Science fiction author and screenwriter Gary Whitta has a pitch for the ultimate geeky parenting book on toilet training. "Pooping Is Logical" tackles the daunting task of teaching toddlers how to use the bathroom, with a "Star Trek" twist.
The book is told from the perspective of two very patient Vulcan parents who want to teach their child that not only is pooping is a natural process, but doing it in a toilet instead of a diaper makes much more sense. Vulcans are known for their logic and rationality, so they're ready to provide answers for little kids who always want to know, "Why?"
"With toddlers you're always looking to make the kind of stuff they don't always want to cooperate with more fun, whether it's getting dressed or transitioning out of diapers and onto the potty," Whitta told Crave. "There are a ton of books out there that can help with that, but I haven't really seen anything that comes at those subjects from a fun, geeky perspective. So we [Whitta and his wife Leah] came up with the idea of making a potty-training book set in the 'Star Trek' universe as a way of giving parents something that could be both fun and useful for them and their kids."
While it may add to the longstanding confusion between Starfleet officer Mr. Spock and parenting guru Dr. Spock, a Vulcan perspective on toilet training could have real advantages -- and be a lot less intimidating than being taught by Klingons.
"I always imagined that Vulcans would make good parents because while they may not be the most emotionally forthcoming they are certain to make sure that their kids are raised with a strong foundation in logic and good sense," Whitta told Crave. "So to come at the subject from the perspective that using the potty is healthy and good and normal and thus perfectly logical seemed like a good way to help reluctant children accept the idea, no matter what species they may be."
Some of the logical lessons the Vulcan parents communicate in the book include the fact that accidents can happen when you don't use the bathroom when you need to, and that flushing a toilet is much more hygienic than using diapers.
"My wife (who also works as a professional childcare provider) is currently working on a whole list of great potty-training advice that we're shaping to fit this narrative, which I think also has the added benefit of teaching children about the concept of logic and its value in all areas of life," Whitta told Crave.
The book is illustrated by Penny Arcade artist Michael Krahulik, who also happens to be a parent. "He's tremendous at conveying a child-like sense of whimsy and warm-heartedness whenever his comics touch on those areas," Whitta told Crave.
"A potty-training book based on the tenets of Vulcan philosophy? Yeah, I was interested!" Krahulik said on his blog.
While the book sounds like the perfect addition to a geek parent's bookshelf, Whitta has yet to find a publisher to make it official.
"There are so many publishers going after that nerd mom/dad market right now, I think something like this would be very logical for any of them," Whitta told Crave. "It has much of the same novelty appeal as the tie-in books we see on the shelves right now, but with the added bonus of having actual utility as a parenting guide."
If Whitta can find a publisher interested in his "Star Trek" potty-training book, he also has a few other ideas in mind for a geeky parenting book series.
"I have an idea for a follow-up aimed at older kids and based on Klingon philosophy called, 'There is No Honor in Bullying,'" Whitta told Crave. "It's the story of a Klingon child who is having a tough time at school, but who learns to stand up for himself -- without resorting to violence. Meanwhile, the Klingon bullies learn that, while their culture is based on strength and honor, there is nothing strong or honorable about picking on those weaker than you."
"Star Trek" fans who want to make "Pooping Is Logical" a reality can help Whitta by tweeting about his book idea using the hashtag #PoopingIsLogical.
"Every little bit helps," Whitta told Crave. "The market is there, I'm sure of it."