Sunday, September 11, 2005

Naked Time

I remember hearing somewhere that it's necessary for babies to have naked time every day. It allows their skin to breathe, which is important, it being their biggest organ. Ours, too, for that matter.

Baby skin is so sensitive, and its regenerative power amazes me. Whenever Clara lightly scratches herself (because no matter how hard I try, keeping her nails short is a Sisyphean task), her skin repairs itself, flawlessly, in less than 24 hours. For a deeper scratch, it might take the cut as long as 80 hours to heal. Still, her SKIN! O.M.G. Gorgeous.

Naked time is a concept my sister-in-law, Celine, reveres. It was she who reminded me of the importance of naked time while we were visiting at my mom's house in Southern California.

David and I were aimlessly wandering around my mom's house, normally bored, as all parents vacationing with a new child for the first time are bored -- occupational hazard. It was around 3:30 p.m., the devil hour, and, of course, we could not figure out WHAT to do. I looked through the sliding glass door, into the back yard and saw Celine and a naked three month old Lou playing on a blanket under a tree. The sky was blue; the grass was warm; the shade was cool.

At the sight of them, I perked up. "Let's go play with Celine and Lou!" I said.

David, Clara and I tromped across my mom's back yard lawn, the ocean breeze caressing (I swear) our arm hairs. "Can we join you?" David asked Celine.

"You have no choice," I said, plopping Clara down on the blanket beside Lou. I took off her clothes and set her on the quilt a couple feet from her cousin.

Celine and Lou might have been bonding, but they were gonna have to do it with me, David and Clara, too. This is exactly the attitude that David would call my clueless one. Like maybe Celine wanted to be alone with Lou? I assumed she didn't want to be alone, which is what David might call my teacher attitude.

Anyway, we had a great time, the five of us. Clara and Lou sunbathed in the So Cal sun/shade, in their birthday skins. They looked as adorable as two naked babies on a heirloom quilt can look. Believe me, the look is the epitome of adorable.

Lou peed, and it got on Clara's leg. Celine wiped it off with a blue baby washcloth and Evian. Adorable. A memory for family gatherings in the future. Love it or leave it: That's family. My family -- we're of the loving-it/hating-it genre. It's an awesome mix -- the love/hate duo. Simultaneously those two feelings. Feels better than drugs.

Lately, I've been giving Clara naked time in her crib. She loves it and always chooses that time to let fly the pee. I don't think it hurts anything, really. But today David said, "You mean you've been letting her pee all over her mattress?"

"Yeah," I said, "but it's okay. There's a mattress pad waterproof underneath and the mattress underneath it that is plastic." Even I hardly understood what I'd just said. "Plus it's baby pee," I continued. "Baby pee's so pure you can drink it."

I guess I convinced him because the conversation went no further.

I've never actually tried baby pee, but I've contemplated it. And, I only let her pee in the crib three times before I make sure to remove the sheet and wash it. Oh yeah, and she doesn't actually sleep in her crib; she only plays in it. She sleeps in the king size bed with us...or in her swing. She's gonna grow out of this swing, soon, and I need to break her of the habit anyway. I'm sure that the swing has a narcotic effect on her. CAN'T HAVE THAT, now can we? No narcotic effects! VERY, VERY BAAAAAAAD.

Anyhooo. Soon we're gonna have to use the crib for sleeping. At that point, I will make sure that Clara has taken care of business BEFORE naked time in the crib rolls around.

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