[This is an excerpt from my book Parenting Young Children With a Teacher’s Perspective and a Mom’s Heart. Find out more about the book here]
For years now, men have been given dedicated square footage to use as their “man caves.” Their given domain allows them to reside in the garage, a basement, a playroom, etc. There has been a recent trend giving women their very own play/craft space, some coining it as the “She Shed.” In our house, we have what I like to call “The Poop Cave.” It is the children’s bathroom that has been decorated with numerous books, stuffed animals, and even mood lighting. When my daughter reigned over “The Poop Cave,” it had a nice padded seat, the occasional music playlist performed by her highness, moist towelettes for easy clean up, and a “Door Is Always Open” policy. Now my son presides over “The Poop Cave.” His favorite stuffed animal, Blue Dog, is a frequent guest (actually, Blue Dog the Second because Blue Dog the First bit the dust). A book about Handy Manny is among the reading selections, and record speed counting can be heard on the other side of the closed and sometimes locked door. Recently, my daughter has been promoted to VIP of their little oasis. She brings entertainment to the small, yet quaint, little room. From what I gather, a man cave needs adequate seating, sufficient lighting, entertainment, and snacks. Check, check, check, and check! The poop cave has all of the above; the snacks may just be leftovers from previous meals that haven’t been digested yet.
Unlike my first born, Andrew was VERY timid about using the potty and has had many moments of fear while on the potty. I had to come up with a way to make the potty a place he would want to go. Just like I decorated my classroom as a teacher, I tried to come up with ways to make the bathroom an inviting place. With the help of Emily reading to Andrew and giving him slide shows with her light-up projector, Andrew has found comfort in the potty-training process. I don’t have to fight him to go sit on his porcelain throne any longer because he likes his poop palace. Maybe it is time you transform your bathroom into a poop cave.