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Super Sniffer

Cora’s quite the sensory girl:
we’ve already figured out that she is incredibly tactile,
touching and rubbing against everything in an effort to get to know
it better. Just think about my blogs describing the way she rubs my
hair over her face in ecstasy. And she’s quite a
super-taster, too – she put many more things in her mouth
(unfortunately) as a baby than Maddie ever did. And her hearing is
extraordinary –she’ll hear Brian come home late at
night, hours past her bedtime, when our door alarm chimes softly
(across the house, on another floor, through her closed door, with
her air purifier and night-night music on) and immediately begin
chanting, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”

But nothing beats that kid’s sense of smell.

For starters, there’s the whole
bathroom issue. If someone’s been in there before her and
done, shall we say, some solid work, she won’t enter the
bathroom until we spray the orange oil we use to freshen the air.
Talk about making a person feel bad.

But she will use her nose like Sherlock Holmes’ bloodhound,
sniffing out mysteries on other people. She’ll come up to you
and sniff you all over, like a puppy, nearly hyperventilating with
her rapid breathing. The sniffing tickles and feels a little cool,
until she starts sniffing, say, your armpits. Then you’d like
a little olfactory privacy.

When Cora was a baby, before she’d ever tasted chocolate, she
sniffed it and identified it on my breath. Since then she’s
never quite trusted me, and I’ve got to be quite careful how
I breathe around that kid. Because I know I’m not the only
mom that sneaks bites of candy while her kids aren’t looking.

So I’ll eat a piece of chocolate while the girls are watching
their video in the evening, then walk into my bathroom and brush my
teeth, so I won’t have to lie. Even so, Cora will climb on my
lap a few minutes later, begin talking, and as soon as I breathe
out she’ll take my face in her hands, stare closely, and
start with the Super Sniffing thing. “I smell chocolate,

“Nope, I’m not eating chocolate, hon.”

Sniff sniff sniff. “WERE you eating chocolate?”

“Honey, you smell toothpaste. The last thing in my mouth was

Sniff sniff sniff. “I smell it under the toothpaste.”

Yesterday I was lying on the bed cuddling with Cora before her nap,
and she snuggled into my chest. Then she stilled, then started with
the sniffing thing. All over me. She sniffed all over my tank top,
pulled it out, and sniffed all over my sports bra.

“Mommy, you smell like the Pilates studio. I thought you said
you were teaching at the BALLET studio.” She said this like
she’d caught me cheating on her by smelling another brand of
diaper on my skin or something.

“Honey, Mommy was at the ballet studio this morning, and then
the Pilates studio during lunch. I went to both. So when I told you
this morning that I was leaving for the ballet studio, I was being

One long last sniff, and then, “Oh, there, I smell the ballet
studio under it.”

I’m not sure what good this will do Cora in the future,
except to make her someone who will have very expensive taste in
perfumes. Maybe she’ll become a famous coffee sniffer, or

Or maybe she’ll just have the most faithful husband on the


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