Wednesday, May 6, 2009

don't touch me with those feet

The sound of Surfer Dude spewing eleven year old invective is wafting down the hall toward my bedroom. He's in a snit, undies completely in a bunch, totally convinced that he has the most unreasonable mother on the planet. The fact that Gumby is poking him just for the heck of it isn't helping, but SD is so mad at me he's almost not even noticing that his brother is tormenting him.

Wow. What could I possibly have done to the kid now? What horrible, awful, control-freaky, unreasonable, totally out of left field thing have I come up with this time?

I made him shower. With soap. I am a devil, aren't I?

I drove the pick-up leg of the soccer carpool, and when the three pre-teen boys got in my backseat after ninety minutes of practicing in a warm rain, I thought I was going to die. Not only were they covered in mud, but you could almost taste the stench. And, it must be said, most of it was emanating from my kid. He has a world class shower aversion and is convinced that the festering smell under his arms is kind of cool to scare the girls with.

I've been waiting patiently for years for him to grow out of this, but it isn't happening yet. I think Sasquatch was a little older when he decided all on his own that he needed a shower a day, and while I really don't want to look too hard at his motivation I sure do appreciate the end result. Gumby is straddling the two, not resisting too hard, but not volunteering eagerly either. Maybe it's because SD is the most athletic, but the kid is ripe a good portion of the time. His socks alone defy description, and whenever any of this is pointed out his pride is palpable. Everyone needs a hobby and his is deliberately smelling bad.

And the muttering still coming from his room? Is because he's clean. And shampooed. (Uh oh. Forgot to smell his head to double check that. Crap. Scratch shampooed.) Oh, well. He's clean. And that makes me very happy indeed.

At least until Child Protective Services shows up at my door to see what I've done to the poor kid this time.


ped crossing said...

You mean to tell me he is one of the kids we teachers talk to about the need for showers, deodorant, clean socks and underwear and hygiene in general? About how your bodies are changing and the rest of us would appreciate it if you would bathe on a more frequent basis?

Have you threatened to not feed him until he comes down showered each day? Just a thought. I am vying for meanest mom award, let me know if I win.

Maggie May said...

What is it about soap & water that upsets our youngsters?
It seems they all go through this!

auntiegwen said...

Ah the unmistakeable aroma of Eau De Small Boy !!!

Frances said...

It's weird - one of the few things we thank puberty for is that the kids suddenly start smelling good, keeping clean and don't need telling.
The stinkyness seems to creep up and up until that moment.
Sudden transformation for boys seems to be that first love/lust? Mixed blessings.

LCM said...

He sounds like he needs a code red. I wonder if that would really work, the GI shower with the steel wool. I don't have much experience with boys. My girls do have a teethbrushing aversion which I totally do not get.
I love the idea of not feeding him until he's clean.

Rudee said...

Reminds me of my father in law. He hasn't showered since he bumped his head and fractured his skull. He's afraid the water will hurt his ear. He stinks to high heaven and has dirt in places one would never expect.

Thumbelina said...

Hmm. I remember that so well with the eldest. Y'know, your photo shows legs so muddy, I thought it was deliberately negativised. Seriously, I did! Too much dark on it to be skin. But nope! It's mud.

He will rediscover soap and water. And shampoo, hair gel, deoderant etc. He will cost you a fortune in shower gel. Wait - don't celebrate yet or be too keen to get there.

He will discover these things around the same time he discovers and develops a keen and unhealthy interest in... girls !!

aims said...

Ewwwwwwwww! Body odour makes me gag!

(I'm so happy you're back - did I tell you that?)

Akelamalu said...

I remember those soap and water aversion years from my two!

Akelamalu said...

PS meant to say they were replaced by years of not being able to get in the bathroom for a pee because they were primping and preening in there for hours!

Devon said...

You're in good company, I have a 12 year old grumbling in her room right now!

My crime, you must do the extra credit in science before any electronic devices may be used.

Unreasonable, I know. She went from a B to a D. No good!!!!

At least bad grades don't stink!

Kila said...

My oldest son just turned 12, and still has a fit every time I tell him to brush his teeth, or take a shower, or wash his hands ("I just washed them yesterday!").

Kaytabug said...

So it sounds like he gets a new nickname. Pig-Pen!!!

My oldest is 11 and I don't want to know how long he would go without a shower if we left it up to him. Thankfully he's not into sports and he doesn't fight us terribly much when we tell him he needs to take a shower. Power funk makes me physically ill. I hope his switch flips soon!

Jo Beaufoix said...

You are such a cruel Mummy. ;D

Southern Drawl said...

Really R.C., a bath, I may have to call child protective services myself! However, with 3 boys of my own instead I shall extend the advice of ear plugs (for the music) and a clothes pin (for your nose) and a small fortune just to feed them!