A mother in Oklahoma was recently slapped with a ticket that comes with a potential $2,500 fine for allowing her son to urinate in public.¬†$2,500?!?!¬†I spent the next 10 minutes thanking my lucky stars I’ve never gotten caught doing exactly that.
My son was potty-trained at the age of two and I used to justify this crude act by the size of his bladder.
“He can’t hold it until we get home!” I thought, especially since I had just read about the dangers of early training.¬† Unfortunately, I didn’t hear about “dysfunctional voiding” – a condition that can lead to¬†sudden accidents, urinary frequency, and urinary tract infections, all because of early training – until after he was fully potty-trained.¬†¬†At that point,¬†I wasn’t going to send him back to diapers, but¬†I¬†was sure as hell not going to¬†force¬†him to hold it.¬† So I let my potty training toddler go¬†on the street.
We were always discreet, choosing a spot where people would not be walking in it, and I shielded him from the eyes of any potential gawkers. Besides, we live in Manhattan where I can’t walk three feet without having to jump over an enormous puddle of disgusting dog urine, right smack¬†in the middle of the sidewalk. Don’t even get me started on watching them¬†deposit runny¬†bowel movements¬†on the very¬†concrete on which thousands¬†of people¬†walk everyday.¬† For the record, I have never let my son do that! But the moment he told me he had to “go pee-pee” I shoved him in a corner and let him do his business.
Then two turned into three.¬†I got stricter about allowing him to go¬†the moment he¬†felt the urge.¬† If we were close enough to home I told him he simply had to wait. If we weren’t,¬†I started looking for public restrooms we could duck into.¬†But just because he is three doesn’t mean he has some super bladder. According to pediatric urologist Steve Hodges, children just a few months younger than him¬†”should not manage their own toileting habits any more than they should manage their college funds.”¬†Has his bladder grown that much in the past three months?¬† Is it safe for him to hold his urges now?¬†¬†More importantly, is it safe for him to manage his own college fund?¬†Because I’m ready to use that for a vacation if someone doesn’t convince me otherwise.
With these burning questions still keeping me up at night, I can be certain of one thing: I am glad the Piedmont Chief of Police doesn’t live in my neighborhood.¬† I would owe at least $20,000 by now.