Peeing & Pooping Outdoors
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Peeing & Pooping Outdoors
My husband recently took our young son golfing at a public
local course. The next day my husband told me he (my
husband, not my son) peed on the golf course. I was
horrified. I told him that I had never been a mom that
allowed public peeing (unless it was an extreme emergency)
and that I was now concerned our son would think this was
acceptable. My husband said that ''everyone does this'' since
they couldn't wait until after the last hole. I said there
was no way everyone did this but he stood by his claim. I
told him I would ask BPN. So...is it acceptable for a man
to pee on golf course???
per my husband - yes happens all the time.
even in corporate outings on the course.
This is normal behavior for most males and a fair number of
females, and it is not limited to the golf course. Humans
have been pissing outdoors for 99.9999% of the time there
have been humans. As long as you are not making a big show
of it, who cares?
As a business golf author and speaker, I (with humor and
subtlety) recommend men not relieve themselves on the course
during a business golf round. Of course, some men do,
especially if it's an emergency. Perhaps you can let your
husband and son know that golf courses have porta-potties as
well as bathrooms out on the course at least every nine
holes, if not more often. If playing a new course, golfers
should ask the golf course staff on which holes bathrooms
are located. I'm glad to hear that your son and husband are
playing golf--it's a great game!
I would like some opinions about this -- I was at the park
today with my 2 little girls. I saw this mother and her 3 sons
(or 3 boys she had with her), ranging in age from about 2 1/2
to maybe 6 or 7. She had them all lined up with their pants
down, peeing side by side into the bushes next to the park.
When they were done she handed each of them a wipe. She loaded
them up into the van and drove off. I was so appalled and
disgusted I didn't even know what to do...
So I am wondering to other mothers of little boys -- is this
normal, or is it disgusting? I think it's even illegal,
right? Has anyone had any experience with this? I have seen
this woman at this park before...I am wondering if I say
something to her?
Mother of Girls, Wondering...
Ummmm -- I allowed my little boy to pee in the bushes, but
discreetly. No display of buns in the park or by the
roadside. Maybe it's because of my rural upbringing, but
peeing in the bushes (unlike defecating in the bushes) does not
seem like a health issue to me. If it were an area where smell
can start to accumulate (a stairwell, an underpass, a BART
elevator -- ugh) I would object, but not under the clear sky
(with modest bush-cover). Now that my little boy is twelve, I
would not let him pee outside in an urban setting, but
certainly out in the country he could, and... ahem.... I do,
too, on hikes or cycling tours when there is no bathroom
available for miles. I know that some people (some of my
cycling buddies) find that offensive, too, and others think
it's totally OK. Again, I make sure that there is no public
display, I don't leave crumpled up paper in nature, I don't
think I leave a trace. Personally, I will take a woodland site
(carefully checked for poison oak) above a gas station restroom
any day. In urban settings I wouldn't do it as an adult,
because an adult (unless totally inebriated, but that's another
posting) can hold it until a more sheltered setting is found.
So I think that the mother's sin (if there was one) was public
display, not urination au naturel.
I, as the mother of a boy, absolutely do not allow him to pee in the
bushes in a
public park. He uses the bathroom, even if it's less than savory, and
his hands (or uses the wipe to clean his hands). The only exception is
when we are
far, far away from anything resembling a bathroom and the only
alternative is to wet
his pants, and even then I try to take him far away from anyplace
people would go
(e.g. the middle of a stand of trees far from the path on a long hike).
I think it is disgusting and irresponsible to allow your kid to pee
other kids might play -- and remember, many small children do not just
play on the
play structures, but like to play in and around those bushes (my kid's
one of those).
I don't care if you have a germ-phobia, and the bathroom's a little
dirty -- that's
what that wipe is for.
You could try to say something, but I'm guessing you won't have much
changing the behavior. There are a lot of people who just figure that,
bathroom's not pristine, they're justified in doing whatever they like.
Well, I'm usually a little more discreet about it than the woman
you saw, but I have been known to let my boys pee in the bushes
in public places. Usually only when they were potty training
and/or they really had to go and there was no alternative, and I
wouldn't do it after they were about 5 or so. Maybe I'm wrong,
but I don't see it as that different from people who let their
dogs pee on things.
Better the Bushes than the Pants
I think it's totally fine. It's no worse than dogs. I think
it's gross and disgusting when a dog pees on a tree and it runs
all over the sidewalk. I wish dog owners would make their dogs
go in bushes and other areas where people don't walk.
They're little kids - get over it. Besides, you might find your
daughter needing to go RIGHT NOW at some point and need to hold
her over the bushes so she can go.
Mother of boys and girls that have peed in the bushes
It seems lots of parents will do anything rather than interrupt
an afternoon at the park. If your kid has to pee and there is no
bathroom around, leave! Would YOU pee in the bushes?
If your child is not in diapers, have him or her use the bathroom
before you go to the park. Any kid can hold it for 2-3 hours
which is plenty of time for an outing. Boys who pee in the
bushes will grow up to be men who pee in the alley outside the
bar, in my opinion. It's totally unnecessary, and yes, it is
disgusting. Even dogs aren't supposed to pee in parks where
kids play. I never let my son do it, and I never
faced the need for it, either. Possibly it's because
I didn't see the need for him to be sucking on a juice box all
day long either. Maybe this is a side-effect of the 'must
have beverage at all times' culture we've got going on...
Pee before you leave the house!
Not sure why you think peeing in the bushes is disgusting. I
don't see a problem with young kids--maybe 7 years old is getting
a bit old and he could hold it until regular facilities are
found. But they should try to be a little bit discreet about it.
Frankly, I've seen just as many moms with little girls doing this at
parks, so I wouldn't
try to work the mother-of-the-fairer-sex angle. For the record my
husband is on
your side, he thinks it's disgusting and won't allow our boys to do it.
