Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby-Poop: An Advanced Guide

In my loose series of Pre-Parental Advice, imposed without request:
Number 2: POO!

I don't get people who spend a few hundred on a dog, knowing that they'll be retrieving its poop off the ground, all warm and sticky, reeking in their plastic-wrapped hand. For twelve years. Before the little creature eats it himself. This I have seen, and it haunts me.
What the hell people? At least cats have some shame!

How wonderful are these animals? I've seen other people's dogs, and sure, they seem really nice. But the ones my family got a few years ago were all insane, frenetic little creatures. Giant rodents. They lost battles of wits with craneflies.

The dumbest insects on any planet.
I did not pick up their poo. They were not my dogs.
That would have driven me mad, to commit to that.

I've mucked out a few sheep barns, and among the many unskilled jobs I have held, cleaning hospital rooms was one of the worst. More on that later. I am not afraid of poop, in any way. I have done my time shovelling, wiping, and pitchforking shit for good and all, if there's any way I can get out of it.

But I did clean my son's ass for three years. I was his anal hygienist, and I am proud to say I kept him pretty damned squeaky the whole time. I wanted that outcome more than I wanted to completely avoid the sight, the smell, and the feel of poop. It would have been a fair trade.

But ladies and gentlemen, I tell you, you don't have to make that choice. I had it all.
Finally revealed:

The Ninja Parent's Guide to Poop

First off, this is wrong. 

Like all the Ninja Arts, Stealth Diapering takes courage, a steady hand, and the use of your neglected senses. Poop is an assault to the eyes, nose, and very much an offense to the touch. Your senses are your weakness, and were you merely a common parent, you would betray them and live in pungent ignominy. But you will not be them, you will become ninja.

You must close off all those senses, and rely on memory and hearing alone. 

First, determine if your child is packing. This becomes tricky if you are alone. Find a mate, or neighbour, or neighbouring child. Hold your breath with a relaxed smile, and hand your child over, watching carefully for any change in expression. A frown, raised eyebrows, or best of all a nose wrinkling up gives you the go-ahead. Don't use a dog for this. Trust me. When in doubt, change anyway.

Yes, you caught that right away, didn't you?
You will have disposable diapers, as all other options put you right in the poop.
Open a container of wet-wipes, lay out a fresh diaper, and any creme or ointment or powder* you prefer.
Put the wet wipe on the diaper, and the baby, still safely containing the payload, on the wipe.

Undo the diaper--CAREFULLY! Do NOT open it! Hold your breath. The clock is ticking now.

Practice holding your breath daily to prevent brain damage during this manoeuvre.
The Tricky Part:  Boys Only

Grab the little guy (or victim) by the legs with one hand and lift a little. With the other hand, grab the diaper in front and behind, way behind, and pinch it, using it to get right into that little crack of doom. Squeeze and wipe up and forward firmly. Pull away. There's always a lot of clean diaper in back, if you belted them up firmly in the first place. Use it.

Do not open that diaper as you go. Keep your eyes on the baby's face.
Smile as you turn blue. Baby likes that. 

Steady! Don't laugh back, or you'll blow the whole job. 
As you pull away the diaper, follow closely with the wipe, along the same area, firmly. Also do everything in the front, eyes closed. Circle in from the outside, using your perfect mindmap of this area. Helps if you actually have the ordinance.

There should be no debris, but DO NOT look at the wipe. Check your boy now. Clean as a whistle. Hold the diaper slightly open and toss the wipe in. One more wipe if you wish, and if you aren't going to pass out. Close the diaper, fold it up tight, re-tape it. Use duct tape if you have it.

Can't go wrong this way.
Your child will be sitting cleanly on a fresh diaper. Toss the bomb into a trash can with a tight lid and seal. Open a window and wave one arm as you keep the other on your baby.
Breathe in. You are ninja now.

Prepare the baby for the new diaper, and close firmly.

This is why I will never post about my child's poop, unlike the rest of the parents on the Internet.
I never saw it. You don't need to hear about it.

Let's keep the Internet Poop-Free, if we possibly can.

Thank you.

*We did not use any powders but occasional corn starch. At the time, they said talc and crayons were laced with asbestos contamination. That's serious shit to avoid at all times.

**I did not develop a technique for girls. Please ONLY use this on boys. If anyone knows that secret I will link to you. If it's in any way amusing.


  1. I am a very, very rational person. I don't believe in ghosts, or astrology, and I don't believe my favorite sports team will perform better if I wear the same jersey to every game*. But I went through three kids without saying this because I was sure that the second I did, everything would come undone:

    I have never had a child take a leak while I was changing their diaper. Everyone else I know has had it happen at least once. Me? None. And since they're all out of diapers, I can say it safely now.

    *I'm a Cubs fan, so if what I did affected their success, then it would be my fault. Fuck that.

  2. Brilliant! I beat those odds, too. It's not even worth draping them with a facecloth. You face your fear and just go, go, go!

    Wife got it, though. In the face. Poor woman.

    I was changing him, and my son spoke his first words.

    He reproved me, like I was ridiculously disappointing him:
    "Ooh, DAD!"

    He only said "Dad" for months after that. It rankled some people.

    I didn't let on that he was calling everyone that until it was really obvious. Good times.

  3. Wow, you're way more efficient than I ever was. I tended to use 3/4 of the package of wipes and usually ended up coming out with crap hidden on me someplace. But then, I spend a good deal of my time working in various types of poop so I wasn't really bothered by it all that much.

  4. I've mucked out a small barn or two. Not eagerly. I'm not phobic, but given the choice, I'll deny all knowledge until we end up with a pet that isn't aquatic.

    I'm starting to wonder how he never got the runs in three years (at least on my watch). I can't take total credit; I got very lucky.

  5. Huh. My husband and I had the kids conversation over the weekend. This post might be a deal breaker...I'm not very stealthy.

  6. This post should encourage the squeamish among us that it's not as bad as owning a dog. And only two, maybe three years. Tops. It's a doddle.*

    *OneDayI'llBeThatGuy is not a functioning member of any society. Take his advice at your peril, particularly if you can learn from his mistakes.
    In no way hold him responsible for your life-choices.

  7. Ha, as the sister who babysat and changed at least 5 of her 7 younger siblings, I can confirm that this advice is bang-on-the-money and definitively ninja. Kudos!