be led by the children. I imagine that pretty soon they will want their privacy and will be quite grossed-out by the thought of their parents in the nick. And actually I’m getting a bit tired of explaining why I don’t have a penis!