My stinky children

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Can we talk B.O.?  Not the railroad or the First Dog, but body odor, people. And not mine, because I actually shower on a regular basis and wear deodorant. My children, on the other hand, not so much.  Yes, children, as in nine and eleven.  What in puberty hell is going on?  How can kids stink so badly?

I’m not joking.  My oldest son and oldest daughter both have horrific B.O., and have for a couple of years now.  I used to blame it on milk because they both drink gallons of the stuff a week, and somewhere in the hood I’d heard that it’s full of stench-causing human growth hormones.  So I switched to organic dairy, but after three weeks, with no change in aroma and quite a bit more cash out of my pocket, I went back to the steroid milk.

Then I talked to our pediatrician.  She said that they were both closing in on puberty and that this was one of the first delightful side effects.  She recommended frequent bathing and deodorant.  Right. She doesn’t have children.

First off, the aforementioned odiferous ‘tweens don’t think they smell.  Even though I almost pass out from their fumes whenever they enter the van after soccer practice (“For God’s sake, Son, don’t close the window!  Someone has to drive!”), they firmly believe it’s all in my head.  Secondly, none of their friends appear to notice either.  So until the object of a first crush refuses to go to CVS or DQ with my child due to his or her “bouquet,” we’re stuck with nagging and often begging them to shower.

Of course, we also have to remind them to use soap, not just water, and to then apply copious amounts of Teen Spirit or Axe Citrus once they get out.  If all goes well, we can expect to breathe clearly for about a day or two, or until the next sporting event in eighty-degree-plus weather.

Interestingly, my other nine-year old (twin brother to Miss Reeksalot) has no odor whatsoever.  He can play in the heat and humidity for hours and not see the inside of a shower stall for weeks, and still smells okay.  Sure his hair begins to stick up from the build-up of dirt and oil, but he doesn’t yet produce the bacteria that causes body odor.  I suppose it’s only a matter of time though.

And then, heaven help us.  Do they make B.O. detectors, like they do for carbon monoxide?  I don’t want to die in the middle of the night from the poisonous gasses emanating from my kids’ bedrooms just down the hall! Enough talk.  Something foul this way comes, and I think I know who.  Peace out.

Optional Pull Quote:

So until the object of a first crush refuses to go to CVS or DQ with my child due to his or her “bouquet,” we’re stuck with nagging and often begging them to shower.


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