Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's that smell?

You know there’s trouble when you can smell it before you see it

The bad smell started about a week ago.
After a lot of rain, I thought that perhaps my car had a leak and water had got into the interior.
Every time I got in to go somewhere, I was hit with this strange stench that was gradually getting worse.
I looked for a leak, but found none.
I looked for a dirty nappy that perhaps had been left in the car, but found none.
What I did find was a week-old cheerio.
You know those cute little red sausages kids love to eat at birthday parties?
One of those (thankfully still wrapped in a plastic bag) was shoved down the side of my daughter’s car seat.
I had bought some for her while on a shopping trip and she had been snacking on them when we drove home.
It didn’t occur to me that she hadn’t finished them all.
It’s another milestone of motherhood because funny smells are part and parcel of raising children.

First there’s the funny smell when your waters break, then there’s the funny smells coming out of your baby’s bottom, then you have to deal with the smell of breast milk and baby vomit, followed by even worse nappies as they start eating solids.
Sweat smells start early on too, but peak during the super active toddler and school years.
Day care centres and kindergartens have their own unique smell – a blend of sweaty kids, cleaning agents, stale sandwiches, bananas left in bags, glue pots, paints and reheated lunches.
Eventually your kids reach puberty and it’s time to buy your son his first bottle of Lynx because BO is bad – very bad. Same goes for bad breath.
When you think about it, there are so many “yuck” moments when raising kids, it’s a wonder any of us even consider it.
Life was sweet when my husband and I used to put on our leathers, get on the back of his bike and just ride.
Seems like a very distant memory now.
But on the back of that bike, would we have smiled as much as we did when our daughter took her first steps, or when she giggled at playing peek-a-boo, or when she would shout out “Honey Dats!” every time we drove past Hungry Jack’s?
Every parent has memories like these, and I’m sure they’ve got their own smelly stories to tell.
Like the time I found my daughter had taken off her nappy and painted the cot with poo. Most parents I know have experienced this “Oh my freaking God, what have you done?” moment.
Another one is the time my daughter and her bestie decided that a pillow that had a hole in it was no good anymore, and had to be destroyed. We found them pretending to float on clouds as pieces of fluffy fibres lay strewn across the living room.
While our tempers flare when our kids get up to mischief, they are really just a blip on the radar of daily experiences we have with our children.
And despite the smell in my car, the sweaty school uniform, the nappies from her younger sister, the banana left in her lunchbox and the forgotten swimming bag with wet towel and togs, life wouldn’t be the same without my children and the smells that come with them.


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