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Monday, February 20, 2006

From the dancing feet of babes

Somehow, with a title like that, I'd expect myself to launch into a story about a stripper, one with happy feet and fake breasts. I'd expect myself to launch into a tale of how this exotic girl taught me about myself by grinding on a greased pole to Motley Crue music. Instead, this is about the strip club at home.

My kid, like most kids I suppose, loves to get naked. We didn't teach him to run around with his wanger wanging about. We don't go to great lengths to avoid nudity around him or anything, but there is a level of modesty in the house that remains unspoken (for instance, the wife knows to keep the kid out of poking range when I...well, you know, when I first wake up in the morning).

And yet, nudity makes the kid happy.

That little fact and a few other things have made me think about the nature of humans. My kid, just now a year and half old, does a lot of things that we haven't taught him. While I know few people outside of my family care so much about my kid's nudity, I think what I'm learning has some meta humankind stuff to it.

Fear--We've not bothered to mention to the kid that anything is scary yet. Eventually we'll get around to talking about bad men and nympho middle school teachers. For now, though, with the exception of standing on the kitchen table and not climbing in the oven, we're pretty liberal parents. And yet, the kid is afraid of things. Without any direction from we adults, the kid has developed a fear of the Howard the Hoot Owl book and the vacuum cleaner.

Dancing-- Turn on the music, and the kid dances. Like his old man, he doesn't have any particular groove to him. But he dances a little Elaine dance around he room.

Blondes-- Find a blonde girl, and the kid wants to hug her, chase her, make her his own. From eight months to eighty months, the kid is chasing them everywhere.

Some things, I suppose, are just inborn. If there is anything I think I can learn from my kid, it is that is is okay to be scared, no matter how inconsequential the source of fear may seem. It's okay to dance, no matter how bad you are at it. As for blondes, well, I've learned to ignore that little trait.

Oh, and if I needed further proof of this inborn thing, the kid reminds me every time he gets naked.

Yeah, my kid likes to play with himself.

Go figure.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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