Friday, April 13, 2007

Let's (Not) Get Naked

We realized early on that one of the drawbacks to becoming parents was that while children often enjoy Naked Time if it involves them running around bare-bottomed and swingin' in the breeze, our own Naked Time would be severely curtailed. We would probably even have to, we speculated, wear pajamas to bed.

We are naked sleepers, you see. We've never routinely worn clothes to bed, the whole time we've been together. If I am cold, I will attempt it, but what usually ends up happening is I wake up tangled in the middle of the night and shuck everything off in frustration. Max never wears anything to bed, and I have occasionally had to remind him that naked sleeping is inappropriate when we have company for the night or when we're guests somewhere. Naked may be a comfortable state, but only for the naked person. When your sister comes in to wake you up in the morning and ask where you keep the coffee or you have to use the bathroom right outside your friends' bedroom door, it's better to be clothed.

We like our Naked Time. We are not hang-out-around-the-house-naked people, but we will often wander around naked for a few minutes after a shower or get a snack on a sleepless night without putting clothes on.

My parents slept naked. I know this because once in a while they'd leave their bedroom door open a crack, or in cases of dire emergency I'd have to violate The Forcefield of The Master Bedroom Doorway and come in to tell them that my brother was bleeding all over the front porch or I had "accidentally" just smashed the obnoxious neighbor kid's toe with a brick. So one or both of them would get up, and they would be naked, my parents, adults, naked. I don't think I was necessarily grossed out, but I remember thinking pretty much every time it happened, Jesus, can't you people put some fucking clothes on?! I didn't really want to see them naked (or in their underwear), and I wore pajamas to bed, so I figured it was only fair that they should, too. Max has expressed similar sentiments about his parents. Much as we both respect our parents as people and realize that they exist as more than just "our parents," we both wish they would've worn pajamas.

Of course, now that we're about to be on the other side of this issue, we both wonder if we'll be able to manage it. Naked sleeping is so...comfy. The cool feel of sheets against bare skin (or the soft warmth of flannel sheets in the winter), the pleasant unemcumbered slide beneath the covers, the ability to wriggle and turn and twist into a comfortable sleeping pose without restraint. Whenever I try to give pajamas a go, I wake up with tank-top straps digging into my skin or twisted around my arms and breasts, lounge pants with the legs hiked and wadded up past my knees, t-shirts that have worked their way up and around my neck like a noose, nightgowns that catch on the sheets and trap me like a mummy. It is definitely not comfy. I remember that I used to sleep in pajamas, all the time in fact. I just can't remember how I did it.

We both feel pretty strongly about this, so I'm sure we will find a way to manage it. And if all else fails, we can always use it as leverage against our daughter when she's in Bratty Teenage Mode - "We have made sacrifices for you! We wore pajamas for your sake! Pajamas! To bed! Don't tell me I never do anything for you!"

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