peeing outside
Flickr photo by thelastminute
Potty training boys has its advantages -- namely the ability to drop trou anywhere and pee.

Who knew this could be a controversial issue?

Apparently it's got the makings of a playground war, and there are two camps: The parents who let their little boys pee at the park, and the parents who watch in horror.

This is when I send up a little hallelujah that I have a girl (yes, I know, karma is going to bite me in the butt in, oh, about eight years).

But I do have a younger brother. And I've helped potty train friends' sons. And my daughter has male friends.

So I've seen my fair share of boys in the potty-training stages who have been rushed to a tree to do their business outside. And it's never bothered me.

Last year at my daughter's birthday party, I even encouraged the little boys to pee on the locust tree that I've ardently wished would DIE. Hey, every little bit helps, right?

On the big-kid level, boys peeing outside drew a wide range of comments here on The Stir a few months back; but this isn't about big kids. These are little boys who are still working on that urine control.

I do see a problem with boys peeing in the middle of the playground, on the side of the jungle gym, behind a bench ... basically anywhere that's commonly used by other people.

Although urine is technically sterile, it's still a waste product. If you don't want to step in it in a public restroom, why would you want to step in it on the playground?

But peeing off in the bushes or, as in some parks, on the designated "pee tree" can be a real underwear-saver for boys -- and an incentive to boot (because trust me, 2-year-olds think peeing outside is COOL).

For the parents who worry that he'll still be doing this at 16 or 17 and ending up with public indecency problems with the cops, a little food for thought: If there's one thing boys are insecure about, it's penis size. They aren't going to want to be risking a girl in their class see them peeing in the park.

Do you think this is a potty-training do or don't?