With each passing day, I find myself trying to solve some new challenge with raising four toddlers, aka “quaddlers”. They are a cunning lot who inspires a little ingenuity on my part (and George’s) just to manage day to day life. While my ideas are born from being surrounded by four toddlers, I think many of them could be helpful to any parents of little ones so I’m sharing.
Unlike most families with babies, we do not have a diaper pail. Instead, we have a custom made “diaper chute”. Long before the quads arrival, George thought a diaper pail would be a hassle with so many diapers used daily. Instead, he created a laundry chute type disposal system that allows us to drop our stinkies right into the garage. Admittedly, I thought it was a silly idea at first. It was PURE GENIUS. George empties the “diaper chute” about every 3-4 days when diapers reach the rim. Up until a few months ago we never smelled it, not even during the triple digit temperatures in July.
A few weeks ago, I kept noticing a horrific stench trailing from the girls nursery. It was a bit mysterious since it was below freezing outside and the “diaper chute” never smelled before. George is an anosmic, meaning he has no sense of smell so he was no help in the matter. However, he pointed out that we had DIY deodorizers in the closet that may have gotten old. At some point during bed rest, my sister and I made them, and I had not refreshed the baking soda and oils since. That meant they were absorbing stench for nearly a year and half! When I refreshed them, the rancid odor disappeared and hasn’t been a problem since. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from these DIY deodorizers. I considered it more of a time passer while on bed rest than anything. From now on, I’ll be sure to do a periodic refresh, and I may stash them in other places such as the garage.
Fill a mason jar halfway with baking soda, then add a few drops of whatever essential oils you prefer. I used lavender and rosemary for this one. Peppermint and lavender is also really nice. Use a butter knife to mix the oils into the baking soda. Cover the jar with a scrap of fabric and seal with the rim of the jar.
If you have a smelly diaper pail, kitty litter box, dog crate, or other stinky area, you may want to make a couple too. For such an unassuming mason jar, this thing packs a punch against tough odors.
I guess I couldn’t let my wife steal all the glory so I decided to show off a little. As we know “It is all about me.” – that’s a little inside joke. As my wife turns to words for comfort, I turn to building and creating with my hands. A guy can nest too, right? If there is one thing you need to know about me it is that I was born with Anosmia; it means I cannot smell a thing. Not a rose, popcorn, a slow roasted Texas Brisket or a dead skunk. Nothing. It really hasn’t affected my life except of course for my cleanliness. I like to keep everything as clean as possible to make sure it doesn’t stink. I have noticed that people who can smell mention that things smell good 5% of the time with bad smells representing an overwhelming 95%. I presume the world is full of bad smells but this is just an observation.
This brings me to my creation…The Poop Chute. Who has a poop chute you ask???? Nobody except the Shawvers! I just cannot believe anyone would allow poop to be in the same place they eat and sleep. It just does not make any sense to me. I asked many people how they dispose of diapers and the only logical conclusion is a Diaper Genie or Diaper Champ. These devices were created years ago and I am surprised nobody has come up with something better. Since we are expecting four I did not want to keep emptying these devices all day long to keep the stink away. I needed something where they all go and I can change once a day.
Below I show how I built my work of art. I simply used small pet door and a duct which can be purchased at any local hardware store.
- This is a small 6X6 pet door purchased for about 20 bucks
I had to bend this duct to the proper shape, pointing downwards. Next, I cut out an opening in the wall to accommodate the pet door on one side. On the other, I cut and traced out a 10″ hole to insert the duct into.
This is the door on the inside of the nursery closet. You place the diaper in here.
This is the duct from the inside of the garage. The diapers fall out of this chute into a waiting trashcan placed underneath. I will line the trashcan with charcoal to absorb the odors. I will simply step out of the car, take out the trash, and Voila! It’s a nice way to dispose of dirty diapers in a convenient centralized location!
BTW….I also invented a previous product that I used to potty train our puppy while living in an apartment. We called it The Pooch Patio Potty. I put a layer of sod in a soil lined box for the puppy to use. It worked great! Sasha was able to potty right on the balcony without making a mess and we didn’t have to haul her down three flights of stairs each time she needed to go. However, someone else later made something similar with Astroturf and now sells them at Bed Bath and Beyond! My million dollar idea gone in an instant.