Why I Let My Kids See Me Naked
The truth is, growing up, I did not always respect my mother’s openness with her body, the way she kept the door open when she changed or went to the bathroom. I certainly did not approve when I noticed that she was bra-less under a T-shirt. Maybe the hateful derision crept in when I was a teenager, suddenly and keenly aware of my burgeoning sexuality. I didn’t see her openness within the context of community, or say, in the function of nursing a baby, or soaking in the waters of a centuries-old bath house. It is really only since being in Asia, and certainly since becoming a mother myself, that I have cleaned house in terms of my old beliefs about the body.
Living in Tokyo, my husband and I take our kids to the public baths sometimes but, more importantly, we have adopted its lifestyle at home. My daughter is five and a half and my son is almost three years old. It began when my girl was just an infant—after a baby’s first month, doctors and midwives encourage parents to bring her into their own bath. And this is what we did. We bathed with her, the special Japanese way, supporting her small neck, while gently folding her ears back to not let in any water. The other hand used a feathery cotton gauze to clean eyes, scalp, and all of those fatty baby folds in her impossibly soft skin. Both of my children learned to be comfortable in deep bathtubs very early on, also learning buoyancy and the weightlessness of trust. We never really used our baby tub.
Source: Brain Child Magazine
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