Many an exasperated mother has told her son or daughter, "Someday you'll have a child of your own just like you, and then you'll see." I'm afraid my someday has come.

My parents are fond of telling stories about my behavior as a youngster. (Oddly, they don't tell many stories about my sisters' behavior. Either their behavior was unremarkable or they don't remember. Probably the latter.)

One of their favorite stories is unofficially titled "Lady Godiva." As the story goes, when I finally mastered the art of undressing myself as a toddler, undressed became my preferred state. My mother would dress me and fifteen minutes later I'd come back without any clothes. After several attempts to keep clothes on me, my parents finally just let me run around naked. Being we lived on a farm out in the middle of nowhere, I guess they figured clothing could be optional. And, as I now understand, some parent-toddler struggles aren't worth the fight.

Well, one day, an insurance salesman drove into our yard and I came streaking around the corner of the house to greet our visitor wearing nothing but my long, blond hair. The insurance salesman introduced himself to my parents and then said to me, "And you must be Lady Godiva."

The salesman's label stuck. Lady Godiva was mentioned many times in the years after, most often in potentially embarrassing situations. After my courting years came to an end, Lady Godiva wasn't mentioned much anymore. I had all but forgotten about her until one day this summer when our son brought the memory back.

Dan's sandbox is inside a fenced enclosure on our patio, just outside our kitchen window. He can play in the sandbox while I work in the kitchen - it's a perfect arrangement.

One afternoon, I glanced out the window to check on him and found he had removed his socks and shoes. This was pretty common for Dan. He has an obsession with being barefoot. He takes his socks and shoes off in the car, while he's sitting in his stroller in the barn and insists his socks be removed when we take his shoes or boots off after coming in the house.

I turned my attention back to my chores and left Dan to play barefoot. The sounds of tractors and dump trucks motoring around the sandbox drifted in through the window. Every once in a while, Dan would call me to the window to show me the sand pile he had made or the hole he had dug.

After some time had passed, I realized there were no longer any sounds coming from the sandbox. I rushed to the window to investigate. As most parents know, silence is never good - and sometimes very bad. This silence, luckily, was harmless.

There in the sandbox sat our little boy - naked from the waist down. His diaper and shorts were in a pile by his socks and shoes.

I didn't say anything. I just stood at the window and chuckled.

A little while later Glen came in and asked, "Do you know what your son is up to?" His tone implied that he thought parental intervention was required.

I told Glen I had assessed the situation and deemed it harmless. Dan was confined to the patio so unless someone drove into the yard, nobody would see that our son was only half-clothed.

Glen thought otherwise. "What if he gets, you know, sunburned?"

"There's enough shade there," I said. "Plus, his bottom is buried in the sand."

"He's going to get sand in his plumbing," Glen insisted.

"Ah," I said, "Sand will come out. I'm sure he's not the first little kid to run around naked."

I then told Glen the story of Lady Godiva.

"I guess the apple didn't fall far," was his conclusion.

Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 70 cows near Melrose, Minn., with help from their 2-year-old son, Dan, and their infant daughter, Monika. When she's not farming, she's writing for the Dairy Star. Sadie can be reached at gsfrericks@meltel.net.