Subject for toddlers | New children’s book dives into the world of potty training – Times-Standard

Mom and author Tedi McVea – who lived in Humboldt County – has written a new children’s book about a milestone for toddlers.

“The Poop Farm: A Silly Way to Send Off Your First Potty Poops” deals with the topic of potty training.

“I’m a mom of three. I have a 6-year-old son (Dax) and 2-year-old twin daughters (Kenna and Zuri). has therefore become a priority for our little family this winter. The beautiful thing about twins is that you have a direct comparison with another child of the same age, ”said McVea, who noticed that one of the twins was showing a fear associated with defecation.

“This fear was not just specific to toilet training; this was also true for the use of diapers,” McVea said. “She was trying to hold her poo for days until she felt discomfort and pain. She would be anxious when it was time to leave and would hide under her bed. Those “poo days” would be so difficult because I would have a very clingy and fussy toddler. My heart ached because she just looked miserable.

McVea asked some of his friends for advice. Of a group of four mothers, three had experienced the same pattern with at least one of their children.

“It made me very curious because I had never heard of this problem before,” McVea said. “I started thinking, ‘What exactly is that?’ ‘Is this common?’ and ‘How can I help my daughter?’

McVea soon learned that her child was suffering from something called “stool retention.”

Former McKinleyville resident Tedi McVea poses with her new children’s book, ‘The Poop Farm: A Silly Way to Send Off Your First Potty Poops,’ which deals with the subject of potty training. (Courtesy of Tedi McVea)

“(It’s) simply the act of a child holding back the passage of his stool,” she said. “Many parents may confuse stool retention with constipation. Constipation is the inability to pass hard, dry stools, but if your child seems constipated but ends up passing normal or even soft stools, this is actually a behavior called stool retention. Statistics indicate that almost all children go through at least a short period of stool retention during their infant and toddler years, but some children literally get stuck at this stage.

McVea started researching the subject and discovered that there were many reasons why children were having this problem.

“Some children just felt uncomfortable with something solid sticking out of their body – similar to the fear a child may have with their first haircut or losing their first tooth. Some children may have been constipated for a while and now associate pooping with pain. It becomes a negative cycle because the more you resist your natural cycle of pooping, the more it reinforces the pain,” McVea said.

“There are several other reasons,” she added, “but in general, I realized that there was literally no child-centered content to explain this concept to children. children are going through a stool retention phase, we should have a resource available for parents to use with their children that is child centered.

So McVea — whose latest book, 2020’s “I Know About Germs,” ​​aimed to help children gain a sense of control over coronavirus-related circumstances — decided to write a children’s book on the subject.

“”The Poop Farm: A Silly Way to Send Off Your First Potty Poops” is unique in that it helps parents train both traditional toddlers, as well as trainees delayed due to the autism, sensory issues, retardation or a medical condition,” McVea said. “Because the story is also so silly, siblings who aren’t potters will also enjoy reading it. My 6 year old son finds the story hilarious.

She says the book teaches the basics of what a “poo” is and its role in the digestive system.

“The main character, Zee, talks about the sensations that can arise to indicate when you’re ready to poop, and offers tips on how to have a successful toilet poo,” McVea said. “Zee recognizes the fear or discomfort a child may be feeling and instead invites them to release their poop in a magical land” known as the “poo farm”.

She explained: “The book also prepares children that the urge to poo can occur literally anywhere, so we have to pay attention to the sensations throughout the day. … Zee even teaches readers not to touch or play with poop. This part is really for kids whose diagnoses present more specific toilet training challenges, while still being useful for any toilet trainer. »

The book, she said, is designed to normalize the pooping experience, recognize emotions that can arise in children, offer solutions to common challenges, and present it all in a fun, silly, kid-friendly way via text and images. (Like “I Know About Germs”, “The Poop Farm” is illustrated by artist Noel de la Mora.)

The story worked for her daughter – and McVea hopes it will benefit many other children as well.

“My 2-year-old daughter went from a year of ‘poo days’ being a traumatic event… to proudly pooping on the potty on her own, motivated – all within three days of reading of my book. It worked,” she said.

“The Poop Farm” – a self-published work – is available on Amazon, and if there is interest, can be made available to local bookstores.

“I would be happy to coordinate with any local bookstores to make it available,” she said.

Born and raised in Humboldt County, McVea graduated from McKinleyville High School in 2004. She attended College of the Redwoods in Eureka for a time before being accepted into Our University’s social work program in 2009. Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas, where she now resides.

“I am a single mother working as a licensed clinical social worker,” she said. “…I try to travel as much as possible because a piece of my heart will always belong to Humboldt.”

McVea says she has several more books in the works with hopeful release dates in 2023. For more information about McVea and her work, go to

Jessica C. Bell