You Have To Wear Pants In Public, Kid. It's The Law.

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
StockPlanets / iStock

As soon as he’s up and moving around, my kid asks me to take his pajamas off. That’s if he even wore pajamas the before.

This is also the case when we get home from going out. We walk in the door, and he kicks off his shoes and his pants, immediately.

He just isn’t interested in wearing clothes. My kid isn’t the only one; many of my friends with kids will give similar reports. So I usually don’t pay much attention to my kid and his lack of clothes. He can be as naked as he wants — in our own home.

The kids I see who love to be sans clothes are all around his age, so I wonder if it’s a toddler/preschooler thing or if it’s just a personal preference to certain kids. Honestly? I can’t say that I blame them for not wanting to wear clothes. Clothes are restrictive. You can’t always get comfortable, even in your sweats.

If it was up to him, my kid would go everywhere naked. With no qualms. He’s tried plenty of times, believe me.

One of our biggest fights is about getting dressed to go outside. Even if we’re going somewhere he wants to go, he doesn’t want to get dressed to go there. But I have a rule: If I have to wear pants, so do you.

If you have a kid who prefers the nude life, then you understand that, more often than not, getting them to get dressed (and freaking stay dressed) is a real struggle. Suddenly everything in their wardrobe is hot or itchy or ugly. So you just wrestle them into whatever is clean and looks coordinated enough. There have been moments of actual physical restraint because those little shits are quick when they don’t want to get dressed, especially when you are pressed for time. Getting dressed is a major disturbance in his natural lifestyle.

For the most part, he doesn’t seem to mind pants. I mean, he would prefer full nudity, but I can coax him into a pair of pants faster than I can convince him to put on a shirt. I know, for some kids, this is the opposite. Usually our morning conversations start with “Good morning Mommy, can you take my shirt off?” The pants may stick around for a while before he realizes and then wants those off too. He likes to strut around with no shirt on, his little chest puffed out proudly. I have to remind him that Target is not the beach and that he must put on a shirt. There is rarely a time that he’ll put on a shirt without complaint.

I often wonder what the issue with a shirt is, but I have never gotten a real answer. Sensory issues don’t seem to be involved, other than the “clothing is optional” trend. Maybe these little people are on to something that adults just haven’t figured out or forgotten. Wearing little clothing gives them a fuller range of motion to get down and (quite literally) dirty. My kid can run faster, climb higher, and get into more trouble the less he’s wearing. He also doesn’t have to worry about me nagging him if he’s not wearing a T-shirt. I don’t care if he gets chocolate ice cream on his chest or if he wipes orange Cheetos dust on his leg.

The biggest reason I indulge my kid and his nudist ways? He is so happy. As someone who is definitely into the no-pants life (in the comfort of my own home, thank you), how could I take away his happiness like that? If he’s comfortable and (most importantly) not fighting with me about something, I’m not going to interfere. You’re only little once, with no reservations about your body or society’s expectations. I’m going to let him relish in that joy while he can.

But once we leave the house, it’s no pants, no shirt, no service. Sorry, kid. If mom has to wear pants, so do you.