I think if you want
to sing out, sing out, and if you want to go pee, go pee.
Free to pee you and me...
In my opinion, if you wouldn't complain about a dog doing it,
there's no reason to complain about a child doing it.
I'd like to also add that some children are terrified of public
bathrooms. Sometimes this leads to outdoor peeing because there
just aren't any other options. You may not know the whole story
of this mom and her kids.
Having kids can be so hard. I'd say let's ease up on being
appalled at each other. As long as someone is caring for his/her
childen well, and not hurting anyone else, why not let the
disgust go a bit? Maybe, one of these days, you'll need someone
else to cut you a little slack, too.
one momma, one pee pee boy
I have to say, I think it's pretty common to let boys pee in
the bushes. Being a mom of 2, now much older boys, it's pretty
convenient....and it's make or break between peeing in their
pants cause there's no bathroom available or finding some
privacy behind a bush or tree.
I'll say that i used to try to find some privacy, not right out
Many parks do not have bathrooms, or they are locked, or they
are really disgusting adn sleezy, so the bushes seems a cleaner
We do it camping, so...why not? I never really thought about
how it might affect mom's of only girls.
wish it were that easy for girls
I think it's a disgusting habit and I've noticed it seems to be
tolerated, even celebrated (I've actually seen clapping and a big
deal made over this ''accomplishment'') in this area. I say if you
wont pee there yourself, then don't let your kid do it. I
understand if it's an emergency on a long car ride or something,
somewhere remote, but public streets and playgrounds?! They're
not homeless or drunk frat boys. They're children who can be
taught where to go.
I think you are probably over-reacting. I have a daughter and a son,
and I let my son
pee in bushes when there is a need and we are too far from a bathroom (I
try to be as
discreet as possible). All sorts of animals are peeing in these same
bushes, so what is
some more little kid pee?
As the mom of a boy, I have to admit that when we were first
potty training I did let him pee in the bushes a few times. I
don't really appreciate having my parks smell of urine though so
I quickly got into the habit of taking our potty with us in the
car to avoid messes and the public peeing thing too.
Once he was able to hold it we would just find the nearest bathroom.
I let my kids pee in the bushes (my daughter, too) when they
were young. But by about age 4, they have to suck it up and
wait just like I do.
Sometimes they need to pee, sometimes they need to wait
Did this happen at Jordan Park or another park that does not have a
anywhere nearby? If so, I think you are being way too uptight. I have
three who are
under 6 (two boys and a girl). I require them to go before we leave home
often bring a little potty with us, but it's not always possible to rush
them to the parking area and just leave the other(s) unattended if I'm
alone. As long
as it's in the bushes away from the play area and the kids are young, I
it's a big deal. Please, it's hard enough with three--we are short on
torture that poor woman by lecturing her about it.
I DO draw the line at pooping though!
-Guilty of the same on occasion
As the mother of three boys I have direct experience with this issue!
Our rule has
always been that peeing outside is the last resort! ONLY if a bathroom
is not available
and the child cannot wait to get to one should they pee outside.
Three boy mom
Its fine. Its also fine for girls, just harder because they
have to squat. They didn't pee in the middle of the sandbox
- they were off to the side, in the bushes as you said.
I assume there was no bathroom around - what do you
expect her to do? The kids had to pee! If I were her, and you
said something to me, I would laugh in your face.
As the mother of a boy I have let him pee in a bush when there
were no other option. I've worked with children for years and
little girls have much more control of their bladders so I can
see why you may just think this laziness or disgusting, but it is
neither. There is no waiting and no warning from little boys and
they generally have much less control. So if we have to, we will
stop and let him pee in a bush if there are no bathrooms around
rather than have him wet himself and feel out of control. Kids
have to pee when they have to pee and I think it abusive to force
them to hold it until a time that fits in with my adult life.
Also remember you are in a park - there is animal pee all over
the place so it cannot be the pee that is really bothering you.
Is it the nudity? The different parenting approach? And
definitely don't say anything to the parent - she is likely
feeling embarrassed and just hoping she can get her little ones
bottom covered and out of there as quickly as possible. After
all it is not like she came to the park so her boys could pee -
she was in a situation where it was the only option.
Ahhhhh the joy of being a Mum
If there is no bathroom at a park, and a little boy or girl needs
to pee, then use of the bushes is fine. If there is a bathroom,
then, of course, the bathroom should be used. And the parent
should make sure the kid isn't peeing anywhere that babies/kids
are likely to go: i.e., no peeing in the sandbox, but off in as
distant a corner as possible is acceptable. That said, having
one's boys line up sounds like prophylactic/preventive peeing to
me, not an urgent need to pee, so I find that a bit odd, but who
knows, maybe they were heading out for a two-hour-long car ride?
Also, I think peeing in the bushes should be avoided a little
more strenuously in summer, since then there's no rain coming to
''wash things clean''.
you gotta go when you gotta go
I'm glad you wrote this. I had a less civil version I drafted and
set aside. here is what I wrote (it does not seem so bad now)
Subject: Boys [mostly] urinating in our parks.
So, um, er, what's with all the kids, (mostly boys) urinating on
trees in parks. Urban parks, _often with functioning bathrooms_
bathrooms we all pay for with taxes, often pretty good ones -
often right in sight?
My child (a girl) asked me (her dad) why they do not use the
bathroom. The most diplomatic answer I have come up with is that
maybe the kid has not yet fully figured out the toilet, but then
I got the, ''why no diaper then?'' Which is a fair retort.
What is not fair, I think, is chancing upon your kid's urine when
exploring parks. I sometimes miss the memos about new norms, and
I know sometimes you've just gotta gotta gotta go. But really?
Help me understand, and explain, what is going on.
Must I, at this tender age talk about male privilege? ''Well dear,
having a penis is license to make the world into your toilet,
boys will be boys after all...'' Moms and Dads, SAY IT AIN'T SO!
