When I was thirteen, my sister Nina lived in a nudist colony. She was eight years older than me and must have been in college at the time. I remember my mom planning a family visit to Nina’s that involved numerous secretive phone calls in hushed tones and whispers. Somehow, through various undercover efforts and spy techniques, my younger sister Aliza and I figured out what was going on.
We were shocked.
Nina was living is a house with a bunch of NAKED people?
This was also around the time that my mom had given me “The Talk.” You know what I mean. The birds and the bees. Armpit hair and period pads. Body odor and masturbation. Painfully long definitions of the words “genitals” and “menstruation.” Training bras demos and how-to-clean-blood-out-of-your-underwear presentations. Sex education mommy-style. It was mortifying to say the least.
With enormous gusto and fanfare, she offered me copies of Peter Mayle’s, Where Did I Come From? and it’s fun-filled companion, What’s Happening to Me? If you’re not familiar with these titles, you should be. They are highly-acclaimed 70’s-style sex education Bibles. Both testaments. You must own them so you can embarrass your own children upon their unfortunate arrival at puberty someday.
Meanwhile, I have to give my mom credit. Despite my outward showings of disgust and horror, I took the books. After tossing them carelessly into a corner while she watched, I secretly recovered them later and spent hours scrupulously perusing them by flashlight under my bed sheets after I was convinced everyone in the house had gone to sleep.
Back at the nudist colony, Nina apparently made everyone in the house sign an agreement to keep their clothes on during our weekend stay. I’m sure it was challenging, but somehow they managed. For Aliza and me, it was the best weekend of our young lives. We eyed the housemates mercilessly as we attempted to suppress snorts and giggles while imagining them performing all kinds of activities fully naked. Nude cookie baking, nude bungee jumping and nude toilet plunging were some of our personal favorites.
Unfortunately, I must have built up some really bad karma from that experience because over the past few months my own home has degenerated into a nudist colony of sorts. Or, at least, that’s what my children seem to think.
For example, this morning after I got Diego dressed, I informed him in no uncertain terms that he was to keep his clothes ON. I went to the bathroom.
When I emerged, no more than two minutes later, he charged me fully naked. After he tackled me to the floor, naked ninja style, he dashed through the house, pointing and yelling, “Pee! Pee!”
As I trotted dutifully through the house after his bouncing butt cheeks, I crossed my fingers and made the infeasible wish that he had somehow miraculously potty-trained himself and that he was leading me to the toilet where I would find a bowl of yellowed water. Heck, I’d even take a toilet sprayed liberally with urine on its shiny porcelain exterior. Instead, he led me to the bedroom where he proudly pointed to a puddle that had already soaked deep into the carpet.
“Mami!” he proclaimed gleefully. “I pee!”
I found his diaper and clothes, dressed him again and placed him in time-out. I got some rags and did my best to clean up the pee. When I went back to retrieve him a few minutes later, he was butt naked, lying on a pile of clean laundry and massaging his bellybutton. Meanwhile, my other son Nino was also butt-naked scooting down the hallway on his rear end. “I’m leaving booty-stains on the carpet!” he declared joyfully.
So is it really wrong that I dressed both of them again and followed up with a layer of duct tape for good measure? I certainly hope not.
I’m just not sure I’m fully down with the whole nudist colony lifestyle right now, bad karma or otherwise.
Photo courtesy of Baby Banter