The Naked Stage

Dominic has reached the stage of toddlerhood where he simply has no use for clothing. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or sunny, clothes should not be on his body. As soon as we put him in sleepers, he unzips them and peels them off. The diaper frequently follows. He can’t always get his shirt off, but anything that can come off, does. Except shoes. He loves his shoes.

I’d forgotten about this stage, to tell you the truth.

Dorian never went through it. I suspect he was so traumatized by his many surgeries and medical procedures that he figured he was safe if he had clothes on. It wasn’t until last year that he finally agreed to take his shirt off for short periods of time on very hot days or while painting. Most days you will find him with long sleeves or even in a button up shirt with every last button done up.

Dante, however, Dante went through this stage. I’d forgotten, but Dominic’s distaste for clothing has brought it all back.

You see, in Guatemala, a naked kid is nothing short of scandalous, particularly for my in-laws. I would dress Dante nicely in the morning and he would run off to play with his cousin. Between our house and theirs, he would lose every single last piece of clothing and show up buck naked on their doorstep. You can imagine the irate phone calls.

“Dante is here.”
“Yes, I know, he said he wanted to play with Zanelle.”
“He’s NAKED! Come and get him and bring some pants!”
“He had clothes when he left here!”
“Well, he’s naked now. Hurry!”

It took him a long time to outgrow that stage. I think he enjoyed the shrieks and overreactions to his state of undress. But I remind myself that this time I’m ready. This time, I have a gate so no naked toddler can escape my yard. This time, I know the stage comes to an end at some point.

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