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?”
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.)
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!