Friday, January 24, 2014
In Praise of a Sense of Smell
Here are a couple things I've discovered about the importance of a sense of smell:
1. If someone invented a pill that completely removed your ability to smell, it could be the ultimate diet pill.
I can't taste anything. Not a thing. And food has basically zero appeal to me because of it. I haven't found myself snacking or eating any junk food, because there's just no pleasure in it if I can't taste it. I told Tom a bit over-dramatically the other night that "I didn't even care about dinner, since I wouldn't be able to taste it anyways," which prompted him to offer to make it instead.
Whoever taught us back in elementary school that you have all these taste buds on your tongue that can register "sweet, salty, bitter, and...whatever the other one was [sour??]" must have lied. Or else you still need those flavors to pass through receptors in your nasal passages in order to actually "taste" them, in which case...does a separate sense of taste really even exist? Yep - such are the deep philosophical questions in my head these days.
Last night, I found myself craving a hot fudge sundae so bad. I thought at first it was the pregnancy talking, but then I realized - it was because my brain had actually come up with a food that I would be able to get some sort of sensory pleasure out of. The contrast between the hot and cold temperatures would at least make for an enjoyable eating experience, even without the ability to taste any of it.
I felt fairly uncivilized doing it, but during dinner tonight, I gave my nose one good hard blow right before I took each bite, because it allowed me a fleeting half-second of being able to kind of taste my food. I had a box of tissues sitting by my plate. I've sunk pretty low.
2. Moms use their noses for their mom duties all the time.
The other morning, Sly insisted that he had soaked the bed during the night. But everything felt dry, and I didn't smell anything, so I left the sheets on his bed and just folded up his pajamas to be reused. At the end of the day, I dressed Sly back in the same PJs, and sent him over to Daddy to read his bedtime story. Sly jumped onto Tom's nap, and Tom immediately got a disgusted expression, and said, "ugh! What the heck? Christine - are these pajamas clean?!" (Allow me to pause, because I'm laughing pretty hard remembering this). Nope! Apparently, Sly had been right. And his whole bed needed to be stripped down and changed, too.
I usually use the sniff-test for random articles of clothing or towels I find strewn on the floor, to determine if they are clean, "clean enough", or dirty. Without the ability to do this, things have been just ending up in whichever pile my current whim decides to throw them....so far, I haven't had any complaints. But we'll see.
The sniff-test is also my main way of knowing when a diaper needs to be changed. Since I haven't smelled any diaper odors recently, I find that I haven't even been thinking about changing them, so have left several diapers on a bit too long. Oops. Tom's the one who keeps "discovering" the offensive diapers now. I think part of him isn't fully convinced that I actually can't smell them :-)
So don't underestimate the power of your nose, people! I'm really looking forward to having a working one again, so I can get back to enjoying my meals and my coffee, and protecting my family from the various odors that really should be dealt with in a timely manner!