Wednesday, 6 February 2013

People Are So Strange about Skin

J-man absolutely loves it when I have a bath with him. It is his favourite! I don’t do it very often
because bedtime is generally rushed and I tend to shower in the morning. Also he likes his bath
a little cooler then is comfortable. Having said that, it is way easier to comb out his curly hair if I
can manage to get behind him, which I can if I’m in the bath. So sometimes it is convenient.

At dinner the other night I told J-man that it was time to clean up and then it was time for his
bath. “You come in my bath with wif me,” he proclaimed. My husband gave me a sideways look
and said, “About that.” There was a long pause. He then said, “When do you think you will be
stopping that? It’s gross,” he said, “and he will be traumatized as a teen and pre-teen when he
recalls those memories.”

WTF — is this man serious? Is there anything unusual about this? In my ever diplomatic way I
said, “Well, when we get a new house, we’ll have to get a bigger tub so we can both fit until he
decides it is gross. In the meantime I think we won’t just yet teach him unhealthy lessons about
sexuality and being naked.” Needless to say that was the end of that conversation. But it did
make me stop and think.

J-man is the happiest when he’s naked. He dances all over the house at bath time shaking his
penis at everyone, singing that he’s naked. I have no objections to this process and I laugh and
tease him as I chase him to the bath.

I already draw the line when he tries to rub his penis on his brother, age 12, who is with us only
a couple of nights a week. J-man figured out early that this totally freaked out his brother, so it
has now become an endless game. I have to explain that it’s not okay to rub yourself on other
people because they don’t like it. (“If they don’t like it” seemed too confusing a message.)

Do I really have to tone down the rest? Is he going to be traumatized? I don’t think so. My
husband likely never saw either of his parents naked. I, on the other hand, with four people and
one bathroom growing up, never had a bath or a shower uninterrupted. That included my father
barging in to use the toilet. I was never traumatized and I’m not nearly as freaked out about
these things as my husband. So I figure I’m working on making him less, not more, traumatized
about skin!

-Sleepwalking Mama

[image: photo by philip newton]

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