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STFU Parents: Should Parents Put A Lid On Pee Talk On Social Media?

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Halloween is next week, which means that this week’s column is part of a long tradition of “gross columns” on Mommyish. In the past, I’ve focused on the squeamish stuff that truly grosses most people out — like placentas, bath poop, and my personal favorite, kids painting the walls with their own crap — but this year, I wanted to make a subtler point about bodily fluids. Namely, let’s talk about pee. On its face, or rather (ideally) in a toilet bowl, pee is really no big deal, right? We all do it several times a day, and if you have a baby or a small dog, there’s a good chance pee has touched many of the surfaces in your home, if not at some point covered your physical self. We’ve all become pretty desensitized to pee, and most of us have peed on the sides of highways, in the woods, or perhaps in our pants if we have a nice, good laugh. Who cares? It’s just pee!

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Except, the thing is, it’s still kind of gross. But because parents are dealing with kids whose bladders are the size of a Lego, their perspective is skewed. Their whole day can be consumed by changing diapers, asking their child if they have to pee, cleaning up urine trails on the kitchen floor, and/or lightly jogging out of grocery stores and children’s museums after discovering their kid’s accidental pee puddle. Parents of little boys make jokes about “golden showers.” Parents of little girls are impressed by their lack of interest in sitting down. Most parents don’t even hesitate to make mention of these things on social media, because hey, at least it’s not poop they’re posting about. At least it only comes out in one color. What’s the problem?

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Well, the problem is, I don’t want to know about your kid’s peeing habits anymore than I want to know about your dog’s peeing habits or your elderly relative’s catheter issues. It’s not that these tidbits wouldn’t be appropriate for lightly-soiled conversation in person, but online, what’s the point of Pee Talk? Can’t you just tell everyone your kid peed in his potty for the first time without uploading the picture? Can’t I go on with my afternoon not knowing that your kid just peed for four minutes straight while singing his favorite choo-choo song about trains? I know that my friends’ children are more interesting than that, so why not just put the lid down on the Pee Talk and flush?

3Sometimes, however, when I scroll through the sub-folders in my Pee folder, which say things like “Bath Time,” “Potty Pics,” “Potty Charts,” and “Peeing Outside,” I wonder if I’m alone in thinking that Pee Talk is TMI. I mean, sure, the hundreds of people who have contributed to that folder thought the examples they sent in were gross or unnecessary, but how many of us REALLY think it’s bad form? “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” is an expression related to toilet flushing, but should I be more mellow about pee posts, too? That’s the question I’m posing for you pre-Halloween readers today. Check out these examples of parents who let the pee posts flow and let me know your thoughts in the comments. But please don’t say “hey, at least it’s not poop,” because we all know that poop posts are gross. This week, I’m focusing strictly on “Number One.” Here are five things not to discuss about your child’s urine on social media.

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