Sunday, September 13, 2009

the paddly pool of eden

The word spread around the park yesterday: "There's water in the paddling pool!" We heard it at the cafe at the top of the hill and by the time we got there, not only was there water in the pool but the fountains that fill it up were still on. The spud was delighted.

Nobody else at the pool had left their houses with swimsuits or towels either; there were already half a dozen or more children larking about, none of them wearing a stitch of clothing. We stripped the spud down to his birthday suit and he trundled happily off to rescue leaves. I helped him and some new friends make leaf boats and as we floated them, more and more people filed in.

At some point the word must have spread outside of the park as the families that began arriving were carrying towels and swimsuits and the balance of naked to clothed began to shift. Some of the original parents responded by putting their children into pants or t-shirts, but the spud refused all clothing and eventually was the only one left without any clothing on at all.

He bounced around and ran about and made friends and talked, completely happy in his own skin. I was sitting dreamily in the sun, pondering what age it is exactly that we start needing to be clothed in public and being all Motherly-lovey about my happy little spud when I noticed that he was crouching down in the water with a look of extreme concentration.

I don't know what was worse, the fact that I knew he was doing a secret pee or the look from another Mum who was clearly thinking that he was playing with himself in public.

Needless to say, I hustled him into some clothes and we slunk off home pretty damn quickly, metaphorical fig leaves clutched firmly over all the parts that matter.

.

17 comments:

Elsie Button said...

As i began reading this, i thought 'but what if he accidentally poos!' (as betty probably would). You see, it could have been worse! sounds really lovely tho

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Oh my goodness...I thought he was going to poop too! At least it wasn't that, right?

Elsie is right...it could have been worse! :-)

Hot Cross Mum said...

And long may he continue to run around in the nip! My boy did a poo in the sandpit while on holiday after recently being potty trained - ooops! Award for you at mine. Enjoy.

Carol said...

I thought it was going to be a poo too!!

It's lovely when they are completely unselfconscious :-)

C x

Nicola said...

I loved having my boys run around naked when they were little - but it is really frowned upon in the US. We only had a public garden - and even if they had no pants on but a tshirt in the paddling pool, people would give us a hard time. Same at the beach. Horrible really - because it was all so innocent and I can only imagine the pleasure in running about starkers with complete freedom. Glad spud got to do that - albeit that his freedom was cut short following his wee!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

How cool! I was surprised that everyone let them run around nekkid - ARE people more comfy with nekked children outside the U.S.? Who knew!? But I think it's cute as could be, and :P yeah I thought he was pooping too, how funny though! :)

Maternal Tales said...

I keep wondering about that too - at what age is it ok for them to still run around naked? My two just love it and my eldest (now 5) will take her clothes off at every available opportunity. Sometimes it's funny (in your own garden with friends and a paddling pool), not so when parents of friends come over who you're meeting for the first time...

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Mine are constantly waving their willies at all the people leaving the mosque opposite - so embarrassing but I think they do it to wind me up so I'm ignoring it at the moment.

Award for you at mine. x

Potty Mummy said...

As your other commenters have said; count your blessings. It could have been so much worse!

Michelle said...

How fun to be the Spud and so comfortable in his own skin!

Iota said...

I thought nakedness was unacceptable at whatever age, these days. I'm glad you live somewhere where there is still some freedom.

Anonymous said...

There is a strong streak of his Great Aunt Patricia in that lad! Back in the 30's in England it was usual for kids up to about 4/5 to be naked on the beach. It beat sand inside the swimsuit any day.
Mum

DJ Kirkby said...

Now you've let me down here, I was betting poo for sure but I see that you are back to pee posts! Hilarious anyway and I loved your last sentence!

Dawn/LittleGreenFingers said...

I think we must have naturist tendencies as mine seem to rarely be clothed in summer. Only a fortnight ago my four-year-old son stood at the top of the slide, stark naked, dancing to Abba. The slide (and music) were in our own garden, but then again, he does also stand naked at his window waving to fellow villagers as they walk by. Hmmm...

Rob Clack said...

I still love being naked in our garden, though it's hard to pretend I'm the delightful picture of innocence I was at 3 years of age with long blond curls!

lady macleod said...

OH I miss the 'naked days' in Central Park with Q. She and her best friend Casey, born within a week of one another, would frolic with great joy in the fountains and on the grass - falling into exhausted dreams of childhood on the blanket afterwards.

We only ever ran across one poor disapproving soul whose life I can only assume was filled with disapproval and disappointment.

What is lovelier than those lovely children flying about in freedom and joy of life? If we can't appreciate that anymore we need take a refresher course in joy.

rosiescribble said...

That's brilliant. I had a feeling it was going to be so much worse!