Terza is three, which is the age at which, I've noticed, children tend to develop a short-lived phobia of feces. Don't ask me why this happens. I know it has something to do with what they call "body integrity" which is also why, at about this age, they also develop a blood phobia. All of which is to say, I will definitely not be showing the kid any birth videos any time soon. Could you imagine what the implications of that would be on someone concerned about body integrity?
Because it's not my first time at the rodeo, I was prepared for the poop problem. When Terza has to go, I hang out with her in the bathroom and just chat with her and tell her stories so she does not have a full-on nervous breakdown about her imminent BM. While doing that a few days ago, I was reminding her of the fact that there's nothing to worry about. And she, in a moment of clarity and reason, agreed.
Then she expounded on the subject:
"A poop is not a lion or a tiger," she observed. "A poop can't eat you. So you don't have to be scared."
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.