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Wipe Your Own Kid's Butt!

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Guest blogger Jana Mathews: I wiped three butts yesterday, only one of which belonged to a member of my family ... and that family member is four months old. The other two rear ends belonged to my six-year-old daughter's friends.

Woman grossed out

I was making lunch when I heard someone call my name.

"Camber's mom?"

I turned around to find a naked kindergartner standing in the middle of my kitchen with her pants around her ankles.

"I don't know how to wipe," she said.

"Seriously?" I asked.

After friend #2 also went number 2 in my bathroom -- and required similar assistance -- I began to ask myself: A) At what age do children master this valuable skill? and B) What is reasonably expected of us (i.e. someone who is not the child's parent) in the meantime? I, for one, am not super wild about my own kids' poo, and am more than a little grossed out about the thought of having to get so close to a stranger's ... especially when that stranger theoretically has been potty-trained for four years.

So what's a girl to do? Pony up and wipe away, or let the poor kid sit in her tread marks until she gets home?

Inquiring minds also want to know: Should a six-year-old be able to wipe her own butt?





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30 comments so far | Post a comment now
b April 25, 2010, 8:34 AM

and he wears a diper

lievegoode June 27, 2010, 5:24 AM

Grow up! Children are children, and they are allowed to expect some help from a grownup. Grownups! Be grownup and stop acting like little children! My gosh! When did women become so frightened of a little poop! You should not host a play date, that is for sure. More so, I have a feeling you should not have had any children in the first place. They are not dogs to be trained and paraded around. Grow up!

bobbie September 13, 2010, 11:22 PM

I agree with lievegoode. Poop is poop. You are the adult. If you are fearful of bacteria then use latex gloves but I would be somewhat provoked with a parent who would not help out my child under those circumstances. Mine is a teen now and never wanted to use a “strange” bathroom as a child, however, even the most regular child can get diahrrea while visiting a friend’s house. I really don’t see what the big deal is about wiping the butt of one of your child’s friends. Look at it this way. How would it sound if your daughter came home from a friend’s house and had skid marks. When you inquired if she had had an upset tummy she told you that she had asked Mrs. X to wipe her but Mrs. X refused. Now, if that was your child, wouldn’t you think that Mrs. X was being a little harsh?

Tiffany November 17, 2010, 2:53 PM

My son is 4 and I still wipe his bottom but he has showed interest in doing it him self.so I think it is up to the kid. But I think they should be able to do it by the time they go to school.

Anonymous November 22, 2010, 3:26 PM

My kid has been resistant to wiping his own butt (almost 5). He doesn’t want to get poop on his hand. So I give him a latex glove to wear. I wish I could find kid size ones. I hate this part of potty training. My kid takes forever! Sometimes he’l sit on the can for 45 minutes pooping and singing or talking! When his butt wiping skills get better I will obviously wean him off the glove. At this point it’s anything to get him started!

Panama Hotel January 2, 2011, 10:29 AM

I really must say thank you for giving me something to escape studying. Well, back to work for me. I really have to say thanks!

Justin Frymier January 3, 2011, 12:34 PM

Thanks for the intriguing read! Happy New Year and keep up the great work in 2011!

Betty January 21, 2011, 12:40 PM

Wow. A little harsh on the poster. If she does not want to wipe some other kids butt,..she should not have to. And, for those that are reading impaired, her post said that SHE DID WIPE THE KIDS’ BUTTS! She just felt weird about it. I probably would have felt the same. At pick-up time, I would probably have taken the parent aside to talk about it. It might not have occured to them that their kid’s inability to take care of their own hygiene would cause an awkward situation. Sometimes we, as parents, just ‘do’ for our kids, kind of on auto-pilot. We forget that we are supposed to be teaching them these skills. It happens to all of us.

applewey June 1, 2011, 7:29 PM

Personally I have a big issue with this in our house right now. My neice is 6 going on 7 in 2 months and she has had more than just skid marks in her underwear. The problem is that she doesn’t ask for ANY help and it’s causing issues and sores on her now. The fact is that she just is plain lazy…that’s it. She knows how to do it…she just doesn’t. She stays with me every weekend and this issue has gotten worse after her parents divorce. Is she doing it for attention?…does she just really not care..that much? She says she is trying but 4 layers thick that I can smell it as she takes her clothes off and they are on the floor and I am at the sink..is a bit much. I just don’t knw what to do.

Anon June 5, 2011, 8:04 AM

My boyfriends son is 10 in 4 months and I just walked into my bathroom to find my boyfriend wiping his bottom. I am completely shocked, and appalled actually. I am glad to read some of these posts to confirm that I am not the only one who thinks this is just not right. He will be going to secondary school soon and whats he gonna do then? ask one of his teachers to wipe his bum for him? What i find equally concerning though is that my other half didn’t seem to think that there was anything wrong with this. I a little unsure of how to make it clear that I don’t think this is appropriate for someone his age, and if I get asked to wipe his bum for him, I can assure you it will be a very firm NO DO IT YOURSELF!!!!!!!


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