Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Puppy Breath

I have three beautiful children that were once gorgeous babies. When they were born I couldn’t imagine loving anything else again nearly as much as I loved each one of them. I loved their little round heads, their little coos, and those new smiles, the first time I saw a tear and even the charts we created with our first to count the times she pooped each day. I loved them when they were clean and when they had spit up on the last outfit they owned and the only shirt I had. My kids came rushing out with little round heads and no flaws that I could see. The nurse took them after our moment together, cleaned them, pricked them, weighed them and brought them back to me. After a few days and a few baby wipe rub downs, they were ready for their first bath. Burt’s Bees, Johnson & Johnson, or Aveeno …at that point I didn’t care what I bathed them with and since I had them all, it may have been different each time. I never used baby powder because I had read somewhere the baby could inhale it into their lungs and frankly I didn’t see the point of white powder all over my floors, towels or changing table. My last two babies we slathered in some type of lotion to help with winter dry skin. Some lotions smelled like lavender and some smelled like lotion. Once my babies were clean, I would hug them just as tight as I did when they were baby dirty. I never sat for hours smelling their little baby heads. I’m not sure I ever actually smelled their heads at all. But I do love them…and those little bald round heads…that smell like Johnson & Johnson lavender baby wash.

Clearly I was missing out on some pleasure that women all over seek if there happens to be a baby near. Every woman that held each of my three children would first sniff their little heads and talk about how much they love that baby smell. At first I wondered if it was leathery like a new car smell. Then I realized I just didn't get it. New baby smelling is a hobby I’ve never quite gotten into. I like looking at new babies and I do like holding them. I love when they wrap their little fingers around one of my fingers. I love making them giggle and I even love the crazy looks they give me when I’m sure they are wondering what the hell I am and why would one woman say so many random things or just stare for so long. But I still haven’t gotten into baby smelling.

As my children have grown older I’ve let the whole baby sniffing phenomenon go. But now we have a puppy. Not only is having a puppy too much like having a newborn baby, but I also have to endure people (women!) asking me if he still has puppy breath and if they can smell his puppy breath. Yeah, sure, take a whiff and you tell me if he has puppy breath. And after you get your nose out of my dog’s mouth, maybe you could explain what the hell puppy breath is to me. I did look it up and evidently it's a sweet smell leftover from the mother's milk and the softer puppy food. I was a nursing mother and I know breast milk is sweet, but I can say after consumed it's no longer sweet. Actually, when my babies were still tiny just about the only time they got baths was when they had spit up mother's milk all over themselves. There is a point where that sweet smell becomes sour and I think that's the point after it's consumed. So I have a hard time believing there is some special pocket of sweet smelling mother's milk in a puppy's mouth. I’m sure I will appreciate that sweet (or so they say) smelling puppy breath once he’s over a year old and has good ol’ dog breath. But really….is smelling a puppy’s breath really all that necessary? I love him. He’s soft, fuzzy, and cuddly and gives the best puppy kisses. The really sloppy ones that almost knock the kids down. I think once he’s a little older I may miss being able to carry him and I might miss his fuzzy puppy fur. But I just don’t think I will ever wonder what happened to his puppy breath. So feel free to come over and sniff my dog’s breath, my kids’ heads and my cats’ butts if you’d like, but please don’t expect me to understand or be able to hold a conversation about the oddity of puppy breath.