During my time as a faux dad I have said a good number of things that I never thought I would say. I’m learning that, as a parent, you hear things coming out of your mouth that are patently ridiculous. Perhaps the finest example of this happened last week during dinner, when I turned to T2 and said, “If we see your penis at the table, you aren’t going to touch the iPad for a week.”
T2 has decided he is a nudist. It’s sort of my fault.
Not, you understand, the part where he doesn’t like clothes. That’s not my fault. That has nothing to do with me and pre-dates my meeting him. We constantly have to check and make sure he has on underwear. He hates underwear. If he deems to wear underwear, it is difficult to get him to wear anything else. He will regularly wander downstairs wearing only boxer briefs.
“Get up stairs and get dressed,” everyone will yell.
“I’m comfortable!” he will yell back.
No, what is my fault that he now knows the world nudist and that nudism is sort of a thing.
A few weeks ago C and I were sitting on the couch. It was night and T2 had been sent upstairs to take a shower. Suddenly, from the third floor, we heard a little voice scream, “YEEEEEE-HAAAAA!”
T2 jumped down onto the landing between the two floors. He was making finger guns, pointing them at us, bouncing up and down, shooting and making “pew pew!” sounds. He had nothing on. At all. Some things that you see cannot be unseen.
“Jesus Christ!” I yelled, “get upstairs and put some clothes on! You aren’t a nudist!”
“What’s a nudist?” asked my naked faux son from the landing, his finger guns slowly lowering to his side.
“It’s a person who never wants to wear clothes and who goes around life naked,” I replied.
T2 gave me his one-eyebrow-up-look. It’s a look that says “oh Patrick….who are you trying to fool?”
“They run around naked all the time?” he asked.
“Because they don’t like to wear clothes?”
“I am totally a nudist!” he yelled. The finger guns shot into the air a few times in triumph and he ran up the stairs.
“What did you do?” said C.
“I’m not…I mean, surely he won’t…” I had messed up.
T2 never forgets anything. He is a sponge. It’s why he is good at school, if you can present information to him in a way that he finds interesting he will just instantly remember it. He is really, really interested in being untethered from our pedestrian notions of proper outfitting.
On one hand, we are jazzed that he is confident. There isn’t a lot of body image problems going on there. It’s super that he is at home in his own skin. On the other hand, nobody wants to put up with a naked eight year old badgering you from the couch to play Call of Duty.
Now he plays the nudist card with a fair amount of regularity.
“I think I’m going to take off my shirt.”
“Don’t you dare!”
“I’m a nudist!”
“Are you wearing underwear?”
“Yes. No, wait. No.”
“Go put on underwear!”
“But I’m a nudist!”
All of this led to him declaring he was “going to get more comfortable” at dinner and me laying down my “no exposed junk at the table” declaration. It worked, because the only thing he likes more than being naked is watching “World’s Deadliest” on the iPad. I’m a bit concerned as to what happens when he gets through all the episodes.