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Playing Doctor: When To Step In?

stethoscopeWhile we were back in New York, my older toddler played with his five-year-old girl cousin a lot. They’ve been thick as thieves since Shnook was a year old and they had “arguments” about toys:

Baby Shnook: “Dis?”
Two year-old cousin: “No, THIS.”
Baby Shnook: “Dis?”
Two year-old cousin: “No, THIS.”

Now they’re like an old married couple. Thankfully we’re almost out of the “No, it’s not.” “Yes, it is.” repetitive conversation that replaced the above banter, but now we’re on to a new, fun activity:

Naked games.

Yeah, my niece is in a phase where many of her games involve nudity. Doctor and variations of doctor, from what I can gather.

So, imagine my surprise when my entire extended family was sitting in the living room of my parents’ apartment and I notice that while Fuzz is taking apart the DVD player on the floor, and and my sister’s oldest is happily mingling with the adults…the two middle children are noticeably absent.

When I inquire, my husband casually replies:

“They’re in the bedroom playing doctor.”

Then he takes a sip of wine.

“What?” I say.

“Why don’t you go check on them?” He says.

I might’ve replied: “Why don’t YOU go check on them!” but instead I decided to investigate as quickly as possible. I opened my parents’ bedroom door to silence. No one was in there…but when I looked down…

Clothes. Strewn. Everywhere.

I looked at the bathroom door. It was closed. The light was on. It was quiet. It reminded me of that scene in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. I won’t elaborate on the details of the scene because they are extremely inappropriate for this scenario.

“Oh crap,” was the thought that went through my head.

I walk to the door. I took a deep breath and opened it.

Naked. In the shower. Both of them. (The shower was not on).

Squeals of laughter.

“Okay, let’s come out and put some clothes on, now.” was all I said.

While I don’t necessarily think anything “wrong” was happening in that bathroom, I also don’t know that letting it go on without supervision was a good idea either.

So, what do you think are the boundaries for toddlers in this arena? Is there ever a time in this age group when you should intervene in a friendly game of doctor? Supervise? Should something like this go on indefinitely?

Photo Credit. Flickr/A.drian

 

Read more about Playing Doctor in Babble’s exclusive Interview with Sexpert Logan Levkoff!

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