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#1 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello ... There's a phenomenon that bothers me a little, and I'd like to know if it's just me. DD and I attend a playgroup that meets at a playground when it's nice out. Very often, potty-trained toddler boys will walk over to a tree, take their pants and Pull-Ups all the way down, and let 'er rip. Sometimes, they do this on their own, and their mothers kind of shrug and giggle. Sometimes, the mothers guide them to do this.

Last week, a boy was on the swing, his mother said, "Oh, do you need to pee?" and walked him over to the tree like this was perfectly natural, and like this was the appropriate place to go. It didn't seem to be an accident kind of situation, like it was either tree or wet pants. There is no restroom actually at the playground, but there are local businesses right across the street with clean restrooms and nice staff. When this one boy depantsed and peed on the tree, two or three other boys wanted to do it, too. So there was a little peeing circle. FWIW, the mom of one of the boys was irritated, too, because she doesn't like her DS to do this and wished the first mom hadn't encouraged it.

Then my DD wandered over, despite my attempts to redirect her, and she didn't get why she couldn't do it, too, and then she saw her friend's penis and was very curious. That part's OK -- I suppose she had to see one sometime, but I just wasn't prepared for it (though I guess few parents are prepared for that first big "reveal" of the opposite gender's "parts").

I'm not sure quite what bothers me about the scenario. Maybe the public nature of it? The trees are near a fence, and the fence does not obscure the view from an alley, an apartment complex, and a park that is usually full of adults. Sometimes there are suspicious people hanging around. I guess I wonder whether parents should be teaching their boys (or girls,for that matter) that it's OK to just whip it out in such a public place. Also, except in a total emergency, isn't it a bit counterproductive to potty train but then encourage/reinforce peeing outside? And I have to admit, part of my irritation was that DD saw an activity that looked like fun, but she couldn't join in -- I know she'll learn someday that boys stand up and girls squat, but it felt like a weirdly sad moment for her!

What do you think of this? Should boys just fire away in public outdoor places, or should parents try to teach them to announce their need soon enough that they can get to an actual toilet? And am I just a prude?
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#2 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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I don't think people should pee in public generally. However, I have helped my dd pee in public on several occasions when we were not near a bathroom and she wouldn't have been able to hold it. Of course we pee outside when camping, hiking, etc.

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#3 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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I do this with my ds. I hope nobody in my neighborhood feels as you do. I certainly don't mean to offend anyone!

If there's no toilet at the playground-- or if the toilet provided is actually worse than going in the bushes-- it just seems logical to me. I would not go into a store because their facilities are for customers. They are not there to be the official playground restrooms, KWIM?

The moms in my group actively approve, because it's helpful in initiating potty training for some of the boys. If one's peeing, somebody else in diapers might come over and get the idea he can do that too. It just so happens that the four moms who get together all happen to have boys.

Admittedly, it's harder for girls. There have been moments on the playground when me and my pregnant bladder have wished it was so easy!

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#4 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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I don't see a problem with it and have actually encouraged my boys to pee outside too. They only do it when there are no other facilities around and when it is an emergency. Of course, with a just potty-trained toddler, it is usually an emergency - lol.

We were at my older son's soccer game last spring when the port-a-potty that was provided was disgusting. We usually use those if they are there with no problem, but this one had feces smeared on the walls. No way was I going to insist on my guys using that for modesty. They both peed behind it.

I agree with the pp - the restrooms in the businesses across the street are for their customers.
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#5 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:25 PM
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It's completely inappropriate unless it's an emergency. We've had to let DS go a few times in that case...once when he was just training and we were twenty miles from the nearest building, and he needed to go. We pulled over, hid behind some bushes and watered a tree.

Parents should absolutely not be encouraging their children to whip it out at a playground for no good reason. And if an emergency situation exists, a courteous parent will make some effort to shield the child from view.
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#6 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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Before having a potty training ds, I would have thought it was a little bizarre, maybe even a little icky. But now... absolutely, ds pees on a tree all the time, every time, multiple times a day. There are just no bathrooms--public, private, whatever--near any of the playgrounds. If there were, we'd use them. We also have a little travel potty, but since we walk everywhere, it's just one more thing to carry. I figure, well, about a gazillion dogs use the park, so it's not like there being pee on trees is because of local toddlers. (no, no, I'm not comparing my ds to a dog. ) Since it's part of hte culture of the playground, we never get strange looks or comments, ever.

And ds totally gets the difference between being at the park and peeing on a tree and being at home and peeing in the potty, never once has he had confusion about that.
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#7 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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That is disgusting.

