Saturday, April 16, 2016

Stinky Child

I have a situation that bugs me. I have child that stinks. Since she's adopted from Haiti, I don't know if this is a genetic thing or just poor hygiene or what. But she stinks almost all the time. I send her to shower, and I know that some times she only pretends to shower. She gets in just long enough to get wet so it looks like she's showered. It makes no sense because it wouldn't take that much work to actually shower.

Her whole room reeks, and it spreads to the whole house. It's worse after she exercises. She has wipes and deodorant for school for PE days. She has several kinds of soaps, body washes and deodorants for school. She is almost 11.

Here's the problem. She smells at school to the point kids don't want to sit by her. Her teachers are very pretty and it's obvious that looks and hygiene are priorities with them. Earlier in the year the school wanted to help someone with uniforms. They bought her two pairs of school pants and two school shirts. That about $100. We already have school pants, skorts and shorts in 12s, 14s and 16s. We have 14 shirts size 14/16. But she was wearing 10/12s. They felt her pants were too short. Shirts too. (But they weren't--no tummy showing when she raised her arms) But they didn't bother to say a thing to me. I could have easily moved her up to the next size, but they weren't really short. Same for shirts. I moved her up in shirt size so now they are baggy.

Then the counselor gave her a bag of shampoos, soaps. lotions and deodorants. Full sized products. She has all those things already. She says she uses them. 

I e-mailed both times to say she already has more than enough uniforms and personal products.

But a few weeks later they gave her another bag of stuff including a bag of pads, which she doesn't even need yet. 

Two days ago I took her to the doctor for med refills. I brought up smell. The doctor asked her if she uses shampoo, and she said, "Well, I did today," in a very sassy voice. She was pretty sassy and sullen during the whole talk. The doctor told her to shampoo her hair and wash her whole body with soap everyday. The child refused to look at the doctor, She looked away with a very sullen look, eyes dark. At least the doctor got to see that side of her. She can charm when she wants to.

Yesterday, very next day, I sent her to shower. She showered, then ran out the door to go to the bus. Rick drives her because she goes to a charter school, and the morning bus stop is a ways away. He texted me that she stunk even though I sent her to shower. He said to expect to hear from the school. 

Sure enough. They gave her a new shirt to wear and another pair of pants!!! An Ziplock full of both full sized and trial sized hygiene items. 

I sent another e-mail saying that she already has way more than she needs. I told them--and the child--that from now on I will smell check her and if she smells after her shower I will go into the bathroom with her and supervise her myself. I am interested in how they will respond.

But even if she starts out smelling good, it may not stay that way throughout the day. It's up to her to use the wipes and deodorant at school.

Does anyone have experience with children with unnaturally bad body odor or a school who buys a child things? I think that itself may be triggering some of it, because if she gets attention and free girly stuff for stinking, why smell good?


  1. I would not want to sit next to her! When she gets older, other kids will let her know she stinks I'm 14 and the kids are kind of mean to kids who stink in high school.

    1. I forgot to say this is Jada. I don't have a profile.

  2. At the school I teach at we give away clothes and hygiene packs to kids that smell. Although, 9 times out of 10 they smell so to not having running water, homelessness, etc.

    I'd think the school giving her these things is just fueling the problem. And giving her the attention she craves. Even her sitting along I'd think would feed into her attention- granted the other kids shouldn't have to be forced to smell her either.

    Aside from watching her shower... I just don't know. Definitely seems like an attention behavior though- and it just happens that her pre puberty smell is much worse, so she uses that to an advantage.