Maybe it happens when the kid is just learning to walk, maybe when she is just learning to talk, or maybe the kid has always enjoyed it. Sooner or later, the child develops a want – nay, a passion – for being naked.
I had always heard of naked time, though my firstborn had only a fleeting affair with it. My second child, however, is in a full-blown relationship with ripping off her clothes. If you have also had a child who sported his or her birthday suit more often than any other piece of clothing in the closet, then you know the following to be true:
1. The child does not give a $%@# about where the nakedness happens.
At first, I tried to fight it. “No, you can’t take off your clothes because we have company.” “You are eating dinner; keep your pants on.” “You know that it’s 50 degrees outside, right?”
I don’t stop the nakedness anymore. Whatever, she’s 2. If you can’t handle my naked child, I’m not sure why you are in my home … or at the playground, where I may have let her run around topless after some negotiation.
2. You need to have a rag and carpet cleaner ready …
There will be an accident. No, not the “she spilled Cheerios all over the floor again” kind of accident. I mean the “she is getting into the squat position” kind of accident. It may not happen every time, but when it does, thank goodness for quick action.
3. … But you won’t find every spot.
More than once, I have walked through a room, stepped in something wet and thought, “Ah, so she was here, too.” Some days, you can connect the wet spots to figure out her path through the house.
4. No surface is safe.
Oh man, I almost don’t even want people to know the places where my daughter has sat in all her naked glory. She’s a climber, too, which means countertops, sofa cushions and dining room tables are all high-risk areas. I clean what I can, but I won’t pretend that every area has been sterilized. So, there’s that.
5. Things will get … awkward.
I’m all about encouraging my children to learn the correct names for body parts and recognize that they have, um, special areas. Part of that discovery involves some incredibly awkward moments and conversations that are nearly always useless. After all, “Yes, you can touch that but only in your own room,” doesn’t hold much water with a toddler.
6. Everything is funnier because they are naked.
Sure, her dancing to “Gangam Style” is funny any old time, but all that bare skin kicks it up a notch. A clothed kid running around the house with a light saber? Mundane. A naked kid running around the house with a light saber? Hilarious.
7. You’ll take pictures you can never show anyone.
Because everyone just FREAKS OUT at nakedness now. Oooh, a breasfeeding picture? Let’s report it. A baby’s butt? Inappropriate!
I don’t post pictures of naked time on social media, but really it’s only because the Internet would explode if I did, and I would be lost without Google Maps and Netflix.
8. Everyone seems happier.
The kid is happy. Her happiness just infects everyone else in the room (or on the playground). Even cranky mommy, who just scrubbed the carpet for 10 minutes, cannot escape the naked time giggles.
9. There is nothing cuter than a naked baby butt.
There just isn’t. Nope, not a kitten dressed as a pumpkin or a puppy sliding around on a kitchen floor. Those are cute in their own right, but they don’t compare to a squishy, chubby baby butt bouncing all over my home.
I guess you could say that I like naked time almost as much as she does.