“I smell bad out of love.”

December 26, 2012

Notable Stats

Funky Body Nastiness Rate (FBNR) – The rate by which your personal hygiene declines as it relates to the number of children in your house.

Child Clean Relativity Factor (CCRF) – The amount by which your child is more well-kempt than you. Measured in showers you take per week divided by the number of times your child brushes his or her teeth times two.

I have already rationalized it. I am more natural. I realize that the fewer showers I take, the less dry my skin is in the winter. Showers, it would appear are overrated. I would never have dared state this during my baseball career where it was a given that I would take two showers a day. I woke up and went right into the shower, then after a game or workout, I hit the showers again. I knew soaps as well as I knew my glove.

Then I became a father and what started off as basking in the glory of selflessness for my son turned into a competition between the euphoria of putting my head on the pillow versus being clean. That first born dirtiness feels noble early on. You are exchanging your cleanliness for his cleanliness. It feels medieval, it feels empowering so we tell ourselves. For your son, you will shun water, almost like some sort of twisted fasting ritual. I compared this rite to the times I woke up in contorted positions on the floor of some bedroom while holding my son because that one position was the only one in which he would remain asleep. That is dedication; that is love. I get that.

Well, love apparently also makes you smell bad. As time goes on and the kids keep coming, by the time the third one arrives, you have already recognized that showers are optional and borderline inconvenient. Can I bathe in anti-bacterial gel instead and with just one rub, I am shiny and new? More importantly, can you eat, put a gaggle of kids to bed after the morass of a bedtime routine, exhale, discuss with your wife how to keep your son from climbing bookshelves and how to keep your daughter from saying “hungry” more than 26 times per hour; and then somehow work the energy up to crawl into the shower knowing that one of your three kids will either get sick that night or wake up from a nightmare? Call me nasty, but the answer is no.

Morning showers you ask? Yeah, right. Can you beat a one-year old up who wakes up with the roosters? I doubt it.

I work in TV so I have to be clean and dapper. I make sure I don’t pollute the set from my dead tired inability to keep up the hygiene like I would like. I always imagine that most people understand this phase of parenting; they know the battle, the tradeoffs between finding the selfish time to read eight minutes of a book at night before falling asleep instead of risking that you may slip in the shower as you doze off adjusting the water temperature. Eight minutes of reading is near Nirvana, don’t knock it.

I have two cousins (husband and wife) who both survived heart attacks in their 40s. Sure we blame it on diet, lack of exercise, stress, genetics, but the clear answer is that they have six kids and their ability to address even one of those health risk factors is nearly impossible since they barely have time to eat.  Loving stress, but still stress.

In the oasis of stank, we keep on moving; we hope no one we meet has a nose or has a pet that will instantly stick himself to your leg. It is for the honor of self-denial, for the actualization of others. We stop playing piano, we stop watching our favorite shows, we stop looking for that last bar of soap that was unfortunately used to help give a sink bath to a plastic dinosaur with an afro. When we don’t find the soap, we just rinse and dry.

But I feel fine, I feel clean. I imagine myself clean, which is half of the battle; and since no body part has eroded and I have all of my natural oils, I can stand tall and, if nothing else, lay confidently on the floor making sure my daughter does not rip out an outlet cover with her teeth. And while I am down on the floor, I will glance at my equal in scent – the overflowing trash compactor – and know I have more than I would like in common.

- Doug Glanville

Blog Category: 


Motivational Speaker

Click here to learn more about having Doug speak at your next event!




The Daddy Games

Check out Doug's blog, The Daddy Games.  Click here to read more.