5 Things I Thought I’d Never Let My Kids Do in Public.

Back when I was engaged and preparing to move, I had a giant garage sale. Friends came over to “help” but really to drink Bloody Marys and hang out. In the late morning, a lady showed up with her kid who I’m guessing was about 5 or 6. She proceeded to take her own sweet time browsing through all my merchandise whilst ignoring her son completely. mannequinpis*post contains affiliate links

Said kid was pretty hard to ignore, seeing as how within a few seconds, he’d found a foghorn I had for sale and was running around like he’d recently consumed 3 gallons of Go-Go Juice blowing the hell outta that sucker nonstop. My friend and I jumped every time he blew the horn, our cortisone levels shooting sky-high, but it seemed like his mom wasn’t even hearing it.  In fact, she was conversing with us right over the horn as if she was at a Sunday morning jazz brunch.

I was aghast. If I’d had the nerve, I’d probably have said this to her:  “Hey lady, get your kid under control or leave.  I don’t need the $1.25 for those salt and pepper shakers in your hand as much as I need to hold on to some shred of my sanity.” But If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I’d say something more like this:  “Hey lady, would you like a Bloody Mary?”

In honor of that dead-behind-the-eyes mother and in honor of all the times I’ve been out in public with my children also looking like the lights are on but nobody’s home, I present to you 5 Things I Thought I’d Never Let My Kid Do In Public. That I Totally Do. Because I’m tired, y’all.  So, so tired.

Good restaurant attire

Good restaurant attire

1.  Go to restaurants in their pajamas.  Be in restaurants after their bedtime.  And sometimes run around restaurants bothering the other patrons.  Basically, just abuse the hell out of restaurants.  Sorry, waiters.  I know you see us coming and cringe.  I promise to leave you a big tip.

2.  Pee on trees in public parks.  I know, I know.  Bathrooms are so much more civilized.  But sometimes there are no bathrooms in parks.  And by the time my kid needs to pee, he has to go RIGHT NOW.  I should note this is a particularly nice bonus of having boy kids.  For me.  But for you?  Don’t touch the trees in public parks.

3.  Play with all the toys in Target while blocking the aisle and making incredibly loud car/robot/crashing or exploding noises while you’re trying to think about what you came here for in the first place.  Sorry.  Can I recommend the pharmacy section?

Do I have something on my face?

4.  Walk around with a dirty face.  Or a dirty butt.  Do you know how often a 5-year-old boy gets something on his face?  Statistics show it’s at least every 6.5 seconds.  And changing a poopy diaper in a public restroom is hard.  And often much nastier than just enduring the other half of the grocery store with the smell of big brown wafting up your nose until you can get home.  I know you smell it too. I think that guy over there farted.

5.  Get in a tussle with your kid.  No, I won’t let him hurt your kid.  But if he’s not pushing, shoving, hitting or biting, then sometimes I think it’s better to let them work it out.  They need to develop those skills, right?

5 Things I Swore I'd Never Let Me Kids Do In Public - @toulousentonicI admit it.  I’m the mom you roll your eyes at in public places.  I thought I’d never let my kids do these things in public but I do. I totally do.

But don’t judge me.  Offer me a drink if you’ve got one.  Trust me.  I need it more than you do.

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  1. MadScientistMom says:

    LOL! I have done all of these. Well, not the dirty butt, but everything else. I was the mom who would change diapers in the middle of the store because the bathroom was just too nasty!

    • ashersmom says:

      I’ve done it in the backseat of the car many, many, many times because I couldn’t lay my kid down in a gross bathroom.

  2. I think we can all relate. Anyone who can’t relate doesn’t have kids. I was so judgmental of this kind of stuff in the pre-baby days, and now if my daughter has a public temper tantrum, and I get evil glares, I just think to myself “Karma is a bitch”.

    • ashersmom says:

      If I’m in a place where it’s safe enough, I usually just keep walking when my kid starts a meltdown. Snaps him out of it pretty quickly. So I guess that’s yet another thing I thought I’d never let my kid do in public. Oh well….

  3. I just TODAY let 3 of the 4 block the entire toy section as I pushed the double wide cart with the double kid bucket seats with diaper boxes pilled on the bottom and 70% Halloween gear overflowing out of my cart because I have 4 kids and we holiday on a budget. I get you, sister. I. get. you.

  4. Love it. As a mother of 2 girls, I’m so jealous of the peeing outside thing. I’m going to teach mine to pee in a water bottle and then maybe my trashy kids will take some of the heat off you.

