How To Change a Blowout Diaper Like MacGyver (When You’re Totally Unprepared)

Having children turns the average mortal into an over prepared Boy Scout. With the first kid, you find yourself leaving the house with a small arsenal of supplies for every different situation imaginable. Packs of diapers, wipes, multiple changes of clothing for all different weather fronts, toys, and food are usually packed into a huge diaper bag that weighs a million pounds. And you happily lug this monstrosity around because it has the security of being ready for anything. Then you get comfortable as you have more children and they get older until you find yourself utterly unprepared for the worst possible outcome: the toddler diaper blowout.

My youngest son is finally on the precipice of potty training. And by that I mean he wears pull-ups, he’s peeing on the potty (standing up, high five for that) — but he thinks poop still belongs in his diaper. I know, I’ve tried to convince him that poop belongs in the toilet, but he finds that “gis-gus-ging” and who am I to tell him that sitting around the house in a soiled diaper is more disgusting than sitting on the toilet? Exactly. I’m just the mom.


While potty training has been slow going, the bowel schedule of my 3-year-old had been relatively predictable, so you can imagine my surprise when we were leaving preschool the other day, and I was met with the dreaded diaper blowout. And I was wholly unprepared.

Being an unprepared mom dealing with something as disgusting as a 3-year-old sh*tstorm in my semi-new minivan woke the creative genius in me. At this point, I wasn’t a suburban woman with unwashed hair in reversible Costco yoga pants. I was MacGyver. And instead of forming a clandestine organization within the U.S. government, relying on my unconventional problem-solving skills to save lives. I was relying on my unconventional problem-solving skills to save the interior of my minivan, and possibly a brand new pair of toddler shoes.

Thankfully, I was able to find a small towel I use on my infrequent trips to the gym to lay my squirming, crap covered child upon. At this point, we were dealing with a DEFCON one poop situation, and if I attempted to rid him of his clothes in a conventional manner, I was going to have a little darling with a head full of poop as well. I discovered a small scissor in the unstocked medical kit I keep handy and cut his blowout covered clothes away from his body.

Of course, having an “almost” potty-trained kid had knocked me off my game far enough that I didn’t have another pull-up on hand. But necessity is the mother of all invention, and I was able to make do with the remainder of 1/8 of a roll of paper towels and some duct tape my kids used for a craft project a couple of months ago to fashion him with a very temporary diaper.

While it may not have been defusing a bomb with 8 seconds remaining to save an entire village, let’s just say this was one explosion that has reminded me always to prepare for the worst.

Photo: Getty