Hair today, gone tomorrow

This may sound a little odd, but I am enchanted with my son’s head.

There are so many things I love about it.

I am enchanted by the flecks of gold in his hair.  It always shocks me to see this, as my hair is about as jet black as it comes.  When Chip was born, he actually had light blond surfer highlights that I thought were so cool.  He still gets pretty blond in the summer time.  It reminds me of his dad.

I am enchanted by the little cowlick at the back: an ode to Alfalfa.  It never lies completely flat, no matter what length it is.  He gets that from his dad as well.

I am enchanted by the fact that his head is still slightly out of proportion with the rest of his body.  It’s not orange-on-the-end-of-a-tyooothpick big.  It’s just toddler big.  I know someday soon, he’ll grow into his head.  And that makes me a little sad.

But most of all, I am enchanted by the way his head smells.

I know, that sounds weird.

But I sneak smells of it when I can.  In those rare quiet moments when he’s sitting on my lap munching on a cookie… or snuggled in my arms before bedtime, I like to smell his warm, fuzzy little head.

I inhale.  And savor.

Sometimes it smells like wacky watermelon kid’s shampoo, or baby lotion.

Sometimes it smells faintly like a squished piece of chocolate, or some ground in mac ‘n cheese.

Sometimes, after napping on freshly laundered crib sheets, it smells of Mountain Breeze detergent or dryer sheets.

Sometimes it smells like drool.  His, not mine.  But it’s a sweet, comforting smell that has no trace whatsoever of morning mouth.  I guess there is a reason they call it baby’s breath.

Sometimes, after he’s been cuddling with Jay, it smells faintly of aftershave.  I love that I can get a whiff of both of my boys at once.

But there’s always an underlying scent.

It’s the smell of baby.

I can’t describe the scent.  But it is real.  It’s a smell that, on my olfactory scale, ranks right up there with home-baked cookies, cinnamon and fresh freesia.  It’s a delicious, enchanting aroma that, in my book, has no equivalent.

My daughter doesn’t have this any more.  She used to.  But then I blinked, and her baby smells gave way to Tinkerbell chapstick, Strawberry Shortcake dolls and sweaty little preschooler head.

She’ll never again have that distinctly baby smell.  And that, too, makes me a little sad.

But for now, my son does.  If you see some random crazy on the street with her nose buried in her kid’s hair, it may be me.  I know that smell of baby will soon be gone, so I’m soaking it all in while I can.

And so I inhale… and savor.  Because that smell just enchants me.

Mama's Losin' It

24 thoughts on “Hair today, gone tomorrow”

  1. i admit to smelling maddie’s head when she comes home from her early ed. program. one of her teachers wears perfume…

    oh? not the type of smell you were referring to?

  2. YES! Absolutely! Along with juicy thighs, I love the way they smell. In fact, sometimes I feel like Mary Katherine Gallagher and can’t help but *SNIFF* smell her head like this

  3. RRRRRR!

    I miss that smell! Enjoy it now and no, you’re not crazy…or the rest of us are too and wouldn’t that make it normal?

  4. I remember that smell well. Nothing like it. I still love the smell of my duaghter’s head and she’s 10. My 13 year old son – not so much. It smells like teen spirit.

  5. Awww!! I know exactly what you mean. It always amazes me that there is no morning breath with those little sweet things. My little guy is 2 1/2. His hair smelled sweaty the other day and that made me sad. Okay, I’m choking up over here. He had the most beautiful dark, curly, full head of hair that I never wanted to cut. It was REALLY curly in hot weather. Now that it’s cold, his hair isn’t so curly and it was starting to look really shaggy. He got a “real haircut” recently and now looks like a…BOY! Not a baby. I’m going to cry!! Waaa!! Anyway, I loved this post. Thanks for bringing back the baby scent memories.

  6. I laughed so hard when you said that someday your son would grow into his head…I think about this every day I dress my youngest and his head doesn’t fit through the shirt….I think jeeze I hope his head doesn’t grow any bigger!

    And he has hair like my oldest, I LOVE that golden color it turns in the summer!

  7. So lovely and so true! What a beautiful thought to write an enchanting post on this theme. I do all of that with my baby and notice my older children can’t keep their hands from stroking her head and smelling her sweet scent either.

  8. Dont you wish that the smell could be bottled so that coupled with the pictures of these oh so sweet years, we have the smell that makes the memory so much more vivid.

  9. Visiting here from Writer’s Workshop and I’m so glad I did! 🙂

    I love the way my baby boy smells too. I savor every sniff because my friends have warned me that older boys stink. That makes me sad. I don’t remember sniffing my girls, but I guess I did. Maybe that’s why I love the way my son smells because it takes me back to when my girls were babies.

  10. It definitely does not sound odd at all! Does his hair color come from your husband’s side of the family? It’s a beautiful color. My daughter’s head is so big that sometimes it t-shirts don’t fit over her head! We call her bobble-head!

  11. This was so good. It made me think about how much I love my boys’ heads and how often I smell them. You did a good job here. A really good job.

  12. When we go to family parties, I can tell who Alex played with the most based on what he smells like. Which is only a small part of how I became a head smeller.

  13. Loved this. Baby smells, puppy smells – you are right, they “loose” it at some point, and it is so precious while it is there. I have a friend in her seventies, and she is a collector of the baby dolls, the ones that are so real, especially the ones that come with the baby smell.

    I used to have horses when I was a child, and what I most love now at country fairs is to be able to go up to a pony, donkey, horse, and “smell” them. Its such a pleasant recall of the love, vibrancy, friendship and joy I had.

    Thank you so very much.

  14. aww, that’ so sweet. Even at 5 years old I love the way E’s hair smells after he’s just had a bath. My husband notices it too. simple pleasures. 🙂

  15. What a sweet sweet post with a dose of your funny way with words! Love it. I have a confession…I love the way my son smells when he just woke up in the morning. Something I never thought possible considering drools and all LOL 😀

  16. My sentiments exactly! That’s why I never use to let overly perfumed women hold my babies. Okay, maybe that’s a little obsessive but “Baby Smell” is delicate, heavenly and definitely more pleasant than Chanel No. 5!

  17. I to am enchanted with just about everything about my daughter. She is 3 and still in discovery mode. Every time I look at her I am enchanted. This is a sweet and amazing post.

  18. I won’t lie, I love the smell of my kids head too! I also am amazes that he was born with jet black hair and now it’s blonde. I have dark brown hair! Plus when it gets long, it has waves and curls. My hair is pin straight.
    Love my guy!

  19. I still smell my boys’ hair, even though they’re older. I could cry when I think about how they no longer have that baby smell. Of course, I only smell them when they’re been clean…older kids get stinky after awhile.

  20. Oh, I know exactly what you mean. It’s a very distinctive scent, just full of awesomeness. And they do lose it and the other scents take over. When I hold a baby now, I just want to bury my nose in that sweet spot on top of their head and take it all in.

    It’s still not mine, but it’s wonderful.

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