My kids do not yet read my blog therefore they are still fair game in the topic category. This year, much to my shock and dismay, I have a child going through the early stages of puberty, which apparently happens much earlier than I remember it happening when I was a child (get that smirk off yer face - it wasn't THAT long ago - and no, there were not dinosaurs then).
It was about four weeks ago that I smelled a peculiar odor emanating from my son's dirty clothes. And, thank God, it did not smell like Mary Jane (and if you are wondering, who is Mary Jane? - count your lucky stars and read on). It smelled like boy funk. Yes, if you have a weak stomach you may want to stop reading now because I did not say this would be a pleasant post. Read the title. Puberty is never pleasant.
I thought, "Wow. Does this boy need deodorant already? He's only nine." Now, there is no book (as far as I know) that gives you an honest look at what to expect during the pre-ten (and yes, I did spell that right - Pre-TEN totally different than Pre-TEEN -which there are several books about that) year old years. So, you must kind of 'smell your way' through it so to speak. I have taught fourth grade and I distinctly remember spraying room freshener in the room everyday after recess, so I have a teensy bit of experience in this department. Also, we have two adults in our home that use deodorant, so I guess you could say I have personal experience. And, yet this whole thing has caught me quite off guard.
First of all, third grade??? I don't even want to think this could have something to do with all the preservatives I have been feeding this boy since he was born (that, by the way, is working itself into a whole blog post of its own). Nor do I want to think that funk could possibly be hereditary???? But, yes, it seems to be he does need a little "freshening."
So, I had to rummage up some deodorant that would be manly and yet boyish at the same time. Again, as far as I can tell, they do not sell a brand marketed for this. So, I think we went with "What Was In the Medicine Cabinet and No One Else Was Using," or "What Was Free." I had to explain (with the help of the other male that lives in this house) how to use deodorant, what it is for, and a little basic Personal Hygiene 101. My boy-child was happy and proud of himself in a strange, nine year old boy sort of way and we went on our merry little way.
Until the next morning.
He came downstairs with his face covered, screaming, and with a look of pure terror on his face (what I could see of it). I said, "WHAT IS WRONG FOR THE LOVE OF PETE??? Do you have a nose bleed??????"
He uncovered his face and there on his nose he had what appeared to be a pimple. He screamed, "There is something on my face. It looks like a bite or something and I don't like it. Give me some medicine."
I had to chuckle just for a moment. Then I gathered my composure and said calmly, "That would be a pimple. There is nothing for it but soap and water." I smiled because I seem to remember my own mother speaking those very words.
Of course, he promptly touched it and examined it every second until it went away a few days later.
So, the plunge into the dangerous murky waters of puberty seems to have happened. He is terrified and just a little proud and I must say - I feel quite the same.
Wish me luck and stay tuned.