Pregnant Mom Faces Jail Time for Her Toddler's Potty-Training Accident

Brooke Johns and her son Cohen sit in their living room during a news interview.
Meredith WRDW/Facebook

Anyone with a toddler at home knows that potty training can be a real beast. Add in the fact that toddlers are unruly little buggers, often prone to unpredictable (and sometimes embarrassing) behavior, and ... well, that's the situation Georgia mom Brooke Johns has been dealing with. But nothing prepared her for the recent potty-training emergency she had with her 3-year-old son, Cohen, which wound up getting her slapped with a citation for "disorderly conduct."

  • Brooke told WRDW she was driving with her son last week when he told her he had to go potty.

    “He's like, 'Mom, I've got to pee. I've got to pee!'" she told the station. "I was like, 'Well, hold on,' and he's like, 'No! I've GOT to pee! I've got to REALLY pee.' And I'm like, 'Baby, there's nowhere for me to go, and he says, 'Momma, I'm about to pee in my pants!'"

    Woah boy. I can literally feel the anxiety Brooke must have been experiencing rising up within me now, as she rushed to find a place to pull over, and prayed her son wouldn't pee all over himself and his car seat.

    Luckily, she made it to a gas station parking lot relatively quickly, but she wasn't totally home-free just yet. 

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  • Brooke, who's pregnant and due next month with a baby sister for Cohen, has been told by her doctor to avoid picking up her son until after the birth.

    "He's heavy," she told WRDW. "You know, I'm not supposed to lift him."

    Within moments, it was clear that they weren't going to make it into the bathroom -- and even if they did, Brooke worried her son would pee all over the floor. 

    “He was peeing before his pants were even all the way down," she explained, "so obviously he had to go."

    So she did the only thing she could think to do: Let him pee in the parking lot (which he was already starting to do anyway).

  • Unfortunately for Brooke, this happened to be in full view of a local deputy, who apparently has never dealt with a potty-training toddler before.

    Let's just say, this guy apparently was not sympathetic to this potty-training mom's plight -- in the least. And even though it was a toddler who peed on the pavement, Brooke was slapped with a citation for disorderly conduct.

    According to Brooke, the ticket description reads: “She allowed her male child to urinate in the parking lot. I observed the male’s genitals and the urination. Public restrooms are offered at the location.”

    Oh the horror! A toddler who couldn't hold his pee had an accident in public! What a totally crazy and unheard of thing to happen!

  • In all seriousness: Public urination isn't acceptable, but potty-training accidents happen. And Brooke, as you might expect, is pretty PO'd about it.

    "Accidents happen," she told WRDW. "And he was like, ‘Take him in the bathroom.’ What if I would have ran in the bathroom and someone had been in there? What I was going to let him do? Pee on the floor of the gas station?"

    Honestly, I do not know. And neither do a slew of other people on Facebook, who have been outraged over the story.

    "This deputy should be looking for drugs, criminals, etc.," wrote one user, "not 'genitals' (as was noted in the citation). Sounds like this isn't the type of deputy that needs to be patrolling the streets of Augusta, especially since there are way bigger issues!."

    "Can we all go to court with her?" wrote another. "Can we all tell the judge our circumstance? Let me know if we can be there!!!!!!"

    Even Brooke's own mother chimed in on Facebook, defending her daughter as a "great mom" and voicing her frustration over the whole matter. 

    "I don't understand the thought behind this charge," she wrote. "Talk about stress! So unfair to her or my grandson who just could not wait to go potty till they got inside! He's a child!"

  • In the meantime, Brooke is due in court on April 30, which is just a few days before she's due to give birth.

    "Yeah, I could extend it," she said, "but I would rather deal with it when I’m pregnant. Not when I have a newborn.”

    The whole story is pretty unreal, IMO. And yet, believe it or not, this isn't the only story of its kind to make headlines. Back in 2014, an Oklahoma cop issued a similar citation after witnessing a 3-year-old peeing in the street -- except in that case, he slapped the toddler with a $2,500 ticket.

    If Brooke is found guilty, she faces a penalty of $1,000 in fines and up to 60 days in jail. But here's hoping the mom's court case gets dismissed -- and more importantly, doesn't interfere with the birth of her daughter. Because unnecessary stress like this is the last thing a new mama needs when she's about to go into labor, and I think most of us can agree this is hardly a good use of the justice system's time.