The Time I Had to Clean the Poop Off the Wall

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Categories Napping, Revulsion, ToddlersTags 5 Comments

When twin 2-year-olds start changing each other's diapers during nap time, it doesn't make for a pretty picture.Once, when J and M went down for their nap at age 2, I decided to take a nice long shower. I’d been having a hard time sleeping, so I thought a shower might help me take my own nap. As it turns out, I should have done more to confirm that M and J were asleep.

When I came out of the shower, I heard voices in the girls’ room, so I went to investigate.

M: Mama, I can’t clean the poop on the wall.
Me: The what on the what?
M: The poop on the wall.
Me: How did poop get on the wall?
M: I put it there.

This face delivered the news of poop on the wall. Because twins will try to change one another's diapers if they can.
This face delivered the news of poop on the wall.

M had gone number two in her diaper. She had then used half a package of wipes to clean herself, and in the process smeared the wall above her bed with fæces. Can I get an “Eeeeeewwwww” from the peanut gallery?

I never got a clear answer from J on her level of participation.

Just to be safe, both young ladies were bathed, and all the bedding and soft toys in the room and clothes on the girls made their way through the washing machine with copious quantities of bleach. I was glad I had an economy-size container of disinfectant wipes because the walls, as well as the dresser where the used diaper wipes were piled, needed it. For the record, satin sheen Behr paint cleans wonderfully!

At some point, J’s (clean and dry) diaper was changed. J reported that M changed it for her, and I must admit that she did a great job. One tab was attached a little crookedly, but I wouldn’t have known that I hadn’t put the diaper on J except that she’d been in a different brand when she went down for her nap.

This was one of the grossest experiences of my life.

I started out angry and grossed out. Once the wall and children were clean, though, I was able to get a little perspective. M was genuinely trying to clean up after herself. She was embarrassed by the mess she made. J tried to communicate to me what happened, although I struggled to understand the sequence of events.

Our babies grow up. They won’t learn without falling down a few times and making a few messes.

What’s been your grossest parenting moment?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun. She also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

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A Year of Twins Taking Off Their Diapers

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As our children grow, we often amazed at all the new and amazing things they can do – the first babble, the first smile, the first roll, the first laugh, the first crawl, the first steps. All of it! It’s awesome. Even funny things, like the first time your child eats grass, or the first time they fart. But, somethings, while we are amazed at their new skill and exploration, are not so funny or great when they become repeated habits.  The habit that wasn’t so cute and adorable after the first time?: my child taking off their diaper.

It was at about 13 months that my little Lisa discovered that she could remove those Velcro tabs on her disposable diaper (note: this might be a great reason to use cloth – I hear they aren’t as easy for little ones to remove themselves). While we were slightly impressed (look at those fine motor skills!), we didn’t want it happening again. I didn’t want to clean up the mess that resulted from this new skill very often! So, we just made sure she always had pants on.

Problem solved, right?

Nope.

My daughter Lisa proved to be a Houdini of taking off her diaper, no matter what we tried. Shortly after making her wear pants at all times, she learned how to take off her pants, and then her diaper.Twins Taking Off Their Diapers (for a year!) - How to stop a child from taking off their diapers at nap time. We next tried making sure she always had a onesie on, but she soon learned how to unsnap the crotch, or just simple reach up those leg holes and undo the Velcro on her diaper.

At this point, we began to ask around for advice. We were first time parents and were getting a little overwhelmed with the endless soiled clothes and crib sheets. So, we tried a few more things.

It was repeated recommended to us that we put pants on underneath her onesie. Sounds genius right? Oh, but not for my daughter! She’s got talent and determination!  Would you believe that after trying this winning combination, I came in after nap to find that she was still fully dressed, pants still on, onesie still snapped, but diaper off! How? HOW?! Only God knows for sure!

So, after this we realized that onesies were not the solution. We had to get more creative. We tried safety-pinning zipped pajamas closed (though always worried they’d undo it and poke themselves, plus it always meant they had to have zippered jammies on during nap time, which essentially meant changing clothes more, which just didn’t happen…). And we tried pajamas put on backwards (by far the most effective), but not a great option during those hot summer months (and our limited supply of zippered pajamas).

Other things we tried were pull-ups (nope!) and bribes (keep your diaper on during nap and I’ll give you a treat!). We also attempted potty training: I’ll write about that in another post.

The most common thing we ended up doing? Duct Tape. You betcha. We would tear the duct tape in half, and put it over the front Velcro part of their diapers at every diaper change. And it worked!  For a while. Soon, they learned how to remove the duct tape off their diapers too. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that a few months into this diaper removing trick, my other daughter also began doing it too? Because, that totally happened. I had two diaper removing twins to deal with every. single. day.

But, we were willing to give duct tape another go.  This time we put a thin strip of duct tape all the way around their diapers. This worked very well, most of the time. The hard part about duct tape wrapped all the way around the diaper is that it’s harder to take off – for the parents. But, they stayed on, most of the time… A few times they managed to undo the tape, or wiggle out of their diapers.

I was very happy when my twins stopped taking off their diapers as often. I was glad that I could stop buying rolls of duct tape (we went through at least two) and didn’t have to remember to bring duct tape with us for the babysitter. I was also very glad when they decided to potty train and we could just say goodbye to diapers in general.

Because twins taking off their diapers for a year, a solid year, was… horrible. There I said it.

Here’s a recap of the nine ways to keep your child’s diapers on!

  1. Keep pants on them.
  2. Keep Onesie on them.
  3. Put pants underneath a Onesie.
  4. Safety-pin pajamas.
  5. Put pajamas on backward.
  6. Pull-Ups
  7. Bribes
  8. Potty Training
  9. Duct Tape

And one I forgot? Put the diapers on backward, tabs in the back. Also didn’t work.

Did your twins, triplets, or singleton ever go through this diaper removing stage? What did you do? How did you cope?

ldskatelyn is the owner of What’s up Fagans? a blog all about living each day better.  Passionate about family, parenting, faith, and life, Katelyn shares the simple things she does to make her family life better: from great books she’s read, to preschool lessons she’s taught, to date nights she’s had with her husband, to ways she makes ends meet, she shares it all with her simple, honest blog. Katelyn is a SAHM to twin 3.5 year old g/g twins and a 7 month old baby boy. Follow What’s up Fagans? on Facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google+.

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