Mummy…….I’m in the nude !
Bare butt with pitter patter feet down the hall, these were her freest and favourite moments. Roaming the house before bath time with no perceived expectation of how her body should look, or that her streaking was gleefully witnessed and appreciated by pinching her cute dimpled bum and oh, the skin to skin cuddles. How could we not encourage her every chance from the time she could crawl until …. well, until when, is the question?
She is 7 now and as a single mother in our home nudity is welcomed. Being naked is something we relish in. Don’t be mistaken, I erk and twitch my way through every time I pass the mirror. Brave faced I put all my heart into encouraging her to be comfortable in her body. By loving and appreciating mine. Fuck, that shit is hard!
She wobbles my ass and tells me how big it is like she just discovered the biggest squishy (except mine is slooooooow to squish back into shape), no denying it. It wobbles and by bio metrics standards of the NHS it has its own designated obese metric. I try my hardest to show how I appreciate and love my body even if half the time I’m choking on my own mantra.
But I’m convinced that in this minefield of her discovering her imminent sexuality, breaking taboos doesn’t stop by acknowledging we have vulvas or proudly naming out loud our privates, but rather being comfortable to bare them too… at least in the safety of our own skin.
When should they cover up, at what age should girls stop seeing their fathers’ penises, zizi’s, ding dongs – the names are endless. When do young boys stop coming into women change rooms? So many hmm’s and ha’s .
I, like most parents have my own opinions and like ALL parents have been challenged on these. Just this Christmas my partner (let’s call him Alpha), Ariella and I shared a football sized hotel room. The ones you love to run around naked and jump on the bed no matter how old you are. The joy is real.
We have done this before, but never had my daughter clocked that when Alpha and I were in the bathroom, we were both naked at the same time!
Knock knock , “mummy are you in the shower? “ “yes baby”, “where is Alpha?”. “He is in the shower too.” Insert little girl gasp and giggle. “Is he in the NUDE TOO?”…..(sounds of crickets) ……
Saved by the sound of action packed slime video on YouTube, I just about scathed my way out of there.
And so the question begs, do I prompt an explanation with Ariella about why, how and when it’s ok to show your vulva? She knows nothing about sex or how babies are made and against my every molecule is being taught that her vulva is a private part instead of being taught that her entire body made up of NAMED VISIBLE parts is off limits to anyone, until she feels comfortable, yes even a hug – ( I digress) OR do I let her curiosity lead and wait for her to ask?
My only sense check is her safety in her skin to freely be nude while at home yet the sensibility to get changed in her room when Alpha is around. And then just to prove that maybe I’m overthinking this, she knocks on doors before she enters and uses her voice to ask for privacy to change.
Sometimes as parents we must be there for explanations and guidance, but for answers, sometimes it is blind faith that our children find the right solutions for them in the thick of all the adult mixed messages we send them. Not everything is an issue yet, not everything is a crises I keep telling myself, if everything will cast in stone how she interacts with her body or others.
Only to encourage my daughter that confidence comes in learning to appreciate, understanding that we can choose to constantly evolve (this includes her sexuality) and that what others think of her is none of her business.
But for now, frolicking free in her skin in the safety of love is what we will stick with …. until her curiosity comes a knocking, soon.