Not Berkeley Enough

My household has a running joke about Berkeley Parent Pointsâ„¢.

Berkeley Parent Points (BPP) is the creation of my partner. Basically, it’s based on the stereotype of what most folks think about when they think of a Berkeley parent. It’s a blend of hippie/yuppie culture that lends itself to how you raise your kids. No TV? You get extra BPPs. Do you feed your children only organic baby food? You get a BPP. Extra, extra points if it’s homemade vegan baby food made in a solar-powered food processor.

In our house we lose BPPs for using disposable diapers. Letting them eat pizza, fries, and ice cream on occasion knocks us down too. However, we do gain some BPPs too. They watch a Yoga Kids DVD. The majority of the food they eat comes from our mostly home-cooked dinners. The majority of the fruits and vegetables we eat are seasonal, and come from our CSA (Community-supported Agriculture) farm. We don’t spank our girls. Their reading material is very consciously multi-ethnic. We also have clothes and toys that run all through the gender spectrum (it’s amazing to witness the wrong assumptions about our children’s sex just based on the clothes they wear).

So as you can see, having BPPs isn’t always negative thing. There’s a lot to be said about doing things to try and raise queer-friendly, world-conscious children.

One of the BPP+ things I do is to be naked around my girls. I really want to reduce the shame around the naked human body. With our culture’s obsession with shape, size, color, age, etc., etc., etc., I want to get my viewpoints in before they’re drowning in mass media about it. People look different. There should not be a standard of beauty, no default setting for what a person should look like. My nudity around them is my contribution to that. I want them to know what this particular male looks like nude. I figured that one day they’d tell me when they didn’t want to see me naked anymore. That day would be a wonderful assertion of their independence.

I didn’t figure that I’d be the one pulling back“as it were.

I bathed with them when they were infants. It was fun splashing in the tub with my two girls. We’d play with the toys. I’d pick them up and splash them with water. However, during one bath, Roomba accidently got her toe caught in my Prince Albert piercing. Roomba was fine. Daddy stayed out of the bath after that. I figured there were still other instances where I could safely be nude (yeah, start giggling now). I was brushing my teeth one morning after showering when mom brought the girls to use the potty. I was still naked when Scooba saw daddy’s shiny ring hanging from his penis. Reflexes saved me from having it pulled taut, but she did manage to give it a good flick. Sorry kid, but that was very, very non-consensual.

Daddy’s keeping the PA, but he’s rethinking the nudity thing.

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