Well, I was all set to write a sweet little coming of age story about my oldest son Jackson, when a smell so rank and foul came over my classroom, that it warranted being documented for life. You see, I work in a high school as the In School Suspension Coordinator. And while this surprises many, I really love my job. I meet some really great kids who just need a little redirection. But today? Well my students need a little more than redirection. They need a bar of soap, a clean, unfunkified shirt, and prescription strength deodorant. Heck, they can rub some breath mints under their arms for good measure!
Now I understand that teenaged boys sweat. Heck, some of them even pour. When Jackson first became hormonal his funk was so bad we nicknamed him “Onion”, and then went to the nearest drugstore and bought him the strongest deodorant money can buy. I didn’t care if it had a caution label that said, “Caution. Might melt your skin off.” “Wear it boy! Put it on now! And here’s an extra for your backpack. Put it on after lunch. Your friends will thank you.” He looked at me like I needed to tuck my crazy back in, but he took the bag, and did as instructed. And we kindly stopped calling him Onion. In fact, he told me now ladies tell him he smells good. Long way from our Onion days!
Ok, now back to the current state of my room. Let me start by saying that a counselor walked into my room, gasped, and threw her hand over her nose like she had just walked into a dung filled barn. “Ummm….your eyes are watering. Are you ok?” She coughs, jumps back a bit and hollers over her shoulder, “I’ll just text you!” “Yeah, you suck! I am trapped in this room enveloped in the warm embrace of 15 year old body odor. But have a good day. I love you too!” I hear her heels click clacking at a pretty steady pace. I think she is actually running from my room!!!!
But you know…why just have a little body odor burning your nose hairs? That really doesn’t make your day special enough. Oh no! Let’s throw in rotten milk, cafeteria pizza, and VOMIT! That’s right folks. I got to escape my little smelly hole and walk these sweet boys to the cafeteria. In case any of you have forgotten the smell of a school cafeteria, it’s awful. It kinda makes you want to throw up in your mouth a little. But no matter, at least I’m not locked up with BO. So my little angels grab their lunches. We have greasy fries smothered in ketchup. (Ok. I’m on a diet, and they actually smell pretty good. But don’t worry. I didn’t eat any! So nobody text me and tell me I suck at staying faithful to eating clean. Uh hummmm….Paige!) And then there is the smell of the rubbery pizza that has pepperonis on it that look like they have been in the back since I was in high school. No matter…it’s just the smell of school pizza and fries. It at least masks the foul boy funk…sort of. Oh but wait! What’s that kid doing? What is that animal like noise coming from his body. Oh Lord, he’s about to puke. NOOOOOOOOOO! “Don’t you do it! Get up! Get up! I can’t see, smell or hear puke. I will fall out right here, and throw up too. Get out! Go! Go! Grab that trashcan and run!” But he’s a teenaged boy. Why admit weakness, and get up? Instead, let’s sniff the rotten milk some more, dry heave a little, and THEN run towards the door, straight past my desk. Now that sounds like so much more fun! And when you get in the hall, can you be a lamb and stand literally inches from my door so I can hear the vomit slap into the garbage bag? Maybe we’ll get lucky and some will splash onto my window. It will be just the decorative touch I was looking for! And if you don’t mind, can you make sure some lands on the floor of my entry way so that I can smell it ALL DAY LONG? I just really think that would be special. What? You’re already one step ahead of me? Well aren’t you just precious. Oh wait….the Lord is sending an angel down the hall. Wait! There are two of them. One is clad is scrubs, and gets paid to hold people’s hair back. Yes yes yes! It’s the school nurse. Bless her soul. And who is that? Now this angle is much larger, he seems to fill a door way, and what’s that with him? Its a trashcan! This sweet sweet custodian has come to take away the vomit AND the rotten milk. I think I may have a new bestie!
Ok, life can get back to normal. Crap….my room still smells like BO. “Be cool. You’ll get used to it.” And you know what? I might have if the kid didn’t stand up and start turning around in circles like a dog chasing it’s own tail. “What are you doing?!” “I’m looking for my headphones. I just had them. Do you see them hanging out of my pocket? Come help me find them.” Uh uh…That’s aint happenin buddy boy, and I don’t care if you ever find those headphones! Just stop dancing. PLEASE. Because your funk is whippin through this room like a tornado across a Midwestern dust bowl, and I can’t take it!
Well the bell was merciful, and rang just as my skin began to take on a green color, and I thought my body might be melting from the stench. He ran past me one final time, leaving me with his signature scent as a parting gift. So for the love of Jiminy Cricket….from one mama to another. If you have a child that cooks onions under his or her armpits???? Buy him some deodorant! Time to go spray some aerosol room spray. I figure if I’m choking, at least then I can’t smell it!