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Children’s personal hygiene (or lack there of)

There is a time in all parents lives when you say to yourself “what is that smell?” It is with great regret sometimes that you realize that it is your sweet little child that has a special new fragrance. Even when you do your best to have nice squeaky-clean children, they always tend to provide a surprising olfactory siege that can become overwhelming at times. All children go through stages…
  1. Diapers. The diaper stage is part of the initiation as a parent. I remember in the beginning struggling to be able to get one diaper on one little helpless baby. Now after having three, the last one transitioning out of them now, I can change a diaper in less than 7 seconds. This stage of the little folks lives, their personal cleanliness is up to the grown up people around them.
  2. Potty Training toddlers. From what I have learned from talking to parents and from my own experience, there are two camps. Kids that take to it and kids that couldn’t give a hoot if they had wet pants all day. The hard work that the parents put in pays off when their toddler becomes fully responsible of their own bodily functions, and frankly that couldn’t happen fast enough. For those parents that have struggled with potty training, they will be trained before they can drive I promise.
  3. Everything after that. Now that they seem to be over the hurdle of controlling the regular functions of their waste management system, there is now just a whole new type of dirty. I have 3 boys and if given the choice they would not have a shower or bath, let alone brush and floss. Whenever it is time to get clean, there is a groan of resistance as if I am telling them to go down to the river in January with a bar of soap. Expressing to them that their personal aroma is less then desirable inevitably ends in a very parental “get in there and wash everything” speech. They always feel better afterwards and I try to reinforce how good it is to be clean.
  4. Oh man, I almost forgot food. I still have no idea how a toddler who is eating yogurt can possibly get it behind their ears or in their hair. Are they listening for flavor? Have they found a solution for split ends that every adult has missed? I am mystified sometimes to find food particles where they shouldn't be and the best part is that the more food they have caked on themselves seems to make them that much happier. We have resorted to placing a towel over our youngest chair and placing their booster over the towel to try to save a kitchen chair. Sad admission I know but it is much easier to through a towel in the wash then get a stain out of a kitchen chair.
When I was young, I remember being told that you should always wash behind your ears or you would end up growing potatoes back there. Never one to challenge my parents I always made sure that I was at least clean enough to thwart any spuds from sprouting on my body. Over the years of raising three loving and beautiful dirt magnets I have come to the ultimate parental realization that dirt comes with kids and for the most part, they couldn’t care less about cleanliness. I know that there are some children out there that don’t like having to get dirty, but for the luck of the draw, I was blessed with some kids that like to get dirty EVERYWHERE and frankly, I think kids should get dirty from time to time. I am all about making sure that they smell and look good 90 % of the time but for the other 10% I am all for them going out and getting down and dirty. A sure sign of being a kid is having dirt under your fingernails from digging for treasure or grass stained jeans from rolling around on a summer’s day. Written by Kelly Carrington – Registered Massage Therapist and Certified Doula

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