Should mom be fined for 2-year-old peeing on the sidewalk?

In more potty training news, a mom was fined $50 because her potty training 2-year-old peed on the sidewalk. Here’s the story.

From The Stir:

“Here’s a story that will totally piss off anyone who has tried to potty train a toddler (pun totally intended). Philadelphia mom Caroline Robboy was given both a ticket and a lecture by a police officer this past Sunday evening because her 2-year-old potty-training son, Nathaniel, couldn’t hold it.”

“I kid you not. She told NBC10 that they were in a store with her two other children and elderly in-laws when the toddler said he needed to go. She asked if they could use the restroom, and they were “told no.” Upon exiting the store the boy couldn’t hold it and ran over to a pole on the sidewalk to get some relief.”

“When she saw what was happening, she tried to at least get him to move to a grassy patch, but it was too late. A police officer saw it and busted them, issuing her a $50 ticket for public urination.”

I think we all pretty much agreed that bringing a toilet into a restaurant and letting a kid sit on it while eating was over the line, but what about a kid peeing on the street?

I think there is an age qualification to this and trying to get the child to a private area if possible, like an alley. I can see how a 2-year old wouldn’t be able to hold it. I would hope a 5-year-old or older could hold it until we got to a gas station or restaurant. If he couldn’t hold it, I would try to get as private of place as possible.

I sure wouldn’t shop in that store again that wouldn’t let a child use their restroom. I find that generally store owners are nice about that.

What do you think?

40 comments Add your comment


September 17th, 2012
1:25 am

The most appalling shopping experience ever – my kid had to go, and we were told no. In a kids’ clothing and toy store!

Florida Dawg

September 17th, 2012
2:35 am

she and the kid would win in court….what a stuffy cop.
So the cop has never peed on the side of the road? really?


September 17th, 2012
2:37 am

Is this a trick question? Really…………next the question will be should a Mom be fined for buying oranges instead of apples. Give me a BREAK!!!


September 17th, 2012
2:38 am

Enter your comments here

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

September 17th, 2012
6:21 am

The cop was a jerk.


September 17th, 2012
6:58 am

Now, a seventy year old man, I can understand getting a ticket. Wait a minute! Some 70 year olds cannot hold it!


September 17th, 2012
7:19 am

Write the parent up. Sorry, there are rules in society. If the child is not potty trained, have the kid wear diapers. The world is not a urinal and I don’t want to see or step in your child’s pee-pee. Pay the ticket and learn from the mistake.

Voice of Reason

September 17th, 2012
8:06 am

Do they typically fine dog owners when their dogs urinate on fire hydrants? Or in the grass? Or on trees?

If the kid had dropped a deuce on the sidewalk and nobody cleaned it up, I could understand, but urine evaporates.


September 17th, 2012
8:06 am

Public sidewalk is not the place to let your child pee. Yes, I have children so I know that sometimes you have emergencies. How on earth does a 2 year old run over alone to a pole to get some relief without the Mom? My 2 year old never had the freedom of running around without me holding his had or he was in a stroller. Pick your child up and find a decent place for them to go.


September 17th, 2012
8:24 am


September 17th, 2012
8:25 am

@ VOR…you made me think of this…I was once visiting children at a school in the south. After the children joined my presentation, they came out to meet me and introduce themselves. I asked them to tell me their name and favorite color:

I am Adam and I like blue.
I am Sophia and I like pink.
I am Carter and I like green.
I am SNOW ( real name) and I like yellow.

Mental image of the dog’s yellow that sticks to snow for a LONG time up north and does not go away. I have told this to teachers all over and southerners never laugh as much as northerners. Perhaps we have not endured a lot of yellow snow.


September 17th, 2012
8:29 am

There is more to this I am sure….The child must have unzipped. So yeah, she should be fined. No cop is writing a ticket for a toddler wetting his pants.

