All day I have been blaming my dog for passing gas when we are upstairs. I will look at her and say "Sophie! You Stink!" To which she puts her ears back and makes a run under a bed. Later, I realized that it was not the dog after all (but how could I apologize, she would have no idea what I was talking about) - it was my son's bedroom that smelled so terrible! I decided to investigate, and in doing so I started to think of my son from the moment I gave birth to him.
A mother loves a son like no other. I of course love my daughters just as much, but little girls come complete with fashion dilemmas and drama by the age of 2. Boys just love you back throughout toddlerhood. I thought of my little boy when he so chubby and sweet-always smelling of soap. His hand was permanently attached to mine when we would go anywhere and he was always generous with his hugs and kisses. A little son looks at his mom as if she is the greatest thing in the world--a little daughter looks at a mother as the person who made her wear this horrible purple dress and tights when she clearly wanted to wear the yellow one.
Boys grow though, and eventually they become 9-year-olds. My son would not give me a hug now unless I guilt him into it-and then it is simply a "back-pat" hug. You know the kind I am talking about, it is a protest hug. Homeschooling my children keeps me in close quarters with them 24/7. I have never smelled breath quite like that of my 9 year-old son's... I have to admit that it is something like that of a dog who has been dining on poop and dead birds all morning. He is also at the age where he can take a 45 minute shower but forget to use soap and that is apparent by the smell of wet dog that follows him out of the bathroom. He also has so much wax in those ears of his that we could eat for weeks on those potatoes he has sprouting in there! You may think this is disgusting, and you may think that I am a mother who just simply needs "monitor" her son's hygiene more closely--to that I would say "you must have all daughters!"
Any mother with a son knows that she has to remind them to brush and floss for longer than 2 seconds. Any mother with a son know that she much remind him to use soap when he bathes-all the while listening to the condescending "I know!" that a son yells back as if he is a pro at cleanliness. Any mother of a son also knows that there will be dirty finger nails in church, only two pair of underwear in the laundry after a full week, and the occasional smell of a dog fart when they walk past. It is not that I do not try to get my son to smell good by even reverting to brushing his teeth (with great force I might add) for him, or threatening to smell all body crevasses when he emerges from his bath, but it is just no use.
Not all are offended by his smell... the dogs loves it. When my son walks by I watch as our dog lifts her nose into the air and takes in deep glorious scents of him and then she walks behind him with a lovingly proud look on her face. She must think he is a long lost canine brother of hers. Other little boys do not mind either, and if you are the mother of a boy, you know what it is like to drive a few boys in a car with the windows rolled up for any period of time. I usually have to gasp for air and drive with the air freshener hanging from my nose.
So, I thought of my son from infancy to now as I started to investigate the smell coming from his room. I found 7 pair of dirty socks under his bed and 4 pair of dirty underwear that definitely showed the signs of continued use. I found dirty dishes and discarded tissues, I also noticed the guinea pig's cage-which was dry of water and food and smelled like the poor thing had died. I wonder if the guinea pig realizes all of her forced hunger strikes are really just the neglect of her 9-year-old owner. I realized that he did not always stink, and he will hopefully eventually stop stinking... but what I say is true, a son will hold his mother's heart for a lifetime--stinky bedroom and all! Until he stops stinking though, I will keep telling him to shower with soap, brush his teeth, change his underwear and to give me a hug!