Friday, January 23, 2009

Stinky Kids and Other Joys of Motherhood

My youngest son will turn twelve soon, and though I love him dearly, he produces some of the worst body scents ever known to man.

-I need to stop here for a second and warn my mother that I will be writing about gross stuff again this week. (She still hasn’t gotten over my remark about Hannah Montana little girl's underwear back in September.) Poop will be discussed in detail, so if you have a weak constitution… consider yourself warned.-

On the positive side, the boy is tall, athletic and has a metabolism that just won’t stop, so perhaps stinky-ness is just a side effect. Having never been a boy, tall, athletic and having a metabolism that creeps along at a snail like pace, I wouldn’t know.

To explain how bad it is, even as a little kid, if he went “number two” and missed wiping off one smudge on his cheeks, within in ten minutes, the whole house knews about it. It’s that potent.

About two years ago, the preadolescent “B.O.” kicked in. The child can be playing dead - in the snow - in his underwear - for two seconds - and if he didn’t put on his deodorant we can smell him from three feet away.

Unfortunately, he is still a little boy, which means he considers soap and water a waste of energy and would happily live in a world where toothbrushes and anti-persperant had never been invented.

Last year I got a call from the elementary school that my son stunk really badly and would I please come pick him up and take him home. (I’m not kidding, this really happened.) Sure enough, he’d missed a spot on his rear, and he’d somehow lost his container of extra-strength deodorant. The kid reeked.

I tried to use this as a teach opportunity, pointing out the importance of proper hygiene in a real world environment but he was unimpressed. He insisted that all boys smelled like this and plus it kept the girls away. Who can argue with that?

So, in my ever growing repertoire of morning chants, I now say: “Do you have you backpack? Your coat? Did you brush your teeth? Really? If I go look in the bathroom will I find a damp toothbrush?” (One time his toothbrush fell in the toilet and he threw it away. I didn’t find out for two weeks as he continued to insist that he was brushing his teeth everyday.) “And how about your rear? All clean? And your pits?”

You couldn’t pay someone enough to say that!

I have faith that someday he will decide that smelling good has its benefits and that attracting girls is more fun than repelling them. In the mean time I’m investing in a good pair of nose plugs.

Friday, January 9, 2009


My grandfather was quite the Renaissance man. He was an artist who used small colored tiles to create beautiful mosaics on furniture and walls. A music lover with a rich deep voice who was often conscripted with my grandmother into singing at funerals. A born salesman who could sell you an air conditioner in the dead of winter. And an inventor of sorts.

According to my mother, grandpa came up with a chemical formula for degreaser long before the oven cleaner was invented. Her family would go on vacation, check into a motel and grandpa would mix up his special solution right there in the bathtub.

Then he would bottle it, and head out to town looking for as many greasy spoon type diners as he could find. Once into a restaurant, he would get the owner to allow him to put some of his special formula on a corner of the grease laden grill, with instructions to let it set until he returned.

Thirty minutes later, Grandpa would be back and with a simple swipe of a sponge, the grease seemed to melt away like butter.

Unfortunately, Granddad didn’t have the money or the connections to market his product properly. And because of that, I am not the rich, oven cleaning solution heiress I was meant to be.

Like Grandpa, I too have had my share of million dollar ideas that eventually made someone else a fortune.

Yeast infections are a plague that women have had to suffer with since the beginning of time. (I don’t know this for sure. Do you know how hard it is to find any info on yeast infections and the cave woman?)

And of course, the treatment is simple. For a couple of years I was calling my doctor every six months for a prescription. He didn’t even have to see me. Just called it into the pharmacy. And since I could tell a yeast infection from say pink eye or a broken arm, I was pretty sure that every other woman could too.

So I called into one of the companies that manufactures other women’s unmentionables, and suggested they make a line of over the counter yeast infection treatments. I spoke to a young man who was probably nineteen and didn’t even know what a yeast infection was. And guess what? Three years later, everybody is selling OTC yeast infection medication.

That was me, my brilliant idea, but you think I saw a single penny of the profit? I even have to pay full price when I buy the stuff!

Or how about the GPS system’s for tracking down your teenagers in the car, your lost pet or your kid wandering around Disneyland. Yup, that was all me too!

I guess it’s just the curse both my grandpa and I carry.

Exceptional minds and empty pocket books.

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