Eau de Eleven

27 Jan

bathroom drawer
The daily aroma aresnal

I don’t get anxiety about anything in life, but last week I admitted to my husband that I was really dreading the ride home after a recent cross country meet.  There’s never any drama about the meet results or how well anyone does.  For us it is all about the aroma of adolescence that fills the car as soon as the door is shut.  Now,  I totally know what Kurt Cobain meant when he wrote, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”   Oh wow, does it ever.

Remember the days when you’d bathe your baby boy and loved to smother your nose in his hair or skin to get that fix of Johnson & Johnson fragrance?  As toddlers, you might even catch a trace as they pass you by.

It was a huge learning curve for us when my first-born’s musk kicked in.  But we’ve been working through it for almost 3 years now, so it should be old hat, right?

Yet still for some reason, I was taken by surprise when I sat next to my younger son on the couch as he reclined in the hands-behind-his-head position and I realized I couldn’t breathe.  There it was — the unmistakable presence of pit stink — or as I call it, “Eau de Eleven.”  (Except, very unlike any fancy eau de parfume, this eau de toilette is not the kind of fragrance you would want to bottle, believe me.)  The days of enjoying the sweet scent of J&J has been replaced with wondering if I’ll even be able to breathe at all the next time we pass by.

It’s not that his hormones hadn’t made their presence known before that day.  It was more that I was in denial about having to implement the daily plan of attack.  The reality has set in that my baby boy, my youngest, my last remaining cuddle-buddy is taking yet another step deeper into the world of beasthood.  Now we have to make sure he implements his daily plan too, every day.  And with that plan in place, we are managing the newest olfactory intrusion — the body spray.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that the Eau de Eleven has dissipated.  Seriously though, can’t they make a cut-off valve or timer on this stuff so these kids are limited to how much they use?   Now when he walks by, I am really not sure what to expect.

With the older son, it was trial and error getting him to comply with proper tactics. And although there are still gaps in the implementation plan, he at least has a system he believes in and thankfully the body spray isn’t in his plan.  In addition to the shower, he has a 3-step application that he says works the best.  Hey, I am not arguing – at least he’s putting the deodorant on and showering daily, sometimes twice a day.   But alas, what we haven’t mastered yet is the importance of fresh clothes and washing the athletics uniform regularly, but that my dears is a different blog for a different day.

NOTE:  If your child is a different age, you basically substitute that number for “Eleven.”   So in the instance of being captive in our car after the cross country meet, the olfactory overload was compliments of  “Eau de Thirteen” since it was my older son’s glands at work.   Thank the Lord for sun roofs.

Parenting Tip: Encourage the successes and coach through the rest.   [2 Timothy 4:2   Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.]


The three-step method


One Response to “Eau de Eleven”


  1. Death of a backpack « Bringing Up Beasts - September 3, 2012

    […] out for his P.E. class.  So after convincing him that he should pack a set of gym clothes AND take deodorant, we went to his room to load up a drawstring backpack.  As we sifted through the closet, I found […]

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