Naked Toddler

There is a toddler in here somewhere. Naked.

My child loves to be naked. LOVES. I think more than the normal amount.

And he doesn’t just feel comfortable in his own skin. He also really loves his penis. I’ve heard that that’s pretty normal for a little boy. But it certainly makes for interesting events at our house. I honestly do not remember the last time I went through my day without having a discussion involving the word penis. As soon as we walk in the door everyday from wherever we have been, it is inevitable that he will ask, “Can I be naked now?”

Last week, we were waiting for the mobile vet to come to our house for our cats’ annual check up and shots. (Which is AMAZING. Mobile vets are the best idea ever. My cats have not been to the vet in three years because how in the world was I going to drag two cats and my son to a vet’s office? I am so glad I got this recommendation, because they were amazing and now my cats are healthy and I did not have to leave my house.)

But the entire time we were waiting for the vet to arrive, my son said, “Can I be naked now? Please!”

“No, love, we have to wait until after the kitty doctor comes.  They will be here very soon.”

“And after the kitty doctor leaves I can be naked?”

“Sure.”

I kid you not, the kid was naked within 30 seconds of the vet driving away.

He just can not stand the confines of clothing.

He watches TV naked. He sleeps naked. He eats naked.

It’s a really good thing that naked toddlers are so adorable, because around here there is no shortage of a naked toddler.

I have at least taught him that we can only be naked at home. He understands the need for clothing in public. And he knows we can only be naked in front of our family.

A couple of weekends ago, I had a fabulous girl’s weekend with a friend from college. We went out two nights in a row! (This is hugely significant for me. I rarely get to do anything fun.) Since the hubs was on night shifts and I was determined not to miss my weekend of fun, that meant that I had to get babysitters. The first night, I hired a sitter to come to our house. When I got home she had successfully managed to put him in pajamas. She’s a keeper. The next night, we went out to a movie with another friend of mine who has a boy the same age. Her husband said he would watch the kids. When we got back that evening, her kids were already in bed asleep and my son was watching TV on their couch. Her husband said he had told my little one to get comfy and he could lay down if he wanted to. To which my son replied, “I can’t get comfy here! I can only be naked at my house.” My friends husband was pretty shocked and tried to understand by asking my son if he could only be comfy if he was naked, to which my son said, “Yes, I love being naked!”

At least he’s honest. But it forced me to confess that yes, I do allow my child to sleep naked. And be naked a lot. You have to pick your battles, right? If my choice is naked or a tantrum, I’m going to go with naked.

Due to his frequent nakedness, my son is very aware of his body, and his favorite part is his penis. My days are often filled with comments such as, “Mommy, look at my penis!”

“My penis is so big!”

“Hey, Mommy, you know what? Sometimes penises are big and sometimes they are little.”

He often includes his penis in our games. A few days ago we were building a rocket to go to the moon, and we needed to put on pretend space suits. As we put on our space suits, I said, “Do you have on your space helmet?” My son replied, “Yes! And my space penis!” Obviously.

The most worrying statement came when my son said, “Mommy, touch my penis!”

I think he said this from genuine pride of his private part. He likes it so much that he just wanted to be nice and share it. He is never in a situation where I do not know his caretakers and he is rarely away from me, so I know he’s never been in a dangerous situation. I know his request was innocent. But it scared me.

I told him that his penis, his bottom and his body are just for him. They are not to share with anyone else. At first, he asked why and seemed kind of bummed out. But since then, with my repeated mantra, “Your penis/bottom/body is not for sharing,” he has begun to repeat it back to me and understand it as a rule.

Now he will randomly tell me, “Mommy? We can only be naked at my house. And my penis is not for sharing.”

I always respond with a very enthusiastic “That’s right!” and talking again about how important it is to keep our private parts private.

It’s a very fine line to walk between wanting my son to feel comfortable about his body and trying to protect him.

I assume that at some point, the naked all the time phase will pass. And if he can just remember the “We don’t share our penis” mantra until he’s married, I will be a happy Mommy.

Comments

  1. This post is funny and scary at the same time. I think it’s because I don’t have a little boy and all the penis talk is a little shocking. I don’t know if it’s really a stage or just being a guy though – because it’s my (VERY limited) experience that grown-up boys are pretty obsessed with that body part as well. Ha! I do love that he’s so honest! We are getting ready to potty train soon and we’ve been talking about “tee-tee” and “poop” a lot and yesterday my girl had a 5 minute dialogue about how her “daddy needed a diaper” and “daddy poop.” It was HILARIOUS. I will probably be mortified when she shares all her knowledge in public!

    You’re doing an excellent job of sharing boundaries in an appropriate way. That kind of protection can never be started too early, can it? I know that we already work hard to make sure that Belle knows that NO means NO. When Todd is tickling her and she wants him to stop something that’s happening to her, he stops. We don’t want her to ever think it’s acceptable for someone to continue doing something to her if she doesn’t want it. Maybe that’s being a little over cautious, but I’ve learned from experience that you can never be too careful in that area!

    • Oh, I didn’t mean to shock you with the penis talk! I guess raising boys and girls really is so very different. I just don’t think girls are as “into themselves” as boys are. And I so agree with you; in my also very limited experience it seems boys of all ages are really, really attached to that thing. :)
      Thank you so much for your sweet compliment. It terrifies me to even think about things like that, but I do think it’s important to teach those lessons. I think you have started a wonderful tradition of teaching Belle no means no. It’s so important to teach them to respect their bodies and that their voices are important. I think that even though this is such a scary area, you can never be too cautious about the safety of your children.

  2. A space penis – of course! This was too funny :)

  3. Neither one of my kids were naked lovers! It’s so funny to read about one who so clearly loves it so much!

    • Haha, thank you! I am so used to my naked kiddo I wonder what it’s like to have one that LIKES clothes! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  4. Now I know how age two is going to be! Wolf Prince has always had an obsession with (as I call it) his “baby boy parts.” As soon as that diaper is off, his hand is down there. During diaper changes, I’ll just ignore it, and then ask him if I can cover them up, and he’ll let me. We’ve had his diaper loose lately because of the extreme heat, and now he’s stuffing his hand down his diaper. It must be a boy thing. Luckily for us, Wolf Prince doesn’t want to be naked most of the time. I have to ask him and show him his new shirt just to change clothes, but that’ll probably change since we’re potty training now.

    • Yes! My little guy has always loved playing with himself. The naked all the time thing is kind of funny, but it actually helped with potty training! Less layers to go through before he went potty, I guess. Boys are so funny about that thing. I think it really is just a guy thing. And also hopefully a stage they will not stay in forever!

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