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“Hey Mom Smell This”
Local child is very gross
Kina is obsessed with how things smell these days, both for legitimately curious reasons (what frying onions smell like, or rain on pavement) and for absurd disgusting reasons (“What does my foot smell like, Captain Barnacles?!”) The idea that a thing’s smell carries with it either icky or noble connotations is something she’s trying on for size—studying me as I decide whether or not something’s aroma is good or bad. In many ways, she’s literally learning how to smell; she still hasn’t mastered the mechanics of sniffing, for example. (She blows out of her nose like she’s trying to clear her sinuses, looking to me for approval every time.) I don’t want to brag, but I used to have an amazing sense of smell, before I sacrificed it to the gods of SARS-CoV-2. It was like a superpower; I could smell a storm half an hour before it arrived, a leaking gas main in the street on a windy day, the particular kind of stew the woman two floors up was cooking on a Sunday. So when I see Kina’s eyebrows perk up suddenly, I feel like she’s smelling something that is rightly mine to smell. I’m jealous. I do enjoy making her laugh when I pretend to smell her feet and pass out, though—some consolation.
The “Aah, Yes, Yes” above Kina’s portrait is from breakfast, when she asked what Laurea and I were talking about (something about work, who knows). We explained it her, and midway, she vigorously and knowingly nodded her head—“Aaaaah, yeah, yeah. Yesss.” The kind of thing you do at a party when somebody is telling you something you realize you wish you’d never asked about. Our children, ourselves.