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Monday, April 28, 2008

Is Exhibitionism Innate?

As any mother knows, each morning is an adventure. If we're sitting in the car, ready to go with the appropriate school bags, practice equipment, etc. by 7:25, I consider the morning off to a roaring success. Those are the days the Indiana Jones theme song pops into my head as I pull the car out of the garage.

Once in a while an event occurs during a morning routine and my mind transcends into a deep intellectual issue, like are certain people born with an innate sense of exhibitionism? Is it a gender issue?

After preparing the daily breakfast for my picky eaters (they’re lucky I’m so adept in the kitchen), I check to see the “getting dressed” progress. Alex hasn’t moved from her bed – still hidden under the sheets. Cole at least has his covers shed, pants off and is laying buck naked on his bed. He doesn’t even attempt to move upon my entrance.

“Cole get dressed. Cover yourself.”

He looks at me blankly. “Hey Mom! Do you know what my dream was last night?” He carries on a normal conversation in his sweet little voice, expounding his latest dream of becoming Spiderman, with all of his junk hanging out.

“Wow. Just get dressed okay?”

Fortunately, once he puts his mind to it, he’s dressed in thirty seconds.

Now, on to Alex’s room. She has arisen from the bed and is in her closet. I ask, “How’s it going?” (Once in awhile she likes my help in choosing her outfits.)

“Mom! Get out! I don’t have a shirt on.”

Although she doesn’t remember that I’m the woman who gave her birth, changed her diapers, gave her baths up until a few years ago, she doesn’t want me to see her without a shirt on. Thank God. Who doesn’t want their daughter to have that sense of modesty?

As for Cole, I believe he does carry within him an element of exhibitionism. (“Mom, do I look like Anakin with my hair like this?”) But mostly, I think he’s plain comfortable with himself. He wasn’t trying to show off his junk to me. He just happened to have his pants off while needing to discuss his dream. I’m good with that.

Then, Alex comes out wearing a mini-skirt, leggings and heels I won’t let her wear. Perhaps she carries an element of exhibitionism also.

But at least she’s dressed.

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