It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Poppy and the Poo

Poppy lies on the floor, ready for her diaper change.

“She gots a poo?” Jazz enquires, peering butt-ward. If she does, she’ll circle closer, to stare and comment. Rory and Grace arrive as soon as they know what’s up. The gather close, the crowd my elbows, the talk, talk, talk about the poo.

“She gots a poo!”
“Yeah, a poo!”
“She has a stinky poo on her bum!”
“A stinky poo-poo bum in her diaper!”
“Poppy has a poo, Rory?”
etc., etc.

The fascination never ends. (The conversation never gets any more interesting than that.)

What is the attraction? While I am rarely grossed out by a soiled diaper — goodness knows I’ve had years of de-sensitisation — I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have to be. But they gather round, forming a claustrophobic wall of prurient interest in the output of their friend.


These days, when I know I have a poo to deal with, before I’ve even lain the kid down on the floor, I send them to another room. “Okay, you poo-vultures. Go play in the kitchen.”

“Poppy gots a poo?” Jazz glances longingly at Poppy’s diapered butt.

“Yes, she does. Away you go. I’ll call you when I’m done.”

Seriously. I do this. You may find it silly. I would understand that. For years the poo-vulture habits of two-year-olds amused rather than disgruntled me. For years, I let the older kids hang around and chat about the poo before them, and I chortled at the weirdness. But these days, though I still find it quirkily funny, I can do without both the audience and the commentary, thankyousomuch. Maybe it’s my claustrophobia?

Anyway. I am used to toddlers being morbidly interested in shit. It’s weird, but it appears to be pretty much normal.

Poppy likes poo. Not anyone else’s, thank goodness. She is not the poo vulture that the older children are. No, Poppy likes her own. Normally this is not an issue. When I change her, I have to keep a sharp eye on her hands, knowing that, unfended-off, they might well dive in there and fondle the findings. (Urgh.) But that I can handle.

No, the real problem is nap-time. Two hours or more of quiet time, alone in a room. Should there be poo at some time during those two or more hours…

She does this at home, too. Her parents are revolted. Can’t imagine why. You open the door to your sweet snookums’ little bedroom, and are hit by a wall of stench. The pudgy fingers clutching the crib rail are smeared and brown. The diaper lies in a crumpled heap on the sheets, small brown footprints making a trail on the pink flannelette sheet. Urgh. There is not much to recommend it as A Parenting Experience.

Though she’s also shown remarkable dexterity here. I’ve walked into the room, hit the wall of stench … and seen clean, pink hands, clean, pink legs, a clean, pink sheet … and a diaper with its dollop of poo sitting neatly discarded in a corner. (No, she’s not ready for toilet-training. We’ve tried. Not.A.Clue. Dammit.)

I’ve seen any number of children with a revolting interest in finger-painting with feces, but never one as long-term as Poppy. Usually it’s something they get over reasonably quickly. Poppy’s been at it for six weeks now, and the interest shows no sign of fading.

She’s coordinated and strong, too, dammit. At first, our solution was to put her in overalls. She ripped them open.

Then we tried a onesie.

She can unsnap a onesie.

A onesie under snug tights.

She call pull the tights off.

Frankly, I think she was enjoying the challenge…

But! I have the solution! Well, not the solution-solution. Poppy just has to outgrow this one. But I have the solution to the shit-on-the-sheets problem. To the Poppy-Houdini problem. I’ve used it before, in fact. (Though not, I promise, like this.)

Duct tape.

Yup. Slap a strip of duct tape across the front of the diapers, covering both tabs, and that kid is in there for the duration. With a strong and coordinated Houdini like Poppy, the duct tape extends well around the sides.

(And see? It comes in lots of designer colours and patterns these days! The red plaid was courtesy of Poppy’s parents. My roll here is bright blue.)

Yes, it does require scissors to get her out of there, so it’s a little inconvenient. But SO WORTH IT! Three weeks, and the little monkey has yet to defeat the duct tape. Take THAT! Mary and Duct Tape for the win!


March 7, 2012 - Posted by | eeewww, Mischief, Poppy | , ,


  1. yea! for duct tape!

    Inexpensive, effective and now with Designer Colours! What’s not to like??

    Comment by My Kids Mom | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  2. My daughter is now 7 and I remember emailing you frantically about this type of situation. Duct tape solved it! I still love reading your blog!

    This comment makes me very happy. Happy that I helped a frantic mother, and happy that you’re still reading! Heh. Thanks for reminding me!

    Comment by Paula Douglas | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  3. My mother-in-law suggested this at one point. We never did need it, but I’m glad to see that it does work 🙂

    It does, indeed. Obviously, your mother-in-law is a smart woman!

    Comment by Matt C | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  4. Unfortunately I can tell you what will happen in a few weeks, at least if she’s anything like my kids. She will just pull the diaper down with the duct tape still on. 😦 Our solution? diaper, duct tape, onesie, footie zippered pajamas with a safety pin holding the zipper up. So far, so good.

    Oh, yuk! I am happy to report I’ve never run into that. Either my kids haven’t been as determined (or perhaps as strong/coordinated) as yours, or my strategy of wrapping the tape entirely around on the more determined kids makes the waist less stretchy, and thus unable to go down over their bottoms. Who knows? I’m only glad it hasn’t happened!!

    Comment by Jessica | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  5. Hahahaha I love this story!!! I know a little boy who liked to pee, in his pants, a lot… for no reason.

    Kids and anything bathroom related completely fascinates them. I have to send one of my charges away now as she gets all up in her sister’s shitty business and makes the whole process take a million times longer, which is not so great because the pooper in question has ones with smells to rival a grown man!

    I am so happy I found this blog.. nice to know there is someone out there in the same (shit smeared) boat 🙂

    Love Elle xo

    I need to reorganize my categories, as I have far too many. Perhaps one should be “my job is the shits”? 😉

    Comment by Elle | March 9, 2012 | Reply

    • Hahaha, yes indeed… I think there is a market for printed t’shirts for nanny’s “I wipe snot.” “I ALWAYS put baby in the corner” “You ain’t got shit on me… (because it’s all over your hands, face, sheet….)” Elle xo

      Comment by Elle | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  6. So funny! My 5 year old still comes running when I change my 1 year old’s diaper. “Is it a pee or poop diaper, mom? It’s just pee? Ok.” OR “It’s a poop?? Can I see it?? Ewww, gross!” I don’t fully understand, but my husband and I, too, banned the kids from the room during diaper changes, more to give the baby peace, since they hovered around her head and drove her batty!

    See? It’s universal, it truly is. And though I know I’ll never get an answer, I do wonder WHY?

    Comment by Meesha | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  7. My niece is fascinated with change time for my five month old babe. She will regularly insists he needs changing then “helps” by getting the nappy, wipes and then putting the firmly tied nappy sack full of its stinky contents into the bin at then end, finishing with a cheery “Tank you Aunty Tammy”. She’s nearly three, how long do you think before I can hand over the entire task to her 🙂

    Comment by Tammy | March 10, 2012 | Reply

  8. […] you’ve been around for long enough, you also know that Grace and Jazz are poo-vultures. The are drawn to the stuff, in an utterly morbid (and revolting) way. Usually I shoo them away […]

    Pingback by It was a moist day at Mary’s « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | December 5, 2012 | Reply

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