We didnt have Tobys swimsuit with us, so I just stripped off his clothes and diaper without thinking twice. He scampered around starkers, happy as a clam, putting his toes in the water and running on the sand. After all, the beach wasnt crowded, there were mostly young families, and hes only two years old. Plus, our cousins and I had run naked around the beach a million times when we were little, so it seemed like a regular part of childhood. Totally par for the course.
That day, although the parents nearby were chatting with us nonchalantly, I noticed a few glances from other grownups. Maybe Im imagining it? I thought.
A few minutes later, we were walking down the beach, and I heard a group of young kids giggling and whispering, There goes the naked baby!
Wait, I thought with a forehead slap…was his nakedness a faux pas?
In the end, I decided to put his diaper on and let him run around in it, which was fine, even though it got heavy and soggy from the water. Of course, I didnt want to make people feel uncomfortable, and I didnt mind what he wore.
But it made me wonder…is it not socially acceptable to have a naked toddler at the beach? Maybe Im just used to swimming in my grandparents tiny village where everyone knows each other. Maybe its less appropriate when you dont know the crowd personally? Maybe this crowd was more reserved than elsewhere? Maybe its just less appropriate these days, in 2013?
Im so curious and would LOVE to hear your thoughts! Maybe also mention where youre from, since it might be interesting to hear if various states/regions/countries feel differently. (Regardless, Ill remember Tobys swimming suit next time:) Thank you so much!
(Photos by our friend Sharon when we were in Fire Island last summer)