Jul 17 2014
Being a very young kid in Southern California in the 1970s meant lots of beach time. It also meant minimal bathing suit wearing until around the age of 4 or so.
No one made anything of it. Maybe my grandparents had seen everything during the many summers spent in the crush of humanity on Coney Island, and a couple of naked small kids was par for the course. My parents have family photos of one particular beach excursion with visiting relatives, our smartly solar-phobic Great Aunt Lil completely covered up while my sister and I rocked our birthday suits. I love those faded, orange-hued pictures. (A teenager would probably ask which Instagram filter we used.)
That was then. This is now. Americans historically don’t have a laid back attitude when it comes to public nudity compared to say, Europe. But based on a couple recent experiences I had trying to quickly change my kids at public parks, I think our puritanical ways have hit new levels of intensity. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 30 2013
Sarah Tuttle-Singer’s recent post on why she lets her kids see her naked reminded me of a piece I wrote almost two years ago about my family’s nudity policy (or lack thereof).
Unlike Sarah, I didn’t have a poetic, thoughtful, and profound reason for my decision to let my children see me (and their father) naked. My reason was pretty much the same reason I do all things; my belief that what’s easiest for me to do is ultimately best for my kids (a.k.a. I am Occam’s Mother).
But, when I wrote the above post, my oldest son was 12. And now he’s 14. There’s a big difference between 12 and 14–especially when he’s a boy. Read the rest of this entry →
May 7 2012
My middle son is 8 years old. My daughter is 5. They’ve been taking baths together since she was old enough to sit up in the big tub without drowning. And they still do. (My 12-year-old son now prefers manly showers but, every once in a while, all three of them still jump in.)
They also, up until a year ago, shared a single bedroom, which meant plenty of running around in various states of undress and, periodically, re-enactments of the stripping scene from the musical “Gypsy,” while singing “You’ve Got to Have a Gimmick.”
They’re not the only ones. In a household with five people and one and a half bathrooms, sharing is a must. Which means if either my husband or I are in the shower and a kid’s got to go–the kid’s got to go, everyone’s modesty be damned. And this doesn’t even include all the times I’m in the shower and my children suddenly discover they need me to negotiate a critical cease-fire or solve a burning dilemma like whether or not lizards have eyelids immediately. Read the rest of this entry →