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Unfortunately, despite my efforts to never blog about diaper events – this story involves poop. At some point in a child’s life, the poop is a part of the story that can not be ignored and must be included for the plot to hold together. So, here we are. However, I shall be true to my own ethos w/r/t poop-blogging and keep it to a minimum. I only wish my son had shown the same restraint last night…

Anyhow. This is a story about Stinkiest Bear.

The Whuff has never been a pacifier man or a blanket man, and despite my efforts to get him to be a good little nerd and adopt a cloth book as his lovey, he went for the bears. For a while he favored a specific bunny – but as the bunny was from Portugal and no duplicate bunnies could be found, I swiftly started rotating the animal parade and he chewed on all of his stuffed companions pretty much equally – favoring those with the “fluffiest” textures. Also, evidently those from Build A Bear taste best as the few that I had from that emporium needed to be washed far more often than their compatriots from Target. Good to know.

It should be mentioned that Build A Bear occasionally has limited edition bears and in my breastfeeding hormone fueled haze over BABBY’S! FRIST! CHRISTMAS! I bought a limited edition Christmas bear solely because it has “2011” stitched on one of its paws and I thought “What a wonderful thing to embarrass him with when he grows up! A bear from his first Christmas!” Being that he hadn’t settled on a specific lovey, I tossed the bear in with the rotation figuring I’d simply pull it out and put it into storage when it was on the brink of destruction.

Idiot. ID. I. OT.

Of course he’s settled on a lovey now, and of course it’s the limited edition bear of irreplaceable sentimental value. Every day, those preshus memories are one chew closer to annihilation. For it is not enough for him to snuggle with the bear. Oh no. The bear – specifically its ear – must be chewed to the desired consistency, a process that has given it its name. Stinkiest Bear. For lo, of all the bears in his menagerie, this one has the most stench.

Stinkiest Bear gained even MORE stench last night when P managed to remove his diaper (it being summertime, he was sleeping in a diaper and t-shirt and clearly, this won’t happen again as I’ll at least try to foil him with the snaps of a onesie) and… well… you can guess what happened. It was quite the scene and I spent a lot of the morning cleaning up everything in, shall we say the blast radius. A lot of muttering was done about what super genius decided that the baby should have the room with the “stucco” textured walls. (Note to prospective parents: if you have a house with multiple bedrooms and are narrowing down the nursery – NOT THE ONE WITH TEXTURED WALLS.)

I’ve refrained from washing Stinkiest Bear as I had a hunch that the stench was part of its appeal and the upshot of having ONE stench to rule them all means that I’m no longer washing gross drooly bears in every load of laundry – which is saving me no small amount of money on detergent, vinegar, Borax and – the secret ingredient in bear stench removal – I kid you not, vodka. So much time and energy saved with just one horrifying bear that I just let the stench fester until washing it was unavoidable.

And believe you me, washing this thing was unavoidable. I’m grateful for all my warm-up rounds with bear cleanliness protocol that it only took *one* wash to return this thing to a state less likely to be condemned by the CDC.

However, the washing of the walls, the mattress, the bears, the sheets, every one of the crib rails (inside and out) (why must cribs have so many rails), and – of course – the child himself from toes to – no lie – eyebrows was not the end of the incident. I was able to get the whole bed reassembled by nap time and braced myself for the re-introduction of Stinkiest Bear – whose absence had been definitely noted and many objections were raised.

The initial reaction was one of great jubilation. Finally! His best friend! His confidant! Life is good again! And then… he felt around the ears trying to find the stinky one. No luck. He raised an ear to his mouth. No, this doesn’t taste right. Great disgust – similar to my own when Stinkiest Bear’s stinkiest ear has been accidentally rubbed across my skin or shoved in my own face – spread across his face. Now, the other ear. Similar disgust. Searching for more ears. Perhaps the drooly ear is lost? No, no drooly ear. And then. The horror. The rejection. The screaming.

As I did this, I muttered to myself “I can’t believe I’m doing this” – but I did. I took the bear into the bathroom and wet down an ear to approximate the drooly texture. It took him a few more minutes, but it did suffice enough to get him to finally settle down and nap. And now, the ear is drooled upon once more and life can continue.

The things you do as a parent. Wetting down the ear of a stuffed animal so that your toddler will accept it into his gaping maw to chew upon. Next time I have to wash it, I’ll rub it down with a paper towel soaked in apple juice and goldfish cracker crumbs. Because that’s how much I love my son.

I draw the line at pre-chewing the ear myself. Even motherly love has its limits.