Clothing Optional

I'm considering opening a nudist colony. Because, seriously, half the people in my house are completely naked at any given time.

No, Curtis and I aren't walking around in the buff (you're welcome, neighbors). It's our kids. And as cute as children's tiny bare butts can be, they get a little tiring when they're perpetually on display.

I thought maybe when Colin turned 4 a few weeks ago, he would miraculously understand the necessity of clothing - but no such luck. His near-constant state of undress is interrupted only by trips out of the house (damn grocery stores and their no shirt/no shoes/no service policy). If he's at home, you can bet he's ... um ... flapping in the wind, whether he's sleeping or eating or playing. If someone rings the bell, I have to shoo Colin away so he doesn't flash whoever's at the door (such as the Chinese food delivery guy who once got an unfortunate eyeful. Oops).

And Cameron. He's just realized he can take off his diaper, and is putting this newfound skill to good use. Yesterday, in the time it took me to get the dog some water, Cameron had stripped down and run onto our back porch ... and was waving at our neighbors, who were having a barbecue. With company. Awesome.

I've recently tried to implement a "please, for the love of God, at least wear underwear" policy. Colin has at least ten pairs of various undies, and if he's not wearing one, he gets a toy taken away until he puts on a pair. The problem is, I'm having a lot of trouble being consistent on this one - because I'm so used to seeing him naked that half the time I don't even notice he isn't wearing anything. I swear I see his "brown eye" just about as often as I see his blue ones ... so it, like every other uncovered inch of his body, has become part of my daily scenery.

As I do with all mystifying parenting dilemmas (and oh my, aren't there hundreds?) I have researched this exhaustively on the Internet. Apparently it's not that uncommon and children grow out of it - though some still continue to strip down after, say, coming home from Kindergarten for the day.

I hope and pray it doesn't last beyond that ... because as much as I want my sons to grow up and become something that makes them happy, "male stripper" doesn't quite make a mother's heart swell with pride.


  1. my daughter was also a fan of the birthday suit (although she would keep her undies on thank god) until just recently. She had the added feature of always insisting on being undressed in the dead of winter, but then being fine with wearing horts and tshirts during the summer when being naked would have been fine. Weirdo. Now she will only wear leotards or tutu dresses - seriously, everyday looks like Halloween or a dance recital around here. But she is dressed, so she did grow out of it. So far my son has exhibited no signs of this trait, I'm keeping my fingers crossed he won't. best of luck!

  2. Yeah, it's pretty sad that my definition of "dressed" is "wearing underwear" (when it comes to Colin, I mean!).

    Why are kids so weird? :)

  3. My poor daughter loves her clothes. But she also loves to be naked. From her very first days in this world she has wanted to be nakey. She would only sleep in her adorable little cloth diapers as a newborn. No covers. And we keep our house quite cool. As she got older she would shimmy out of her diaper somehow. Now she prefers to sleep in just panties - or footy jammies - I am not quite sure how she can be on either end of that extreme, but she is. BUT, in her defense, I am a naked girl myself. We have a downstairs bathroom right by the garage door. I take my shoes off at the garage door, take a right into the bathroom where I go pee. AND STRIP. I despise clothes. They annoy me. Then I go upstairs and throw on a tshirt. And sometimes some shorts to wear around the house. Sometimes not. I fear there is no help for her. She is destined to be nakey her whole life.

  4. I have talked to so many parents that are having this same issue with their pre-K aged children. Maybe if it doesn't stop before he starts school, once he gets there he'll stay clothed since he sees that everyone else is. I'd say it's a good sign that he will get dressed to out on errands. Whew!
    At least he's not a teenager. That seems to be a problem at my school---teenagers not being able to keep their clothes on!

  5. Charisse - I totally get the nudity thing - I prefer a state of undress (or half-dressed) to a being dressed any time, and I never wear my shoes around the house. But I worry that Colin doesn't care WHO sees him naked, you know? He wouldn't even put clothes on to go out in public unless he had to!

    Jennifer, it must return as a teenager. All I know is that when my boys are that age, they BETTER be keeping at least a certain part of themselves under wraps at all times! ;)

  6. The first chance my children get to be naked they take it - the level of embarrassment depends on who we're with. BTW - there's an award for you over at mine x

  7. You are hilarious. I'll follow the frump!

    The tale from the mother of a bunch of exhibitionists is definitely something I can relate to. Good lord! Getting my children dressed can sometimes be the hardest part of my day.

    My son once told me that being naked "feels fun." :)


  8. Thanks, Emily and Francesca! Wow, an award - I am completely flattered!

    I totally agree that the level of embarrassment depends on who we're with. If they're naked in front of, say, my mom or something, I hardly notice. But you really should have seen the face on that Chinese delivery guy. :)

  9. OMG, it's genetic! Your Grandma Collier was in the buff around the house every chance she got, and I absolutely couldn't keep clothes on Amy when she was little. As much as I like that "free" feeling myself, I'm much too self-conscious at age 62 to display too much skin! Nobody wants to see a naked old lady. Eeewwww!!


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