Friday, January 16, 2009

What's That Smell

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day, a mom who has six kids ranging in age from 2 to 14, and she was blogging about the boys' room and how messy it was and about finding orange peels and half eaten granola bars hidden away in the toy bins, complete with pictures of the mess, and it took me back to the good old days when I had a young boy who lived in a messy boy's room too.

I was pretty used to not being able to see the floor in Joe's room (Jennifer's also) and didn't really make a big deal out of trying to get either kid to keep their rooms clean, but one week when Joe was maybe 12 or 13 we noticed a nasty smell coming from his room. Nasty as in not the usual stinky dirty clothes and whatever else lurks in a boy's room smell. Nasty as in something dead and rotting nasty.

So, we began cleaning his room, starting at one corner and going around the perimeters of the room, scrubbing, tossing, sorting, in an effort to uncover the source of the smell. This process took days since we had work and school and only had a few hours each night to clean. The smell just kept getting worse, so bad that I even looked under the house to make sure an animal (an elephant or something just as huge) hadn't crawled under there and died. The smell was so bad that Joe had to sleep on the couch and we kept cans of air freshener guarding the closed door to his room.

After days of cleaning and scrubbing, and finally seeing the carpet, the room was as clean as it was ever going to get but we still hadn't found the source of the smell. That is, until I saw Joe's tackle box sitting innocently on his bed (where we must have put in while cleaning, either that or he had been sleeping with it) and remembered that he had gone fishing recently. And when you go fishing you buy bait, as in small fish. As in dead fish. As in dead fish that he had forgotten to take out of the tackle box when he got home from fishing with those dead fish.

The smell of dead bait fish that have been closed up in a plastic tackle box for a week is not pleasant. From what I remember, we just threw that whole tackle box into the trash, neither of us wanting to open it and see what week old dead fish looks like.

So, moms, the moral of this story is that if your boys like to go fishing, make sure you check that tackle box for dead fish when they get home, it will keep your house smelling fresh and clean instead of dead and rotting.

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