Monday, October 30, 2006

Naked in Front of the Kids - When is it Time to Stop?

How many times have your kids interrupted you and your husband (partner, etc.) reenacting the very chemical reaction that created them? Do your children see you naked from time to time? If so, when is it time to stop? When do you feel your children are too old to see you full monty?

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It seems my three mini midnight marauders, ages 5, 3 and 2, are gifted with spot-on sex-dar (think gay-dar but not gay). Just as the first kiss boils over into something much more stimulating between their starved for each other’s adult romantic attention parents, one of them annoyingly chimes in from down the hallway with a very un-sexy, extremely interruptive mom-demanding kid screech.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dashed buck naked down the hallway to stage-manage one (or all) of my kids back to sleep. Plain Jane Mom is in the market for a nightgown for the same reason. In fact, her recent ruminations on the subject are what inspired this post.

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Every morning my husband parades around full monty as if we reside in a nudist colony. The kids never seem to notice when daddy’s bare in the buff. But when I am, forget it. The boys stare like deer in headlights at my deflated no longer in the baby nourishment business milk bags and make a visual b-line for my crotch. My youngest, my daughter Pigtail Sprite, 2, is none the wiser. She practically thinks she’s naked even when she’s fully dressed. Clothes are still irrelevant to her.

“Mommy, your butt’s jiggly like Jell-O,” my five-year-old, The Maestro of Mouth, informed me tonight as he back-handed my sporty running spandex-covered back end. “Back up the truck, mister,” I warned. “Your dad’s the only one who can smack that. It’s not okay for you to touch mommy that way. Understand?”

“Yeah, mom,” he said, uninterested in anything other than the extended wiggle of the junk in my trunk. “But why doesn’t mine shake like yours?”

Because you’re not fat. Because you don’t scarf half a pound of cheese a day. Because mom’s a voluptuous baby-got-back kind a’ dame. That’s why!

Of course I didn’t actually tell Mouth any of that shwag nonsense. Instead I quipped, “It’s a known fact that girls have better butts than boys ... Uh, and don't say that at school tomorrow.” What possessed me to say something so sweeping and (kind of) unfounded beats me but it sure got him off my ass, literally.

You know what’s really a hoot, sprinting to your kid’s bedside in your worst hoochi mama lingerie and wondering why your little bed-headed whipper snapper is staring in shock at you like you have three heads then realizing that, yep, you sure did forget to slap a bathrobe over your complicated garter get-up.

Not exactly a seductive sight post three back-to-back pregnancies. And certainly not a sight at all appropriate for children. Especially if they are your own and can potentially remember you in your 31-year-old birthday suit when they grow up.

My eldest and most curious child turns 6 this February. He peppers me practically every day with thorny human anatomy questions. With his heightened physical awareness and the advent of kindergarten, I’ve finally begun to practice a wee bit of modesty around the house.

I no longer dart from my bedroom shirtless in search of a clean demi-bra from the drying rack in the laundry room. I no longer ask him to fetch me a fresh towel after stepping out of my morning shower. I no longer sunbathe butt naked in the back yard. (Okay, that last one is a complete fabrication. I don’t have the ovaries to sunbathe naked in the backyard. Too bad … My summer tan lines will just have to die hard this winter.)

Last night I drew the naked line when Mouth climbed into bed between me and the hubster, who were newly naked and planning something overall unplanned, after having a bad dream. Reluctantly I allowed The Maestro Mouth under the covers and then dragged my bare self to my dresser to grab a pair of unimpressive flannel pajamas. I can’t say the same for my unapologetically nudist husband, though. He remained naked as the day he was born until he showered and donned a dapper business suit the next morning.

Victoria’s Secret headlines my to-do list tomorrow. And not for the sexy stuff this time. That begs the question "Is it okay to bring kids to Victoria's Secret?" Motherhood provides endless opportunties for beating your mama self up with nagging impossible to concretely answer questions and infinite possibilities for guilt down the line.

