As those of you with young children know, when your kids are toilet trained it’s great to not need to cart a nappy bag everywhere. However, you do have a new element of danger in your life: the ‘Mummy I need to do a poo NOW’ phenomenon. Some little kids take time to learn the warning signs of a poo brewing, which often leaves their parents or caregivers catering to this need with very short notice. If you’re at home it’s no big deal, but if you’re out – halfway through a big supermarket shop, for example, or in a huge mall and far away from the bathrooms – it can introduce a degree of tension to your day.
It’s even worse if you’re somewhere without a loo. That isn’t a big deal when wees are on the agenda, as children of either sex can be directed to a discreet corner of the park or playground for a quick ‘bush wee’. But nobody wants to witness a small child adding manure to the garden, and people sure as hell don’t want to stumble across it afterwards.
Worry no longer, anxious reader: I have a solution. It presupposes that you’re fairly close to your car (if you’re both miles away from your car and from a loo you must have truly gone bush: dig a hole, let your child poo to their heart’s content, and bury the evidence).
Disclaimer: the following method is best applied to boys. Girls invariably do a wee when they sit down to poo, and that isn’t helpful in this circumstance (and in our house Hattie is good at holding on, or giving us lots of warning).
1. A potty in the boot of your car
2. A box of tissues
3. Some baby wipes
4. A ‘poo bag’ (typically used for picking up dog poo by conscientious owners)
I’m assuming that most parents of young kids keep a potty and some wipes or tissues in their car – if you don’t, you’re a brave soul, that’s all I’ll say. Dog poo collection bags are not a standard item in many cars, but trust me: they’re useful to have as rubbish bags on long trips, and in my poo-related life hack they’re invaluable.
Potties are great for wees when there’s no space for a bush wee – on our recent road trip to visit my parents I think the kids each used the potty in rest stops at least a couple of times. Empty them out, clean them with a wipe or two, chuck the wipe into a rubbish bag, and you’re done. But poos in the potty are too gross to contemplate… until now!
1. Remove potty from boot.
2. Liberally line potty with tissues. I used three or four large tissues this morning. You don’t want to be able to see any potty plastic. You also want a lot of tissue overhang.
3. Ask child to sit down and do the necessary. You should be left with a poo on a bed of tissue. Use the baby wipes to clean said child quickly and easily.
4. Carefully wrap the poo and dirty wipes in the tissue, and remove it all from the potty (hence why you didn’t want wees in there, making it all soggy and revolting).
5. Transfer the parcel to a dog poo bag, tie it securely, and throw it into the nearest rubbish bin.
Boom! Poo emergency dealt with – no mess, not much fuss. You’re a superhero!