Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dinner in the nude

I considered not posting this story since it is more than a little embarrassing, but I just can't help myself. Why blog if not to expose myself and my family to national ridicule?

You see, Z was a bit of a pistol last night. From the minute I walked in the door, she was all over the place, showing me her Cinderella underpants...then insisting I change her into a diaper in the middle of the kitchen floor...while Daddy was cooking. And then heading upstairs unsupervised while I was washing vegetables so that she could fetch a clean diaper for her doll.

In any case, when she found out we were having salmon and potatoes for dinner, she pitched a royal fit for macaroni and cheese. It went on and on, but I wasn't budging. I told her she could try the fish and mashed potatoes, and if she didn't like them, she could have cereal. Under no circumstances would there be mac and cheese tonight!

She cried in the corner. She cried in my arms. She snuffled tears and snot onto my shoulder as I sat down to my dinner. And then, realizing that her crocodile tears weren't moving us, the crying stopped. She said, "I need to get down. My pants are wrong. I need to take them off."

Z slid off my lap and proceeded to remove her pants. And her socks. And her shirt. And her diaper.

"Why are you getting undressed?" Josh asked.
"Because I want to to take my clothes off," she replied.
"Why do you want to take your clothes off?"
"Because...I want to be naked!"

And then she climbed, naked as a jaybird, back onto my lap. Now I'm no prude and I'm glad my daughter is comfortable with her own body, but there is something just a little disturbing about eating a green salad while a 2 year old girl walks her hands over herself and says, "Look, my 'gina, my legs. I got all kinds of parts of my body!"

The good news is that Josh and I were able to suppress our giggles as we shot looks across the table at one another. And the table dance ended as quickly as it began. Yes, she did spend the rest of the evening in the nude, but I'm happy to report she ended up in her own chair. She tried 3 bites of mashed potatoes, declared she didn't like it, and polished off a bowl of Grape-Nuts instead.

I know the naked toddler is a cliche, but I'm not sure how other parents deal with it. Is any inside nudity okay, but outside nudity discouraged? Am I a complete freak for letting my daughter eat dinner in her birthday suit?