Stink Pea

13 Jan

Yesterday I embarked on what may be the biggest challenge I’ve faced to date in parenting:  The Great American Stink-Off of 2009.

Sweet Pea HATES baths.  She hates showers.  She is generally apathetic toward anything to do with cleanliness and hygiene.  She throws HUGE (giant, gargantuan, massive) tantrums each and every time we insist she get in the bath.  It is, in a word, ridonkulous. 

So I have decided to give up the fight.  I’m through protecting her from the embarrassment that will come her way when her friends get a whiff.  She’s on her own.

I told her last night that she is now responsible for her own hygiene.  I recommended that she take a bath at least every other day, but I’m not going to make her do it.  I just can’t anymore.  She’s too big, and it’s time for her to learn this lesson on her own.

In an effort to salvage my own pride, I am going to call her teacher and let her in on it.  In fact, I am going to recruit the teacher and the nurse to help me when the stink gets too fierce.  (And it will, my friends.  It will.)  I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to pull her aside and make a few suggestions regarding bathing and deoderant.  Teachers are great that way – especially this one. 

In the meantime I’m working on an arsenal of odor-protection for myself.  When I worked in the operating room, we had peppermint flavor that we would smear on our masks to cover any nasty smells.  I’m not sure if that would work without a mask, though.  (Although wearing a mask may eventually be necessary.)  But there’s always perfume.  And clothespins.

Or I might just breathe through my mouth for the next few weeks.

Because it may be WEEKS.  I’ve told you about her determination, right?

Come to think of it, this seems like the perfect time for a little Funny Girl contest.  Including yesterday (Monday), how many days do you think Sweet Pea will go before she takes a bath?  If you are the winner, I’ll drop a little happy in the mail to ya!


16 Responses to “Stink Pea”

  1. Allison January 13, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Oh wow…You know, those Glade candles are really great for masking odors around the house. May want to pick up a few (or 12)!

    I’m guessing that she will not bathe until next Wednesday (the 21st) (although, for your sake, I hope that I’m wrong and she caves in much sooner…)

  2. jane January 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    We are going through this one together amiga! PUUUUUuuuuuuuu

  3. Leanne January 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    Sarah always keeps hand sanitizer handy, Then when smells get overwhelming she just uses it and smells her hands. Helps with the gag reflex. Think you are doing great in giving her the responsibility. Good luck!

  4. Julie January 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    I give her a week- let’s say next Tuesday, Jan. 20th. The nurse at a middle school here once washed the hair of one of my clients whose parents had also given up on forcing him to bathe. She only had to do it twice in her office and he was “cured.” Hopefully the lesson won’t take as long as you think!
    Have you already tried a little good, old fashioned bribery? You know…take a bath/shower on your own for a week and Dad and I’ll do flipflops naked down the street for you to video for later blackmail. Kidding…really, just kidding! Good Luck!

  5. kathrynsmoore January 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Just wanted to comment back on Julie’s suggestion. While I certainly WOULD like to see Hubs do flipflops naked down the street, I have already bribed her up one side and down the other. New American Girl doll? New Nintendo games? New books? Clean body?? Wait, that last one is apparently only a reward for me. There does not seem to be a reinforcement, positive or negative that will work. I’m afraid it’s going to have to come via embarrassment. So sad.

  6. jane January 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    Oh…I know Sweet Pea and I am going to guess a good two weeks – as she is very resourceful and can probably do a little clean up cheating to get through the 1st week! If she makes it to three you better take pictures…..

  7. Leanne January 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    I say Monday, Jan. 19th. A week with her self should do it.

  8. Darla Baerg January 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    January 24th. That’s the date I pick. Best of luck!

  9. Barb January 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    I pick the 20th, Inauguration Day. You are awesome!!

  10. Spring January 13, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

    This is fascinating! My oldest has the same dislike for bathing…if this works, there’ll be some stink at my house!

    I’m in for 12 days, so Sweet Pea will break down and bathe on January 25th.

    I soooo hope she learns!

    Great idea, Mama!

  11. meg January 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    Bless your heart, my dear… and Best of luck (and much peppermint oil!) Having lived with an equally defiant child, I’m giving her credit for her strength and resiliance, something which is incredibly hard to deal with now, but what I’m banking on to help her (and my dear one) make it through life.

    In Chinese culture, everyone celebrates their birthday on Chinese New Year. It is when everyone “turns a year older”. So in honor of my youngest’s heritage, I am going to say Sweet Pea will turn a new leaf (with a little soap) on Chinese New Year, which falls on Monday, January 26th this year.

    May the force be with you. And stay upwind.

  12. Jessica Bern January 14, 2009 at 1:52 am #

    January 20th- she’s got to take a bath on inauguration day. My nephew is a lot like sweat pea only now he has found girls and my sister told him they don’t like smelly boys and well, he bathes at least every other day now.

  13. GiGi January 14, 2009 at 2:10 am #

    Sat, the 17th, if not sooner. Once there is no struggle, there will be no good reason not to bathe. Katy, be strong! The temptation will be great, but NO rewards for bathing, once she does it. Bathing is something we do because we are civilized people, it is not grounds for a reward. Once she does it, your response should be understated at best!!! I am praying for BOTH of you!!

  14. Vaniqua January 14, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    Maybe she’ll grow dreadlocks. I’ll take the 24th.

  15. Melinda January 14, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    I’ll be here to encourage you and Hubs to hold strong. I’m going to say Jan. 22nd!

  16. anymommy January 15, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    Whew baby!! Good luck, mom, you are fabulous. I pick the 26th as bathing day.

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