I was trying on clothes to wear to a BBQ that would also work for the book reading that Joel was giving that evening.
Laszlo was watching me get dressed and undressed and said, “I like your boo-boos.”
“My boo-boos?” I asked, worried that I had bruises on my legs or other atrocities that might prevent me from wearing a dress or shorts on one of the first weekends of the summer. “Where do I have a boo-boo?”
He pointed to my breasts and said “Those.”
“Ah,” I said. “My boobies.”
“Yeah,” he said. “I like your boobies.”
He was so casual about it. No big deal, mom. I LIKE YOUR BOOBIES. I don’t know what you’re supposed to say when a three-year-old, let alone your own son, tells you he likes your boobies, but I went with “Thanks.” Hey, I’m old, married and have a kid, so I’m thankful for any appreciation I can get at this point.
Besides, he had a vested interest in my “boo-boos” for the better part of his first year of life. Even though he’s the one who gave up on nursing, maybe he still felt a certain nostalgia for the things on some level. So I figured I’d let him weigh in as he saw fit.
Still, I wondered if maybe it was time to stop undressing in front of him. One the one hand, any kid’s potential memory of his mom’s “boo-boos” could scar him for life. Also, I’m not sure if I need to feel like my body is up for critique. Sure, for now, he “likes” my “boo-boos,” but what happens if his observation progresses to something like: “Your boo-boos look sad, Mommy.” Not letting him see me naked anymore could be a win-win for both of us.
And then things started to get even more intimate between us. Every night when Joel and I put Laszlo to bed, Laz asks me to “Lay with me for one more minute.” I lay down with him in his bed after Joel reads him a book and Laz and I talk for a couple of minutes and then I tell him I’m going to leave and that I will be back to check in on him later. One night, after I laid down with him “for one more minute,” he said the one thing every woman wants to hear from her boyfriend or husband, as he hugged me while laying down: “Cuddle with me and tell me some more things.” I totally fell for it. I started to think about opening up about the hard day I had raising this three-year-old and the smashed dreams that lined this battered path I had arrived at, when I snapped out of it. This kid was good. I wanted to high-five him, because he’s going to have mad skills with the chicks someday.
A few days later, things really got crazy when pretty much out of nowhere, Laszlo hugged me and said, “You are a sexy woman.”
I realize that this sounds like I’ve been exposing him to adult content too often. Like I’ve been letting him watch 9 ½ Weeks or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. But the reality is that other than Cars and Little Bear, he’s pretty much unexposed to movies and TV. So where did he pick this kind of thing up?
Joel. That is definitely a statement that I’ve heard Joel say often. Like when I’m washing the dishes. Or sweaty from a workout. Or sick, un-showered and stinking with bad breath. (While it IS very sweet of Joel to compliment me so often, it’s not a testament to how sexy I actually am, but to how oversexed Joel is.)
A couple of days later, I told my hairdresser about Laszlo’s quote. His expression seemed to be appalled at first, followed by amusement. And then he said, “Well, at least he didn’t call you a ‘bitch’, because that’s what he was hearing Dad say around the house.”
Exactly. If Laszlo is picking up some flirty skills from my husband, then so be it. It’s a lot better than him thinking I’m a bitch.
He’s a clingy kid and really, it’s too much trouble to get him out of a room when I want to change. So, I’ll continue to undress in front of him. Until he’s ready to stop clinging to me. Or until he starts to get bitchy with the comments. That’s when I’ll know he’s too old to see me naked.
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