I used to work with men who did this, and it was revolting, and so very very inappropriate. It's up there with ECing in your seat on a plane. NOT OK!

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If there's no toilet at the playground-- or if the toilet provided is actually worse than going in the bushes-- it just seems logical to me. I would not go into a store because their facilities are for customers. They are not there to be the official playground restrooms, KWIM?
So you do it too, then? What about at the supermarket, just drop your pants and wee outside the front door?
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#8 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Parents should absolutely not be encouraging their children to whip it out at a playground for no good reason. And if an emergency situation exists, a courteous parent will make some effort to shield the child from view.
I'm with you there ... that's part of the problem I have with the public peeing, too. There's no effort to shield, and there are often adults without children sitting on benches in plain view. To my mind, peeing in one's own secluded yard or behind some type of cover is different from doing so in a very public urban area. I was similarly bothered over the summer when 2 1/2-year-old twin girls would routinely strip off bottoms as well as tops and then walk across the playground to the fountain. I don't want to teach DD to be ashamed of her body, but I'm inclined to be more cautious about this type of behavior in public.
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#9 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Before having a potty training ds, I would have thought it was a little bizarre, maybe even a little icky. But now... absolutely, ds pees on a tree all the time, every time, multiple times a day. There are just no bathrooms--public, private, whatever--near any of the playgrounds. If there were, we'd use them.
You're right that my perspective could very well change once DD is a little more into the potty learning and I realize how hard it is to get to a restroom in time!
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#10 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If there's no toilet at the playground-- or if the toilet provided is actually worse than going in the bushes-- it just seems logical to me. I would not go into a store because their facilities are for customers. They are not there to be the official playground restrooms, KWIM?
Yes ... which is why many parents take their DCs to the toilet there and then buy an iced tea, water, whatever, on the way out. The businesses in question are cafes/bakeries/restaurants, not stores. I know that's not always ideal, though -- maybe you have no cash on you that day, really don't want/need anything, etc. Ideal, of course, would be clean, safe, free restrooms everywhere!
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#11 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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I don't have a problem with it at all. My only issue is, why can't the girls do it too?

But then, I consider being able to pee outside an essential skill that nobody should arrive at adulthood without. YMMV.

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#12 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have a problem with it at all. My only issue is, why can't the girls do it too?
Because even if I were OK with DD exposing her genitalia in this very public area, I don't want to clean dribbled, unaimed pee off her pants, or her feet and legs if I took her pants all the way off! And the area with the trees is sandy, scrubby, sometimes littered on, and previously peed on by dogs and other children -- and I don't want to have to clean all of that out of her nooks and crannies if she squats rather than standing.
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#13 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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I don't love this either. DD is in an almost all-boy playgroup, and has also witnessed this while looking vaguely mystified and put out. I sort of feel like the moms turn it into a "Tee hee, boys will be boys" thing. I am aware that boys often train later and with more difficulty, but still...if girls can survive without doing this, why can't boys? I dunno--I'm probably reaching, but I think this is how we get frat boys peeing in alleyways in public view, in the end.

We always use the potty before we go to the playground.

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#14 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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Because even if I were OK with DD exposing her genitalia in this very public area, I don't want to clean dribbled, unaimed pee off her pants, or her feet and legs if I took her pants all the way off! And the area with the trees is sandy, scrubby, sometimes littered on, and previously peed on by dogs and other children -- and I don't want to have to clean all of that out of her nooks and crannies if she squats rather than standing.
That is why all girls should learn to pee outside. When I have taken my daughter pee outside in the event of an emergency, we have never had pee on her pants, feet, legs, or anything else. She squats and we have never had anything get on her either.

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#15 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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I can pee outside just fine in an emergency and will teach DD, but not at age 3.

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#16 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can pee outside just fine in an emergency and will teach DD, but not at age 3.
Likewise ... I certainly can if I really have to, and I'll teach DD, too, in case of emergency, but I think there's a difference between that and having it be an everyday, nonemergency-type habit.
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#17 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Where I live if the park does not have a toilet, most moms will take the behind a tree approach particularly with boys. If my 2 year old is engaged in hard play, he will NOT be able to wait until we go that far once he announces. Best we go in the bushes (we do seek privacy where there is some) than it dribble down his legs onto the sidewalk.
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#18 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Likewise ... I certainly can if I really have to, and I'll teach DD, too, in case of emergency, but I think there's a difference between that and having it be an everyday, nonemergency-type habit.
Definitely. I think is bizarre and inappropriate for it to be done in an urban, non emergency situation.