Please tell me you are working on it. It is too early to lower
the expectation bar for boys, isn't it? I know I'm
over-sensitive, but really, help me understand what is going on
here. We've got some 'splainin' to do.
whole family toilet trained - How about yours?
I am sure there are a wide range of opinions about this. Personally,
childcare coop (4 kids, 2 girls, 2 boys) went to the park, we let them
pee in the
bushes when they had to go (the boys AND the girls) because there's no
there. In fact, I have let my daughter pee in the bushes on many an
there wasn't a bathroom readily available. Since she's only 3, I didn't
her ''hold it'' was going to work.
Also, pee is sterile when in comes out, and it soaks right into the
ground, so I don't
think it's so disgusting. Now, if they were peeing in the sandbox, I'd
be inclined to
object, but since no one plays directly IN the bushes, where's the harm?
When a Kid's Gotta Go, A Kid's Gotta Go!
Hi, I have little boys and I occasionally let them pee outside. Not a
lot, but when
they are desperate. Listen, raising kids is hard. Raising 3 little boys
is VERY hard.
We are all doing our best. My boys have terrible trouble not wetting
Controlling urine is something that tends to be harder for boys than
general, I don't think it should be a habit, but if the kid is desperate
and you try to
be inconspicuous about it, then I think its OK. That said, no one should
inside a playground or on playground equipment. But I think
''disgusting'' is too
harsh. Remember, its very easy for the mom of one girl to be
judging of the mom with 3 boys. Don't do it till you walk in her shoes.
each other a break!
Leave that poor mom of 3 boys alone!
Your post really made me laugh. Really i don't thnk it's a big
deal. That said, as the mom of a 3 year old boy, this is what i
do. First i always ask when we are near a restroom if he wants
to go. that way i rarely have to come up with a quick solution
in the middle of nowhere. Second if we are at the park and he
asks, i check to see if there is a restroom. If there are none,
i take him somewhere he cannot be seen and where people don't
go play and i let him do it. If she was alone with 3 kids and
they all wanted to go then she had no choice. I mean what would
you do if your daughter just had to go? have her go in her
pants? so i think if you have no choice it's ok once in a
while. but it shouldn't be the first choice.
I have two young boys and I do what I can to avoid having them
pee in the bushes. But sometimes kids just have to go and
there's no other option. Cats and dogs pee and poop all over the
place, that seems more disgusting to me and I think pet owners
should be held more accountable.
I have both a boy and a girl and yes, I let my 4.5 year old boy
pee in the bushes at the park if the bathroom is too far away or
if there isn't a bathroom all together. In general, it totally
doesn't bother me at this age or younger but I can see how it
would be off-putting to see older, school-age children who
clearly have the attention and impulse control to make their way
to the bathroom.
Can a mother of a little girl (4) and boy (2) reply? My girl has
peed outdoors many a time and now that my son is in undies, he
does too. When there are no public restrooms and my child tells
me s/he needs to pee I try to assess the ability to wait and
length of time to get to a potty. If s/he really needs to go, we
drop trou. I do try to pick a spot less likely to irritate
others - we pee in the gutter or a remote bush, not where people
are likely to sit. yeah, it is probably illegal, but what is the
choice? I do have my children potty before leaving the house and
I try to know where public potties are - but there are places
without potties, or with locked potties, or with potties just too
far away for my kiddos. I do sometimes carry a portapotty, but
then still have the wheretoputthetrash problem. If it helps, 99%
of my kids' poop has gone down the potty not to landfills -- it's
illegal to put human waste in the trash :)
peed in closed costo parking lot on Monday
I honestly don't see how it is worse for children to pee in the
bushes than dogs and cats. Just because it is normal to see a dog
peeing in the bushes and not normal to see a child peeing there,
it sometimes is a bit shocking. However, peeing in nature adds
nitrogen and water to the soil and in my opinion this isn't such
a bad thing. The soil and plants absorb the pee and it shouldn't
leave any lingering odor, and besides, pee is sterile.
I also have 2 girls, now 9 & 7, and a 4 year old boy. I think I've let
him pee outdoors
once or twice, and never in sight of anyone else. We've been pretty
sometimes, but we always try to find a public restroom, as tempting as
it is to just let
him go anywhere. We also keep an empty plastic water bottle in our car
and he goes
in there occasionally. I think you're right--urination in public areas
is illegal. If it's a
very young boy in a very desperate situation, I would probably look the
other way, but
the mom lining the kids up like that, right next to a playground, is
Oh boy! I'm not that lady, but I sure have been there! The
real question is does that park have a potty? If not, then
yeah, occassionally it's ok. The park I frequent, in Redwood
Heights Oakland, is a great park with enclosed gates, nice
parents and playarea. And yes, routinely you will see parents
sending their kids (boys and girls) off to the bushes. I know
its not something one would do or encourage anywhere else, but
as long as they are peeing somewhere other kids are not likely
to be, if a kids gotta go, he's gotta go. If they are peeing
in the sand, play area, etc - certainly tell the mom
something. Otherwise, yeah its a bit gross - but as a mom of
two, surely you have seen worse things with bodily fluids!
another mom with a bush-pee kid
I laughed when I saw your post as I thought I was the only one
who thought it odd. I have a boy and a girl 9 and 5 and no we
don't pee in the bushes. We have a camping potty , its a super
small thing that unfolds and has a liner for emergencies. We
make it part of our routine to always 'check' before we leave
In our area they lock the bathrooms at the schools where the
kids play their organized sports on the weekends and the boys
do go pee behind some structure out of view. I am not a fan but
in an emergency I do think its acceptable. But out of view and
its semi supervised. No, I don't want to see the behinds of
other peoples kids. We try to teach that our body is private,
so...Not to mention peeing in the area where folks are playing
is kinda gross.
