Here at Chez Carroll, we encourage naked babies. In fact, it’s become a nightly custom for our toddler to say, “I be a naked baby now, Mommy,” as she strips off every last ounce of clothes and runs around in the buff until bed time.
She turns 3 later this summer. We think it’s adorable.
But when do naked kids stop making you saw, “Awwww,” and start making you say, “Ewwww?”
I was wondering that a couple of weeks ago when we were at the park. My daughter had to pee and there was no bathroom nearby so she pulled down her pants in the bushes. But instead of taking the pants off, she left them down around her knees and before I could intervene, she let it all out, which meant it all went into her pants. So I stripped her from the waist down and we marched back to the car to go home.
Of course we had to walk by a birthday party for another toddler in progress. Nobody blinked an eye, and in fact, I could have sworn I got a few nods of solidarity from some of the moms at the party (solidarity in what, I’m not sure, but if I’m not mistaken, they still understood).
My kid’s butt is a sight to behold. It’s round and perfect and I could stare at and pat it all day long. I love that my daughter doesn’t know to be self-conscious about her body, because I know that day will inevitably arrive, no matter how many times we listen to Free to Be…You and Me, and talk to her about beauty being from the inside.
But I’ve been at the beach when little boys without swim trunks on turn around and I realize they’re not such little boys. Or girls just shy of training bra age flaunt it like they’ve got nothing to hide. And I feel a little uncomfortable. Not because they should be ashamed of their bodies, but because at a certain age, I think your body should be between you, your bathroom mirror and not too many other people.
What age is that? I can’t exactly put a number on it, but I know the kid when I see it. When the sight of their butt isn’t cute anymore, I guess, for one. Then again, cute butts are in the eyes of the beholder, so where do you draw the line with your own kid?
How do you know when it’s time to stop letting your kid to run around naked in front of more than just the immediate family?
Image: Meredith Carroll
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