I was tinkering around the kitchen when I realized that I was tinkering away uninterrupted for far too long…
Look what I found:
My thoughts in chronological order:
Oh gad, she wants to be Cocoa. That time she poured milk into a plate and lapped it up was not a one-off thing! Should I start getting clothes for Cocoa??
She kind of looks like those PETA I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur ads.
She’s so happy. I thought that smile was exclusively for watching TV.
I bet it feels so liberating.
Hmmm…Why is she wearing socks??
I saw a pile of her clothes stuffed into a bin on the floor. What was she possibly thinking? Ok, finished packing all my pambahay in this bin. Everything…but the clothes I’m wearing!
Then while scouring her top drawer she sees the socks: There’s a bit of a draft. These socks should do the trick!
Apparently, there is an alternative way to view my naked toddler and it has nothing to do with Cocoa, fur, or being a hippy –she just figured out how to undress herself. Yay! Surely that means the dressing-herself skill is around the corner, right?
WhatToExpect.com lists a couple of others ways to help understand the naked toddler:
- Being naked just plain feels good. (Hilarious, but true!)
- Shedding clothes is a way of asserting control and testing boundaries. By taking off the outfit you painstakingly put on, your little streaker is sending the message: “You might be able to dress me, Mom, but you can’t keep me that way!”
The site also shares how parents should handle it:
- Say yes sometimes. When temperatures and circumstances allow, let your child be naked if he wants. When he does need to get (and stay) dressed, explain that people wear clothes outside of the house or when guests come over because their bodies are private. If he persists in public disrobing, try dressing him in togs that are harder to take off (i.e., shirts with small buttons, overalls, pants with a belt).
- Don’t overreact (or even react at all). Acting horrified or punishing your little one will send the message that his body is something to be ashamed of. And if you laugh, he’ll think, “Aha! Here’s a way to get attention,” and you’ll set yourself up for repeat (strip-tease) performances.
- Provide opportunities for practice. Give your toddler a doll or stuffed animal with easy-on-and-off clothes and let him dress — and undress! — his toy to his heart’s content. (Putting the clothes back on is always harder, so stick around to lend a helping hand.)
And last but not least, DOCUMENT IT. It’s too precious.