aren’t alone. I don’t think it’s a bad
thing. Heck, it’s almost
unavoidable. Think about it: From infancy
through age three or four, the potty is the primary focus of our kids’ lives…and
our lives, as parents. If you have kids,
you understand this—potty training involves a lot of talking, encouragement,
repetition, and celebration. We ask our toddlers
if they need to go to the bathroom every few minutes, and even then we are often
too late…But when they poop on the potty the very first time we throw a
ticker-tape parade and tell our friends and relatives, “My child uses the potty
now!” with such pride that if the child had also won the Nobel peace prize,
you’d still mention the potty first.
when it was such a focal point for their early life?
sigh of relief, and probably a toast and a few drinks to celebrate the end of diaper
changing. We want to flush the potty for
good, and never hear another word about it from our children, because now they
are Big Kids, and they don’t need to talk about that anymore, right?
child, the end of potty training means the end of easy praise and constant
attention. They have a tough time
reversing course. Really, though, you
can’t blame them, because potty training boils down to several years’ worth of
classical conditioning, causing them to expect praise whenever they sit on the
toilet. Telling a child not to get
excited about the potty is like telling Pavlov’s dogs not to drool at the bell
limits. That’s part of the reason I’m
proud to say my book, Rudy
Toot-Toot, is filled with fart jokes…because the rest of the story is about
a young boy exploring his limits, and ultimately finding the right place and
the right time for a very unusual talent: Rudy Toot-Toot can fart like a
super-hero. It comes natural when you’re
born on a bean farm.
timing of his blasts. His farts get him
into trouble at home and at school, and after one monstrous emission scares all
the customers away from the family Bean Market, Rudy must find out how to use
his talent to bring them back, or the bank will take away their home.
and the boys and girls laugh every time.
Rudy Toot-Toot gets their attention on page 1, which is key, but the
best thing is that the story holds their attention through the big finale, which
is so important at the age when chapter books are big scary things, like the
books that grown-ups read. And though
the story is chock full of gratuitous gas, it also shows kids how important
self-control is, in a way they can understand and laugh at. If you have children grades K-5, Rudy
Toot-Toot is a great way to get them reading.
Parents can even have fun reading it aloud to younger ones. If you do, don’t hold back on the fart
sounds, and your kids won’t hold back on their laughter. After all, kids are never too old to laugh,
and a child’s laughter is one of the best sounds, ever.
Daley lives in Lewis Center, OH with his wife and two sons, and they all
live with a neurotic schnauzer named Leo.
in the Cinder Clouds, a gripping tale about Kris Kringle and how he came to
be known as Santa Claus. It wasn’t easy.
running, yoga, and wrestling great white sharks.