Not a mountain gal
Kids that age... I have no real issue with that. There is a real dearth
of public toilets in
the bay area. I know that this is not exclusive to boys either. A dear
friend has a
daughter who would pee in the bushes at the local playground when the
Dogs pee everywhere. A little kid peeing in the bushes.... I don't see
Do you likewise get disgusted when you see dogs urinating in
parks? How is this somehow not disgusting? Maybe you should
just look away.
I have boys and I don't think it is disgusting. What is
disgusting is parks without restrooms, or parks with nasty
restrooms. Yes, I would rather have my child pee on a bush then
enter many pubic restrooms.
I also have a girl and would have her squat and pee. I don't
really care if you think it is disgusting. Urine is sterile. It
is only when it pools that bacteria can grow in it. It is
actually quite good for plants in that it is high in nitrogen. I
think maybe you should maybe not watch little children pee, since
it is evident from your post that you were glaring at them and
not giving them some privacy. Which I think is kind of weird.
there is a reason they say When Nature Calls...
Oh man, I was just thinking about writing a post like this
myself!! I agree that it is totally disgusting not to mention
encouraging inappropriate self-exposure in the kids. Illegal, I
have no idea, and maybe people will think I'm uptight, but I hate
it too. And just for the record, I have frequently seen both
girls and boys doing this, usually with their nannies, at the
little local playground in my neighborhood (the Mandana Green,
FYI). I have sympathy for the nannies and moms with little ones
who are out of diapers but not yet fully potty-trained, and there
aren't any public bathrooms around there, but come on!! I was
just glad I witnessed it so I know never to sit or let my kid sit
in the dirt or grass around there!
pee in the potty, please
If there was no safe, clean public bathroom at this park, then
I think you're over-reacting. I don't have a boy, but my
daughter has had to use a bush or two during her short life.
Unless there is a bathroom right there, it's sometimes hard for
a small kid to hold it. Many of the parks around here don't
provide adequate bathrooms. In some areas, you even need to pre-
purchase a key to use the restroom! I would hope that a parent
would take their kid(s) as far away from other people as
possible when using the bushes, but otherwise, I'm not
convinced that this is so horrible.
been there, peed there
Yep, normal. Sorry, mom of girls. I have a 5-yr girl & 4-yr
boy. My son, especially if there's no potty around, will find
the nearest bush. I was actually impressed the mom gave her
sons wipes. Girls can generally learn to hold their pee earlier
& easier than boys & when boys gotta go, well they gotta go.
However, I am teaching him where & when a bush might or might
not be appropriate. But for the most part, at age 4 I can simply
only hope that he gets his pants down & finds a semi-private
Mommy of Public Peeing Boy
I think it's fine - I wish it was so easy for girls to pee on
My family is from Europe, and little boys peeing in bushes is no big
deal. For me
personally, it's quite normal and sometimes cleaner and more hygienic
kids use dirty toilets. I have a young son and once he becomes potty
trained, I'll have
no problems letting him pee outdoors. It's unfortunate that this country
seems to take
the prudish approach about such a natural thing. Plus, they're kids, not
peeing for everyone to see.
What I think about peeing in the bushes is that it's not much
different from someone walking their dog and letting them pee
there. That said, I don't like dogs peeing in my yard because my
kid plays there, and likewise I don't let my boy pee in the
bushes. If there is an emergency need to pee, In a secluded or
private spot, I let him pee into a plastic bag I carry with me.
I seal it tightly and put it in a paper bag for privacy, carry
it with me and empty it out into a toilet when I get home. Then
the waste can be treated properly. So, yes, I think it's gross
to let your kid pee in a public park just like I wouldn't let my
kid pee in your front yard. There is a reason why public parks
have public restrooms and signs that say NO DOGS.
Proper Pee Planning Promotes Positive Peer O-Pinions
I let my 4-year-old pee in the bushes all the time. Basic rule of
thumb: private=good, public=bad. I always have him go in as
private a spot as possible.
We're in a pretty serious drought here. I'd rather let my boy
tinkle outside than waste more precious water because someone
might see his tushy for a few seconds.
Can't let the yellow mellow in a park bathroom
Coming from another culture's perspective, it is 100% normal to
let your kids pee (and poop) in the bushes at the park in
Germany: if you kid has to go, and there's nowhere to go, what do
you do? Frankly, I would think that in an emergency, you would
do this, too.
I think it's completely natural to pee outside and is
particularly helpful with potty-training, though I'd like to see
people using public restrooms if they are available, especially
the older you get. I would be really put off to see a teen or
adult peeing in a public place, so I think it's situationally
I'm sure there will be many who are disgusted, as you are.
I've seen both little boys and little girls pee in bushes or near
trees at the park and it doesn't bother me at all. Kids,
especially toddlers, often have a hard time holding it! And how
is it different from all those dogs peeing all over the park?
urine is sterile
Wow. I think you need to lighten up. It's pee, for goodness
sake; it's not like they're defecating all over the place. And
they are little boys who, no doubt like your little girls, have
a very short time between when they realize they have to go and
when they are actually going. I thank my lucky stars that I
have the option for my boy to pee in the bushes rather than in
his pants. If there is a bathroom where we are or close enough
that we will make it, we go; if not, he drops trou and pees in
the bushes, taking care to be as discreet as possible. Fewer
accidents, fewer times we have to leave a park earlier than he
wants, fewer hang ups about his normal bodily functions.
