Saturday, February 23, 2013

Smells Like Teen Spirit: A Repost

**In celebration of Clementine's 4th birthday, tomorrow, I'm looking a good, hard look at how far we've come. This post was written a little less than two years ago. My sincere thanks to the good Lord above that she's still safe and sound.

Clementine and the Man She Likes to Take to Bed: Sir Topham Hatt

This post has nothing to do with Nirvana.  This post has to do with Clementine's breath, which does, in fact, smell like Teen Spirit.  Because, earlier, she ate some of my deodorant.

So I learned two things, today: first, according to Judith at Poison Control, the Center rarely recommends vomiting as treatment, these days.  Which is good, because I tried unsuccessfully to get Clementine to vomit three times before calling the Poison Control Center.  Of course she wouldn't vomit, because whatever I want (or think I want) Clementine to do, she doesn't.  Whatever I don't want Clementine to do, she does.  She was the wiser of the two of us, today, but--I promise--this is not generally the case.

When I was a little girl, I had a reoccuring dream that I was driving a car, and everytime I turned the steering wheel right, the car turned left.  Everytime I turned the steering wheel left, the car turned right.  I understand, now, that--in some small way--God was preparing me for life with Clementine.

But anyway.  Judith looked Teen Spirit up in her database and asked me if it were the antiperspirant.  "I'm not sure," I told her.  "It doesn't have a label on it, anymore.  But I know it's Teen Spirit.  It's the white one with the pink cap."

"I don't have pictures in my database," Judith said, snidely.  But, minutes later, she assured me that all Teen Spirit is relatively safe to eat.  She recommended I give Clementine about 4 oz of water and keep an eye on her.

"Do you think it's ok for me to put her down for a nap?" I asked, with some measure of desperation.  (At that point, I was pretty much over Clementine.)

"Sure," Judith answered.  "Just go in and check on her.  She should be fine."

Jokingly, I said, "I figured.  She's too mean for anything too terrible to happen to her."

Judith didn't laugh.  She asked for Clementine's and my first names and our zipcode.  I wondered if she were planning to send Child Protective Services over, but no one came.  Thank goodness, because CPS (or anyone else, for that matter) is unlikely to believe my very true account of how Clementine came to have a ring of thirty flea bites around her left ankle.

If this weren't my story, and I were reading it, I would wonder: why does almost-thirty-seven-year-old Brandee Shafer wear Teen Spirit, anyway?  And I don't have a good explanation other than it's the deodorant I've always worn.  I like the way it smells (like roses, even on Clementine's breath) and--since it continues to work just fine--I don't feel too mature for it.  As of today, I'm happier than ever with my deodorant choice: it's not particularly poisonous, after all, and doesn't its name make for an excellent blog-post title?

Before I forget, I need to tell you the second thing I learned today.  A tuffet (as in, Little Miss Muffet sat on one) is a small stool.  Did you know?  After all these years, I had no idea until Elmo taught me, today.  Thanks, Elmo!

(And thank You, God, for keeping the Wild Orange safe one more time.)


  1. Ha! Brandee, this kills me....she is a little fire ball isn't she? You wonder what gave her the thought that 'deoderant' might taste yummy~ha! Cracks me up how you say, "I was over Clementine at this point"

    I love your honesty, makes me giggle, cuz I say these things too!

  2. Brandee,

    I'm sipping coffee (which doesn't taste like roses, thank goodness!) and smiling at you. Glad Clementine survived the deodorant several years ago, and imagining that as a four year old she is just as much of an independent, leadership-in-training girl as she was then. :) At least that's how I have tried to explain it to myself with my kids...

    Laughing with you and understanding,
    Jennifer Dougan

  3. Absolutely priceless!! Those are the moments that make a life. The "Jokingly, I said, "I figured. She's too mean for anything too terrible to happen to her."" ones. Every mom has them, whether she admits it or not.
    My classic moments usually come with my quip of "and this is why people only have ONE child" while my crew of five have gone completely crazy.
    I LOVE coming over here to visit, you brighten my day!!
    LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz

  4. what would we do without elmo...and non toxic deoderant....smiles....ha...its a wonder any of use survive you know...must be grace...smiles...and happy bday to your little one...

  5. laughing. just laughing. and i've had that same car dream. i'm sure it has NOTHING to do with control issues :-)
    blessings to you as you live life with Clementine. i'm thinking we either all have one, or all need one. ha!

  6. Well, happy birthday to Miss Clementine! Everyone needs a child like her, I think. It keeps things interesting :)

  7. So glad you posted this because I missed it the first time around. You crack me up, Miss Brandee. Can we still be friends if I admit I'm not sure I know what Teen Spirit smells like?