Thursday, 8 October 2015

Selective anosmia

*** Delicate stomach warning!***
*** DO NOT read this post if you don't like thinking about poo! ***

We all occasionally have selective hearing ("Have you tidied your room yet?"), and I'm fairly certain small children have selective vision ("Mummy! I can't find my Ceratosaurus" bellowed while standing approximately half an arm's length from said bright green monster). I have something new and impressive. I have selective smelling. I can smell a wide and interesting variety of things - food, flowers, wine, sweat, blood, the glorious scent of rain on parched earth, the curious aroma that a perfectly clean vacuum system has. I cannot however any longer smell human excrement. Cowpats? Yep, still catch those. Dog dirt? Bingo. Anything emerging from the back passage of one of my fellow human beings? Nada. LittleBear produces a wide variety of loud and wildly amusing farts, most of which have BigBear leaning back in disgust and reaching for the handle of the window. I, however, can be within inches of his posterior and experience nothing but an entertaining noise. And it's not just LittleBear's output either. I seem largely immune to all human faecal matter (immune in a scenting sense, not in my general levels of revulsion, they remain unaffected).

You might think that this is actually a pretty cool adaptation, and in many ways you'd be right, especially given the continuing necessity to be in charge of bottom-wiping for LittleBear. It's not so great on the occasions when I am left in charge of a small person still using nappies. Because I have no idea when the nappy has been filled. And this is really, really, really not a good thing. Back when LittleBear was Littler and I still had a functioning nose, I (along with every other parent) used the reliable "sniff down the back of the trousers" technique to assess whether a nappy-change was in order. Used judiciously you can judge the distance to insert the nose just right to assess the danger levels and react accordingly. If you can't smell, the only option is a visual inspection. Nobody wants that.

I'd just like us all to pause for a moment and consider the kind of assault my sense of smell must have been subject to that has forced it to forever block that smell from registering in my mind. The overwhelming olfactory apocalypse that was my son's nappies that has caused the pathways connecting that smell to my brain to wave a little white flag and refuse to participate in any further combat.

I never thought I'd write this... but... I wish I could smell farts again...

1 comment:

  1. This is funny and thoughtful. I am trying to understand this phenomenon myself.