**WARNING: THIS BLOG POST MIGHT GET A LITTLE GROSS. IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO HORROR STORIES OF POOPY DIAPERS, TODDLERS, OR MOTHERHOOD, I SUGGEST YOU CLOSE OUT OF THIS WINDOW RIGHT NOW.**
For those who don’t know, I spend my days split between the role of a housewife, blogger, and a daycare assistant. While I am a mom as well, my days of changing her diapers are over (thank the heavens!) Unfortunately, I have been termed Lord of the Toddlers because I am in charge of 5 toddlers and 2 infants on top of 4 preschoolers. That means that I have to deal with at least 14 diaper changes a day (if they only need two changes a day). Sometimes I’m lucky and they are all pee diapers and sometimes I have to change all poopy diapers in a day. Whenever I tell my profession to my friends or acquaintances, I’m always met with wide eyes and “How do you do it?”. It didn’t faze me until yesterday when I had this conversation with K.B.
K.B.: Why do you have to change the diapers? Why can’t Grandma?
Me: Because she pays me to change the diapers!
K.B.: Why do you want to get paid to change diapers?
Me: Sometimes I ask that myself.
K.B.: I ask myself that too.
So then I started asking, how do I do it? I decided to compile a list, you know, in case you decide you want to try your hand as Lord of the Toddlers or suddenly find yourself in possession of 5 toddlers (God speed and good luck to you.)
1. Admit you have a problem.
They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, I would say having 5 toddlers running around is a problem. Just admit, you’re going to be in trouble very soon.
2. Master the “Kill them with kindness” routine.
I worked in retail and let me tell you nasty customers have nothing on toddlers who are cranky and refuse to listen. Just smile, nod, put your enthusiasm face on, and just pretend you aren’t angry as fuck at them.
3. Adult interaction is your friend!
Take it wherever and whenever you can! Seriously, I have a few friends that I talk to on a semi-daily basis and I always have my husband fill me in on the outside world whenever he can. Basically, my life exists in our house because I work inside it and never leave and I always end up probably making the parents late for work because we always end up chatting. They are saving my sanity. When they leave, I always end up heartbroken.
4. Bring something to do
Chances are, when you are changing diapers one after another like I do, you are going to do a lot of waiting. I will carry the infants with me to the diaper changing area, change them, bring them back into the room and at this point getting up and down five more times seems so daunting I start calling them. Fortunately, most of the time the toddlers will come when they are called but there are a few where I have to call them multiple times until I finally have to get up and corral them. Bring a book, it’ll pass the time faster.
5. Do what works
When you work in a daycare or are in charge of many toddlers and infants, you start to develop a schedule and a system. Don’t break from that system. If you have a crying infant and the only way to make them calm down is to dance like a fool across the room, you dance like a fool across that room. In all seriousness though, even in parenting a schedule that is followed daily can help adjustments and days run smoothly.
6. Don’t be afraid
They smell fear.
7. Take that snack break
Have your partner cover for you so you can take an extended bathroom break and devour a chocolate bar because personal health is important. Don’t have a partner helping you? Get creative! Hide under the table, behind the counter, or shove yourself under the pile of growing toys that the kids refuse to clean up!
8. Build up your reflexes and flexibility
Get ready to catch toddlers falling at random times, bending over pack and plays to feed babies, and holding multiple children in your lap at once.
9. Always check the seat before you go to the bathroom
So this tip is more for the preschoolers and potty trained/training children, but always check the toilet seat for poop smears and pee drops. If left unchecked, you may find your bottom feeling like you’ve just gotten off the log flume at Disneyland (your butt will be doused in wet).
10. Use cute moments as a reset button
More than likely, days are going to be long and miserable. The more toddlers you add to the mix, the more hectic it’s going to be. Savor the good moments and use them as a reset. Do they look cute when they sleep? Great! Use that time to forget how utterly shitty and asshole-ish they were being just an hour before that. Forget everything and repeat the process over again!
I know that more than likely, you won’t be in charge of a billion and one toddlers, but if you found any of these useful, I’m glad. If you found any of this to be humorous, I’m glad that you found joy out of my misery. In all honesty, I’m so glad to take care of these munchkins all the time. Even though there are many moments where I wonder what I’m doing with my life, I am so glad that I can watch these little ones grow.