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The Scent of a Small Man

Growing up, I remember going into my brother’s room and thinking, “Boys kind of smell funny.” It always smelled funky in there though I could never quite pinpoint the reason why. I concluded that it was simply his maleness making his room smell as it did and I didn’t give much more thought to it.

In high school, boy smell took on a new meaning as the boys I knew started slathering on cologne and many of them even developed certain habits of good personal hygiene. By the time I met Dan, my perception had changed greatly and the idea of a stinky boy smell was a distant memory. Besides when I’m pregnant, I generally love the way Dan smells and when I’m pregnant I hate the scent of perfume, flowers, and most of my favorite foods. It’s really not his fault.

Then along came little baby Magoo. He smelled pretty much the same as Laylee, clean, fresh and baby-like with those strangely sweet smelling diapers and skin slathered in lotions and shampoos. I could snuggle and sniff him all day long. I still can. Sometimes I actually want to nibble him, in sort of a friendly way, not as much like a cannibal.

However, as he’s aged, although he personally still smells like a peach, the spaces he occupies have come to smell… not quite so sweet. The two main bathrooms he uses have a faint but constant smell of urine about them. It doesn’t matter how hard I scrub, what chemicals I use or which surfaces I hose down, the smell always lingers. When you walk into one of those bathrooms, you think, “Someone has urinated here.”

Now any civilized person who knows what a bathroom is for KNOWS what people do in there, but the hope of every good housekeeper is that her bathrooms will not constantly bear sensory reminders of those actions. My bathrooms do. If you ever forget what a bathroom is used for, just come into one of mine, take a whiff and you’ll remember straight away.

The reasons I blame this new sensory experience on Magoo are that the scent did not exist before he was potty trained and it still does not exist in the master bathroom which he rarely uses. I comfort myself that his personal person does not smell like pee and that when I married a man, my home did not begin to smell that way. It gives me hope that as he grows, the smell will shrink. Hope is good. Hope and air freshener.

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