Have you ever had a mystery smell invade your home? One that, for the life of you, you just can't put your finger on? One that seems to come and go, and that doesn't seem to bother anyone else as much as you?
The last few weeks, that elusive smell has been growing. Like a bloodhound with a vendetta, I finally sniffed out the source - my nine year old son.
I was really surprised to find out that body odor kicked in this early. While I don't really remember the moment when I started using deodorant, I'm pretty sure it wasn't so early. In doing my research, I learned that it is fairly common for kids to start having B.O. between 8-10 years old. Seems crazy, right?
Luckily, the start of body odor doesn't necessarily mean that puberty is happening. What it does mean, however, is that my little boy is growing up. He needs to start showering more and wearing deodorant. Of course, what that really means is that I need to remind him every morning, until he gets in the habit.
It's time to sit down and have a 'Health and Your Body' type of talk with him. We need to discuss what changes his body is going to be going through in the next few years. Will it be awkward? Yes. It's always awkward when your mom talks to you about where you'll be growing hair next. Just like with the sex talk Mostly Together Dad and I had with him a few weeks ago, he is going to want to bury his head in the sand and pretend we aren't dropping a knowledge bomb on him. He'll deal with it, though, and be better informed and prepared when strange things start to happen to his body.
If you have a child that is around the same age, start doing your research. Start thinking about what you are going to say when your kids have questions. When they have questions (and you can be sure they will!), you want to be ready with some answers, rather than randomly spluttering, "I don't know, go ask your Dad!"
Parents of girls - your job is even harder. Someday, you are going to have to explain to them that they are going to bleed once a month for at least several days, without stopping. I'm dreading it with my own little girls. I can already see, in my mind's eye, the horrified look that my little Shari is going to have. She freaks out at the sight of blood. She's six now. I think I'll just go ahead and live in denial for a few more years....