Thursday, March 08, 2007

Still Naked

My sister has never been a particularly modest person. She is proud of her body and likes to show it off. Unfortunately, her first pregnancy left her with a lot of stretch marks. She also has the kind of body where any weight gain goes straight to the abdominal region. As a result of this combination, her naked belly looks very similar to a watermelon, stripes included. Normally it is not too bad but give her a little bit of PMS bloating and it falls into the category of “please don’t make me look.”

We have always differed in opinion regarding the appropriateness of nudity in the presence of children of the opposite sex. When my boys were very young, I was not sure how to handle that issue. So I just decided that while they were little to just not make an issue of it. After all, the house had just one bathroom and there was not much of a chance of being allowed to take a shower without someone needing to go potty.

This worked out fine for quite a while. Then one day, I was stepping out of the shower when my oldest son, 4 ½ years old, barged into the bathroom. Upon seeing me naked, he immediately stopped in his tracks and looked me up and down with a little smirk on his face. He then turned and yelled for his little brother, saying, “Hey, get in here! Mom’s naked!” The day I became part of a circus sideshow was the day a lock went up on the bathroom door.

It can be difficult to decide the best way of handling the nudity stuff in the absence of a “light bulb” moment. My sister has ignored the more subtle moments that might make others think that, just maybe, you don’t need to run around naked in front of your 11 year- old son. Like when he had a little friend over to visit and she overheard him snickering and telling his friend, “I saw my mom in her bra.”

Last I heard my sister was still washing my nephew’s hair at bath time. She claims that he doesn’t get it clean enough on his own, but I still think it’s a little odd. Is she still going to be doing that when he is in high school?

Any time I question her about the nudity thing, she becomes extremely defensive and says that she doesn’t want my nephew to grow up to be ashamed of his body.
Some days I wonder if a typical Friday night for those two is spent sitting around naked, watching LifeTime movies.

It seems that my nephew has become very curious about women and sex, despite my sister’s open attitude. My mother recently checked the history on her computer and was shocked to find porn web sites listed. My sister immediately denied her son’s involvement because “he wouldn’t even know how to look for that stuff”. She insisted that it had to have been our father. Our prudish father looking up “Big Black Asses Getting Spanked”? Somehow, I just don’t think so. The problem for my nephew was that the history showed that it was a time when my nephew was using the computer and the porn was sandwiched right between visits to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Hmmmmm.

I think that it is perfectly logical that he was looking at that stuff. After all, the poor kid has been seeing his mother naked for so many years, he just wanted to see what it was supposed to look like.


nutmeg said...

I am very open about my body with my three girls, but am already wondering how to handle it with my new son. I think the best bet is to take your cues from your kids.

Sabrina said...

My mom believed in full nudity, walking around after a shower or after coming home from work. It seemed normal enough to me at the time. She stopped parading around the house however, after my sister and I repeatedly came up behind her, spanked her buttocks, chanting, "Big fat marshmallows! Big fat marshmallows!" In hindsight, I don't think she liked hearing that.