Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.
This week: How big is too big (in terms of kids) when it comes to wiping the butts of our beloved children? Have your own question? Email email@example.com
This problem isn’t really a problem, but I need someone else’s opinion on this. I was talking with a group of mom friends recently, and a couple of them were complaining about how poorly their kids are wiping and having to do the laundry with a basket full of bacon strips. I didn’t say anything at the time because I felt outnumbered, but uh…I still wipe my kid’s butt. And she’s four, almost five. I feel like this isn’t weird? She’s not in preschool or childcare because of the pandemic so I guess I just…kept on wiping it? My friends’ kids have apparently been going at it on their own since they were first potty-trained, which I find crazy. Am I weird?? Am I the weird, butt-wiping mom?
Can I just first please say this is the most delightful “problem” I’ve come across, possibly ever? I love problems like these!
As for being weird when it comes to butt wiping, no. You’re not weird. As you said, you’ve just kept on wiping because you haven’t had a reason to stop. While each child has varying abilities and strengths, I have yet to meet one who is capable of wiping their own cracks clean at the age of two. The fact that your mom friends are doubling up on the Clorox and OxiClean in their laundry loads tells me that their kids aren’t exactly Spic ‘n Span back there, either.
If you don’t have a reason preventing you from doing so, feel free to start teaching your daughter how to clean her whistle correctly. If she’s anything like mine, she’ll be terrified of touching poop but will do a mostly good job regardless. Keep a square count (5-6 squares, depending on the brand), show her where and how to wipe, and get her going on her own. If she’s starting school this fall, she’s going to need to know how to do it.
Do not let being the Butt-Wiping Mom feel like slander. Own it, because (so far) you don’t have to scrub out unseemly stains, and because your daughter is used to good wiping, she’ll probably continue the trend herself. Hopefully.