I think that many of us who have small children harbor a secret hope that by reading to them we're contributing to their development into little geniuses. You know, dreaming that when they graduate from Harvard Medical School at the top of the class, their speech will honor "my loving, beautiful mother who is responsible for me being here today because of all the hours she spent reading books to me."
So we buy our babies soft books they can chew on, then books with interesting textures for exploring hands. Before long, we're graduating to Sandra Boynton and Dr. Seuss. We find ourselves looking forward to reading them our favorite childhood books, like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
And then the progression comes to a screeching halt, as we realize the next step isn't C.S. Lewis. It's...
Because even little geniuses need to be potty trained, and a whole lot of writers have cashed in on the notion that desperate parents will be happy to shell out good money for a book that just may help their miniature Einstein realize that the potty is the number one place to go number two.
After my first nauseating experience cleaning poop out of big girl panties, I knew I needed to change Chickie's habits ASAP. My search led me to Where's the Poop? by Julie Markes, illustrated by Susan Kathlen Hartung. The reviews on Amazon quickly convinced me, and I ordered it.
This little book may not be turning Chickie into a genius, but we love it. From Amazon, here's the description: "With the aid of this playful book, your child will see that he or she has a place to poop, too. While reinforcing the concept of toilet training, Where's the Poop? gives children the confidence they need. This engaging lift-the-flap book shows children that all creatures have a place to poop: tigers in the jungle, kangaroos in the outback, and monkeys in the rain forest." The end of the book shows a little boy who is proudly telling his mommy he pooped, and when the reader lifts the lid of the toilet, there's the poop, right where it belongs, floating in the potty.
It's a lot less disgusting than it sounds...really. The illustrations are very cute, and the depiction of various animals' poop is somehow very tasteful. Here's Chickie, discovering that little penguins poop on the ice:
Now, it hasn't worked yet, but Chickie is talking positively about pooping in the potty, so I'm earnestly hoping we'll hit that milestone soon.
And I'm changing my daydream a bit. She's still graduating from med school, but her speech is a little different. "Thanks, Mom, for helping me get to med school by spending hours reading me great literature. But more importantly, I've been able to poop in the potty for these last 22 years, and for that I give you credit...well, you and Where's the Poop?"