The scent of a newborn baby is my favorite scent in the world. That indescribably delicious scent fills my nostrils with sweetness and makes me wonder why I don’t have another one of those things around. I see one and I want to SNIFF, but I know mothers would freak out if I stuck my nose into their infant seat for a satisfying whiff. If I close my eyes, I can conjure up that scent in my mind, along with a symphony of memories of wonderment, pure joy and worship to the Lord who greatly blessed us with six of those highly scented wonders.
At first, that smell was marred only when they begin spitting up. Urp can be putrid, especially if you are wearing it. You’re aghast that one so sweet can burp themselves into the nauseating realm on a scale of smells.
To keep my babies smelling sweet, I bathed them daily and if I couldn’t, I’d wash their hair with Baby Mennen, the next best baby smell. If I had a projectile –urping baby, I carried extra clothing, sometimes even for myself.
This epic time of pure sweet-smellingness lasts only until they begin to consume anything other than breast milk. The moment their bowels begin churning out these other substances, their stool begins to smell. Ewww.
To combat this, I changed diapers as soon as they pooped. For blow-outs up to the ears, I skipped wipes (I couldn’t afford to use 1/2 box at a time, anyway) and held them under warm running water in the bathtub. It cleaned them, soothed them and washed their smell down the drain. I tied the most offensive diapers in bags before throwing them away, often taking them straight outside to the garbage can.
After 2 or 3 years of living, children’s breath begins to smell, especially if they are having nasal or sinus issues. You are amazed when your little toddler wakes up in the morning, runs in for an early morning start-the-day-right hug and knocks you over with their breath.
I began brushing their teeth and tongue more out of self-defense than out of hygienic motivation. You want to avoid involuntarily shrinking back when they cuddle up to tell you yet another fantastic toddler tale or smear your face with kisses.
Somewhere, in the years of pre-teens, their feet begins to stink, especially boys. The odor can be so rank, you wonder if this is the actual creature you gave birth to.
Our first arrival to this stage led us to a life-long indebtedness to the company who makes Odor-Eaters. Sometimes, the offending footwear remained outside the front door. We took out removable insoles and washed them, sprayed various things inside the shoes, threw out shoes and wondered how we would ever survive this stage. You become consumed with the content of sock material (dotton is CRUCIAL) and shoe material (vinyl is VILE).
When armpits begin to stink, you know you are entering the painful years of development. Perspiration stinks, stains clothing, embarrasses your children, and is just plain icky.
You beg them to bathe daily. Deodorant becomes everybody’s best friend and you spend a lot of money on body care items to keep your teen’s body from smelling and to ease their suffering during this stage.
The next stage of smelly development is the hardest one to deal with. It may simultaneously occur with any of the two previous stages, or alone in a grand finale of growth. At this stage, the final unpleasant odor you need to deal with is their STINKY ATTITUDE. It can flare up occasionally, or raise its raucus head for years.
This is combated with infinite patience, love, understanding. You bathe them in prayer and wash them in the Word, desiring they will be able to stand before the Lord spotless, without stain, and unblemished. The desired goal is that children mature and begin washing themselves in the Word and bathing themselves in prayer.
When this is achieved, the odor of children can enhance worship in Heaven. In Revelation 5:8 the 24 elders are worshipping the Lamb of God and are holding bowls of incense. The incense is the prayers of the Christians.
Their odorcan also become a sweet savor of Christ to the world around them.
2 Corinthians 2:15 “To God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
When they get to this stage, the PARENTS will be filling bowls of incense, with prayers of worshipful relief and joy.
It’s like the child has returned to that sweet-smelling stage of a newborn; that perfect smell that fills your nostrils with sweetness and wonderment.
You know, that is my favorite smell in the world.