Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Story of the Underarms

This is the post in which I share with you a story about underarms. My sweet, innocent, almost eight year old daughter's underarms, to be exact.

(It is stinkin' hot here in our neck of the woods. Hot for March, anyway. The first March we lived in Ohio we had the biggest snow storm I have ever seen! And this March? We are in the eighties. It must have something to do with global warming, no? I kid, I kid. Now back to our regular underarm programming.)

For several weeks now Emma has come in from outside, complaining that she has sweaty pits after playing. At first I assumed she said this simply to annoy me. Because she does things like that. I hate the word 'pits' and she knows it. And since she is almost eight and finds all body parts and their functions hilarious, this made perfect sense to me. So I decided to be mature and ignore her and her sweaty pits.

But she kept complaining. Sometimes several times a week.

My next guess was that she had come up with a clever way to get to change her clothes mid day, or so she thought. And she might be clever, but I am more clever, so I did not fall for her sweaty pit trick. But still, the complaining did not stop. Over and over again I had to hear about how gross and sweaty her underarms became when playing. So I decided that I had to get to the bottom of her little pit problem. Because I am a good Mama, and that is what good Mama's do. We investigate.

Me: Emma, what do you want me to do about your sweaty pit problem?

Emma: I want you to buy me some deodorant, Mama.

There! See? By asking one simple question I had solved the pit problem mystery! My girl didn't have sweaty pits. She just wanted deodorant! Em is the youngest of most of her friends, and lately she has requested all sorts of things. Grown up things. Scary things. Things like training bras, a request I ignored thank you very much, because I am fairly certain that I just birthed her yesterday and newborns don't need training bras. Or deodorant for that matter. But she is a wise cookie, this one. Always scheming to get what she wants. She never actually gets it, but she sure does try her hardest. I told her it was a big fat negative on the deodorant. And she stopped complaining. For one whole day she said nothing about sweaty pits! It was glorious, and beautiful, and superb. That was yesterday. But then today arrived and with it more complaints about sweaty pits.

By this time I was ready to blow a gasket. I am raising a young lady here! But all my young lady wants to do is catch frogs and say words like sweaty pits! So I decided to pull out my big gun. My nose. I was going in for the smell test and nothing could stop me. I would determine once and for all if my almost eight year old needed deodorant.

Me: Emma, hold up your arm and lift up your sleeve.

Emma: Why?

Me: Because my nose is coming in.

Emma: I wouldn't do that if I were you, Mama.

I did it anyway. And I will never be the same again.

I actually thought I might die right there on the spot. Death by lack of deodorant. Words cannot adequately express just how much my tiny daughters underarms reeked. So I did what any concerned mother would do. I texted my friends. It was imperative that I discover just when, exactly, their children's armpits began to stink. Turns out most of their children were in the eight to ten year old range when deodorant was introduced! Who knew! I certainly didn't. And while Emma is a bit younger than that she has always been advanced. In fact, she is first in her home school class. It's true. Out of all of the second graders that I have, she is the most advanced. So perhaps having sweaty pits early is just another way she is staying ahead of the curve? Yes. I do believe we will go with that. Those silly home schoolers, always trying to one up each other!

All throughout tonight I have been looking up at her sweet little face, then back down again to her armpits, all the while trying to figure out how one little body could produce something so sweet and something so awful all at the very same time. That is the true mystery, I fear. The mystery that mothers have been trying to solve for generations. And I don't have the answer. But I do have the solution: Deodorant. With a capital D. Stat.

So tomorrow I am taking my forty-seven pound seven year old to the store to buy her very first stick of underarm goodness. And I wanted you to know. So when the day comes (and the day will come) that your child begins complaining of their sweaty pits, you will not feel alone. You will know that there are others who have gone before you. And you will have faith that you, too, can overcome the battle of the smelly underarm.