This was originally published on KludgyMom in June 2010.
The other day I tweeted that my son's room smelled like butt. I began looking for the source that day.
Friends suggested looking in the hamper. Nothing unsavory there.
I looked under all the stuffed animals on the floor. No rotting food being hoarded away.
I had a peek under his bed. Not a trace of nastiness.
So, I went about my business. Maybe it was just a lingering odor from the kid himself. He is 7, after all, and is now able to produce noxious, manlike smells.
Now the small back story to this is that around this time, my son was having some digestive issues. A little constipation here and there, and sudden trips to the bathroom where he was complaining of his tummy hurting. Twice, he ignored his sphincter signals and had a few little skid mark moments. One of these moments, much to my disgust, happened at Burger King, where, after discovering that the child himself smelled like butt, I made him remove his offensive underwear and go commando. Okay, skid mark is probably not the appropriate term to describe this particular accident.”smear campaign” might be better. I did not salvage the tighty whities; rather, I threw them in the outdoor garbage can of Burger King for patrons to enjoy as they entered and exited, all the while muttering that I can’t believe my 7 year old just crapped his pants in BK.
Anyhow, his digestive issues seemed to have resolved themselves middle of last week. Yet every day when I’d go near his dresser to put laundry away, I’d still smell the butt smell. I’m always over by his dresser, putting clothes away. Every day, I’d stop, have a look around, and try to discover the source. Still nothing.
So this morning, the kids were off to vacation bible school, and it was crazy sock day. He hadn’t worn socks since the last day of school, so we went into his room to look for some crazy socks in his dresser.
Again with the butt smell!
I said, “I cannot for the life of me figure out why this area of your room smells like butt.”
He says, “Well, Mommy, it’s probably THESE.” And he reaches into his top dresser drawer, where his underwear live, and pulls out something washed up from the BP oil spill.
It is a pair of his briefs. They are completely brown, completely crusty, rancid, poo-covered briefs. This is not a skid mark, or a smear campaign. This is toxic waste.
I stand there for a moment. This would normally be the time that I start screaming at the top of my lungs. Did I really spawn a kid that ended up in the shallowest end of the gene pool? But I am in such disbelief, such disgust, and such horror that I can’t even muster up the angst to scream at him. He has that really cute smile on his face. He is 7 and this is pretty funny to him. Anything with poop, burps, and farts is uproarious to a boy, and they come hard wired this way, I have learned.
I realize I have been piling more clean, sanitized underwear on top of this toxic waste for a week. The entire drawer is contaminated.
We have a short discussion about not putting contaminates in his dresser drawer and he goes, pure-hearted but dirty-handed, to church camp.
And I go to Target to buy a 5 pack of new underwear.
Ever discover a mystery smell?