When you’ve Gotta go you’ve Gotta go

By: Keith

Peeing Outside | Let the waters flow | Sprinklers  

I read an article in Parenting magazine today where a columnist said that it is unacceptable for kids to pee outside.  I disagree.  Obviously I don’t think we ought to drop our pants whenever we feel like it.  But heck, when a kid has to go – let him (or her).  There are two problems with telling kids they can’t do their business outside.  The first is that when it really is an emergency, and there is no other choice, the kid will feel shamed by his actions.  Bears and fish and spiders all do their business in the wild.  Bears, fish, and spiders even crap in the outdoors!  Wow, imagine if Johnny tried that.  The other problem with telling kids it’s bad to pee outside is that it goes against logic.  I understand the need for some decency and not to be lewd, but peeing in a bush hardly qualifies as lewd.  Kids will naturally ask, when told how wrong it is, why it’s so bad.  And you, the parent, will say something like, “We are civilized people, we don’t do that.”  Really?  We’re civilized?  Compared to what?


Peeing OutsideYes Pee If…


1. It’s an emergency and there is no choice.  I was stuck on a closed highway for 4 hours once, and I can’t tell you how many people I saw scurrying around in the bushes trying to find modest ways to do their business.  Freezing and slushy conditions is no time to be discerning.  I had to respect the people who just stepped off the highway and peed down the embankment not caring who saw.  And, you know, nobody did care.  In those conditions nobody cares.


2. The bathrooms are gross.  I’m not going to make my kids endure an unsanitary bathroom.  We’ve popped into some park restrooms before that were totally rancid.  I just said, “Go tree-pee.” and my kids went to tree-pee.  No biggie and totally sanitary as long as it’s not right in front of a swing set or in the path of foot traffic.  Again, nobody really cares, and if they do they need to get a life.  


3. You’re in a really big hurry.  This doesn’t really apply to kids because they’re hardly ever in a big hurry.  But, I ran the Chicago marathon a few years ago and the city had set up rows upon rows of porta potties every 5 miles or so.  Did anybody use them?  I ran by all of them and only saw women going into them.  Poor women, I feel sorry for them.  All the men just peed in the fields.  It all depends on the circumstances.  I think most of us are grown up enough to be discrete about it and to decide what is an emergency and what is not.   


Don’t Pee If…Peeing Outside | Calvin


1. It’s on pavement.  Dude, that’s gross.  Don’t do that.  I saw a lady at the mall once who opened her car door so her kid could pee in the parking lot.  That’s not right.  Other people will step in that.  I carry empty Gatorade bottles in my car for such emergencies.  Again, poor women.  I feel sorry for them.


2. In a crowd.  There is no explanation needed.  It might be an emergency, but there is always an out somewhere.  Find a bush or something, but don’t do it in a crowd.  Have you heard of the people who were peeing on each other at the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square because the cops wouldn’t let them out of their little gated areas?  I’d just skip it all together if it meant I’d be walking around in the pee from the guy standing 3 inches from me.  Funny product alert.  There is actually a little device designed for women who need to pee in public.  I saw it on Top-Gear (funny place to see such a thing).  They said it was advertised to be able to use in line and in crowds.  They made understandably good fun of that idea.  In case you don’t believe me check it out here.

3. It’s just for fun.  I understand the urge to just whip it out for the hell of it.  However, we really ought to teach kids that peeing is no joking matter.  It can be quite unsanitary if not taken seriously.  Also, it’s a good idea to carry wipies at all times.


We’re animals.  And we’re not as civilized as some people think we should be; some people expect too much.  There are circumstances where peeing outside is perfectly acceptable.  I don’t want to teach my boys that doing their business outside is at all times wrong.  I’m not suggesting acting like a bunch of bums peeing in stairwells and bus-stops.  I’m saying that sometimes it can’t be helped, and it is many times more sanitary than the alternative when the alternative is some dump of a bathroom that’ll make you sick.  That is all.  Carry on.

13 Responses to “When you’ve Gotta go you’ve Gotta go”
  1. Max Elliot Anderson September 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    I’ve shot films all over the world. In remote places in India, the jungles of New Guinea, and others, the only place TO go was outside. There, the people think nothing of it. I’m sure Native Americans did the same thing before all the rules were written for proper behavior.

