By Steve Hodges, M.D.
Constipation is nobody’s favorite topic of conversation — well, except mine. At home, my kids say, “Could you stop talking about poop for once?”
I spend pretty much every day all day talking about the signs of a clogged rectum, the importance of pooping daily, and the various shapes of poop. After all, I’m a pediatric urologist, and constipation is the root cause of the conditions I treat: bedwetting, daytime pee and poop accidents, and urinary tract infections.
It’s my mission to get families comfortable with talk about constipation and poop, and I believe the best way to accomplish that is just to a) use these terms a lot and b) inject some humor into the conversation. So that’s how I came to collaborate with Suzanne Schlosberg on our latest book, Dr. Pooper’s Activity Book & Poop Calendar for Kids: Word Games, Puzzles, Mazes, Drawing, and Coloring — All About Constipation.
You might be thinking: What? An activity book about constipation?
Even my children admit it: The book is so much fun that you don’t even realize you’re learning about pooping and peeing.
It’s also practical. The book includes eight 7-day poop calendars kids can use to track how often they poop and, more importantly, the shape of their poop. Kids color in the shape that most resembles their poop, whether it’s rabbit pellets, mushy blobs, a big log, thin snakes, or a frozen yogurt swirl.
What if their poop looks like none of the above? There’s space for kids to draw their own rendition!
We have included these calendars based on feedback from parents in our private Facebook support group. Most of these parents have children on the Modified O’Regan Protocol (M.O.P.), the enema-based regimen I recommend for bedwetting and accidents. Parents track their kids’ progress use our M.O.P. tracking calendar (free with support group membership package or purchase of The M.O.P. Book), but they report that kids want to do the tracking themselves.
Children from ages 4 through 12 will find something to entertain them in Dr. Pooper’s Activity Book & Poop Calendar for Kids.
Wordsmiths will flip straight to the word searches, word scrambles, crossword puzzles, and Rhyme It! games. (Quick: Can you think of four words that rhyme with “floppy”?)
The Wordfinder puzzles will challenge readers of all ages. Younger kids can look for the 2-letter words in INTESTINES; older kids will have fun hunting for the 7-letter words. Younger artists will love the coloring pages; older artists will enjoy the Learn-to-Draw pages, created by our amazing illustrator, Cristina Acosta. The word searches and mazes range in difficulty from easy to advanced.
Everyone will like the multiple-choice Guessing Game. Try this one out on your family:
About how big is your stomach?
a) The size of an apricot.
b) The size of a grapefruit.
c) The size of a cantaloupe
d) The size of a watermelon.
The book is divided into sections, including “Using the Bathroom at School,” “Moving Your Body,” and “Eating for Mushy Poop.” The section about healthy eating includes bonus recipes from our friend Sally Kuzemchak at RealMomNutrition.com.
All in all, the book contains more than 100 games, including favorites like Match the Shadow, Decode the Message, Find the Differences, and Which Two are Identical?
Kids who have read our other children’s books, Bedwetting and Accidents Aren’t Your Fault and Jane and the Giant Poop, will recognize the characters in the activity book, including Dr. Pooper himself. But you don’t need to own those books to enjoy the new one.