My office is connected to our house. It has a bathroom in it; that’s the bathroom Isaiah will use when we’re all downstairs together.
From our living room, it’s through the kitchen, turn on the light in the office, walk through the office (away from the house a little), turn on the light in the bathroom, and use the bathroom. After two steps into we can hear him, but we can’t see him.
My office bathroom has several posters up of movies and comic book characters, it’s not a man-cave, but it’s as close as I’ve got. Partly because of the distance from us, and maybe partly because of the many posters in the bathroom, Isaiah developed a fear of going to the bathroom by himself. While I love being with my son wherever he goes, I wanted to teach him that he was strong enough to go potty by himself. I wanted to show him that he had nothing to be afraid of in the bathroom. First, I explained to him that Mama and Papa weren’t that far away while we were in the living room and he was in the bathroom. We could still hear him even if we couldn’t see him. Then I told him that the people on the posters were all good guys and they would help him.
“Look, son, that’s Batman. He’s a good guy. He helps people. And that’s the Great Red Dragon. He’s in the shadows in that picture, but he’s going to help Fone Bone find his way. And look over there, those are cowboys, just like Rango. They help people too. So they’ll help you.”
After that conversation, Isaiah would go into the bathroom saying, “Papa, Batman and the Dragon will help me, they’re nice!”
And he would come out, after going potty, saying, “Batman and the Dragon helped me!”
…I guess if he already had Batman and the Great Red Dragon, he didn’t need cowboys.
In what I think is another example of overextension, our son has applied this to several other situations, even when the posters are nowhere near him.
- Going upstairs by himself, “Batman and the Dragon helped me!”
- Heading outside to pick up his toys, “Batman and the Dragon helped me!”
- Jumping in the IWU pool, “Batman and the Dragon helped me!”
- Getting on the bus to preschool, “Batman and the Dragon helped me!”
I love it.
And it seems perfectly logical.
Think about it, if you had Batman and a Dragon on your side, you’d never be afraid either.