When my daughters ask me about the world, I send them to the bathroom.

When my daughters ask me about the world, I send them to the bathroom.

My 6-year-old, when grandma and grandpa left for vacation, wanted to know where the Dominican Republic was located.

"Well, let's go to the bathroom," I said.

Recently, my wife and I were visiting some friends in Indianapolis who have a world map shower curtain. Years ago, we had one, too. And every time I needed reference for something or was planning a road trip, I would run my finger across the map. In fact, every time I used the bathroom, I learned something new about the world.

So, when we returned home to Ohio, we decided to bring it back and put it in our daughters' bathroom.

Whenever there's a geography question, the girls are directed to the bathroom. My 4-year-old asked "where's Myrtle Beach, and do sharks live there?" We looked at the map and did a Google search. When they wanted to know where penguins lived, other than the Akron Zoo, we checked the map.

Really, if you combine the map with the "Highlights" and "This Old House" magazines, the bathroom might be the most educational of all our rooms.

My wife and I have been reading a book to our daughters, a collection of profiles about women in history. The women ran the gamut from chef Julia Child to Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut.

One night, we learned about Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan, who was shot in the head by the Taliban because she was told girls couldn't attend school and she went anyway. And we learned about Manal Al-Sharif, who was arrested in Saudi Arabia for driving a car. It's heavy nighttime reading, sure, but my oldest found it interesting. And it's inspiring to hear how terrible moments can be used as the basis for positive activism.

"You know what's even crazier?" I said. "What happened to these two women happened recently. Theirs' are not stories from the past."

"Really?" my 6-year-old asked. "Where is Saudi 'rabia?"

"Well, let's go to the bathroom!" I replied with gusto.

When I pointed it out in the bathroom, my 4-year-old measured the distance with her arms. "Whoa, that's only like this far away from our house," she said.

Her older sister agreed. "I'm glad we live here and not there."

My oldest told me she knew where a bunch of places were, like Ohio ... and China, Syria and Russia. I make them watch the news with me a lot. And while they think watching the news is some sort of torture parents inflict on their children, I hold a certain amount of pride that my 6-year-old can point out Syria on a map.

"What would you do if you couldn't go to school or drive a car?" I asked.

"We aren't allowed to drive a car!" my little one yelled; the activist in her already raging.

I smiled then nodded to them that they both knew what I was asking.

"I would probably read a bunch of books, then destroy them with my powerful brain," my oldest responded.

"I believe you could do it, too," I said.

My youngest thought for a moment then said, "Do they have sharks in 'Pakystan'? Maybe something with sharks?"

Reach Dave at 330-580-8490 or david.manley@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @DaveManley