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Okay, it’s time to get honest up in this piece. Can we get real for a minute?
You know how everybody waxes rhapsodic about how good a newborn baby smells? Brutal newsflash: that was true when the boy was a few days old. Yes, he briefly smelled like a combination of brown sugar and the sound of Gloria Estefan, if her golden late 80s voice was made into a scent.
That was then. Now he smells like chicken noodle soup that was left in a car on a hot day for 4 hours. As his dad, the blame should rest on me, except I bathe this little stinker every chance I get, and scrub him with Clorox and steel wool.
Also, I am not certain if his foul odors emanate from him being a dirty boy in general, or if the source of the stank is a little bit more specific. His lower gate. I would blame Michelle, but she hasn’t done anything other than love the child with all her heart, and feast on garlic, raw onions, cabbage, baked beans, Bud Light Lime* and broccoli, which may explain Lev’s other interesting skill. He farts like a truck driver.
Some afternoons, while he is asleep, we sit around and stare in horror as he lets rip a ceaseless string of bass-heavy butt-cheek flapping tornados, accompanied by foul winds that make your eyes sting.
Now he smells like chicken noodle soup that was left in a car on a hot day for 4 hours.
There’s a tremendous disconnect between his angelic, almost beatific appearance, and a smell that’s like having the grim reaper kneel on your chest and strangle you with the strength of the insane.
Despite her sleep deprivation, Michelle had a good idea. She set up a fan to blow the fart smells away from us while we sleep. (I had a good idea involving butt corks, which she would not allow me to enact.)
There’s an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer is judging the Springfield chili cook-off, and after tasting a bowl made with some fancy artisanal beans, says 4 disapproving words: “Less arty, more farty.” I tried dressing Lev in a floppy beret, hoping for the opposite. No avail.
The moral of the story is: our baby looks really good, and smells really bad. And you don’t want to live downwind of him.
*NOTE: Michelle doesn’t actually drink Bud Light Lime. But that is the favorite beer of General Stanley McChrystal, former supreme commander of US forces in Afghanistan, and myself, humble reporter and lover of fine beverages.
Dimitri Ehrlich is a multi-platinum selling songwriter and the author of 2 books. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, and Interview Magazine, where he served as music editor for many years.