It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Normally I use duct tape for this

It was a hot, hot day here yesterday. Our first truly hot day of the summer.

We made our trip to the park early, getting home before the sun hit its skin-sizzling zenith. Not that I have air conditioning, but with judicious use of curtains, standing fans and ceiling fans, the house was quite decently tolerable. (It won’t be after a week of this, but the heat is supposed to break in a couple more days.)

But it was a hot day, and three of the kids sleep upstairs, so I stripped them down before bed, just down to their diapers. No sheets required.

And then I did my nap-time stuff: finish preparing dinner, tidy the house a bit — from waist-level and up, that is; no sense in doing anything lower than that till the Mini Masters of Mayhem have gone home — set out craft, prepare afternoon snack, read a bit, have a cup of tea, and waste time on the computer do some social networking.

Baby Lily was the last to wake. Baby Lily is becoming quite a favourite charmer. From her first wailful weeks, her glass-shattering shrieks, her “GET AWAY FROM ME AND BRING BACK MY MUMMY!!!” rages, she has evolved into a chirpy, cheery, smiling, chattering — not many words, but lots and lots and LOTS of happyhappy chatter — absolutely adorable little mite. When another baby cries, she does not crumple in empathy, but continues in her unflappable good humour, inviting any and all to join her in her to-the-bone love of life. I loves this child.

Noah had announced his return to consciousness with the lilting calls from his room. “Maaaary! I’m awake! Maaaaaary!” It’s very sweet.

New Baby Boy had woken soon after, announcing his return with cries of outrage. “WHY am I still in this bed? WHY did I have to take that damned nap? What took you so long? WHY ARE YOU LIFTING ME OUT OF BED, EVIL WOMAN??? AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

Emily, who, at four, snoozes on the couch on those days on which she requires a nap, simply sits up and, at a nod from me, proceeds into some quiet activity.

And Lily? Well. Normally I hear Lily moving about for quite a few minutes before she starts to call out. She wakes, she rummages about, she talks quietly to herself, and gradually, the volume increases until the happy babble becomes a call.

But today… today I thought I heard rummaging about… and then I wasn’t sure. Maybe? There it is again… no. Did I hear something and it stopped, or was there nothing? Hm. But there’s no chatter. This is Baby Lily, chatterbox of the decade. If there’s not chatter, she simply can’t be awake. The heat is just making her restless in her sleep. Yeah. That’s it.

Half an hour later, though, with all the other children awake and snacked, it’s time to wake the girl.

Lily smiles delightedly when I enter the room. “Up, up, up!” she greets me, her wee arms raised, her face a beacon of friendly welcome, her dark eyes sparkling. “Up, up, up!”

Her butt completely bare.

Her crib littered with teeny shreds of paper. (The paper liner of her cloth diapers.)

Her crib sheet wet with pee.

Her diaper on the floor beside her bed.

Baby Lily has learned to remove her diaper. Oh, happy day.

And THANK GOD it was just pee.

May 25, 2010 - Posted by | health and safety, Lily, Mischief | , ,


  1. That’s the exact solution my mother-in-law recommends πŸ˜‰ Luckily we never had to use it with our first, we’ll see about our second…

    Oh, I swear by the stuff! Just so long as you remember, I (and I assume your mother-in-law, too!) intend it to be used like this (a band of tape over the tabs and across the front, with the ends of the tape behind the small Houdini) NOT like this. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Matt C | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. HAHA! For some reason, my little Monkey does that too…but thankfully ONLY with her parents! I swear, it cracks me up how different kids are with their parents vs. nannies. Mine won’t nap, throw tantrums, run around restaurants, scream when they don’t get their way…it’s unbelievable! lol Thank God they know better when they are with me!

    This is the first time she’s tried it with me, but when I told her dad that evening — because this is the sort of New Skill that ALL involved parties need to know about — he evinced no surprise. “Yes, she’s been doing that for a while at home.” He paused for a moment as his words sunk in. “I guess we should have told you that, huh?” I just laughed, a friendly chortle to him, and, later, telling my husband and daughter, great guffaws. If it had been poo, however, I don’t think I’d have found it neeeeeearly so funny…

    Comment by becomingme2010 | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. And here you thought you were safe for a wee bit with her ‘oh no, no, nooooo’ commentary! They learn soooooo fast!

    I didn’t think of that, but you’re right! If she’d been full of “no, no, nooooooo”‘s up there, I’d have KNOWN something was amiss. Little monkey.

    Comment by Gillian | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  4. If you get one smart enough to undo the duct tape try a lightweight sleeper with a zipper. Cut off the feet so you can put it on backwards and put a safety pin(one of the safe ones with a sliding top)through the zipper tab and pin it to the sleeper. Not even Houdini could escape. My son is almost 40 and that trick is why he made it this far.

    Today I made sure she stayed in her cotton romper, and that proved sufficient. I wouldn’t want to use duct tape on her cloth diapers, as I’m sure the adhesive would make a mess on the fabric that wouldn’t come off easily. However, I shall definitely bear that backward sleeper trick in mind. I’m sure I’ll have a child, eventually, who will require it! (Your last line made me laugh. I’m sure your son is grateful, too!)

    Comment by jwg | May 26, 2010 | Reply

    • You amuse me! I had a set of twins years ago who “taught each other” to take diapers off and paint with the poo! EWWW! We took all their footie pjs and off came the feet. One night I saw one of the girls spinning in circles trying to reach the zipper but she couldn’t. HAHA! Jokes on you kid! lol

      The disgusting finger-painters. I’ve had a couple of those. “EWWWW” barely begins to describe it. Ugh. I guess what they say is right: Two heads are better than one. Though in this case, those two heads were worse. Much, much worse.

      Comment by becomingme2010 | May 26, 2010 | Reply

  5. […] Me: Too right! Heck, they can barely tolerate duct tape! […]

    Pingback by In which Mary waxes irreverent « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | October 22, 2010 | Reply

  6. […] I have the solution! Well, not the solution-solution. Poppy just has to outgrow this one. But I have the solution to […]

    Pingback by Poppy and the Poo « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | March 9, 2012 | Reply

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