Half the world pees in the bushes
It sounds like the mom could have tried to find a more secluded
spot for her boys to relieve themselves, but almost every mom of
boys that I know does allow this. Honestly, it is one of the
best perks of having a boy! My son is now 8 and I do wonder at
what age it ceases to be cute and starts to be gross--or maybe
even illegal. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this! I will
say that we always find a private spot where no one can see and
also where I am sure no one will see or step in the wet spot
afterwards. Sometimes when we are pulling into our driveway he
can't even make it into the house, and he has hidden spot in the
yard where he can pee on dirt and/or juniper. So I feel like I'm
not a hypocrite since I allow it in our own yard. Also, I always
make sure he only pees on dirt or weeds (or juniper) -- never on
I would say that it is appropriate if public restrooms are not
available. Because if you have a toddler who needs to go to the
bathroom ''now'' it usually means they really should have gone 5
minutes ago. I have done this (in emergency situations - we
always use public restrooms when they are available) but we
generally find a tree or bush that will conceal us and my
child's privates. And on the occasion that my daughter has had
a bowel movement, I pick up after her.
When you gotta go, you gotta go!
It is unclear to me from your post if you are interested in
looking at your reaction to this or if you are looking for
something else. Just so you know where I am coming from, the
only thing of interest here to me is your reaction- appalled and
disgusted. Do you have any idea what it is about this event that
leaves you feeling appalled and disgusted? Is it the urine on
the ground? Would you expect to have the same reaction if this
woman was supervising 3 dogs peeing on the ground? Or does it
have something to do with these little boys butts and penises
possibly being seen? Is that appalling and disgusting? Or does
it have to do with some judgment about the kind of woman that
would do something like this? (Of course only you can say what
the something is.) Sounds like you want to make this woman wrong
and put her in her place. Do you actually think that police
resources should be allocated to telling little boys not to pee
in the bushes and penalizing their care providers?
In my experience the only thing of value to be seen or done with
a loud reaction like the one you had is inside oneself. This is
a call from something inside you asking for your attention. If
you take the time to really look with sincerity and curiosity you
will find a gem but if it isn't already obvious, the path won't
be pretty or comfortable.
Hi. I am a mother of three sons. What you describe is
appalling and, yes, disgusting. I would call her on it. She
could be charged with indecent exposure. Speak up, please, as
there are sanitary, health issues also considering it's a public
park. I wouldn't trade my sons for girls because I love my boys
but I'd suggest you speak to the parent. And if she gets upset,
oh, well, but at least she'll know people are watching..If
you've seen this woman before,say something and get something
done or say nothing and don't complain.
I really don't think this is a big deal. I some times see
parents of little boys AND little girls directing their kids to
pee in parks or near a playground. It doesn't happen often and
when it does, the parents and the kids are always very discreet
and mindful of others around them, so I doubt a lot of people
even notice it. I don't know about your kids, but mine, when
they were young, would usually tell me that they have to do #1
when they really had to do it, without an advance notice. So
what do you do if there is no public bathroom in the vicinity?
In my case, we would jump in the car and drive home like
maniacs hoping they can hold it for the next however many
minutes, because my kids were always really freaked out about
using any other bathroom (let alone bushes) but our own. I
imagine that's why some parents do what they do. So in my
opinion, when it comes to little kids, I think it is totally
acceptable if it's done in a discreet manner and no more
disgusting that let's say witnessing dogs doing their business
on a patch of grass.
I have a little boy and would never allow him to pee in a park
(or any public place) unless it was an extreme emergency.
Disgusting and disrespectful.
Mother of Boy
If there is no bathroom around (or if there is only a
disgusting outhouse), I see nothing wrong with boys (or girls)
peeing in the bushes. As long as it is away from where kids are
playing. Some parks in the area have no bathrooms and that is
the only option, other than holding it in. Not all moms bring
portable toilets and pee is sterile anyhow so I really don't
think it's a big deal at all. Hey, if you gotta go, you gotta
go, and no one wants their kid to have an accident!
That is disgusting!
Signed mom of three boys, ages 8,6 and 4.
I'm the mom of two little girls. And on occasion I've had to let
*them* pee in the bushes! When you've got to go, you've got to
go! That said, I do bring a potty in the minivan and if we are
near the car we'll get to it. But sometimes it isn't possible. If
they were peeing on a sidewalk that would be gross because it
would smell but what harm is done in the bushes? I would call it
mildly annoying but nothing to lose sleep over!
I let my 4 1/2 year old son pee in the bushes. He usually waits until
the very last
minute, and then it's either his pants or the bushes (and I don't think
he's the only boy
who does this). Obviously, if the park has a clean bathroom, I'll take
him there. But if
not, I think the bushes are fine, as long as he pees away from the play
I think watering the bushes is fine
I have two sons and have two younger brothers. Never in my life
did it ever occur to me that anyone, even a male, would pee
outside unless they were in the middle of some big outdoor
camping thing where there were no bathrooms for miles. I am not
a frequent park goer, and it was not until my sons were older
and we were at park playdates with other moms that I ever saw
someone encourage their boys (and mine) to do this. However,
considering the urgency a 4yo will have to use the bathroom at
the last minute, and the fact that so many parks have locked
their restrooms to reduce vandalism (and other ''stuff'') I have
given in when it is an emergency and the alternative is a child
wetting himself at the park or in the car. But in general I am
not in favor of it, and if I found my kids doing it when they
had another sanitary option they'd be in trouble... how is that
for a conflicten answer.
usually no p in my 'ark
Wow, weren't we polarized on this question? In a way, it was
refreshing to see the often same-thinking community stand on
entirely different sides of an issue. Clearly there are
significant cultural and personal differences on the issue,
more than I would have thought possible. But as a mom who did
let her little boy pee in the bushes, the exchange made me
aware that there are people out there who are sincerely upset
and disgusted by it, which, had I known it at the time, would
at least have made me more careful about finding cover for
him! So a useful discussion, I thought.
still a nature girl, but more aware
Given the number of kids in Berkeley urinating on bushes, and the
small amount of rain we get nowadays, I'm surprised the local
parks don't stink more. Hey guys, this is an urban area. Please
use the sewer system for urine! (Or a diaper! Or a porta-potty!)
