by Mark Phillips
With the trend of more dads staying home from work to raise the children and maintain the household, it has been determined that there are certain advantages men have over women in the area of domestic management.
The first and most obvious advantage we have in the home is our ability to tolerate odors. It is undeniable that men smell bad. Since the miraculous sprouting of those first curly hairs on our chests, the chemical mixture that made us men emitted odors both pungent and powerful. Body odor rapidly became a part of our lives and no amount of deodorant could change it. Eventually, we got used to smelling. We grew proud of the odors we could inflict on others. Then we became fathers.
Women, on the other hand, smell nice. They don’t sweat, they glow. Their hair “smells terrific.” Surrounded closely by themselves, their noses grew used to the sweet bouquet of femininity. In addition, when they became pregnant, a strange transformation took place. Their sense of smell became super-human. They could detect an M&M from across the room and get violently ill at the smell of a Denny’s three miles away.
Parenting involves more scents than any industry outside a perfumery. While some are delightful, most are dreadful. It is truly amazing how something so sweet and small as a baby can create something so noxious as a dirty diaper. This is why a man can step in where a woman fears to tread. With her “supernose” still active after the birth, a woman cannot stand a soiled diaper. If she smells one, everything must stop until it is disposed of. There is no higher priority than the destruction of that vile, offending odor.
We men, on the other hand, understand the offense for what it is: something that belongs somewhere on the list of things to be dealt with. While leaving the smelly thing on the baby for a long period of time would be neglectful and harmful, there might be other things that are more pressing. In due time, we’ll change the diaper and maybe open a window if it warrants it. We might be in the middle of spacing spark plugs or welding a pipe. We might be reading a book to our older kids or be elbow deep in meatloaf. We might be taking a well earned rest and simply need to put our feet up for five lousy minutes and can’t they just leave us alone for one second, thank you very much! We prioritize the need to change that diaper, finish what we were doing, and then address the odor issue when its time comes.
Another advantage we have is the uncanny ability to smell nothing offensive at all. We can honestly claim ignorance when our wives point out that the baby’s diaper needs changing.
“No,” we say with innocent eyes, “I didn’t smell anything. I’ll get you a clean diaper and wipes, if you want.”