On Modesty

When it comes to modesty, I think I am a moderate prude. Not totally prudish, but not an exhibitionist. I don’t go in a private space to get changed at the gym, or worry about who sees me in the shower area, for example, but neither do I go scampering around without a towel, just for kicks. When Baxter was a toddler and preschooler, he regularly sat in when I got dressed; sometimes he commented or asked questions, and I answered them without a problem. But when he got to a certain age (what was it? maybe between 4 and 5 years old?), I started to seek privacy in these moments. In part this had to do with him getting older and in part it had to do with being the mother of two little boys who was always looking for a teeny tiny bit of privacy. Getting dressed alone seemed like a great place to start; you know, a small step for womankind.

So I thought it was interesting a few weeks ago when I was about to dash into the shower and Baxter suddenly rushed the bathroom, needing an emergency trip. “I guess I have never seen you naked before,” he said thoughtfully from the potty as I quickly stepped into the water. This really surprised me, that he had no recollection of all those discussions we delved into during his early years, that he thinks I’ve always gotten dressed privately. This from the boy who yesterday recalled once feeding his uncle’s fish two years ago.

This morning I got up early to take my shower before the boys got up. However, they arose early and found their way into the bathroom (inward groan), each with a cheerful, “Hi, Mommy!”, just sure I’d be thrilled to see them, and Baxter proceeded to do what he needed to do. A few minutes later I realized that he was peering in at me with a big mischievous grin.

“You look CRAZY!!!!” he said.

And this, my friends, is all the reason I need to move into a house on Saturday that has a master bathroom. I’m gonna have to get a lock on that door.

6 responses to “On Modesty

  1. Is a master bath supposed to provide this “privacy” you speak of? Perhaps its the lock aspect we are missing. I hear “Mama, where are you???” Followed by a detailed accounting of body parts.

  2. Ha! Becky, you must be in our house each day. We have a master bath too. It seems to be just one more space in our house to which Julia can follow me. I suspect Genevieve will be right behind her before too long.

  3. Thankfully, the boys are old enough now that they’ve learned I get privacy when I’m taking a shower — except when Baxter *really* has to go to the bathroom! But there will be 2 other bathrooms to choose from in the new house so I won’t be running into them anymore! Matt’s really good about keeping them out, thank goodness.

    It’s definitely one of my pet peeves, to have little kids trooping around the bathroom – it’s my one last sanctuary!!

  4. Christopher Tassava

    Master bath, guest bath, half-bath – it doesn’t matter. Julia will literally run across the house to follow me into any of the bathrooms when she senses I’ve gotta go, and since she’s had more than one meltdown at encountering a closed door, I tend to leave it open. The other day she came in to serve as an observer, and as I was zipping up, she leaned forward, waved, said cheerfully to my, uh, waist, “Bye-bye! See you next time!”

  5. malaria man

    I think you should take a page out of DB’s playbook on this one. The ol’ gal would prance around in lingerie from the 40s like there was no tomorrow, duck out of the outdoor shower buck nekkid on the Cape from time to time, and generally had no compunction of making a spectacle of her less-than-clothed self.

    Heck, over here in Austria, I’ve talked to people who lounge at a pool completely naked with their families!

  6. It’s true we’ve all seen our grandmother in her skivvies countless times. Which is funny, given how REPRESSED she is about everything else! Methinks DB has a little exhibitionist in her. P’raps she’s Austrian?

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