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Naked Girl Returns

When Maddie was only a few weeks old, I
began a game every morning with her as she was dressed. In order to
distract her squirminess, I announce the arrival of Naked Girl,
timing the dramatic monologue to coincide with the removal of the
diaper. Then I’d say, “Naked Girl! Bringing a smile to
the world, one dimple at a time.”

Come on, you’ve done stuff just like this yourself;
you’re simply not bold enough or stupid enough to tell other
people about it.

Anyway, I’d then use the time while
changing the diaper to fill her in on the current installment of
Naked Girl’s exploits, also known as what she was going to be
doing for the day. As the fresh diaper was finally strapped in
place and the clothing began to go on, Naked Girl was once more

I haven’t done Naked Girl for many months now; Maddie’s
old enough that she chats it up on her own while we get ready for
the day, and she much prefers the game of Where’s My Head? or
Where’s My Arm? while getting dressed to listening to me
blather on. So I honestly didn’t think she remembered it.

On our most recent trip to the morning changing table, though, I
stripped off the night’s diaper with a bit of fanfare and my
daughter crowed, “Naked Girl!” Astounded, I said,
“Yes, Naked Girl’s back! Hurray!” She patted
herself happily all over her body, all the while saying,
“Maddie Naked Girl!”

Which is cute and sweet, and would be a decent anecdote in itself.
But alas, there’s more.

Maddie could not stop talking about Naked Girl the rest of the day,
and more importantly, desiring to be Naked Girl. She’d come
out of her room pulling her pants up above her knees saying,
“Naked Girl, Mama! Naked Girl!” “No, Maddie,
Naked Girl’s in disguise right now. It’s too cold to be
Naked Girl.” “No, Mama, Naked Girl!” she’d
insist, trying to unsnap her pants legs. And so on.

I do, of course, blame myself a bit for this. While we were on
vacation in September I heartily encouraged Naked Girl pretty much
any time we weren’t in the pool or at the beach. Fresh out of
a clean-up bath, Naked Girl would run around unchecked while Mommy
snapped roll after roll of film, praying that Naked Girl’s
lack of a diaper, while cute, wouldn’t turn out to be a
disastrous (and expensive from a room-service point of view)

But honestly, there’s not much in this world sweeter than a
naked toddler. Or better for blackmail down the line than pictures
of said naked toddler.

I guess this made a bigger impression on kiddo than I thought,
since Naked Girl is back in Maddie’s consciousness and she
can’t understand why it can’t happen all day, twenty
degree weather be damned.

And truthfully, if we didn’t have to pay for our own heat,
I’d probably crank it up and unleash the little


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