Big Mama

September 17th, 2012
8:31 am

I think the mom should pay the fine and be more selective in her outrage in the future. If your 2 year old is not capable of holding it, they should be at home or in a pull-up.


September 17th, 2012
8:39 am

I would have to have seen this to have an definite opinion. Why couldn’t she have walked him outside and guided him to a private spot? I’m with CC. This is not a dog that just takes off running away from you to the nearest pole. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
That being said, I have been in children’s stores that have no public bathroom and I never went back. Also I have been in places with no public restrooms where they, without hesitation let me take a two/three yr. old to the bathroom because they understood the urgency.
I have no problem with letting a little boy pee behind a building, a tree etc.. but I would not be okay with just letting him do it anywhere in front of everybody.
The ticket was probably over the top. I know a lot of cops who pee outside. He could have just told her it was inappropriate and that she should have made sure he was in a more private area. My son has pee’d behing the car door in a parking lot in desperate times when he was two or three.
This is just a situation where everyone could have used a bit more common sense.

[...] saw this in ajc’s Momania blog, but here’s the original story, from The Sitr: Here’s a story that will totally piss [...]


September 17th, 2012
9:20 am

MJG – When I read your story, especially the line about Snow liking yellow, I instantly thought of that infamous Frank Zappa song.


September 17th, 2012
9:38 am

Teaching a child break the law, or that laws don’t apply to everyone is not a part of potty training. Why teach a child to do something, just to teach them later its wrong. Some people don’t believe in pull-ups but if you know you won’t be able to make potty stops they’re a necessary evil. In this particular case, if you read the full story, the family had just eaten at a Johnny Rockets. Why on earth did the mother not make the child “try to go” at the restaurant before leaving? The ticket may be over board but she never have allowed the child to just pee in public, and she really should have planned better to have avoided the situation in the first place.

Mid Ga Retiree

September 17th, 2012
10:16 am

Would like to hear the officer’s side of the story. Wonder if she went off on him when he was just trying to warn her. There are times when people just talk themselves into tickets.


September 17th, 2012
10:26 am

I have to agree with Roni, there is more to the story that needs to be told here. In fact, Theresa – I think you need to update the excerpt. The mother SHOULD have taken her child to the restroom at Johnny Rockets. My daugther is 3 1/2, and while we’ve been potty trained for over a year, I’m still aware that she has a small bladder and will enforce potty breaks even if she tells me she doesn’t need to ‘go’ (because 9 out of 10 times she really does have to potty). When she was potty training, we hit a potty every 30-45 minutes just as a precaution. As a parent, common sense is your responsibility.


September 17th, 2012
10:29 am

I’m with the others who think there is more to this story than meets the eye. No reasonable police officer would have given this woman a ticket had there not been some other “motivating” factor.


September 17th, 2012
10:46 am

Difficult to know all the details but it seems to me that considering the circumstances and the child’s age that the proper response would have been to issue a warning in lieu of a citation. Now its a news story and the officer & his/her department are going to get about 1000X more than $50 worth of heat over this.

On a related front. Doesn’t it seem like there is lot of law enforcement getting involved in parenting stuff now-a-days? You’ve got this story and the one where the lady was cited for leaving her kid in the car while she was 20 ft away and a few others like it.

Warrior Woman

September 17th, 2012
11:01 am

Mom was wrong, and apparently not controlling her child either, since he ran away from her to go pee.


September 17th, 2012
11:08 am

A friend’s 3 or 4 year old was at the pool and needed to go. He did, alright, right off the end of the diving board with everyone watching in horror or amazement.


September 17th, 2012
11:39 am

You mean to tell me that a two year old knew enough to “[run] over to a pole on the sidewalk and get some relief”? Doubtful. What’s more likely is that the Mom steered him there – and got caught.

And no, I don’t believe there should be any distinction between a child urinating on the sidewalk (or anywhere else in public) and an adult. Accidents are one thing, but actually unzipping and “going”? Nope. Mom should have been fined.


