Don't stress bath time chats with your boys
IT'S not often I can identify with a celebrity, but when I read about how Carrie Bickmore showered with her 9-year old son and hadn't realised there was anything wrong with this until friends pointed it out, I knew exactly where she was at.
I too have a son and for years we bathed together at the end of the day.
In much the same way that Carrie said showering with Ollie was her favourite time of day, I too looked forward to what became a bit of a ritual in our household.
Sitting in the bath (thankfully it was a big one) we would have no distractions, there would be no phones to play with, no calls to take and no one else to worry about.
Not to glorify it too much, but it was kind of like our little bubble, our retreat from the world. We lay in a cocoon of warmth and chatted about anything and everything, we cleansed our minds from the day at the same time as physically rinsing our dirt away.
It was only one day when I was talking to someone about a discussion my son and I had in the bath and she baulked at that fact that I stopped to think about the implications of these baths. I had never once even thought about the fact that we were naked together, it wasn't something that concerned me in the slightest.
We were bathing, we had to be naked - how else would we get clean?
To me sexuality and nudity do not go hand-in-hand. When I am naked it means that I have no clothes on, it does not mean that I am in any way "flashing” my body or behaving in a sexual manner.
Being sexual is not about how I am dressed, but rather how I am feeling or what I am doing. I do not feel sexual every time I get dressed, when I have a shower or when I go to the doctor for a pap smear and have to remove my clothes. The state of my dress has very little to do with my sexuality.
Added to this the fact that the majority of boys will have seen their first pornographic image by the age of 11, I can't helping thinking it's good lesson for my son to learn early on that not all women look spectacular naked.
If the naked image he assumes is "normal” is a woman whose body may not be perfect but is perfect at what it does, I think he's learned an important lesson.
My son is 16 now and although I don't remember when he stopped bathing with me, I know that he stayed with me long enough to learn some really important lessons.
And when he was ready, he just stopped coming into the bath with me. No fuss, no trauma, no complicated ending, no lengthy conversations - he just stopped.
Kids are awesome like that, they adapt and show us when they are ready to move along. All we need to do is respect them.
Now he showers. Alone. And all I can say to Carrie Bickmore is, enjoy the chats in that stress-free environment while you can.
Next thing you know those conversations are taking place while your child is learning to drive and you are holding on for dear life and muttering encouragingly. Nudity isn't scary, learning to drive is.
Lana Hirschowitz is a blogger, writer and reforming toast lover. You can follow her on Facebook.