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#19 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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I can pee outside just fine in an emergency and will teach DD, but not at age 3.
See I think it is more important at this age because of not being able to control her bladder as much as an older child or grown up.

We've had two emergency situations come up and my daughter is 3.5.

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#20 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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Peeing outside for an adult can mean an indecent exposure misdemeanor. Because of this, I don't think it's a good habit to get into. I've turned down people for employment because of that charge. In the industry I'm it's the same as a sex offense.
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#21 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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I'm cool with it. Of course, I also let my daughter pee in public.

I notice *my* particular friends, who are generally progressive feminist mamas, are waaaay more uptight about their sons peeing or being naked in public than I am about my daughter doing the same. I am sure that is not the norm, though.

We only do it if it's an emergency, or if it's just really inconvenient to get to a bathroom. We obviously don't do it in concrete, populated areas... I'm thinking park, bicycle trail, etc.

About a month ago DD had to pee and I took her to the women's bathroom, but people were in the stall next to us. They didn't even take a break while a freaking *3 year old* was in there, talking away. Gross.

I may be more inclined to avoid public bathrooms near the playground in future, and just let her go in the grass.
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#22 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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All I can say is don't come to my house. At home my son will often sit up and yell "I gotta go peeeee" and then run outside and tinkle on a tree. :

I grew up on the beach and there were never any bathrooms so I learned at a very early age to pee outside and never dribbled all over the place. Once you were at the beach it was 15 minute walk home and no kid would ever make it. Never mind the days we 4-wheeled then even if everyone agreed to leave the beach it could be an hour long BUMPY ride home. You dealt with it and went in the dunes.

Granted out in public peeing on a tree is a last resort and by now my son is old enough to give us warning and can hold it when needed. However on long trips where rest areas don't have bathrooms, parks with no facilities, and playgrounds with no public bathrooms then a tree it is.

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#23 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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My boys and all of their friends did this. If DD wants to then she can cop a squat, too. I consider it minor. It's an innocent thing that they'll soon outgrow, not a big deal and IMO, certianly not "inappropriate, disgusting or gross". They're children for crying out loud.
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#24 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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I was watching my friend's son and he had to pee so ran over to a tree and pulled down his pants. I turned away to give him privacy, and when I turned back around literally only a few seconds later, my daughter had pulled down her pants and peed all over herself.

I thought that was pretty funny.
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#25 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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If there's no toilet at the playground-- or if the toilet provided is actually worse than going in the bushes-- it just seems logical to me. I would not go into a store because their facilities are for customers. They are not there to be the official playground restrooms, KWIM?
Same here. Although our playgrounds all have bathrooms. My son knows when and where he can go outside and there are very few of those places. If there is a bathroom available, that's where he goes, if not, well if you gotta go, you gotta go. If I had a girl, she'd do the same.
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#26 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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Jumping in from the "new posts" list..

With little kids' bladder control, this is simply necessary sometimes, especially if you've got multiple kids in tow. Although to me it's the same for girls too.. All the little girls I know can pee standing up no problem. Their aim is as good as the boys'!
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#27 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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Mom of 3 boys and all of mine have done it as youngsters. When a 2 or 2 1/2 yr old boy says they have to pee that generally means 2 minutes ago. If we are at the park or yard the bushes are going to get watered.

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#28 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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If this is a regular occurrence in a particular park your playgroup goes to frequently, I would worry about child predators. There are all degrees of caring for your children, and teaching them to respect their bodies and to protect their bodies from other people is an important lesson. Any "dirty old man" could follow you home from the park. Your children can be very vulnerable if this is a regular occurrence. I'm no prude, but I also think children should be taught that their bodies belong to them and not to be shown to just anyone.
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#29 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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That is why all girls should learn to pee outside. When I have taken my daughter pee outside in the event of an emergency, we have never had pee on her pants, feet, legs, or anything else. She squats and we have never had anything get on her either.
Same with Rylie. She pees outside at home all the time and never has any issues. I would let her do it in the park too, provided other kids were doing it. It's not ideal, but I wouldn't want to drag usall across the street and into a store just to use a bathroom.

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#30 of 153 Old 10-02-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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My have done this occasionally when there are no bathrooms in the immediate vicinity. But we take a lot of care to make sure it is completely out of the way, hidden behind a tree or bushes.

I don't think it has much relevance to grown men peeing outside. There are plenty of things that are appropriate when you are a kid that don't carry over into adulthood.

(And the difference between peeing outside and peeing on the floor of a store - does this really need to be answered? Is the answer not obvious?)
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