Wednesday, October 3, 2007

To pee or not to pee

To pee or not to pee - that is the question.

Witnessed today in the IKEA parking lot, early afternoon:

A mother with her son, approximately three years of age, in front of one of the planters/lane dividers. The mother was helping him to aim his "peepee" at the concrete. There was no attempt at concealing the activity in question, as the son took obvious delight in the giant mark he was making on the concrete.

Let me further clarify. They were parked in the "family" parking spot closest to the door, just inside of which I happen to know that there is a bathroom. Further, there was another adult who could have remained with the car (and any other children inside it).

As I witnessed this I couldn't help but wonder, would the mother have done the same thing if it had been a daughter who needed to go? Would she have just had her squat in the parking lot? What does this teach her son? That it is acceptable to pee wherever you want? (Please note: I can understand peeing behind trees when on long car trips with kids and that sort of thing. But there was a washroom
just inside the door of the store.)

So, in the spirit of delurking day, I ask you fine folks to weigh in - was this acceptable or not? Is it different because the child was a boy? What are your thoughts/experiences/wisdom/rants?

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

* * *

I'm finally starting to feel a bit better - thanks for all your kind thoughts. It looks like it was brief but brutal. All I can say is that being sick is so much more difficult when you have a toddler (and in the last few days the Peanut has become just that. She is climbing over things, cruising around the room, getting into all sorts of nooks and crannies).


Roz said...

umm, no. Not cool.

I even see some soccer players peeing in the bush when there's a port-o-potty right there, but even then, at least it's out of sight.

Alley Cat said...

Not cool at all. Ikea has great washroom facilities for children too.

Suzanne said...

No way. A few times I have reluctantly let my son relieve himself in the woods near our playground (because he would otherwise have had an accident), but in a parking lot next a store? Ewww.

ewe are here said...

I understand it when moms let their little ones go in the bushes at playgrounds and parks, etc when there are no facilities nearby, but, this just makes no sense.

Robbin said...

Delurking to say - uh, no.

I have a son, and if there is a facility nearby he will use it. (Although I have to say, I am grateful I HAVE a son for the times there is not :))

Megan said...

Ew. No way.

Aliki2006 said...

Ew. So not cool, I agree. Peeing in the woods is one thing (and, for the record, my daughter has done this), but peeing in a parking lot?


cinnamon gurl said...

Wow, it's unanimous. Not every day you get comments in complete agreement with one another.

nomotherearth said...

If there is a bathroom available, it should definitely be used.

Oh, and I had a post a while back with the exact same title. Almost all of the Google searches that lead to my site have found that post. Watch out! ;-)

Weirdo searchers.

Gabriella said...

Hi there! Delurking to say no way especially since there was a bathroom so close by! Trust me this will backfire on that mom one day, I had a friend who used to do the same thing, he was a guy so I guess he thought it was fine, anyway one day he was putting in gas in the car and he saw this woman laughing and smiling at him and pointed behind him, he turned around and there was his son peeing against the tire. I think he learned his lesson!

Amanda said...

Delurking to say (in my best super nanny voice)


That's what extra DIAPERS are for. You have the boy pee in one and then pitch it. Or at least have the decency to use a cup!

Kellan Rhodes said...

No - this was certainly a "bad move" on the part of the mother. It is one thing to allow it behind a tree somewhere, but not out in front of a store. I think there are laws against this. And, she would not have allowed a daughter to do the same thing (nor should she!). I think she just got lazy - or just plain ... has no class!

Mad Hatter said...

I have to agree with everyone here that this in not cool BUT I will play devil's advocate a bit. Potty training can be tricky business for some parents and kids. At 3, the boy likely has only ever done his business in one of those little floor model toddler potties. He may never have been faced with an adult-sized toilet or he may have had one of those "set you back 6 months in training" experiences with an adult sized toilet and ergo the parent was trying to avoid the big toilet. Or maybe he had already started to go in his pants and his folks didn't have a change of clothing and didn't want to risk making it to the bathroom because the drive home was a long one. Or, or, or... it's just that there may have been a reason for it and the mother, herself, was also mortified. Or maybe she was simply providing an example of thoughtless and bad parenting. Who knows?

I try to keep a pull-up or two in the car at all times for just such emergencies but haven't we all had days with our kids when we got out somewhere and realized we were simply under-prepared for the circumstances that arose? Haven't we all had moments that given 15 minutes reflection we know we would have handled differently? The thing is, when you're kid is about to pee his pants you don't have a lot of time to reason things out. She may have known there was a bathroom in Ikea but she may not have had a clue as to where it was--Ikea is a labrynthine place. This parenting business is tough b/c we do need to rightly judge parenting practices that we think misguided but at the same time we never really do know what is happening in that other mother's head.

Sorry, that was needlessly long-winded. It's just that I spend so much of my parenting life thinking "there but for the grace of the gods, go I."

b*babbler said...

mat hatter - You made a really good point here. I had thought of the potty training thing myself as I was watching it happen, and had originally started to type it out in my original post, but then got tired/lazy and didn't follow through. I guess where my thoughts went with that was, if you are potty training, and this situation happens, are you setting a precedent (i.e. that it is ok to wait too long to say anything 'cause you can just pee outdoors)? I don't have any experience with potty training, so it's a curiosity and an honest question.

My other thought was if a mother was in the same situation with a daughter (potty training, emergency or otherwise), would she do the same thing? Or is it considered acceptable/cute because it's a little boy. Since I come from the perspective of having a daughter, and would likely never let her yank her pants down in the middle of a parking lot (I know, never say never - I'm sure this will come back to haunt me) I was curious what the mothers of boys, or those that had both, thought.

Be Inspired Always said...

Oh good lord! What is the world coming too. Parents these days just let their children do whatever.

It's disgusting..


Mad Hatter said...

Ya, I definitely do see your point about gender. Some people no doubt do think it cute or acceptable for little boys to write their names in the snow, as it were.

Jennifer said...

So. Very. Gross.

slouching mom said...

Not cool at all. At all. I hope you're feeling better.

painted maypole said...

i try to remember that I never know the whole story, and maybe this mother knew that this little boy would never make it the 50 feet inside to the bathroom, so decided this was better. But if this is just a regular thing... not cool. I walk in that parking lot and then get into my car. Please don't pee on it on purpose.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Uh, No.

I have a boy. He's not even 3, and i would never allow that. What does that teach him?


kittenpie said...

If you're in the woods, it's one thing but otherwise, if you LIVE in civilization, try to act like it. Having lived in NYC where everyone pees everywhere I can say, it's just yucky.

Beck said...

Ick! My Boy thinks that a certain secluded spot in the yard is his, but we're trying to discourage that - and he's not welcome to pee anywhere else publically. Nasty.

petite gourmand said...

that's ridiculous!!!
I saw a drunk guy peeing against a beautiful window display on Designer's Walk the other day and I was totally grossed out.

but Ikea, mid-day, mother and son???

Lisa b said...

As soon as I read IKEA I knew there was a potty just inside and family washrooms right?

I don't get it but I will say in France I saw more than one mom lift her girl over the gutter so she could pee.
just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Um, isn't there a possibility that the child could not make it to the toilet? If you don't know the situation, it's silly to get annoyed at the mother. I mean, she could have just been an idiot, but maybe the child had to go RIGHT THEN (Some of you have children, so you should know that) and so she had no other choice but to let the boy go there.

I don't understand why she would let him go there if there were toilets available and he could wait. You guys have to think about these things. Don't jump to conclusions.


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