Mom of 3 boys who pee in the toilet
Disgusted? Seems a little harsh. I have three boys and one
girl. My first two boys knew that 'going potty' outside was
reserved for camping and 'if there was no other alternative'. My
3rd boy has always pushed the envelope and has been known to pee
in our drains outside and literally right outside a public
restroom. I have learned to pick my battles so to speak. If
there is a clean viable alternative to urinating in public, we
use it, if not we don't. That includes my daughter by the way,
who just this morning peed in front of our car at the beach (she
wasn't going to make it otherwise). My advice, lighten up (until
you've been there). Sounds to me like you're being a
judgemental mom who only has girls (yuck).
There are worse things
I read the responses to your question and had to reply. I think
this is a gross thing to teach kids -- regardless of whether
a bathroom is nearby. And for those that compare human
behaviors to dogs? That too is twisted logic in my eyes. A dog
is an animal whose owners are supposed to clean up after their
pets. A child is a human whose parents should know better.
Have your kids go potty before they head to the park and if
they need ''to go'' then please leave. As hip as the Bay Area is,
no one wants to see your kid pee.
There should be family bathrooms in parks! San Ramon's Memorial
Park is an example of correct public bathroom building (2
wheelchair-friendly, stroller-friendly, family-friendly
onesies). How old is a little boy before it's safe for him to
go to the men's room alone, if it's a men's room where someone
may be in their shooting up or sleeping or having sex? I say
never, really, but I just grit my teeth and worry while my
little boy goes in alone. I am so angry that we are building
parks with no
bathrooms and no budgets to keep them clean and safe. I myself
have had to pee in the bushes at parks, and then I never go back
parks! One time I had to poop! You bet it was disgusting!
People have to go, so what is the deal with parks and other
establishingments thinking they do not have to have public
restrooms! No wonder America is dehydrated! And constipated!
It's not just a problem for kids. There's long
stretches of urban highway with no public bathrooms open at
night. Fortunately I'm well-spoken and nice-looking so people
usually let me use the employees-only or customers only
restrooms, but I wonder
what the less attractive people are supposed to do? What are
homeless people supposed to do?
Just keep a potty training type potty in the back of your car if
you are frequently going to public areas with no suitable public
bathrooms. Solids can be transferred to plastic bags, liquids
can be sopped up with a wad of paper towels, if there is no
toilet to transfer it to before driving. That said, I have two
little boys who pee in the bushes when no one is looking and a
suitable toilet isn't available.
Bear in the Woods
Encouraging/allowing your sons to pee in the bushes at the park
is disgusting. Use the public restrooms or portapotty and above
all, go before leaving home! Kids, adults, everyone... I lived
in SF for many years and often saw mothers drop their kids
pants in the middle of the sidewalk, a few of the more discreet
would head over to the curb... I am not making this up. And,
even worse, grown men pee on the BART platform at 16th and 24th
street stations, (not even off the platform onto the tracks).
You can tell where the uric acid has eaten away the shine at
the end of the platform-I've confronted them to no effect. They
just whine about the restrooms being locked up, but that has
been true for a long time so why not be prepared? What are we,
Is it just me or does any one else think this was totally inappropriate? I didn't say
anything because I was too stunned. What does one say in this instance?
As I was leaving Thousand Oaks park about two weeks ago I heard a young girl,
about 5 or 6, say ''mommy I have to Poop'' The mother was on her cell and wasn't
paying much attention. The girl repeated herself and the mother directed the
girl to go behind the tree near the fence and trash cans, drop her pants and poop
right there. By this time my children, 2 and 4 (potty-trained), both saw this and said
why is she pooping there, in the park? (when there is a Starbucks with a toilet
close by) There are many things wrong with this which most of us, educated, living
in the middle class, get. I recently returned with my family from living in India,
with a developing economy. I never saw a middle class child with a checked out
parent, pooping in a place where children play. Would you confront the mother and
tell her to get off the phone or what?
Maybe i am too uptight but, I didn't care that this woman picked up the pile and
put it in the trash can -open in a wipe. I have seen squirrels go in and out of
those trash cans and climbing through the toys.
Is this just the way people act?
It may not be just you, because I'm sure there are lots of people who will agree with
you -- I can hear collective noses wrinkling all over -- but in my humble opinion,
who the hell cares? If she picked it up and put it in the trash then she's doing
than many dog owners, and where was she supposed to put it, in her purse? You
know nothing about this other mother, except that she can use a phone -- she may
have had other, younger children in the park, or not wanted to risk her daughter
having an accident, or just not damn well felt like trekking over to Starbucks. It's
only poop!! Those squirrels you mentioned? They poop in the park, too, probably
directly on the toys! Jeez louise, lighten up
Not Scared of Poop
EWW! That is TOTALLY inappropriate!! I can't believe anybody
would do that. What a lesson that mother is teaching her child,
to just drop trou and poop right there behind a tree. I don't
care how ''Berkeley'' we are, you don't poop in the park,
especially if there's a bathroom within walking distance!!
I'm with you
YUCK. I was thoroughly disgusted with the mom when I read your
post. I hope she reads this and realizes that her behavior was
not acceptable to the many others who frequent that park, and
especially not to her daughter. She essentially treated her
daughter like a dog
You are not alone! I've seen this happen on a couple of
occasions lately and I think it's so nasty! In one case, at
Joaquin Miller Park, a mom let her child poop right next to the
play structure (in the dirt, but next to the rubber mat area)
and she was planning to leave it there! Finally I stepped up
and ask her about it and only then did she move it to a faraway
tree (not good enough). The other time was an older kid at
Jordan Park who pooped in the ivy near were the kids run around
the tall trees. No mom in sight. I went around the park until I
found the mom, gave her a poop bag and directed her to the
poop. My kids would never be allowed just to drop pants
wherever and dirty up the park like that. I don't even let them
pee at the park. We carry a little potty and if they need to
go, they use the potty and I pour the pee out away from where
people are. I hate kids peeing all over the park too. Last week
we were at Aquatic Park, a five year old kid peed on the play
structure where we were playing. Some parents are obviously not
paying attention AND are teaching their kids the very bad,
disgusting habits. If you are one of them, please be more
consider to the many other users of the park.
