Boys, You Cannot Pee Anywhere You Please

by Rita Templeton
parental duty
Tomwang112 / iStock

To my darling boys,

I know it must be awesome to own a penis.

If I had a penis, I would no doubt be tempted to wave it and twirl it and pull it and poke around on it the way you do. But as your mother, it’s my job to teach you when and where you can and cannot “whip it out.” And judging by the sheer volume of places I’ve seen you urinate, I need to be a little more specific. So I’m going to say this, and I want you to take it to heart. Memorize it. Internalize it. Live it.

Just because you can pee anywhere doesn’t mean you should.

I’m sure it’s wonderfully convenient, the ability to pee without tracking down a (suitably clean, presumably disease-free) toilet. I have to admit, I’ve taken advantage of that fact in many a desperate situation — like when we were miles from the nearest rest stop and the baby was finally asleep and there was an empty McDonald’s cup available. But much of the time — most of the time — you are within a convenient distance from a proper urine receptacle.

That means it is completely unnecessary (not to mention socially unacceptable) to pee in — or from — any of the following locations:

1. Our front yard

2. The neighbors’ front yard

3. The drain in the street

4. The park

5. The playground

6. Off the porch

7. On the side of the house

8. The cat’s litter box

9. Potted plants

10. Flower beds

11. Coffee cups

12. Water guns (especially if said water guns sit in your closet until the pee is rancid. Ahem)

Boys, I’m not being unsympathetic here. Even a penis-challenged individual like myself can understand the allure of having a portable hose attached to your person at all times. It will take a great deal of restraint not to succumb to the temptation of peeing in a random place. But unfortunately, that’s a burden you’re going to have to bear, unless you’re looking to get yourself arrested someday.

Lest you feel completely deprived, I’ll tell you this: I may make the rare exception of letting you pee your name in the snow once in a while, because honestly, it sounds super fun and I’m envious. But only where nobody can see, and that’s it.

I know a fun place to aim when you’re not near a secluded snowbank, which is 99.9% of the time — in the toilet. See if you can, I don’t know, hit the water. If you feel like you need to spice up the experience, toss in a couple of Cheerios first. I’d rather have the loss of a few cents’ worth of cereal than face the public shame that comes with seeing your kid drop trou and do his business — or the grossness of realizing that there is piss where there should never, ever be piss.

I’m not trying to be a killjoy, just doing my parental duty to teach you an important life lesson that you’re apparently having a hard time absorbing.

And speaking of absorbing — please add “anything made of cloth or paper” to the list of restricted urinating locations.

Lots of love,