When the nurse hands us our newborn and we’re first introduced to their various smells, we’re both enchanted and disgusted. Their “baby smell” is intoxicating. So intoxicating that after our children grow out of it, we resort to carrying other people’s babies, just to get another whiff; sometimes holding them until we reek of nostalgia.
When Babyface was a baby, I could always tell the mothers from the non-mothers, as they passed by. Sometimes the mothers would slow down as they neared and sometimes I could even hear them take in a deep breath. Anything just to get a fix of that baby fresh scent that so many have tried and failed to bottle in shampoos, soaps and antiperspirants.
Babies’ smells float along a long spectrum of good and what a new parent might describe as pure evil. I’ll never forget the first time I smelled one of my daughter’s stinkers. It was like someone had opened the door to an overflowing Porta-Potty, shoved me in and locked the door. The smell got caught in my nose for another 4 hours, invoking waves of nausea. I was imprisoned by the stench of breast milk and formula poop. Who would have thought it could rival my husband’s red-meat farts?
I tried everything to block that smell: deep breathing in a steamy shower, Vicks VapoRub applied under each nostril (not much different from a crime scene worker) and even a surgical mask. Over time, I got used to the foul smell. It became a part of my daily life. Still, I longed for the day that my daughter would go poopoo in the potty.
As time passed, she went from infant diapers, to pull-ups and, finally, to being fully potty trained. She’s still only four, so I often have to wipe her butt after a real doozy. Only now, I don’t wince when I wipe her. And, it’s not because her sh!t doesn’t smell. It’s because her sh!t doesn’t “stink”.
I now realize that, someday, she’ll stop letting out stinkers in our house. Someday, it will become only a rare occurrence, on holidays and special occasions. Someday, she may not even stay long enough to let “that” smell loft through the house.
If you’re a new parent, put away the sh!t-smell blockers. Someday, you’ll miss smelling your child’s sh!t.