By the way, I do think that the city of Oakland in particular
needs to be far more accommodating to families by actually
putting in bathrooms in some of the larger and better used
parks. It's a disgrace that this hasn't been done. I've never
seen anyone peeing or pooping at Piedmont's Dracena Park....
maybe because there is a nice, clean bathroom five feet from
Grossed out mom
You are so not uptight for this to bother you and what you saw is
so seriously nasty I'm sorry to had to witness it! I'd be
surprised if anyone writes in to tell you to loosen up. Just
thinking about of the host of parasitic worms that can be
transmitted by contact with human feces should be enough to let
you know your hunch was right.
But I wouldn't bother confronting the mother of this kid, at
least, not unless you're ready for a war of words. She'd probably
just be defensive at best, maybe even aggressive. When I was
pregnant and emboldened by hormones (or so I tell myself) I
confronted a well-dressed and obviously middle-class man in
Wholefoods who was grazing the fruit and nut bins with his bare
hands. But he didn't change his behavior and he just got in my
face and was super-aggressive about it being his own business
(despite the signs asking people to refrain from grazing).
You could, however, complain to the school district, which
apparently runs the park. A bunch of kids in San Jose became ill
recently after getting an infection from recycled water in a
fountain downtown. The culprit was reportedly kids wearing poopy
diapers running through the fountain
Grossed out too
dear grossed out, i might have been able to respond to your concerns had you not
distracted me with your very classist generalisations. You used ''middle class,
educated'' in such a way as to imply that working class, uneducated people may not
know better, or may have lower standards than you. I find that very offensive
Hah! You could have been writing about me--I'm guilty as
charged. I see no problem with this, IF:
1. The poop was solid and thus easy to pick up without leaving a
smear. Leaving a smear on the ground would be unacceptable.
2. If it was done out of sight. Nobody wants to watch somebody
pooping, nor should they have to.
3. If it was done in a place where nobody else is likely to be
4. If the poop is picked up in a bag that is then turned inside
out (like dog owners do) and thrown away.
What you described sounded like she did it in a place where
nobody plays or walks, so that's good, though the child should
have been hidden better (sounds like you watched her do it,
which is bad manners in my book). Also the mom should have
Mine have pooped outside more times than I can count, but always
with my 4 ''rules'' in effect. (Yes, it's easy to guess in advance
how firm the stool is likely to be if you're the one with the
kids all day, knowing exactly what they've eaten/drunk and how
healthy they are.)
Frankly, most public bathrooms horrify me so much that I often
prefer my kids to go outside.
I'm wicked too
Sorry but you really are uptight. I could understand if this
mom left the poop there and walked away, but she did clean it
up. Maybe thats not how you would have handled it, but she was
not totally checked out if she took care of it to that extent.
I find that middle class city dwellers get so caught up in
shoulds and shouldn'ts that they forget to be flexible,
nonjudgemental, and understanding of others.
Eeeeeew! I am with you, that is gross. At 6, she needs to wait to poop while the
mom hustles her off to Starbucks, or very very secretly go poop somewhere
else and pick it up and throw it away. I am not too worried about the poop in
the trash can, although it would be nice to wrap it up as well as she can. My
daughter is newly potty trained (only goes on the little potty, not the big toilet)
so I just take the potty everywhere and if there is a bathroom use it there and
flush the waster. If there is not a bathroom, we scoot away from the crowds and
I will put the waste in a trash can. I don't know what that mom was
thinking...maybe an extension of the picking up dog doo thing?
I also saw the girl pooping in the park. I must come to her
mom's defense. There seems to be two issues that are bothering
you. One is that her mother was on the phone. The other was how
gross it was that this child should be pooping in the park.
First, you obviously did not notice the mother was having a
CRISIS and was on the phone with the POLICE. Her child was next
to the fence, near the trash cans, in an area where MANY kids
use as a bathroom -not in the common play area that your email
suggests. Third, the mother cleaned it up,and threw it into the
trash can which, by the way, is FILLED with diapers. Do you have
a problem with all the diapers in the trash too? Or is that ok
because the babies can't help pooping in the park? You rudely
imply that the child was ''5 or 6 and should have been able to
hold it to go to the Starbucks bathroom like your children''. I
know that the child is 3 turning 4 and that apparently she
cannot ''hold it''. Your comment about ''middle class mothers''
not behaving this way is classist and obnoxious. Obviously, no
mother wants their child to go to the bathroom publically. It's
too bad you couldn't be a little more understanding that this
mother was having a crisis at the exact momment her child had to
poop. I guess we all can't be a good mothers as YOU!
No Harm Done
No No NO! It is absolutely NOT okay! Even if she picks it up
afterwards, some of the E.Coli and other stuff is still there on
the ground. She can't get all of it! And the thing about
squirrels going in the trash that copuld spread the germs - you
bet! I'm not a super clean Mom and my kids do get dusty and
muddy - but human feces is a total other matter! It's bad enough
that people let there dogs poop in kid parks and at schools, but
a fellow human!? Bad idea health wise - REALLY bad idea. And if
the child has a virus - evn worse! So what would I do? I would
stare at the mother with my jaw gaped open. I would walsk over
to her and say to her while she is on the phone, ''Excuse me. I
see that your child needs to poop. I'd be glad to take her to
the bathroom at Starbucks if you are not able to.'' If the mother
said ''no Need'', then I would explain to her WHY pooping in a kids
park is absolutely not okay. And of cousre I'd say this in an
extremely calm manner while my blood pressure climbed rapidly.
Sure hope that mom reads this! EEEEEEyewwwwww!
