When it comes to bladder control, toddlers don’t always have it. The need to pee may come upon them quickly, making the situation more urgent and less predictable for parents. While the worst-case scenario typically involves dealing with an accident, for one parent, her 3-year-old’s inability to make it to the bathroom could lead to jail time.
Brooke Johns, according to a report by CNN, was driving in Augusta, Georgia when her child, a 3-year-old boy named Cohen, said he needed to use the bathroom. As she pulled into a gas station, she realized her son wouldn’t be able to hold it until they reached the restroom.
“He says, ‘Momma, I’m about to pee in my pants!'” said Johns. Since she is 34 weeks pregnant, she couldn’t carry her son. She tried to cover him up, and he peed in the parking lot.
“He was peeing before his pants were even all the way down, so obviously he had to go,” said Cohen’s mom, a Beech Island, South Carolina, resident.
However, a Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy who saw the incident unfold on March 29 wasn’t particularly sympathetic to Cohen’s plight and cited Johns for disorderly conduct.
“She allowed her male child to urinate in the parking lot. I observed the male’s genitals and the urination,” said the officer the ticket. “Public restrooms are offered at the location.”
Johns now faces up to 60 days in jail as well as a possible $5,000 fine.
The mother plans to go to court on April 30 – which is just days before her due date – and intends to contest the citation.
“Accidents happen. And (the officer) was like, ‘Take him in the bathroom.’” said Johns. “What if I would have ran in the bathroom and someone had been in there? What was I going to let him do? Pee on the floor of the gas station?”