Growing up, we used to love this Dana Carvey stand-up where he talks about, among other things, his two little boys. He will have you in tears telling stories about going shopping with the boys, or the boys being “suddenly silly,” or they boys asking questions like, “Daddy, does God have feet?”
But perhaps our favorite segment was around something the Carvey family had every night: Naked Time. Their little ones would get so excited when the clock would hit 6 p.m. and they could take off their clothes and run around naked.
Well, we now have Naked Time at our house. Monster eats his dinner around 5:30, plays with Mona for a bit and then is ready to run around in nothing but a smile.
It took some time for me to convince David that this is normal and healthy and fun for Monster. (Though, I did have to relent on Naked Time when we have company. While I think little naked babies are cute, David helped me understand that it could make other people uncomfortable.)
I love Naked Time. I love that baby’s teeny tushy and his luxurious thighs. What’s better than a happy, chunky baby? A naked happy, chunky baby!
But seriously …
I used to think about what it would be like to have a daughter, and how I would raise her to have a healthy body image. (My friend, Jess, is doing an amazing job with this with her 2-year-old, and I have learned to steal her ideas. Including Naked Time.)
I used to imagine teaching my daughter about what it means to be healthy – not what it means to be attractive by today’s social standards. I worried about her watching TV and getting all the wrong ideas because 90 percent of shows and ads are so sexist and demoralizing to women.
Then I found out I was having a boy, and immediately resolved that I need to worry about his perception of himself as well. True, men are not sexualized the way women are (nor do they suffer the brunt of degradation as a result of sexualization). However, he is going to go to school where kids will pick on you for your ears or your nose or your eyes or your shoes or your pants or whatever. I want him to feel confident and proud of who he is.
Will Naked Time help with that? I don’t know. Maybe Naked Time is just a fun time for him. But maybe it will also teach him to be comfortable in his own skin. At least, that’s my secret hope.