Boys and girls, you better sit down, this one is a doozy! Those of you who know me or read my blog know that I enjoy writing about fun-loving, humorous parts of life, motherhood and celebrity culture. I try to steer clear of anything controversial, mostly because of my gigantic fear of confrontation. But this blog might be a tad different. A good friend of mine recently sent this very – shall we say – “interesting” question that was legitimately sent in to a San Francisco Mommy-blog forum. I will allow you to enjoy it before I respond.
“So I just got a reality check from a lady who informed me that it is unsanitary to let my kid pee next to the table in a restaurant. So even though she could have been nicer about it, after thinking about it she has a valid point. And admittedly since my newly potty trained toddler has been out of diapers and having a 5 month baby with me by myself at places, I have been very care free about the potette usage and just been in a “stop, drop the pants, and go pee” mode wherever I am at, without thinking about what I am doing and how it is affecting the public around me. Gulp! And most places I could get up and go to the bathroom however, I am in places where it is far away sometimes and picking up all my stuff, strapping my baby on me and trying to convince my toddler to hold it until we get to the bathroom just seems impossible and very exhausting. And yes I am being a lazy parent. But I know now that letting my toddler use the potette in a restaurant is not cool but does anyone know what the law says about where we are allowed to use the potette or are we technically not allowed to let our kids urinate in public just like we are not allowed to as adults? And if so why did they invent the stupid potette thing anyways? If I knew my rights then I could at least feel better if I get approached again and can have something to say back or vice versa may not get so mad at someone when they tell me I am in the wrong and they are actually right. Also, I could really use help from moms with more than one kid specifically on how you manage the bathroom usage out and about since you can’t really leave your baby to take your toddler to the bathroom so I think having two or more kids is where this gets logistically challenging when you are out alone. Thanks ladies!”
O.K. ((deep, cleansing breath)) I will start off by saying that when it comes to judging the behavior of other mothers I am one of those hippy let’s-just-support-a-sister type of moms. I will also come clean and tell you that the other day my 3-year-old took a dump in a Home Depot bucket that we had in the back of our boat while we were in the middle of the lake. I, much like potette mom (the new name I’ve given her) above, made a desperate decision based on necessity. I, unlike potette mom, did this in front of only my family and nobody was eating anywhere near us. Therefore, only I had to puke in my mouth…not any strangers.
Now that I made that little confession we can move on to address the issue at hand.
Accidents happen. Of course they happen. All of us moms know that. And there are special circumstances where certain children are unable to control their bladders. But let’s just think about this for a moment. If I’m lugging around a potette with me everywhere I go, isn’t that a bigger pain in the ass then lugging a baby and a few bags with me to a bathroom that is just a bit too far away? And, if I teach my toddler to drop trou right then and there every time they have to do their business, am I teaching them how to hold it, which we all know is a very important life skill? Or am I teaching them that every time they get the sensation it is a fire drill?
Potette mom admits to being lazy. Well, what sort of Mom handbook did she get lucky enough to get because mine basically said to throw laziness out the freakin’ window. I have a 3-year-old and a baby (and 2 other kids by the way) and I can’t even count the number of times where I have had to suddenly, without an ounce of warning, drop what I’m doing to get a recently-trained toddler to the potty. I have grabbed the baby in a football hold, blood rushing to her head, diaper bag smacking her in the face, holding my purse around my neck while it simultaneously chokes me out so that I have a free hand to drag the pee’er to the commode. But I’ve always made it to the potty in time. And even if I hadn’t made it in time at least I wouldn’t have been sitting next to someone trying to enjoy their lunch break.
I’m no child psychologist, believe me, but my kids have only had 3 public accidents combined, ever! And they were all because they are stubborn little boogers and didn’t want to stop playing long enough to be bothered with the toilet. I didn’t stop going out in public for years because it was inconvenient, instead I made the effort to go through the hassle of locating the closest bathroom every single place that we went during the process. I had to do that while I was pregnant and have just extended that “restroom-radar” for my children. I consider that part of my mommy duties.
So what I say to potette mom is this: maybe consider that it might be easier for you in the long run if you just don’t lug around a portable potty and go through the 6 grueling minutes that it takes you to get up and take care of business. I promise you that it is possible to hold a baby on your hip while assisting your older child with wiping, flushing and washing. Millions of women do it each and every minute of the day. And an added bonus is that you probably burn 35 calories during that crazy 6 minutes.
Is it legal? Potette mom wants to know if it is legal to have her kiddo pee 3 feet from someone eating. I suppose my answer to that is “who gives a crap if it’s legal or not” (pun intended). I doubt that a police officer would arrest you or your young one for doing this. I imagine you’d get off with some sort of warning. But the reality is that it is pretty disgusting. What we do know is that it probably isn’t completely sanitary either. There is no proof that the manner in which potette mom’s child is peeing isn’t releasing particles into the air. It might not be. But it also might be, which is enough to make me not want anyone going potty near my food.
I googled this issue and there are many people that disagree with me and think it is perfectly acceptable to do this. So, maybe I’m on the wrong side of the argument. But I don’t think so. Apparently in European countries this is totally normal practice. So, potette mom should move to Europe.
So, in conclusion:
- If you see a woman walking into a restaurant that you are eating at carrying a portable potty, ask for your check.
- Accidents happen. We really shouldn’t judge any single mom for their choices. We can’t change the potette moms of the world, let’s just not become potette moms.
- Europeans like to pee in public.
- Always have a Home Depot bucket on your boat.
I’d love to hear comments on this topic. Just be nice if you have an opposing view to mine. I’m a fragile woman. 🙂