So I present to you the first in my new series: Saturday Strategery. Read on for the stuff I'm making up wisdom gleaned from experience, post your commiserations or offer your own advice, then send me pleas for help suggestions for additional posts.
As you may remember, I've already dealt with poop smeared in the crib, but the accidental poop in the tub is a different scenario. Ideally you'd have another adult in the house when this happens so that you can do the hand-off (meaning you take the cutie-pie toddler and hand off the poo-filled tub to your partner). But I think we all know these babies have some sort of sixth-sense that enables them to make messes like these at the most inopportune times, so it's best to have a strategery plan for going solo.
- Step 1: Swear under your breath. Drop the f-bomb if necessary, but do it quietly to avoid the need for more strategery (see also "How to Explain to Your Baptist Preschool Teacher Why Your Child Cusses During Chapel").
- Step 2: Yank the toddler out of the tub and wrap her in a towel. Pretend you don't see the poop. If there's a sibling in the tub, get him out as quickly as possible and include him in steps 3 and 5 (this makes it extra tricky, but generally speaking you should help the youngest and/or most poop-covered child first).
- Step 3: Dry, diaper and dress the toddler as you normally would after a regular, poop-free bath. Unless of course, said toddler has managed to smear into the poop -- then use as many wipes as necessary to clean the toddler, dumping all the wipes into the bath towel.
- Step 4: Swear under your breath some more. Remember that although you are the only adult in the house, you are not alone. Mothers the world over are currently swearing right along with you (and if you think you're alone, take a look at this blog post with photos). Take a deep breath.
- Step 5: Put the toddler somewhere safe, preferably out of sight. Depending on the time of day, you may want to proceed with bedtime/naptime. If not, dump her in the crib with books or park her with a video, depending on what causes you the least grief.
- Step 6: Although you might want to close the bathroom door at this point and pretend the poop isn't in there, it's really best to go ahead and deal with it. Drain the water from the tub and use toilet paper to scoop up the poop, then dump it in the toilet. Continue to repeat step 4 as needed. It's okay to cry a little, too. Throw away any wipes from step 3 into the diaper pail, then rinse any poop on the towel in the bathtub (you don't want loose poo in your washing machine).
- Step 7: Use your favorite cleaner (including the Clorox/Lysol kitchen cleaner you'd use after handling raw meat -- gross analogy, I know, but you get the idea) and wipe everything down. Rinse a lot, then wash your hands.
- Step 8: Call a friend to complain about what you've just been through. If no one is available, write something witty and gross on Facebook.
- Step 9: If necessary, retrieve the toddler and resume parenting. If toddler is sleeping, lie down on the couch and take a deep breath. Remind yourself that one day this incident will make for a hilarious story to embarrass your child in front of her friends.