What’s That Smell?

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For an entire afternoon, I searched for a very bad smell that seemed to be following me everywhere. It wasn’t until later when I realized…

Yep, it was me.

Isn’t that the worst? Deny if you must, but I’m sure we’ve all been there. Or been “it” for that matter.

Nobody wants to admit being the source of the bad smell. But it happens. So I feel obligated to admit it when it happens to me. I’m occasionally the bad smell. I might as well fess up. There have been times when I’ve skipped a shower, forgotten to apply deodorant or when I’ve passed the point of being able to deny a passing of gas or blame the person next to me – with a straight face anyway. So what? Bad smells happens to everyone!

And since becoming a mom, the smells are far worse than they used to be. I’ve smelled of sour milk, formula, strained peas, vomit, urine, day-old apple juice. Show me a mom who hasn’t?

But this time was worse. It was poop. Gross, I know! Let me explain…

My daughter is going through a pre-potty training phase where she often feels the urgency to rip her diaper off and run around. Ordinarily, this is adorable and funny. If watching a toddler run bear-butted and free, giggling in joy, doesn’t bring a smile to your face then you’re simply not human, or you’re probably not the child’s mommy anyway! Toddler tushies are priceless and, yes, I’ve taken photos and even video of my own toddler’s tush. I hold myself back from posting the pictures in any public forum, on FaceBook or showing them off to friends and strangers. But I have them and I plan to keep them. Someday I vow to embarrass her with them.

But this particular time wasn’t quite so adorable. This time, the diaper was full of poop when she tore it off and before I had a chance to stop it from happening it was already all over her, me, our clothes and everything else!

Of course we removed the soiled clothing, soaked, showered and scrubbed the poop off. Then while she napped (pooped from all the pooping, I guess), I scrubbed the floors and walls. Then I showered again.

It wasn’t until later – much, much later, when I realized I must have missed a spot. And, for the record, there’s no such thing as missing just a spot when the topic is poop because that “spot” followed us around all day. It was everywhere. To be honest, I did not think for a second that it was me. But it was.

While Lyla slept, I continued to clean and disinfect and even lit a candle and opened the windows to air out the place. When she woke up, we went for a long walk on the beach and every now and then I swore I still smelled it – when the wind was just right. I didn’t think much of it, thought it was my imagination rather than a real lingering smell. Later, we ran a few errands together and made a trip for groceries. I’d put the moment and the smell behind us. Or at least that’s what I thought. But in the supermarket, I smelled it again. And others smelled it too. I saw them scrunching their noses in the classic ‘what’s that smell?’ fashion. I scrunched mine back as if to say I smelled it too. Still not wanting to go back home post-poop-episode, we decided to grab a smoothie and a Happy Meal (Lyla loves fries, but who doesn’t?). I swore I smelled it in line, but ignorantly assumed it was someone else. Finally, after enough time had passed for the coast to clear, we went back home.

Then the doorbell rang. It was UPS ironically dropping off a shipment from diapers dot com.

I answered and I could tell immediately the UPS guy smelled it too. He didn’t even try to hide his expression as he literally turned his nose up at me. The smell must have smacked him right in the face when I opened the door. Or maybe he saw the actual spot. He didn’t say one way or the other so I still can’t be sure. Although unlikely, it’s entirely possible because as it turns out he came face to face with it. In fact, his face was almost as close to “it” as mine.

After signing for the package and shutting the door, I noticed the smell was still there. I must have missed a spot, I thought to myself. But where? It seemed to have been following me around all day. That could only mean one thing. It had to be on me.

That’s when I realized a teensy tiny speck of my child’s feces was on my glasses. It had been there the whole time. I’m not entirely sure how it got there or how I failed to notice it. It must have either splattered up onto the wire frame of my glasses (better there than in my eye!) or perhaps my daughter touched my glasses (better them than my face!) with her poopy hands while I focused on cleaning her up. I’d obviously removed them from my face prior to showering but didn’t even think about checking before putting them back on my face. Why would I? To my knowledge, I’ve never before had poop on my own glasses. But there’s a first time for everything, I guess.

So the spot I’d missed was literally right before (or beside) my eyes the entire time.

Next time I smell a bad smell, I’ll know to check there first!

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