When I was a kid, my Mom used Baby Magic baby wash on us. I don’t know if it was because it was cheaper than the Johnson & Johnson brand or what, but I always remember the clear Baby Magic bottle with the yellow cap.
When Georgie was born, his first bath was with Baby Magic. Ethan and Stella’s first baths were in the sink and I used Baby Magic.
Not long after Ethan’s birth, I was at Target to buy some more baby wash, and I noticed that there were new bottles with a different logo. I opened them and smelled; it was different. It might have said Baby Magic on the bottle, but it was most definitely not Baby Magic.
I panicked. I went to the grocery store, Wal Mart and Walgreens. No Baby Magic. I went online and Playtex’s Web site only showed the strange new bottle. I called their customer service line and the representative confirmed my fears; they had discontinued the ‘old’ Baby Magic and had a new formula in new packaging.
I almost broke down in tears. How could my babies smell like anything other than Baby Magic? The smell of damp hair and skin, bundled into pajamas, snuggling into the crook of your neck, ready for bed after reading Guess How Much I Love You and Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus. The smell of peanut butter and jelly and sun and dirt and laughter in the sandbox washed away, replaced with the smell of bedtime giggles and stories and prayers.
I did what emotionally postpartum mother would do: I went on eBay. I bought a case of my Baby Magic, and have used it since for every bath of every one of our children.
I went downstairs tonight to get another bottle, and I saw that I only have one left. On one hand, I’m deeply saddened to know that my babies won’t smell like babies for long; they’ll want goofy kid soap that smells like Willy Wonka threw up on them. On the other hand, I’m happy that it’s lasted this long, that they all have borne the fragrance of babyhood for this long.
So tonight, after we’ve tucked them into their beds after stories of firefighters (George) and lifeguards (Ethan) and horses (Stella), I will dig out three of my travel bottles, pour my precious Baby Magic into each one, and put them into their memory boxes. I’m sure that the formula will change over the years, and it won’t smell quite like it did when it was newly made, but I will keep it.
And I will remember.