How’s your attitude? Would you like a side of boot with that?

You know that boundless heart thumping love you feel when you have your child? When they smile on seeing your face? Kick their legs in sheer unbridled joy as you walk into the room? Wrap their arms around your neck so tight you think you might burst from the emotion of it all?

Then that child enters the age bracket of 2-4 and as sure as the sun will rise they will fight you every step of the way. And while there are moments of indescribable love and adoration there are hours, days, weeks, months when you are absolutely certain that breathtaking baby is actually The Devil Spawn.

Then they kick out of it and you enter this zone of hilarity in seeing them grow and just soak up knowledge like the biggest and most absorbent maxi pad. With wings! And lo, it is nice. There is an equilibrium to your world.

But then, then you start noticing a smell. A smell you can’t quite place (this is when you’re parenting boys – girls I suspect are just too busy giving their friends an eating disorder) but triggers a memory from your own childhood. And then, with a dawning as cold and unwelcoming as a bucket of sick you realise that smell is the same as that smell your brother used to produce. A confronting blend of rotting apple cores, rotting bananas, body odour, musty washing and sports socks.

I swear to God it emanates from their entire being, not just their pits. They are the human form of Pepe Le Pew.

Then they ramp up the eating. Forget three meals a day, it’s three meals before school, three meals after school, then dinner and then ‘IS THERE DESSERT? NO DESSERT? WHY NO DESSERT? JUST  A SMALL BOWL OF ICECREAM? FRUIT? FRUIT? THAT’S NOT DESSERT!’ [insert blood curdling wail of someone done wrong in more ways that one human could possibly withstand]

They start sitting differently. Slouching.

They don’t hear you. No no. They’re not ignoring you. They literally don’t hear you unless it involves words like ‘money’, ‘chocolate’, ‘hot chips’, ‘no xbox/wii/computer’.

Suddenly, and it is suddenly, you have that 2-4 year old back again but they’re bigger, they smell and they answer back or simply refuse to even acknowledge the jumping up and down, wailing banshee you have become.

Oh sure, the physical signs of this have been happening slowly and surely over the last two years but this, THIS, is totally new and you know what? It’s really really hard.

The attitude is what kills me. The head wobble, the upturned hands imploring a greater being to explain their ludicrous objection to whatever it is you’ve asked them to do, the doing the crazy whirl around their ear as they walk away from you. OH YES HE DID. The indignity they display at being asked anything if it does not involve offering more food.

I mean, it must be exhausting feigning such indifference.

So here we are, on the cusp of a whole new age and I’m not sure what I’m feeling but it sure ain’t anything I’d lump under the banner of maternal instinct.

I mean, there are many many occasions when my one burning desire is to throw my shoe at his head.

I know, I know. CLASSY and predictable.

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  • Tenille

    Oh the girls have a smell. Only theirs is synthetic. It's Impulse 'deoderant' and cheap perfume. And it stinks just as much.

  • peskypixies

    ahhh yes the joys of parenting!!!!

  • rachelmp

    I always tell my 16 son that he smells like a monkey everytime I get trapped in the car with him. No one else in my family notices though!

  • kim at allconsuming

    baboon's arse more like it Rach.

  • kim at allconsuming

    Tenille – boys have the equivalent. Lynx.

  • kay / suburp

    lol. i got married and with the packet of a clean and smell-compatible husband came two step-teens and although they use impulse and lynx they STILL both smell.
    and my 4yo gives me attitude.

  • Ms Brown Mouse

    Rodent cage, teenage boys smell like rodent cage!

  • Bec

    Girls smell too. And not all of them like Impuse. Some of them (who shall not be named as they tend to grump) don’t even like Dove.

    But as the veteran of two teenaged brothers? Boys are much, much, much worse. I can only look forward to the boy child in this house hitting early adolescence.

  • Mary

    So anyway will is fourteen now – and he smells gorgeous… Showers every day … It was eleven and twelve that were the worst – something about the smell of the scalp….eeewwwww…

  • trash

    It is definitely the scalp Mary. In our hosue it is referred to as 'coop-y head' as in pooey chicken coop. No matter what shampoo I make them use it doesn't seem to dissipate.

  • Being Me

    I was laughing – shuddering, I suppose it's like laughing – until I realised…. we're headed there. I have a 4yo who will (apparently, allegedly) be smelling like synthetic sprays of some form or another.

    Joy. Hey the word prompt is bumardio. An apt made-up word for the parenting dilemma through the ages, perhaps??

    First time visit, btw, love your writing style!

  • thewoodbus

    Ah yes…and you have 4 to go through. C-dog hasn't started smelling to badly yet ( much too concerned with his hair and lack of pit hairs), but let me tell you about the perfect daughter I have! 16 almost 17 and OMG! could you please have a shower?!!! Her room smells like HAMSTERS!!!

  • Jodie

    yep, its the scalp (and may explain my very innapropriate dalliance with skinheads during my teenage years now that i think of it).
    its the scalp- it eminates in waves …
    and for the record Lynx smells like alsations on heat – My son had to apply it on the front verandah…and now it is completly banned !

  • blackbird

    I speak from a few years ahead (and the other side of the earth): you know when it gets better don't you? When a GIRL comes into their lives.
    But god help you then!

  • Tania

    Bloody hell. I'm quaking in anticipatory parental shoes. At the very least you can soar in triumph at that marvellous maxi pad metaphor. With wings.

  • Frogdancer


    Sounds like you're describing my oldest one. But without the smell part, thank goodness. My kids are addicted to Rexona For Men.

  • Elizabeth

    Lynx is banned in our house. I tried to ban the unhelpful teenage attitude but that wasnt quite as effective as the Lynx ban.

  • hausfrau in melbourne

    Mine looks at me and says no. To everything. Oh, and lynx-he has three different ones, and I swear he uses them all at once. The kid is eleven, and I know it's only going to get worse. Because I deserve worse. I was an awful, awful teenager.

  • Anonymous

    when you read in the papers about the mother who throttled her son because he was playing ball with the dog inside the house AND he managed to knock over a glass of red wine which landed in his mother's stash of quilting fabrics AND stained every fucking piece…you can say "oh I read about her on Kim's blog!"

    (he is/was 20 years old!)

    they don't improve they just get MUCH bigger

    word verification sessesur (so I am not the only one drinking tonight!)

  • Corrie

    oh you make me laugh…….and sort of glad I have 1 boy!!!!!!!!


  • Melissa

    I'm a little late to the party, having just discovered your blog (from AMB),but am loving it already.

    Would you believe, when I first found out I was having a boy, one of the things that went through my head was "But I have a brother. His room stank!". Odd, the things that run through your heads at life changing moments.

    My two are 7 and almost 3. I'm dreading that stage. So here's what I need from you.

    Lie to me. A lot.

    K? Thanks. 😉