The following pages contain articles I have written about life in general.  As I
lost myself in motherhood, I put my dreams on hold.  If I've learned nothing else
this year, I've learned that time and life are fleeting.  I'm done just dreaming - I
hope to find someone to read my work.  I'd love to become a columnist and be the
voice that women lost when we lost Erma Bombeck.  As a whole, women are
beautiful, funny, interesting creatures...and all of our lives are rich and
fascinating.  I hope I can someday share my words with all of you on a regular
basis.  

For now, I hope you enjoy these few offerings.  If you worship your mirror, or
want to smell better...we might just be long lost best friends.  If you know an
editor...by golly, we're darn-near related!  
                                                                     I WANT TO SMELL GOOD

                                                                                  By Alicia Hall



I want to smell nice. Just once, just for a minute. I haven't smelled nice in months, six to be
exact. Ten points if you can guess the age of my daughter.

It's not that I mind really, it's merely a wish. A quiet, secret wish, kind of like those dreams we
have of fitting into the jeans we have stashed in the far corner of our closets.

Believe me, I wear my spit spots with pride. I tend to relish the badges of life, the proof that I've
weathered the latest storm front. Actually, baby smells work as a sort of parental pheromone.
Males and females emit pheromones to attract the opposite sex. Parental pheromones attract
the only people who can appreciate baby babble, other parents and grandparents. They also
serve as flashing red warning lights to anyone wishing to avoid 1000 stories about baby
Jimmy's potty training.

The truly scary thing is that I not only listen to potty stories now; I start them. I've actually
discussed this matter with perfect strangers in diaper alley at the local baby store. What else
is there to discuss when you're being dwarfed by a twenty foot tall stack of indelible plastic?

I must admit, I usually buy diapers by the gross...just to avoid the toy store. I hate those
places. The second I walk into one, I'm on sensory overload. To the left we have electronic
toys, right is clothing, straight ahead developmental tools, far left outdoor equipment, far
right...ACKKK! Right about here, my brain implodes and I am thrust into complete neurological
shut down. I always need someone to take my hand and lead me to my desired purchase.
When all is said and done, I leave, muttering to myself and looking like a post traumatic stress
candidate.

What happened to the days of colored stackable rings and giant pink and blue rubber balls?
What about simple Legos and Barbie and Ken? We've now got 200 Barbie species and
aeronautically engineered Legos. Books talk, stuffed animals propagate and baby dolls do all
of the disgusting things my daughter does. So where's the fun in that? Oh sure, as soon as
my child is old enough to stop producing foul stuff, I'm going to run out and buy a doll who can
keep the memory alive. I don't think so.

Somehow I can't imagine I'll need a rubber rugrat to sustain my parental pheromone
production. Baby parents smell of spit. Toddler parents sniff of snacks. Elementary parents
whiff of worms, glue, dirt and everything gross. Then there are those poor souls who look after
teenagers. Anyone talking to them can detect the unmistakable scent of fear.

Actually, I look forward to the time I have left to smell. All too soon my daughter will have
dragged me, screaming, through all the stages of scent. As I smell better, she'll be further
away. All too soon I'll be returned to the days of baby spit, like my mother...secondhand.
Maybe spoiled cottage cheese isn't so bad. After all, I get to do the hugging, feeding, playing
and loving that go along with it.

Move over perfume lady, I won't be needing you for a while.
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Alicia's Articles - Enjoy!