    • Peeing in a water bottle? Oh, that IS trashy. I’ve never done THAT. (shameful look)

    • I totally let my two little girls pee on trees when we’re at the park. You just hold them up under the thighs and make sure they’re pointed away from you. It’s awkward to explain, but pretty easy to do. I have yet to get pee on either myself or them when we do it. Granted, girls definitely grow out of the peeing outdoors age faster than boys do…

  5. Can I offer you a Mojito?

    Feel the saaame way. In fact, I’d prefer my kids to pee in the park – it’s more sanitary than public bathrooms. Unfortunately, my kids just loooove any and all public bathrooms.

    Love the photos!

    • ashersmom says:

      You may totally offer me a mojito and I will accept every single time. What time shall I be there?
      BTW, this is a good sign to see you pop up. Is all well? You have power and so forth??

  6. Thanks so much for your concern. I’m really touched – and I don’t say that often. And thanks so much for pimping my FB, please allow me to do the same for you b/c I just got POWER back, and I can do that now! Got power last night and I have never been so happy.

  7. There are sooo many things I have done that I thought I’d never do… let my kids eat at a restaurant (i.e. throw their food all over the floor, and leave it there when I leave), take a bath once every few days. I actually bathed my first son every damn day until I realized it was a losing battle. Which brings me to dirt, I never thought I’d have it in my house ’cause I never thought I’d let my kids get dirty (says the girl who literally has black-bottomed feet from walking around the living room). I never thought I’d let my kids touch things at stores, mess up clothes, pick things up and put them in the wrong spot. Oh man, being a mom really is all about just trying to keep the chaos moderately under control while we just hope to survive until wine o’clock. So glad I’m not the only one 😉

  8. Hey – we’re numbers 1 and 4 this week!!!

  9. So true! You have to walk in another parents shoes to fully understand and appreciate the choices! And you are right about boys, that whole ‘being able to pee anywhere’ makes up for the perpetual dirt on their person, like, everywhere!

  10. I adore this blog – I have written one in my mind similar to this but never put the words to paper – thanks for doing this for us. PS – thanks for the heads up on trees! 😉

  11. Joanna S. says:

    A little late but whatever… I just found your blog and I’m in love (I have a five year old and 11 month old and big old chipmunk cheeks… your like my long lost interweb twin). Yeah, I never thought I’d let MY kid do anything besides be perfect. My son pees on trees in the park, at home, it doesn’t matter the boy loves to pee on trees (one morning on the way to daycare I literally stopped on the side of the highway because he needed to relieve himself and I had no time for a gas station). He ALWAYS has something on his face, a friend of his in preschool always has his hair brushed and nothing on his face, and HOW DOES HIS MOM DO THAT?!?!? We’re lucky if I comb his hair… ever. My daughter has walked around a store with a diaper that smells horrendous just because we’re five minutes from home I can wait. Oh and my son pretty much spent the ages 3-4 in costume and I didn’t care… didn’t bother me one bit. It’s much easier to be a mom until you’re a mom.

    • ashersmom says:

      Thank you so much! This really made my day! I’ve always wanted to find my interweb twin! And we really are. My kindergarten lives in costumes. He decorated our tree in a full Buzz Lightyear get-up (there’s a photo on my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/toulouseandtonicblog) but he’s usually in a Spiderman or Batman costume. I don’t even care if he wears it to the grocery store. I like that he’s creative and I’m down for encouraging that. And I make it a policy to never comb his hair. It’s curly so I just wash it (well, sometimes…) and let it be. Welcome, twin. So glad you’re here.

  12. I’ve been handed so many plates of humble pie! For every time I said “When I am a parent”…I have been smited by God.
    Thanks for the chuckle!

  13. I wish all us “normal” mommies could live on the same block!! About 5 1/2-6 years ago when my youngest was about 2 1/2, he absolutely hated wearing clothes so I let him run around most of that summer in just his diaper. Well, one of the neighbors didn’t like this and called child welfare. Thankfully they were really cool but had to do their job and check up on the call. Not a big deal and I learned that it is NOT illegal to let your 2 year old run around his own yard in just a diaper. =)

  14. The first time my boys peed on trees I was mortified. They did it right in front of the neighbor’s house who love to gossip and run to the association. But honestly, when you have little kids I LOVE that they can drop their pants and take care of business anywhere. It has come in handy on several occasions. I feel sorry for moms of little girls.


  1. […] Toulouse from Toulouse and Tonic is your everyday every-mom, except she has razor sharp snark and she’s not afraid to use it. This is a typical post of hers that makes you nod along in total agreement: 5 Things I Thought I’d Never let my Kids do in Public  […]

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