I’m sure if I were to say the phrase, “lift-and-sniff,” many of you who are reading this would know what I’m talking about. Especially those of you unlucky enough to call yourselves parents. For those of you lucky ones who have no idea what I’m talking about – and if you don’t, please count your blessings that you never truly will – I’ll try to explain with a brief description.
Lift-and-sniff- The act of lifting or cradling a baby or toddler upwards in such a way that exposes the rear end of that child towards one’s face while inhaling, and by doing so allows the lifter to sense any formidable odor that might indicate that a deed (also known as a doogie) has indeed been done.
Is this tried and tested method nasty? Yes. Embarrassing? Absolutely. But is it effective? Quite.
As parents, we have long ago given up any true sense of the meaning of embarrassing. Things such as being spit up on, being pooped on, dealing with tantrums in the middle of public places, or saying something embarrassing about a person only to have your child repeat it in front of that very person hours later, are but a few of the many daily occurrences we deal with as parents. We really have no opportunity to stop and think about how embarrassing the situations are, for if we had time to actually stop and think, we would probably be asleep long before the thought in our brain could even fire from one neuron to the other, getting lost somewhere in the synapse between.
Why am I even talking about all of this, you might be wondering? Because this evening while getting my two beautiful girls ready for bed, I caught myself in one of these embarrassing events – the lift-and-sniff to be exact. I was in the bathroom helping them brush their teeth when I smelled an odd, distinct odor emanating from my youngest child. Without thinking, (mainly due to the fact that if I hesitated she may have known what I was about to do and ran for it) I swooped her up, making sure to plant her bum good and square up against my nose while breathing in deeply. At that exact moment I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror and witnessed firsthand how funny I actually looked while doing it.
But I don’t think ‘funny’ even begins to describe it. Hilarious would be much closer, thrown in with a touch of humiliating, and maybe a pinch of defeated. Yeah, that about sums up how I felt. Me, Jared Palenske, who had such high hopes and dreams of being rich and famous…now reduced to the level of performing the lift-and-sniff.
The funny thing is that I wouldn’t want it any other way. I know that may seem odd, but it’s absolutely true. Embarrassing or not I love my 3 girls (I include my wife as one of my girls) and am thrilled that I even get the opportunity to carry out such a feat (not on my wife of course, she’s on her own with that). And to think there are actually some poor souls out there who have never had the opportunity to perform the lift-and-sniff. I can hardly remember back to such a day.