Thursday, February 02, 2006

On Being Naked

William, turning four years this month, is in that phase that all of my children seem to pass through - to be naked all the time, or at least to wear as little clothing as possible. It starts about age three, when they are finally capable of taking off their own clothes, no matter how many times you dress them. He will use any excuse to disrobe:

  • He had to go to the bathroom
  • "I'm hot" (in the dead of winter, no less)
  • "I got chocolate milk on my shirt"
  • "My pants ride up on me"
  • "I don't like shirts with zippers"

This is but a sampling. He's developed quite a list of reasons he should be allowed to parade around in his altogether. Well, sometimes, he does wear my high heels or a hat. He also has a peculiar fascination with gloves of any kind.

His irritation with certain kinds of clothes has, however, become quite frustrating. No shirts with zippers or hoods, and all tags must be cut out. Jeans are the only acceptable pants at the moment, because all the others "ride up" on him. We've culled the acceptable clothing down to about two outfits. Since he requires about twenty a day because of getting dirty and/or wet, this is a problem.

So what brought this to my mind this morning? On NPR, there was a story this morning on Why Kids Hate Coats. I was amused by the studies about whether allowing your child to run around under-dressed causes colds. All that money for something I could have told them for free. NO, under-dressing does not cause sickness. Going to a fast food joint and playing in the incubation of germs tubes that they pass off as a playplace DOES. Four days incubation to be exact.

I have more than once had some older and wiser woman (their opinion, not mine) remark on my child's attire while out. "He should have on a ___" (fill in with hat, coat, etc). If they're lucky, I haven't had too much coffee, and it is sunny outside, I'll just smile and walk away. Now, I have expensive research on my side.

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