Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle has a great post up today about the best kid smells of all time. His top four are fairly predictable choices: baby shampoo, graham crackers (which he has “considered crushing” into his kids’ hair – no doubt to get high off mixing baby shampoo and graham crackers), suntan lotion and “baby head.”
When my daughter was born, a few friends came over the day we brought her home from the hospital. One friend in particular, a hilarious and oddball native New Yorker named Jenny, could not wait to sniff my brand-new baby’s tiny bald head. I didn’t quite understand the fascination, but I figured as long as she was supporting her neck whilst getting her fix, it was harmless – just another cute quirk of hers. I couldn’t grasp the level of aromatherapy Jenny experienced kissing my daughter with her nostrils, but in Hartlaub’s words, baby head is a powerful amalgam of “talcum powder, sunshine and Christmas morning.” Makes me wish my nose worked better. Yes, I’m one of those allergy-ridden, rehabilitated former mouth-breathers. (Charmed, I’m sure.)
But the thing that intrigues me most about Hartlaub’s musings is that he confesses to liking the combined odor of “Cheerios and pee.” He says his audacious statement sparked “one of the most bitter comments section exchanges in The Poop history,” but what do readers expect on a blog called The Poop? Don’t worry, Peter, I can relate. I love the smell of baby poop.
If you’ve continued reading, I’ll assume you’re not squeamish enough to be bothered by the scatological. And really, what parent should have qualms about poop? We spend years mired in the stuff – especially those of you brave and eco-friendly enough to use cloth diapers. It gets on our hands, in our hair (raise your hand – I know you’re out there!) and in my house, on the walls. Poop is a major part of parenting, a daily reminder to me about how simple life can really be if we let it.
A commenter balked yesterday at my admission of having to give my daughter prescription Miralax with breakfast – but any parent who has dealt with toddler constipation knows just how trying it can be. Which is why, after months of crying over my daughter’s inability to drop a deuce, my favorite baby smell is synonymous with Hartlaub’s blog. To paraphrase Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, “I love the smell of poop bombs in the morning.” They smell like a parenting victory.