Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I've been sitting here in my sweet, isolated, mommy-of-special-kids cocoon contemplating when it's time to not let my children see me naked. (mostly only in bathing situations) It only happens on occasion (well...) and only because we live in a house the size of a postage stamp. They are 8 and 11. Boys. Boys have a different relationship to nakedness than girls. I realize this. However, they still need to learn. This isn't an issue for Beanstalk for several reasons. He can shed his pants in one-quarter of a blink. He'd never think mom was doing anything weird or giving a personal anatomy lesson. Also, he never sees me naked.

Squib, however, being the scientific-creative-whimsical-curious-contemplative one is not just interested, but deeply interested in anatomical parts. Also, he is carrying on this 24-7 narrative of "important stuff" that cannot under any circumstances be interrupted by anything ever never ever. Not even shaving. He's not doing any of this in any sort of malicious or inappropriate way. He studies everything's anatomy and can't understand what the difference is here. The psychology is pretty much lost on him still. I tried to explain nakedness and the fact that we don't share it with anyone unless mom says ok (you know as in he shouldn't let anyone touch him--not even a doctor--unless mommy or daddy is there). He knows that, but it's academic. If he has a question and I'm shaving my bikini line, then so be it. Then on the other hand, I had to be clear that he shouldn't be sneaking around trying to solve the mystery of how you pee without a penis. There. Now you know. That's what he wants to see. So I've banned him (politely and with all the proper mommy-explanations) from the bathroom when I'm using it or bathing. So he still comes in (he forgets...he says) and he still peeks around the curtain (then slams it shut). There is no door except the one that divides the house in half, so it's been a bit frustrating and I was wondering if I was being picky for no reason.

Shortly after all this business, I was with a friend at her house and we were bathing the kids to get them all ready for the next day. Babies/girls, then boys style. This is the country and they are used to all this. This is how I was raised with all my cousins. Most of these kids are related or believe they are anyway because everyone here is your "Aunt." Or...she will be some day...I guess. Anyway, I went to grab one of the babies (we don't separate babies out by gender and when it comes to the bath mill they are pretty compliant) and was carrying him back into the bathroom just as my son had his hand on the knob of the door where, on the other side was a bathtub full of nine-year-old girl about to get out of the tub.


He was only trying to ask me a question and he thought I was in there with all the babies. However, the close call made me understand clearly that what he experiences at home needs to prepare him for possible situations outside of home. So, things need to change.

Like, knocking!!!, for crying out loud! Of course, no one here knocks. After they don't knock, they don't observe any other sorts of manners, either. This is why you can sit on the toilet in your very own bathroom while your father discusses disbursements of your grandmother's annuity at seven o'clock in the morning with barely a curtain between you. Yes, you heard me right. That was the tame example for the media. Everyone here has seen everyone else naked. And not just because we were somebody's baby. We're talking in the last three years. Baba and I try to limit exposure to only necessary events like hospital stays and recovery therefrom. Dad and Squib have no limits...on anything...including the areas they dedicate to momentary outdoor urinal conversion. When they have to pee, apparently it's NOW. Mimi generally escapes the wrath via a strict use of lock and key combined with growling and some sort of unknown communication. When I discover her methods I intend to patent them and put them to use, but there again I need another couple sets of doors. I use locks, too, but they're on the front door and office door. Then the pounding on the doors (and windows because they assume I'm dead if I don't come running and answer my phone) makes me absolutely irate and I can't relax and do my thing. So. It's basically like a monkey house over here. Only Beanstalk doesn't throw any poo anymore.

Thank heavens for that.

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