Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Phantom Apprentice!

I arch back in my chair at work and slip off one of my shoes to stretch out my toes. I extend both my legs and close my eyes to give them a rest from the computer. As I inhale deeply, trying to relax for a brief moment, it hits me in the face. My eyes pop open, and they begin to search my clothes for signs of contamination. My arms, fingers, legs, shirt, pants, hair… all studied carefully. I check my reflection in the face of my iPhone to make sure it’s clean. I check the desk, the walls, my purse… but by this time the stench is gone. Do I smell like this all the time and don’t know it? Could it really just be my mind playing tricks on me? There has to be a baby around somewhere, because I smell POO!!!

This phantom aroma of my son’s dirty diaper follows me everywhere. I’ve actually asked friends and co-workers to smell me or tell me if they smell something because it’s so strong sometimes. But it’s not there; it’s only in my head.

I haven’t done much research on the subject, but I find it crazy that your nostrils can just conjure up an odor like that at random. What powers do we possess that could cause this crazy phenomenon? Does the smell just linger in there? Or the stench gets trapped in the mucous and is released periodically throughout the day? Maybe it is my subconscious mind telling me that I miss my son in peculiar sort of way?

I’ve mentioned this to friends and family and other moms, and they admit to getting a little phantom whiff every once in a while, but don’t say much else about it. This is a big deal to me, especially when I am around other people. I have a self-filter issue which is almost non-existent which “allows” me to say things or ask questions or make faces that can be offensive to other people and I am none the wiser. Good example: I’m standing in the line at the grocery store and sense a hint of the stank-ass. My immediate reaction is to crinkle my face in disgust and look around me. The closest person I lock eyes with (regardless of how innocent they may be) gets the proverbial stank-eye. To me it is just a natural reaction to the nasty aroma which my mind believes is filling the air… to the harmless individual who just so happens to receive my gaze during this freak incident, it’s war! I’ve even had one occasion where I had to awkwardly explain myself, after being asked “What the hell I was looking at”, and I think I actually came out on the other end worse off than if I would have just walked away. Apparently, it’s rude to tell someone that you smelled poo and knowing it wasn’t yourself, made a face at the closest person standing by. I truly regretted every word of that conversation as the words emerged from my lips, yet couldn’t stop myself from trying to justify my situation.

What’s even crazier about my situation is that I don’t really mind Tuff’s dirty diapers. I play and smile with him and wipe his little booty until it’s squeaky clean. I then dispose of the mess, but only after looking it over for a moment for anything unusual or curious. It’s even become a habit for my family and husband to report to me the amount, color and consistency. I know, it’s gross, but if you are a mom you know you can tell a lot by a baby’s bowel movements… It’s almost a form of communication (albeit an unpleasant one to most people).

I'll let you guess what he's "communicating" in this photo - LOL!

Do you have a phantom apprentice? Some small detail that stalks you or follows you around… a shadow that is a constant subliminal or intuitive reminder of something or someone you love? This cannot be singular to me, or maybe it is.  Tell me your phantom story in my comments… It can’t be any worse than mine J