Sunday, November 11, 2007

Clothing Optional

Collin got in the car at the bus stop Friday, looked into the back seat and said, "Are the twins completely naked today or do they have diapers on?"

This gave me pause, because I'm already a little sensitive about how much time they spend undressed... but come on -- they always have a diaper on! It got me to thinking though: why don't they wear clothes more?

Now, granted, this wouldn't even be an issue if I lived anywhere but Arizona. I mean, we're well into November and it's still in the 90's. It's hot outside, and I'm sure it's much cooler in nothing but a diaper.

Still, just because I can forgo dressing them, why do I? Last week my mom was helping me go through the twin's dresser, replacing everything they've outgrown with bigger sizes. She commented, "The twins have plenty of clothes! How come you always dress them in the same thing?" You mean a diaper? Even when I do dress them, I often just pull the next thing off the pile. Two of the same thing. No need to strain my brain.

So laziness is obviously a possible answer. But deep down I believe the root of this is more of a subtle variation on laziness: my extreme dislike for re-doing tasks. My typical day will explain this.

Get up in the morning. Take the babies' jammies off, change diapers. Now -- do I put outfits on them? I have to take them down and feed them breakfast. There's going to be oatmeal everywhere. They'll put bananas in their chairs and sit on them. They rip bibs off as the first bite is heading for their mouths. No, they'll eat naked, then I'll dress them.

But after a quick, messy breakfast it's time to rush everyone to school. Into the van, school kids and naked babies! When we get home I tie into cleaning up the kitchen, scraping food off the floors, hosing down chairs, washing dishes. By the time I finish, they're screaming for bottles and naps. So I plop them into bed and tell myself I'll dress them after naptime. It's pretty hot still anyway, and they love to cuddle with their blankets.

After naps, I change diapers and have another perfect opportunity to dress these cute boys... but, they're hungry. It's lunch time, and if you thought breakfast was bad! No, no... I better wait till after they eat again to put clothes on. But now we have to run to get Kate from preschool, so into the car the boys go -- again in nothing but diapers.

We get home. Lunch is a messier repeat of breakfast. There's more cleaning and distractions and honestly I don't usually make it back upstairs until it's time for nap number two. They get plopped down, no energy for dressing. A few hours later I rush into their room, grab them from their beds, throw them in the car and head for Collin's bus stop. Which brings us to 4:30 pm. We get home just before 5:00. Dinner is an hour away, followed immediately by a bath and bedtime. It would be silly to dress them now. What, just to undress them again? So around 7:00 the twins get dressed for the first time today... in their pajamas!

Now, here's where that extreme dislike of re-doing things comes into play. Let's say I dress them first thing in the morning. Like if we have to go somewhere in public where the twins might have to get out of the car. To keep them in clean clothes, I will have to redress them after each meal, and possibly more due to diaper leaks and drink accidents. I don't want to dress them more than once a day, and in my effort to do that, I generally don't dress them at all!

Here's the kicker though... I don't think the twins like wearing clothes. They fuss quite a bit when I'm dressing them. There's usually some chasing and holding down involved, but that's just babies, right? Today during church though, we looked over and Logan was pantsless! He had somehow shimmied out of his khakis and was moving up the aisle. We replaced the pants and figured it was some sort of freak accident, but no. Several minutes later, he shed those things again. Yeah, I think it's them. And now that I think about it, Kate spends an awful lot of time in nothing but underwear. Hmmm... My kids must not really like getting dressed, and who am I to tell them what to do? Their mother?!


Kristen said...

Ah, is Seth in his helmet again? I agree...I never dress Gunnar before breakfast, but I do leave his jammies on because if I don't then I feel like I have to give him a bath and I'd rather just throw the clothes in the wash then wash his chest, hands, legs and face off. But after breakfast I dress him and then he is stuck in dirty clothes after lunch throughout the rest of the day. Oh well, at least he is dressed cute. My mother didn't even brush my hair so he is already one up on that.

erin said...

Hey, I'm fine with half-naked diaper kids at home and in the car... less laundry and work for moms!... and if kids would rather be naked, why not?!
We have to practicly sit on Luke to dress him or put his diaper on... he hates getting dressed too.

melanie said...

No, Kristen... just an old pic of the twins. I thought it was cute and fitting!

Hailey said...

Oh Melanie, as usual, I marvel at the similarities in our lives right now. I find that if I don't get the girls dressed when I dress the other kids for school, it's so much harder as the day goes on. I tell people that two babies isn't really harder, but I'd say the dressing part is, because dressing two people that want to be naked IS actually very physically draining. Who knew?

Jenni said...

You know what? Anything to save a step or two or five in the day is fine by me! It really is a waste of time to dress them some days--I NEVER dress Austin before breakfast. Caden, on the other hand, ALWAYS wants to get dressed as soon as he wakes up! We're talking 6:45am...he;ll come into my room and say, "Momma--can I get dressed?"...sure kid, knock yourself you can imagine, he has learned to dress himself now as I am still lazily sleeping in bed at 6:45am most mornings while CAden wanders about putting his outfit together. He even layers---so fashionable!

Kelly said...

I often wonder if the pioneer ladies felt the same way, and let their babies run about either in the cloth diapers or maybe totally naked. Laundry was even harder back then, but maybe the social stigma of naked babies was also greater. I think it would be enough to make me go west and get enough land that my neighbors would be unlikely to see the nekkad children and judge me (unrighteously, of course).

tiffany knox said...

i just looked through some old christmas music and thought of our choir days
we miss living closeby\
I just had surgery and have some down time so feel free to write me !
I sure enjoy your blog you are so entertaining