The list of bad kid smells could fill a book, but maybe there is another side – Smells that are awesome and you pretty much only get them around kids.
Crayons. Now this could just be me, but opening up a drawer filled with used crayons smells wonderful. Maybe it takes me back to my childhood. Maybe I like the smell of wax mixed with whatever yummy, sticky food the boys had on their hands while using them. Maybe I’m just suffering from a stroke.
- Baby shampoo. (No more tears, stuff.) Now THIS reminds me of childhood for sure. But in an age of tangerine-oatmeal bodywashes and pear-jasmin shampoos. and moisturizing, organic, stress-relieving body butter made from the sweat of koalas, that no more tears stuff still smells the best to me. A part of me wants to go back to that, but I believe the ads that say I will get a hot woman if I use Axe (and clearly it worked!)
- Bubblegum. Ok, adults can totally get bubblegum vodka and bubblegum flavoured condoms, apparently, but there’s nothing like the smell of bubblegum out of a pack of hockey cards or brought fresh from the local convenience store. That’s total kid stuff right there. Pure as it comes. Sometimes squishy and sometimes hard as a frozen sheet of steel.
- New Plastic. I can’t explain why this smells so good, but open up a new lego box or tank model or the latest plastic toy and you’ll see what I mean. Was it because that new plastic smell meant I got something cool to play with back when I was a kid? Or did all the glue fumes from making models severely damage some part of my brain?
- Plastic Model Glue. Ok, I get why this one smells so good to me. I got high off it for years before I ever knew you could get high off it. I guess it’s like the smell of cigarettes to former addicts – it just kinda hits that part of your brain that says more please. Luckily, that addiction has now been replaced with donut cravings.
- Pools. Now this isn’t a particularly kidish smell, but let’s face it, we don’t go to the pool that often unless we’re taking the kids. But that toxic smell of chlorine… Oh so good. But it’s a smell that could have been a total nightmare, too. I mean, my brother and I learned to swim in a chlorine pool and back when we were taught such things, they literally tossed us in the deep end, and there we were, desperately dog-paddling to stay afloat and gulping down gallons of the stuff. So it is a little odd I love the smell. It could have easily been something that sent me to therapy.
Play-doh. It’s in every box in which the boys have stored their toys. Little blobs of it at the bottom. Small jars underneath their cars. Giant globs stuck the sides of the Rubbermaid containers. I don’t honestly recall playing with it that much, but that smell… like cookie dough. Or an almond-vanilla thing. The more I think about it, the more likely it is that I didn’t so much play with it as eat it. I wish my mom was here to tell me what happened.
- Cookie doh. Ha, cookie dough. Not that I haven’t eaten my weight 200 times over in cookie dough over my adult life, but it’s still a kid smell to me. I’m not talking those super-good-for-you cookies, though. Nope. We’re talking chocolate chip cookies. Maybe smartie cookies. But that sweet, doughy smell is hard to beat. Personally, I think Sesame Street should have made a cookie-dough monster except, you know, for the fact you shouldn’t really eat raw cookie doh,
- School Books. No other book smells quite like a school book. Maybe it’s the smell of despair or panic that’s put into all of them. Maybe they use a different paper or a different binding than the Stephen King books. But there’s that new text book smell that’s just kind of hard to place. Inky. Something chemical-like. Probably the glue. Wait. Dammit, did they make those things with the same stuff I made models with?
Sharpies. OMG sometimes I think that when I’m down, I should just take off the lid of a sharpie and sniff, sniff, sniff. I’m not sure how healthy it would be, but there’s an intoxicating element to that pen. I don’t recall sharpies from my childhood, though, so the smell is a great 21st century kid smell. Probably done deliberately. Probably tested on rats or kids in China.
Oh, hey, but that’s not all. There are a lot of other smells associated with childhood or kids. Campfires. Burnt marshmallows. Fresh band-aids. Wet dog. Wet kid. Cold water on hot asphalt. Rubber dodge balls (I took a lot of those off the nose in my time.) Mothballs. Leather baseballs.
Oh the list could really be endless, as is the list of horrible smells. But as the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world reminded me, focus on the positive (and not the smell of vomit that you can’t get out of the car.)