    I liked your lists for do or don’t.

    Max Elliot Anderson
    Books For Boys Blog
    .-= Max Elliot Anderson´s last blog ..Exciting Books and Workbooks for Your Reading Program =-.

  2. J Cruikshank September 9, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Girls are not so lucky, although someone once told me that it is possible to shoot it out away from you much like a hose. Not sure about that but I’d imagine it would take practice which is not on my list of things to master. :-)

  3. Keith September 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    Max, I agree. People get themselves all worked up over some really basic things. It’s not like for most of recorded history people had a problem with peeing on a tree and, like you say, people all over the world don’t think twice about it. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Keith September 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    Mom, that just sound so icky in so many different ways :-)

  5. Angie September 10, 2009 at 5:41 am #

    Funny post!! Even funnier since I taught my son to pee on a tree last week. Yesterday he tried it again and it was the first time my daughter saw it….she thought it was so funny!

    I peed on the side of the road as a kid….it’s what you did when rest stop were 100′s of mile apart in the old days. :)

    Please stop by the new blog and help me stir up some traffic!!!!
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..Why Is America Obbessed With Jon & Kate Plus Hate (opps) Eight? =-.

  6. Keith September 10, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Thanks Angie! You’re new blog is pretty cool! I stopped by last night year your john and kate post. Boys are so lucks that they can do that. It wouldn’t be so bad as a girl except for in the wintertime :-) Cooooold!

  7. Joan September 12, 2009 at 12:41 am #

    Yeah… I had to do it plenty of times while traveling as a kid. For boys it is “peeing outside” .. for girls… “squatting”…. LOL I am such an okie. rofl

  8. BigLittleWolf September 12, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Love this! With two sons, and for a long time, a little house with only one bathroom – trust me – they got sent to the woodsy backyard more than a few times! And hey – if the Belgians can show off a very famous statue of a little boy indulging (the (in)famous “Mannekin Pis” in Brussels) – why not? Great post!
    .-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..When pigs fly… =-.

  9. Keith September 12, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Thanks Joan and Wolf for the comments! Wolf, you bring up a good point about other cultures. We all know that poor countries have a different perspective than us, but what about the “civilized” ones? You’re right, it’s only in America that we’re so obnoxiously prudish about it. Thanks. Joan, you might be an Okie, but you’re no redneck! HA

  10. margo October 29, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    My girl calls it the ‘squat & shake’. We only do it for emergencies & no one is around. It’s better than wetting yourself.

  11. KF October 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    This is great. Peeing outside is what men & boys do. They were built for outside urine elimination. One can see how far, high, or long you can shoot across the lawn. I, myself, have peed outside since I was 12. I still would rather go outside than inside. You do not have to aim, it is more green, it saves water, need I say more. Our forefathers(and foremothers) peed outside before there ever were toilets or outhouses. I totally see nothing wrong with it. Just find a tree, bush, side of building, underpass, etc, and unzip and let it go. It is so relieving.

  12. Matthew November 4, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    It also depends on where you live. Out in the country where we want to live and I spent a lot of time, it sure didn’t matter. You didn’t want to have to run all the way back to the house. Of course, there was the outhouse if you needed it. If you know what to do, both eliminations are easily performed outside safely.

    There’s not a lot of germs in pee – not that I’d suggest not cleaning off after.

    And I feel compelled to berate Parenting magazine, which would be better named Mothering magazine given its penchant for badmouthing dads.
    .-= Matthew´s last blog ..One-Timer =-.

  13. yoly November 12, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    I potted trained all 3 of my boys by peeing outside, ( got to love crocks,big help) I lived in a small town and peeing outside was looked at as normal. When we moved to a bigger town we had to teach the boys a few rules about peeing outside. Even forewarned my neighbors that my boys pee outside. They didn’t care, they thought it was funny and good to see boys being boys. If it wasn’t for peeing outside a lot of our car trips would be messy. I’m glad we can just pull over and pee. That’s why I stopped reading parenting Magazine, some of their opinions were just to matter of fact sounding. I can go on and on about peeing outside specially for toddlers.