Is Bare Best?

Naked was the norm during my youth.

Seriously. I grew up in an unofficial nudist colony because everyone in our house was naked. And by everyone I mean the four of us—me, my brother and my parents. From the time I was just a wee little lad until well into elementary school, I thought it was perfectly normal to wear your birthday suit around the house at all times. Yup, that’s right. Not only did I sleep in the nude, but I thought nothing of walking around the house while letting it all hang out. And because everyone else did it too, I didn’t think it was strange at all.

Photo from www.gspence1173.wordpress.com

Until I was old enough to start having sleepovers.

I’ll never forget the first time I had my buddy sleep over. I think I was 7 or 8 at the time. It was going really well all night, and then it came time for bed. So before slithering my way into the sleeping bag, I shimmied out of my clothes right down to nothing. Except when I turned to talk to my friend, he had this horrified look on his face.

His mom picked him up that night.

From that point on I reeled it in somewhat and went with a robe or boxers. And when I married MJ, I definitely covered up more. She thinks I’m nuts for still sleeping in the nude, because she sleeps in approximately 17 layers of clothing as she’s constantly cold. Now the only time I walk around nude is if I have to get up in the middle of the night for something, and when I go to take a shower.

And it’s the bathroom where my current dilemma regarding nudity has suddenly reared its head once again.

Will loves to be naked. What kid doesn’t? And during bath time I’m constantly playing games with him, including one I like to call “Butt Bongos.” In a nutshell, he sticks his butt out and I playfully smack both cheeks like I’m playing the bongos. We’re super intellectual at casa de Daddy Files. But hey, he loves it and it cracks him up, so it’s all good right?

Wrong.

We were in the bathroom practicing peeing in the potty and MJ was taking a shower. She finished up, turned the faucet off, grabbed a towel and stepped naked out of the stall. That’s when Will ran over to her and proceeded to paddle her bare ass with both of his hands while yelling “BUTT BONGOS DADA, BUTT BONGOS MAMA!”

I found it much funnier than MJ did.

MJ is much more puritanical about all things nudity than I am. She thinks it might be time to curtail the nekkidness around our house now that Will is older. But I don’t know. Butt Bongos incident not withstanding, we do stress the importance of keeping our hands on our own bodies. And the nudity made it much easier to identify and memorize the names of certain body parts. Will knows “penis” and “vagina,” and uses each of them correctly. A lot of people get creeped out by that but I think it’s fine. OK, and I like it when uptight people are uncomfortable.

Just as long as he doesn’t strip down in front of his friend at a sleepover, I see no reason to make a big deal out of nakedness.

But guys, just a tip: It’s cute when a 2.5-year-old does Butt Bongos. But don’t try to do it to your wife.

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13 thoughts on “Is Bare Best?

  1. I think it is important for kids to be comfortable with their bodies and others. They shouldn’t be shocked or surprised about seeing nudity. I don’t believe in sheltering your kids from it in your own house. That doesn’t mean I walk around naked all of the time. It just means that I don’t hide from them when I’m getting out of the shower or getting dressed.

    I also think it is important to teach kids at an early age the actual body parts rather than making up silly names for each. It’s unfortunate so many people are insecure about penis and vagina.

    Great post and good topic.

  2. The big question is has Will learned that “Celtics” is among the filthiest and dirtiest words that any one can use. ;)

  3. i lol’ed at this one!! My boyfriends grandma used to walk around naked when her kids were little and thtell them she sat on on a cat..well,er…down there.. Technically,she wasn’t really lying…

  4. I have two sons, ages 5 and 8, and it is perfectly normal to have them run around the house naked. As mom, I have attempted to cut down on them seeing me naked, but they just don’t understand not opening the door! One of their favorite games is also butt bongos, which they play with my husband. It’s great to hear that this goes on in other households as well.

  5. I grew up seeing both my parents naked quite often. My dad would sunbathe naked by our pool, we’d all go skinny dipping in our pool.. My Mum slept only in her underwear. I never thought anything of it.. It did start getting a bit weird as I got into my teens but that’s normal teen behaviour anyway.. My girlfriend on the other hand looks at me like my family’s completely insane.. She was raised by a single Mum who apparently was never naked around her..
    Which is going to be interesting around our kids (when we eventually have them) because I won’t care about them seeing us naked whereas she will..
    And LOL! Butt Bongos!

  6. Butt bongos is awesome! I grew up in a household where clothes were always worn and I don’t think I’ve seen my parents naked more than once or twice and that was completely by accident. My son doesn’t run around naked much yet, but that’s mostly b/c he pees without thought or warning. My wife and I walk around naked less now, but that’s mostly b/c we rarely close our curtains and don’t want to surprise the neighbors. lol

  7. Butt bongos totally sounds like something that would happen in my house! In fact, I might steal it. My son is 4.5 and still sees me naked sometimes – he’s not potty trained so he watches us go to the bathroom. He sees me get out of the shower or get changed. I don’t know when we’ll change that. Maybe when he’s in school? I don’t know. As of now, it still feels fine.

  8. Tell MJ she should be grateful. When my son was about 4, he walked in on me getting dressed. I had my back to him but he immediately came out with “is that your butt, or is that a friend of yours?” I thought I was going to die laughing. We stopped watching Madagascar so much after that.

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