14. Mar, 2017

How Does “Poo” Become Part of Everyday Conversation?

Let’s face it. “Poo” or “poop” is still mostly a taboo subject in polite society.

I remember the days before I was a parent. Anything to do with poo was repulsive. It still makes me laugh that many (women) are petrified to do a poo in the toilet at work, for fear of colleagues finding out they are human and have bowel movements. It reminds me of a famous OutKast song about a certain 'Caroline' thinking her 'motions' don’t stink...

When you become a parent, something in your life changes drastically. You start to not only have to deal with another person’s poo in all its forms but you start to think that talking about poo and wee and toilets, is commonplace. Don’t we know this repulses and annoys other people?

Oh well, I say. These people may very well be parents one day and if there is something inescapable about this transition, it's losing some (if not all) of your inhibitions related to bodily functions. All concepts of toilet and bathroom PRIVACY go out the window.

I wrote Daddy and the World’s Longest Poo at a time in my life when I was immersed in the world of my toddler and his lengthy toilet training efforts. Should it really be that surprising then, that I drew on 'toilet humour' in my debut picture book?

I will admit that some have taken offence at my book as 'inappropriate' reading for young children, as if the realities of domestic family life must somehow be shielded away from impressionable young minds.

On the other hand, I have had a lot of great feedback from parents who have read the book to their youngsters (ages 4 – 6 seem most responsive) and have appreciated the relatability of the comedy in the story.

I'd imagine most parents could identify with the phase in a child’s life when they are obsessed with the toilet and poo and wee. Most parents (and anyone in fact!) might also identify with the concept that someone they know is a 'toilet procrastinator' and spends way too much time in the loo, WC, bathroom, toilet… whatever you'd like to call it.

I have deliberately melded these two ideas to create a funny book, in the hope that it will appeal to preschool and early primary readers, on one level, and the adults who read to them, on another level.

I’m a parent of a preschooler and I will admit that I enjoy reading books to my child that make me laugh, more so than ones that don’t and I also think that a dose of reality doesn’t hurt anyone, even children.

In a world where the concept of perfect parenting is alienating many, I find it refreshing when I read something that reassures me I’m not alone, and my crazy, imperfect domestic life is not so abnormal, after all.

So, if you've found that somehow poo has become part of your daily vocabulary and it doesn't bother or shame you to laugh about it, I think you'll love this book, or, why not buy it for that 'toilet procrastinator' in your life?

A sense of humour is necessary to get us through this thing they call parenting!