Photo is copyright of Maggie May.
If you are about to have a meal or have just had one, then I suggest you come back later. If you haven't had close contact with children, then you mightn't like this post.
However, I feel this subject has to be written about.......... the very awkward subject of wiping children's bottoms.
When I worked in a Special School, this was just automatically done, alongside nappy changing and nobody thought anything about it. The children were very little and dependent and the job just had to be done. There was always somebody about, near the changing tables. Of course, that was ten years ago and things might well have changed since I left that job.
Its perfectly normal to help small grandchildren when they call out for assistance. Their little arms are just not long enough to reach their bottoms and even the nearly seven year old still calls out for assistance, usually while we are eating. Why do children always want to go right in the middle of a meal?
My son, Sam, moans to the girls, "How long do you think I am going to carry on doing this for?"
Amber replied, "Until I go away and get married."
That would make the perfect thing to say in a speech at her wedding (if there are still such things in operation, by then.)
No, I really meant that things can get tricky when you are not around and the children are at school.
Playworkers and school staff are not allowed to wipe bottoms, let alone go into the toilets, unless there is some really terrible mishap, in which case the parents are sent for.
So it is with with some apprehension that we will be sending Millie for full days in a Reception Class very soon, with no one to help her with wiping if she needs it.
As I work in an After School Club (as well as the school), I have found out from experience that some small children often smell and I don't mean because they are needy and neglected children. The vast majority come from really good homes. They smell the unmistakable stale smell of dirty bottoms that have not been wiped properly and now they have to wait a further two hours or more before they are collected and put in a probably, longed for bath or shower.
This is all because the staff are too afraid to help children with toileting, (in case their intentions are misinterpreted), and also because the Learning Support Assistants at school have busy schedules that do not allow for them to leave the children they are helping while they go to the toilets. There simply wouldn't be time, even if they were allowed to do it.
My other older grandchildren say they never do a poo in school (even though they have been wiping their own bottoms for years.) So it seems that children learn from an early age to save it for home time and that is why during meal times, there seems to be a tremendous urgency. They have held in all day.
I'd be interested to hear what other parents and grand parents (or anyone else) has to say about the children whose arms are simply not long enough to wipe a bottom successfully!