Thanks to my daughter, a few strangers at the Gap now know that I wear Papa Smurf boxer shorts. I was trying on pants in the dressing room while my wife was occupying the peanut. When I called my wife over for her opinion on whether my new threads were a good fit, my daughter refused to enter the dressing room.
|Is Smurfy Sexy?|
Still refusing to listen, I grab my daughter's arm and pull her into the dressing room with a stern, "Get in here now!" She freaks out. I try to calm her down, for her, for me, and for the people overhearing this chaotic scene from the other dressing rooms.
I tell her I had to do it because "it's inappropriate for strangers to see daddy in his underwear" (Papa Smurf underwear, mind you).
She brushed me off, then moved on. Maybe she didn't think anything of it because my daughter herself finds every opportunity she can to take off her pants. I will come home and she will be lying on the couch watching television, in her undies. Or playing in her playroom. When does this start being weird? At what age? At this point, I think it's mostly a comfort thing. It's been hot out, and we don't turn on the air conditioning unless it's absolutely necessary.
But there have been times when we try to compel her to wear pants, leading to a tantrum.
Thus, I've invented a new term: the "temper pantrum:" when your child throws a fit because you're forcing them to wear pants.
That's an actual phone call I received from my wife one morning at work. "I'm going to be late for work because she was so difficult this morning." So I ask, "Why she was so difficult?" The answer: "Because she didn't want to wear pants."
I was speechless. What do you possibly say to that?
When I picked her up later that day, I asked the teachers, hypothetically, what they would do if we dropped her off in the morning and she weren't wearing pants. "That's fine," one of them politely responded. "We know you guys do your best."
If our best is sending our daughter out in the world half-naked, then we're in trouble, lady.
To take this from the ridiculous to the even more blog-worthy... one morning she and I were horsing around in her playroom. Wrestling on the floor. My wife was sitting on the couch, cheering us on. We were having a great time. Laughing out loud, tears in your eyes kind of funny. She'd jump on me. I'd tickle her. I was truly afraid for my safety at certain points because she was hurtling herself at me with such reckless abandon.
All of a sudden, she ran out of the room. Was she getting something? No... she was getting rid of something. Her pants. We played for another minute, and she ran out again. Now what? She returned without a shirt. We kept playing, she only in her underwear. I said out loud, through my laughs, "ok this is getting a little weird."
She left a third time. My wife, trying to catch her breath, simply coughed out forebodingly, "Oh, no..." I thought to myself, she's not going to come back naked is she?
Of course she is. "Honey," I attempted as our laughter reached hysterical heights. "Remember how daddy tells you sometimes that things are inappropriate? Like when you ask me to tickle (my mother-in-law)?" She's paying me no attention as she belly flops on top of me. I lift her naked kicking body, holding her above me like Supergirl and try to explain through her giggles. "You have to put your underwear back on," I say while repressing my laughter. Followed by the jackpot: "Wrestling naked is inappropriate."
You can't expect a four year-old to sit there and listen and comprehend everything you're saying, especially after you've gotten her riled up like I did. Especially when you're throwing around big words like inappropriate.
But my God... I hope that last lesson sinks in eventually and sticks for as long as possible.
Speaking of "inappropriate," click on this and read if you dare. But be warned: TMI. No... really. EXTREME TMI.