You know how it is. Getting out of the house, with children, is like herding cats at bath time. You try to prepare, you gather all of their clothes in one place to begin the assembly line. Since I have four in diapers I have my pile of: diapers, wipes, clothes, socks, shoes. I lay the first kid down and pretend I’m an alligator wrestler and begin trying to change their diaper. Once that’s done I decide if I should change everyone’s diapers’ first, since I’m already sweating, before I attempt clothes. In reality the whole process takes a good thirty minutes and during that time I usually question my desire to leave the house probably, no less than, a dozen times. “Is it worth it? When was the last time I went to the store? Do I have any food in the kitchen that is ok to eat past the expiration?”
This day in particular I was meeting my sister for lunch, so we were going out; come “hell or high water.” Little did I know that both of those would have been better than what would actually come!
After I got each one of the kids ready to leave, it was time to get myself ready. Our playroom was in the front of our house, with wood floors, and a baby gate at the entrance secluding it from the rest of the house; thank God. I left the triplets in there to play, while my baby was sleeping, and I ran to change my clothes. I was literally gone for 5 minutes, maximum.
You know the saying, “Silence is golden”? That is not true when you have toddlers. When I realized I didn’t hear any noise I went to check out the situation. As I approached the playroom (I couldn’t see into it) I smelled a poopy diaper. With four children in diapers a poopy diaper happens every hour at least so this was not abnormal. It was a very strong smell though. As I came around the corner to find out who had pooped I was traumatized by the scene that was waiting for me.
First of all, all three kids had undressed themselves down to their diapers. Why is it that when you ask them to get undressed, like for bed or something, they don’t know how; but at the most inconvenient time they all of the sudden learn how to take their clothes off. As I entered, through the baby gate, to begin getting them dressed again I realized that their desire to be exhibitionists was the least of my problems. The one that had pooped (they shall remain nameless) had taken off their diaper and all three of them used that poop as their own personal paint and the playroom was their canvas.
In that moment I was unaware at the severity of the situation. I took each one of them to the kitchen to wash their hands. While I was washing their hands, my sister called me to see if I was ready to leave the house. I said, “Lisa, I don’t think I can be a parent!” (I’m not dramatic at all.) She said, “Why, what happened?” So I told her and being the loving sister she is she said, “Oh my gosh, I have a really weak stomach so I won’t clean up the poop; but I’m coming over. I can at least keep the kids out of the playroom while you clean up.” After I got them cleaned up, I grabbed the cleaner and a roll of paper towels, and headed to the playroom to clean up the smeared poop.I didn’t realize that it was everywhere because the floors were dark wood and the poop kind of blened in. However, once I started cleaning I kept finding more poop. It was all over the floor, toys, the window, the curtains, EVERYWHERE.
As I was cleaning I was both crying and yelling, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!” About half was into cleaning, I was so over it, so I just started throwing things away. If it had poop on it I tossed it. My sister got to my house in my process of purging. The curtains that were in my playroom were curtains that had a cute outdoor scene appliqué, that I made, on them. I took them down and they had poop on the bottom ruffle, so, I balled them up to throw them away. My sister stopped me and talked me off the purging ledge. She helped me see that I could take them to the dry cleaners and all would be well. I’m thankful for her clear headed thinking, talking me out of getting rid of everything in the playroom, because it I was left to myself I would have!
It took a while but I got the playroom clean and disinfected. It took longer for the PTSD to go away then the smell. I wish that I could say it was the last time they used poop as paint but unfortunately it was not. This poop-paint phase has lasted much longer than I have the capacity for. However, its been 60 days since our last poop incident so I think we are close to being poop-paint free. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
Because I have to find the positive, or the silver lining in my life, I have decided that this phase is just proof my kids are super smart. See, they paint with poop when they are bored. Therefore, their minds need to be in constant use or they figure out their own ways to be creative. So, if anyone has any creative ways to keep them entertained, I would love to hear it! Other wise, look for our poop paintings to hit the stores soon. We’ve got to make money to pay for my psychiatrist.