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Kids Defecating in Parks Okay?

Original post made by Disgusted, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks, on Aug 26, 2007

Today I was at the park in Palo Alto on Kipling and watched as a mother potty trained her 3 year old by having him defecate in the middle of the playground, on the lawn, near the cement slide in a location where my baby had just been crawling. She took OFF his diaper and had him defecate there. I kid you not. And it took ten minutes for the boy to do it, with her prodding. This was a relatively normal looking mother--she was not derelect. My children were completely grossed out, it smelled awful so we left. But as I packed up my stroller, which was within several feet of the "event," I told her that was not appropriate for a park setting and to do it at home. She screamed at me, telling me in front of all the children to "[portion removed by Almanac staff] off" and that I was a bitch. What kind of community are we living in where people can defecate on our lawns and then curse at us in front of our kids at parks? Do people here think it's okay to defecate on a lawn in a park, whether pottytraining or at 80?

Comments (7)

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Posted by Johnson Park Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2007 at 9:05 pm

That's Johnson Park. There are no bathrooms there. But regardless, that's very nasty and I am sorry to hear some mother would behave like that in my meighborhood park. That really is disgusting. That is is not indicative of this community and I've never seen a parent be so inconsiderate of others at ANY park here in Palo Alto. Usually people are respectful of sharing public spaces.

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Posted by JF
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Aug 27, 2007 at 9:43 am

Hmmm... not quite sure why she would choose to potty train that way. What kind of lesson does that teach? Except the lesson to your kids on "what not to do!!" Ok, I have to ask...did she pick it up?

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Posted by JF
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Aug 27, 2007 at 9:44 am

Also- urinating in the street has a good size fine- I wonder what kind of penalty defecating in a public area generates....gross!

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Posted by Eeeyewwwwwwwwww
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 27, 2007 at 10:14 am

I'm just sorry Disgusted didn't have a cell phone to call the police. If it took 10 minutes for the poor tyke to complete his assignment, it would have given a cop enough time to arrive on the scene. I wonder if this wretch of a mother would have abused a cop?

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Posted by Mark Drury
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 27, 2007 at 10:18 am

I was at Johnson Park yesterday, Sunday, with my two children, but we left around 12:45, perhaps before this incident took place, thankfully. And I would respectfully submit that, no, it's not okay for anyone to defecate on the grass within the playground -- there are far too many children running, rolling, crawling, and playing in that area, and no matter how good a cleaning job the parent does, short of removing a 2-foot-square swath of sod, it's still unsafe.

I wonder if this parent was relatively new to the area or to the park? Most parents who have spent any time there know that the savvy place to take a child in need of a restroom is near the large pine trees by the sand volleyball court -- it is more private and gets far less foot traffic and play than do the playground and the area immediately around it. I'm not advocating public defecation, of course -- just reporting what I've seen.


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Posted by daddy of a toddler
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 27, 2007 at 11:24 am

Defecating in a park seems obviously offensive to me.

What do people think about kids urinating in public?

My 3 yr old has told me that one of his daycare ladies has had him urinate on a tree at the park before. What do you do at a park with no restrooms if your 3 yr old son has to pee? I have been tempted to let him go off to the side of the park, away from play areas, to relieve himself. At times I have let him urinate, in "emergency situations", in public sites, as out-of-sight as possible.

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Posted by Fastidious
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 27, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Well, Almanac Town Square, we cover all our bases. Let no topic be left unturned. All the news that's fit to print, and then some. After the Greening of America, we wil have the Cleaning of America.

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