September 17th, 2012
12:57 pm

Yes she should be fined, that’s why you take your child behind a bush or tree, something. Advertising it to world shows lack of parenting skills.


September 17th, 2012
1:32 pm

Meanwhile down the block Rufus is selling crack out of a paper sack.


September 17th, 2012
2:26 pm

Make a video about it and we can all riot!


September 17th, 2012
2:43 pm

He’s TWO people! Get a grip. It’s not like she takes him out everyday just to pee on the sidewalk. Anybody turned on by a 2 year old penis is a sick F&%k anyway. IT’S ONLY URINE!


September 17th, 2012
3:53 pm

I agree that the police officer was pretty harsh about this. I think a warning should have been sufficient. This little guy is only two years old! I am pretty sure the mom didn’t want her son to pee on the side walk- things have a way of happening like that, especially with kids. Don’t be so quick to judge the mom…I think this kind of thing could happen to any family with small kids. Just for this reason I always try to go to stores that allow people to use the restroom. It makes life a lot easier!


September 17th, 2012
4:08 pm

Just another example of the amerikan police state out of control. Everytime you say “there should be a law” or “why doesn’t someone do something” or you support a political candidate who says he/she will “get tough on crime” you endorce this kind of government overreach and failure.

Government should protect individual liberty and private property rights – and that’s it. If they didn’t control, own, operate, govern every piece of property in the nation, situations like this could be handled by the property owner and maybe some common sense. Zero tollerance and government greed have replaced all of that so now a $50 fine is imposed to help fund the paycheck of the very donut eating tax parasite that wrote the ticket. Time to slash the laws and end the police state. That process begins by all of us taking a completely different attitude of what we will continue to allow our government officials to do to us.


September 17th, 2012
4:21 pm

Off topic, but I need some advice: A financial manager’s airhead wife is having an affair. Do I tell him!? He’s cheated on her too, but she’s now doing it (which isn’t anything new, from what others have said). Thoughts?


September 17th, 2012
4:32 pm

At least she didn’t pee on the sidewalk.

markie mark

September 17th, 2012
4:46 pm

As a grandfather of 3, I am in total agreement with ATL Mom’s thought process…..

markie mark

September 17th, 2012
4:49 pm

LsG – unless the financial manager is a dear friend or relative… away and proclaim innocence…..


September 17th, 2012
4:52 pm

@LsG, markie mark gave great advice.


September 17th, 2012
5:00 pm

he–the money guy–is a friend. But the wife and I have never been close because she’s ~airheaded, and I can’t deal with that type. Even he has tired of her, but it’s cheaper to keep her-type thing, plus she’s arm candy. But she’s not the little saint she portends to be and now I know this for a fact. In a way I don’t care, but then, I’d want to know (but I’m a woman). Hmmm. thanks to mm, j and any replies.


September 17th, 2012
9:07 pm

LsG, unless you want your future entangled in the web, stay out.

As far as 2 yr old peeing on sidewalk, need the other side of story.


September 17th, 2012
11:17 pm

In some places adults caught urinating in public have been charged with indecent exposure and found themselves on the sexual offender’s website for years to come along with child molesters and rapists. Yes, this was a two year old. However, it shouldn’t be dismissed too cavalierly.


September 17th, 2012
11:30 pm

Of course parents shouldn’t be letting their kids relieve themselves in public, but anyone who has ever taken care of a toddler for more than an hour knows that they can and will do inappropriate, embarrassing things. Unless there is more to the story, a ticket seems like an overreaction.


September 19th, 2012
2:55 am

There’s more to the story, I’ll bet. However, a 2 yr. old who is likely in the early stages of potty training should be wearing pullups when he/she is in a situation where he/she could have an accident. It sends the wrong message to allow a child to pee/poop in public. Though the 2 yr. old is not responsible here, it is trashy behavior on the mother’s part.