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Naked Girl, And Her Trusty Sidekick Bare-Ass Baby

We had friends over for a play date
yesterday morning, and gravitated towards the game room and all our
ballet costumes – much like we do without a friend over.
We’ve got stacks of ballet skirts and leotards and tutus, and
Maddie and Cora will dress up at least once a day to do ballet,
putting on their ballet shoes, grabbing a wand, and often bedecking
themselves in jewels before turning on the Mozart and
choreographing their masterpieces.

This activity is all the more exciting for Maddie because of her
recent milestone- dressing herself. She’s been
“assisting” for quite some time now, but the past
couple weeks have seen a complete takeover of dressing time. Maddie
has a “get dressed” magnet on her responsibility chart,
and she refuses to place it on her daily square until she’s
gotten herself into her pjs for the night, completely solo. Of
course, the dressing and undressing thing has been practiced much
recently as she’s made the transition to using the potty
full-time, and I think the chance to be a big girl and handle her
clothes by herself was at least part of the reason for her
new-found potty interest.

Unfortunately, with Maddie’s newly discovered skill –
getting dressed – comes another, less-wanted (by the adults)

Getting undressed.

There I was with my friend Michelle,
happily lounging in the game room and catching up on a fellow
mommy’s life while our girls changed costumes in
Maddie’s room, when Naked Girl suddenly flew into our paths.

“Look at me, Mommy!” Maddie screamed as she jeted and
pirouetted through the room before streaking – literally
– back to her room. “I’m naked!” flew her
voice behind her.

“No s@#$!” I almost stammered.

I guess I hadn’t really realized that with the independence
I’ve been longing to see in my preschooler comes a small loss
of control over her. Sure, Maddie gets herself dressed now, but I
have less power to keep her that way. Not only that, but
she’s suddenly decided she can pick out all her own clothes.
I spent the weekend re-doing Maddie’s closet –
upgrading sizes, installing Elfa drawers (sale ends Monday!) on the
lower shelves so Maddie can reach her most-used clothes – and
when I revealed the finished product to my daughter she was
enchanted. She kept pulling the drawers in and out, and riffling
through the piles of jeans and pajamas.

What this means to our morning routine, though, is that Maddie will
begin selecting a top or bottom, politely but firmly usher me out,
then get herself ready while I pray fervently on the other side of
the door that the clothes are at least on the same side of the
color wheel.

All of this wouldn’t be so bad, except that everything Maddie
does, Cora wants to do as well. Which means I’ve now got a
toddler who pads over to her changing table and begins pawing
through each drawer, saying an emphatic “nope” to every
outfit I hold up for her approval. “Want Abby Dabby
shirt!” she’ll insist, nearly every day, digging
through my nice neat rows to find the shirt she wore just the day
before. It’s a similar battle over hair styles – Cora
waits to see if Maddie’s wearing pigtails or bows before
accessorizing similarly – and I have to say, it’s
getting a bit old.

The topper, though, is the naked thing. All it takes is a glimpse
of Maddie’s hiney racing through the house, and Cora’s
tugging at her bottoms saying urgently, “No pants! No pants,
pease, Mommy!” I cannot tell you the number of times
I’ve watched that toddler dance dressed solely in a diaper, a
pink tutu, ballet shoes, and turquoise necklace that drapes gently
around her baby belly.

I insist that the hineys stay covered – diapers or panties
firmly in place, thank you, I’m too much of a germ phobe
– but otherwise will often let the, um, unmasked duo run free
for a while. Lord knows they’ll be self-conscious and
critical of their bodies soon enough, so I let them luxuriate in
the joy of their innocent abandon while they can. I do draw the
line at dining naked, so clothes come back on for lunch.

Wiping yogurt off of fingers is bad enough. Out of belly buttons
– blech.


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