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Children's Potty Emergencies

Mommy Dearest: Indecent Exposure

Mommy Dearest –

Yesterday my friend and I went downtown to take our children to the museum and for lunch. While enjoying our meals, I gazed out the window and saw a nanny with a preschool-aged boy and an infant. It appeared that the boy needed to use a restroom, but rather than seek one out (including the possibility of using the one at the restaurant we were seated in), she had him unzip his pants and pee right on a parking meter in the middle of a busy city street – like a dog. My friend and I were appalled, but before we could jump up to say something, they were gone.

Should we have called the police or asked for her employer's phone number? Or should we have kept our mouths shut and minded our own business?

– Stunned into Silence Mom

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Dear Stunned into Silence Mom –

I have to admit you have me a bit shocked too. Children, particularly preschoolers, are prone to potty emergencies that often have their caretakers searching for restrooms at the most inopportune times, but there is no need to force a child to unnecessarily expose himself in public. Not only is it humiliating for the child, it could be illegal depending on where you live. In this situation, I do believe you would have been wise to call the police and ask the woman for the name and number of her employer. There is no need to stand on ceremony when the welfare of a child is at stake.

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Join The Conversation
sarahlea81 sarahlea81 7 years
Ugh...this is just rediculous. I live in Germany, and I can tell you, its nothing to see pre-schoolers peeing in bushes, and running around naked as jay birds for that matter -- after being here for 3 years, its just amazing to me that America is so friggin uptight. If it bothers you, dont look...its that simple.
KrisB KrisB 7 years
Mind your business and use this as a reminder to always wash your hands, lol. Some people are just nasty and their is nothing you can do about it. Like others I doubt she would have given out her employers # (if she was the nanny) and I doubt the police would have bothered to show up in time, the OP couldn't even get outside in time.
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Most restaurants won't give you a hard time if you have a small child!
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
She could have brought him to a little bit more discreet place. But since they were right in front of a restaurant I don't understand why she couldn't bring him in there. But either way calling the police is ridiculous and I think you should just mind your business.
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
We're sideskirting the original issue. Yes, the OP made a faux-pas in assuming that the woman with the child was the nanny. But that's not the problem. The problem is that a woman with influence over a young child (and by influence I mean, she's raising him or helping to raise him) is teaching him that it's OK to pee in public. It's not. I absolutely would have said something. Maybe not have called the police, because as others have pointed out, I doubt they would have put it at the top of their to-do list. So I personally would have made a bitchy comment to my own kids, like, "Oh look, Johnny. That lady is teaching her little boy that it's OK to pee in public! Remember how we talked about how you should only pee in the potty?" Rude? Yes. But embarrassing enough to her to keep her from letting the kid pee on a damn parking meter. That's so unsanitary and unnecessary.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I think that you should have remained in your seats, and ignored the incident. In this day and age we thankfully have families of mixed cultures, and genetics play out how they play out. There is absolutely no way you could know that she was the Nanny unless she had a sign on that said "I'm the Nanny". Yes, it's illegal and thus bad parenting, but it's a child and a situation you are not involved in. She wasn't having him run around naked and peeing on everything in sight. I think it was incredibly low class of her to do, but the police? I don't think so. I really think its absurd that you were attempting to approach her to get her employers information. RIDICULOUS, seriously. If someone approached me like that, I would look at them like they grew 2 heads and walk away without a word. She wasn't beating him, screaming at him, or making him do anything overtly dangerous. An example on the whole genetics thing - My cousins family. My cousin has the fairest skin I have ever seen. Her husband is half black and japanese, but has absolutely no japanese features. Their daughter doesn't look like either parent, she looks just like the japanese grandmother. People have often assumed she was adopted. You really can't peg people on how they look, and i doubt she was wearing a sign..
kia kia 7 years
First of all Anonymous #1, thank you for asking the nanny question. How did you know this was the nanny and not a relative? I hate when that is assumed of me when I am with my nieces just because I have a darker complexion than them. People may assume that of my own kids with my white husband. Second, the parking meter is a bit much but I am not shocked. I guess it depends on the culture of people you know. I haven't lived in Europe but some of my friends have taught their kids it is o.k. to urinate in public in bushes, etc. if they need to w/ a bit more privacy than a meter. At one of my wedding receptions (in Miami) a little boy of a friend whipped it out and I just had to giggle because it was normal for him. I also see it where I live now (in Colorado).
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
Call the police? It's so strange that in America all the police seem to care about are indecent exposure and underage drinking. You do have real crime, though, right? I mean I don't think that behaviour is okay and I do think it would have been okay for you to say something, but calling the police is laughable and, like mentioned before, she probably wouldn't have given you her employer's number (if she was in fact a nanny, was she wearing a uniform or something? ;)
meandtheo meandtheo 7 years
i lived in europe for three years and this was common practice among young kids (under age 4)...but they usually used a bush, not a parking meter. in fact i was a kindergarten teacher and had to remind some boys to come inside to use the potty!!
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