If I were at the park, and my 5-year-old son told me ''Mom, I need
to poop RIGHT NOW'' I would spend about 2 seconds wracking my
brain to figure out where a bathroom is, and then I would do
exactly what that mom did that you are complaining about. When
they gotta go, they gotta go.
Maybe everyone but me knows there is a Starbucks near all the
parks in Berkeley that don't have bathrooms. Maybe everyone but
me already has this all planned out in the event of a poop
emergency. Personally I think the mom responded remarkably well,
especially considering she was on the phone. (And anyway, how do
you know it was something other than an emergency that she was on
the phone about?)
Here's the real question: how come there are parks that have no
bathrooms? What are ''middle-class'' kids, and all those other
kids too, supposed to do if they need to suddenly go poop? Just
hold it till they get home? Rely on surrounding homes and
businesses? The real crime here the failure to put a bathroom in
a park where kids play.
Okay, my kids are a little bigger now (6 and 8) but I spent a lot of time in
Berkeley when they were smaller and I'm glad to say I never saw parents letting
parents shit in the park. So maybe this is a new trend?
I'm as flexible and accomodating as the next guy (probably more so) but all my
openess goes out the window when it comes to such things as, say, imposing health
risks--most importantly--and a view of bodily waste--less importantly--on other
In our society, we've got the idea that sanitation matters to keep people healthy
to maintain our collective quality of life. Accordingly, we teach our children to
private places where their waste can be flushed away. We have lots of freedom,
there is also the good for all of us to consider: the average park goer's right
expect that a leaf she picks up there won't have a smear of human shit on it.
The self-centerness of allowing your child to go to the bathroom in the park is
i had to comment on this post because it made me laugh. i think
you are forgetting one important thing it is just a child. it's
not like you saw an adult pooping in the bushes. kids are not
aware it grosses you out. so please find it in your heart to
forgive. maybe the mom had to let her kid poop in the park. you
have no idea what was going on. it's rude to assume. you never
can say never. that's my motto. i would let my child poop
anywhere if they had to. i mean like it's an emergency. maybe
starbucks was busy and then the kid would of pooped in their
pants. then what would of happened? you live in a city with many
different people and you need to figure out how to tolerate it.
poop is natural
Wow, poop in the park really got us all going!! I think many
parents chimed in because so many local parks are **lacking
decent bathroom facilities**. Does anyone have suggestions as to
what can be done about this? I personally travel with a little
potty in the trunk and take it almost every park we visit. Even
at Montclair Park, which has two bathrooms, it is a push to herd
two toddlers clear across the park or up the stairs to the rec
center (when it's open, that is) to get to a bathroom in time. My
kids use our potty and I dump it into the trash or if it's just
pee, bushes where no one walks or plays. I try to bag poops, but
as another poster pointed out, the trash is already full of
diapers. Dog parks have plastic bag dispensers, but that would
not be safe with kids around. How about better trash cans than
those filthy cardboard things? Something with a lid, perhaps?
Doing infant potty training with my younger child has really
shown how inadequate the bathrooms are at most parks. God help
pregnant moms at the park with their little ones in tow if they
should have to pee. As for the mom of the park pooper, I totally
understand. How can we improve park bathroom availability for us
and our kids?
I'm surprised that no one raised the issue that human fecal
waste does not belong in our landfills!! While it's great the
mom ''cleanedup'' after her child, might she have done a better
job? Fortunately I've yet to be stuck in a similar situation,
but a few more minutes of time and energy would result in a
better solution for all.
Why do you dump your dipaers in the toilet at home? human fecal
matter needs to be processed (that's why we have sewage plants)
before it is again safe for the environment.
I certainly agree withthe one response asking why are there
parks without facilities, but poooping in public is not the way
to make positive change. :)
dumping poop in potties
Just a suggestion for those out there at parks without
bathrooms. This sometimes comes up for us at Jordan park and I
use a plastic bag (just keep some in the car) and have my son
hold the front end while I hold the bag end to make sure the
poop makes it into the bag, then baby wipes which also get
deposited into the bag and voila! It definitely solves the
issues of E.coli or parasites
Wish all parks had bathrooms
I read all of the recent posts and had to chime in: Yes, poop is gross. Poop in
park is gross. But hasn't anyone noticed that life with kids is often gross? Or
just my life? I've been puked on, bled on, peed on, pooped on, and had boogers
wiped on me. My clothes are always dirty about 2 minutes after putting them on. I
had to get rid of all of my post-partum clothes from my first kid because he spit
so much that my clothes were so stained that nothing would fix them. This same
child picked up cat poop in our backyard (we don't have a cat) and threw it at me
few months ago while yelling, ''Catch!'' I know a kid who would stick her fingers
her anus (because it was itchy), and then would try to stick the same fingers in
mom's mouth while she was nursing. Gross! A few weeks ago my kid screamed ''I
HAVE DIARRHEA!'' at the park (despite having absolutely no sign of sickness
beforehand) so I picked him up, ran to the bathroom, which was locked, pulled
down his pants (too late) and he squirted poop all over his pants, legs, socks,
shoes. Then I dug through the trash and wiped him off with old napkins (which
covered with ants, by the way) from someone else's picnic. Gross! Did I feel good
about this? No...but really, that's the best I could do. (Did I mention I was
my 4-month old at the time?)
Am I a person who doesn't value cleanliness? I don't think so...I bathe
teach my kid to wash his hands at the right times. I have been known to use
make sure to really really clean the kitchen after dealing with raw meat. And, I
myself do not just take a crap wherever, whenever the urge strikes me.
So here's my point: I think that the folks who think that there's a way to avoid
this yucky kid stuff are kidding themselves, because there are a lot of people
me running around, trying the best we can, but probably spreading germs all over
the place. And, if your life with kids truly happens to be non-disgusting, well,
for you. Consider yourself luckier than most parents I know
Moderator Note: The "Pooping in the Park" thread was going down the
toilet. The subject is now closed.
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