Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wait...Did You Smell That?
As a teenager, I hated babysitting. I really did. I didn't do a whole lot of it, and when I did, frankly, it just wasn't worth the money. I was the fourth of five children, and my little sister is just two years younger than I am. As a result, I came into motherhood with very limited experience around children. To compensate for my lack of exposure to wee ones, I became addicted to parenting books. I read all the advice these books had to offer. I took most of it to heart, and put some of it into practice. However, no where in all the books and magazines I have read, did anyone ever make mention of, or give warning to all the smells of motherhood.
A few days ago, I found myself watching an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. For those of you who don't know, this show follows the host, Mike, around the country filming him doing various filthy and stinky jobs. At the end of the episode Mike than makes a pitch to the viewing audience to send in suggestions for future episodes. As a mother of two small toddlers, I wondered... how has Mike never done an episode on childcare? This has to be one of the dirtiest, stinkiest jobs on the planet.
There is no need to even discuss the obvious sources of foul odors that little children can produce. It is the unexpected sources of stink that each new parent quickly discovers. One of the worst offenders: neglected and lost bottles or sippy cups of milk. Egads, the thought alone makes me shiver. The smell of curdled milk is unmistakable. Once you have been exposed, you instantly know the scent once it hits your nostrils. The other day I detected a faint odor of bad milk in my house. I knew I had to find the offending cup before the situation became worse. I crawled around my entire house on my hands and knees looking for the wayward bottle. I looked under beds, in the couch cushions, in all the toy boxes. I searched under chairs and tables, I threw back the cover of each child's bed. Despite all my efforts I could not find the milk.
The smell grew stronger and seemed to come form the area of the kitchen/living room. I searched again and still no luck. I asked Rex and Olive where they had put their cups. Rex looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and said the fridge. I can tell you this much. This milk was not in the fridge. The smell grew slightly worse. By day five, I could no longer smell the milk. Once out of sight (or smell) it quickly became forgotten.
Yesterday, I decided to clean up my kitchen and the kids play area in our dining room. Over in the corner is the kids play food, grocery cart and kitchen set. On a whim, I decided to open all the doors and cupboards of their little kitchen. I opened the door to the little fridge and inside was a stray sippy cup. Right where Rex had told me it was. When I picked up the cup it actually felt heavy. I gave it a little shake and it was completely solid. Curious to the contents, I decided to look inside. The lid wouldn't even budge. The rotten, molded milk had cemented the cap onto the cup. I hesitated to try a little harder. Maybe a new form of cancer curing penicillin lay inside the cup. As I was debating, Olive wondered by and from her wafted an all to familiar and offending smell. The cure for cancer would have to wait. My kid's diaper was working over time and this was one smell that doesn't get better with time. As for Dirty Jobs; Mike Rowe, I challenge you to the dirtiest of all jobs...parenthood. You are welcome here anytime.