Hygiene Starts Here (Pretty Please?)
My Number 1 baby is turning 13 today. He is officially entering the teenage years. Although the day-to-day business of raising kids can seem like an eternity, the cliché is true – the years have flown by. I can’t believe he is this big already.
Then I think about the future and the things he has to wade through in the next few years:
- His first crush
- His first love
- Learning to drive
- Going away to college (because he will go!)
And it scares the sh** out of me!
I feel completely unprepared.
But, on the other hand, a big part of me is super excited for him to discover girls. I need him to start caring about his appearance.
Because if I have to continue to live with this “dirty boy phase” for much longer, I am moving him to the barn.
My darling, precious first-born has given the word “unhygienic” new meaning. And momma can’t take it no more.
Boys smell. Let’s face it, they just do. They have body odor after running around all day, they are thrilled with their own farts and their feet can even make a dog leave the room. But my boy seems to take particular joy in his ability to create obnoxious smells. He’ll raise his arm, whiff and say “ahhhhh” while I am trying not to gag. And he wears his sneakers all the time with thick socks – in the rain, wading through the brook, on the hottest of days. I wash them, I stuff dryer sheets in them, I spray them with lysol, but nothing will take the odor out of them. It takes only about a week after buying new sneakers for Eau de Number 1 to set in.
It’s like having a toddler. I have to remind Number 1 to do basic hygienic care, every single day and every single night. I don’t have to do this with any of the other ones anymore, even Number 5 heads to the bathroom to brush his teeth before bed. But not Number 1.
Am I really going to have to call him every morning when he is in college and ask “Did you brush your teeth? Did you put on deodorant? Did you use soap and shampoo in the shower (see below)?”
Showers are not an option (but soap might be). Over a year ago I introduced the “one shower a day” policy. Number 1 can take his shower either in the morning when he gets up, or at night just before he goes to bed, but he must take one every day.
A little while ago, his hair was looking pretty gnarly for about a month. He would take a shower, and when his hair would dry, it would still look greasy and flat. I kept asking him if he was washing out all the shampoo or if he was accidentally using conditioner instead of shampoo. “Of course”, and “of course not, mom.” I bought him different types of shampoo. Nothing improved it.
Then one day his hair looked great!. It was clean and fluffy. I actually wanted to run my hands through it. I asked him what he did differently. He looked at me kind of sheepishly and said, I actually used shampoo today.
He. Used. Shampoo. Hallelujah.
We might be getting there. Then last week I thought I saw a sign that things were changing. Like he knew that 13 was coming up and he needed to whip his dirty butt into a lather. He got up and took his mandatory shower at 10. Then he was in the shower again at 3.
Two showers in one day. Joy swelled inside me and tears of happiness (not tears from smelling something bad) welled up in my eyes. I had successfully made it through another phase.
I commented about him taking 2 showers in one day.
His reply? “Well, I had some time on my hands so I thought I would take another shower so I won’t have to take one tomorrow.”
Maybe we are not getting there.
Well played, Number 1.