I have no problem with naked time. Not my own mind you. I have a tremendous problem with my own naked time. I mean my kids. Little kids love it and they need it. So I try not to stand in the way. Sometimes it can get a little weird. The other day the Pumpkin Man ran through the living room wearing nothing but mismatched socks and carrying a toy syringe. Ken Kesey has nothing on the Pumpkin Man.
Sometimes, I'll make them dress. Like for dinner, they at least have to wear a shirt. There they sit at the dinner table, dressed like lazy news anchors. Presentable for the cameras, but still able to feel that circulating breeze. Sometimes, I'm too slow. Those are the times that the Pman opens the back door and runs out into the garden, dangle flapping, at one with nature.
Sometimes, I have to say things like, "get your fingers out of there." And then we have to wash our hands. But what I never do is make them feel ashamed or embarrassed to be naked. I have a bucket full of that kind of hang-up myself, and I won't put it on them.
As they get older though, it gets more difficult to go with the flow. The Peanut is five now. She still likes to get naked (though not nearly as often as her brother. That kid would go naked to a bee festival.) She also enjoys talking about her vagina. And her bum. They both love talking about their bums. Apparently bum talk is some funny shit.
You know what else is funny? When you're naked with your sibling and you face in opposite directions dance with each other cheek to cheek and sing "bummy bummy bummy" while you do it.
The other day they were I thought, safely clothed. I was in the kitchen with some music on. They yelled, "Daddy, look!" And I did. They had pulled their shirts up and were pressed together and dancing and chanting "ooh belly belly belly." Some days, a voice comes unbidden into my head and jokes, "It's getting a little too the Lannisters up in here" and I blanche and need to sit down. Some days, it's all so . . . fleshy.
I wonder how old we go with this. They still bathe together and get dressed together. They share a bedroom. I don't ever want them to feel ashamed of their bodies. But it's hard on me some days. I'm just a middle-aged Jew with age-old body issues after all. Is the Peanut to old to be naked around her brother now? I don't think so. But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish they would take it easy on their repressed old man. Put some underwear on. Don't do the bummy dance. Keep their fingers out of their ass cracks. For now though, all I can do is wait. Wait and demonstrate how cozy it feels to be dressed in pants, a shirt, and a snuggy in seventy-five degree weather. They'll buy it, eventually.