I am feeling like a change of pace is needed, so yesterday I decide to pick M up from school in lieu of the baby. On the days that I get to pick her up, the conversation typically involves her ratting out all the bad things that the other kids did at school that day. However, yesterday’s commute-versation hit me with the surprise of Tyson’s roundhouse to Alan in the Hangover.
One generation removed from the flower children of the ’60s, I find myself struggling with the notion that my three-year-old daughter is a would-be nudist. (see https://thehenderson.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/is-my-daughter-a-nudist/ ).
Yesterday afternoon I am doing some cooking out on the grill and it was still in the upper 90-degree range, so I decided to hop in the pool while the grill heated up. Of course nothing gets by M, and she had already noticed that I am wearing a swimsuit despite my best efforts to conceal the fact. I had not been outside for more than two minutes when I hear the faint rumblings of her little hands banging against the glass door. Knowing full and well that she will not give up, and that the glass pounding is only going to intensify, I relent and let her come outside with me.
Not being able to withstand the heat any longer, I step down into the refreshing pool a couple of steps and of course M had a radar lock on me. She immediately has both feet in and is standing on the top step holding her somewhat 1960’s era throwback dress up around her thighs so that it did not get wet. Of course she is not going to be satisfied with just getting her feet wet. She is so close to reaching her goal of swimming that she will not be denied. I tell her that she can not swim because she will get her dress and panties all wet. I am thinking that will halt her progress, or at the very least, send her back inside to hassle Mommy about putting on a swimsuit.
As I expected, she steps back out of the pool and heads back toward the house. However, what happens next is NOT something that I expect. I turn around to look over at the grill to see if I still have a few minutes to enjoy the water when I hear this almost wicked little cackle from behind me. I whip around toward the pool steps to see my toddler wearing the exact outfit that she was born in. That’s right, she is standing there completely naked on the top step to the pool maniacally giggling. She is oh so proud of herself. All that she is missing is a peace symbol-laden headband and a hand-rolled joint and we would have a Woodstock re-creation.
I immediately break out laughing. It has to be the cutest, funniest thing she has done in a while. Of course, I can not deny her access to the pool, so I let her experience her first skinny dip. In fact, I have not even skinny dipped in our pool, so she is crossing new boundaries all around. I swear I can hear Jimi Hendrix wailing out the Star Spangled Banner on his axe. I can smell the marijuana in the air as freedom and love flow through my veins.
After a quick “swim” (she does not know how to swim yet, so Daddy floats her around as if she were swimming) around the pool I land her back at the steps and we both get out of the pool. (If I don’t get out, she won’t either). I wrap her in a towel, stick a flower in her hair, and send her in to regale Mommy with the tale of her freedom swim. Needless to say, Mommy is not very happpy with M…or Daddy for that matter.
I continue to chuckle to myself as I unconsciously flip sweet corn and chicken on the grill. I had hoped that the whole nudity phase was coming to and end, but now I can’t help but wonder if my sweet little daughter could be Janis Joplin or Gypsy Rose reincarnate…