How do you deal with nudity in front of your kids? When did you start to limit it? How old were you and how old were your kids when you first started covering up?

20 Comments:

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Momish said...

You know, it's funny you should write this post. I just started thinking about this with my daughter (who is 1 1/2). I honestly don't know what would be an appropriate way to handle nudity, if there even is one. I am curious to see what others say. And, your honesty really helped me feel more normal about both my unashamed nudity in front of her, as well as my growing doubt about it!

 
At 6:30 AM, Anonymous you da mom said...

ha ha! i can relate. my husband and i have had to put on the brakes numerous times so my stepson wouldn't walk in on us in all our writhing glory! but my son is only 7 months, so i still roam around naked in front of him and plan on continuing that for a while - that is, until he can say, "mommy, your butt jiggles!" :)

 
At 6:46 AM, Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Yep my urchin is still too young to care. She has come up with telling nicknames for me and my husband, though: "Tummy Mommy" and "Saddy Daddy." Indeed.

I like the abiguity of the line: "thorny human anatomy questions." Tee hee.

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous heather said...

I was just thinking of this same thing the other day. I was walking out of the shower naked and Ian came over and started slapping me on the bum. He also calls my boobs "beebos" and looks at them longingly. Maybe that was from the extended nursing though.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger mad muthas said...

i stopped wearing thongs (is that what you call them? you know, the butt flossing things) when my son, who was about 6 at the time said, 'oh, mummy! you look like a super duper sumo!'
surprisingly, that wasn't the look i was going for.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Plain Jane Mom said...

Sigh, this is such a tough question, but mostly because I just STILL CAN'T FIND A NIGHTGOWN! Thanks for the link, 8 :)

 
At 2:02 AM, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Nudity is in the air it seems... I have blogged quite a bit about our nudist ways and let us just say that since it was the hubby's 40th today, naughty lingerie was donned and yeah, viewed by the whole family... and so I have a post brewing away, including our adventures and misadventures in nudity and here I came to this here parallel universe!

Plus, I am 31 too and my eldest turns 6 on the 14th!

A thing I will say is my take may be different due to the fact that well, I am European and nudity is something just so natural that I don't know when it'll have to stop... for now, the party goes on! ;-P

 
At 3:10 AM, Blogger Mary said...

Does the fact that you are thinking about your nudity in front of the kids tell you something? But maybe not the little ones yet. Go with your instincts but don't make a big deal over it in front of the kids. Just be your normal self.
Love Mary

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger crazymumma said...

Husbandman is a prude and never lets them see anything. I give them the full horror...

Oh, and no Saturday morning is complete without the attempted shag and the interuption.

Phone calls and sex...kids have a radar...

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger Little Miss said...

tears, laughing again! My husband refuses to be naked in front of the kids anymore (except the boy, age 3)--my kids are the same ages as yours.

I have yet to cover up; however my tiny makes that same b-line for my crotch and says, "mommy you poopied?" uh, no, that's my business, now hand me the towel!

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Just Me said...

OMG! Too funny! Little Miss directed me to your sight and it will be a great morning reading your posts!

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...

LOL..yeah..big nudies here...

Nothing like the sight of moms butt to and HUGE NIP NIPS to get the conversation going in the morning.

Between Adam weighing my boobs and Caity fondling my butt.....I feel very used and objectified in a 'gave my body up for science' type of way.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your article. My wife and I do not hide nakedness from the kids. We go naked in the house when we want, and the result...the kids don't make an issue out of it. It is skin...pure and simple.

Europeans have a much more relaxed attitude toward nudity and Americans should try thinking like they do. Being naked is not a crime or a sin. What you do with it is when the problems start.

 
At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go naked in front of my son, age 8, all the time because my clothes and underwear are all in his room. One day when i was looking for some underwear to wear and bending down, he stuck his finger up my vagina. Ever since then, i told my husband to move my stuff to my room, but my son still constantly walks in on me changing and says "mommy, i like your jiggly boobies!"

 
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