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[ Not pictured: The HORRIFYING STENCH ZOMG. ]

There are a lot of cutesy inspirational quotes on Pinterest about mothers being their sons’ first love and that’s all well and good and schmoopy and great… but then there are the times when mama’s gotta go over to the dark side.

This weekend, I will be the perpetrator of my son’s first broken heart. And I hate it and it sucks and it’s honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

For the honest to Dog health of our family, I absolutely must get rid of Paulo’s stinky bear before the CDC comes a knockin’ on our door. It’s gone past ridiculous into horrifying. I just washed it (with hot water and vinegar and, yes, I’ve washed it as many ways as one bear can be washed) this Saturday and it already smells like shit. Literally. It smells of shit. Which is quite remarkable since it was only ever in contact with actual shit that once and never again. It’s clearly gone past “bacterial colony” into “bacteria vacation destination and all inclusive resort.” Cold and flu season is upon us and the last thing I need is a germ factory taking up residence in my son’s crib.

Also, did I mention it smells of poo and now I have to change his linens twice a week because then everything else smells of poo? And sometimes I go to kiss P’s sweet head and IT smells of poo because gross stinky awful bear?

It’s lasted this long simply because he loves it. He loves it so much. He looks for it any time he’s at home and not holding it. He drags it around in a way that would be adorable were it not so disgusting. This foul, awful bear is his best friend and I just haven’t had the heart to take it away.

This week though has brought the straw that broke mom’s back. For a while he’s been super keen on chewing on the bear after he eats (EEEWWWW) presumably to impart as much foody drool as possible into the ever growing flora. Now, he’s started actively hoarding the last bite of food in his mouth to go and then chews the bear and I’m so grossed out just writing that, I can’t even describe how gross it is to witness. (Or the alternative which involves my swiping food out of P’s mouth with my finger, when I can catch him in the act, and man does that ever piss him off and is great for me as well, let me tell you.)

And so, it’s come to this. I’ve got to break my poor baby’s heart. There’s just no way around it. And of course, OF COURSE, this is a limited edition bear from last Christmas so there’s no way I can pull a bait and switch (not that he would buy it, he totally gets pissed if I so much as *wash* the bear – he would never accept a new bear as a replacement). All I can hope is that he recovers quickly. Even if he starts the same cycle on a new bear, it’ll be an improvement as it’ll at least be a (literally) clean start.

My plan is to do the horrible deed this weekend when Nuno is home so that P can be as distracted as possible. It’s still going to be awful – especially nap/bedtime – but this is the best I can do. Say your prayers that we all live through it and that we don’t have to have *too many* therapy sessions later in life on how I destroyed his soul starting at such a tender age.