Donde estan los pantalones?!

Dear lax parents of the the Burgh,

If you’re going to leave your toddler alone long enough for that child to find a way out of the house and down the street, is it asking too much that you keep your children clothed at the very least? Give them a fighting chance against the elements?




Now, these are just the cases of wandering, lost toddlers found wearing DIAPERS in the last eight months. I’m not even looking up stories of wandering toddlers lucky enough to be wearing actual pants.

Something needs to be done before Pittsburgh becomes known as the Most Livable City Where the Toddlers Wander the Streets in Dirty Diapers and In Some Cases, One Shoe.



  1. The Point
    June 1, 2011 6:39 pm


  2. malbrec92
    June 1, 2011 6:45 pm

    Wow. And on only a slightly related note (in response to Eric’s comment about his kids dressing like Sumo wrestlers)… who remembers the SNL skit about the Huggies Thong Diaper?

  3. jennviolet
    June 1, 2011 6:51 pm

    It’s times like these that I curse my parents (dad) for my given name. Knew I shoulda went by Celesteviolet back in ’05.
    oh well… group hug?

  4. Eric Williams
    June 1, 2011 6:52 pm

    “No one has yet to answer my question of how an adult has no control over their 2 year old.”

    Evidently, in addition to empathy, you lack reading comprehension. I realize I didn’t put it bluntly in short words, but I did address that question. Let’s try again.

    Children are not mere animals to be dominated. They are people. As such, they can’t always be “controlled”. Discipline is a long-term process, entails more than immediate behavior modification, should respect a child’s personhood, and is an exercise in compromise.

    1. Not wearing pants is a rather minor infraction.
    2. Stubbornness wrt dress is a healthy sign of growing independence.
    3. Simply because a child lacks pants is not a good indicator of how well disciplined (or “controlled”) a child is.
    4. For most families, controlling a toddlers is like controlling a tornado. The best you can do is ride out the storm and hope for the best. ;)

    So your kid hasn’t been hard to raise. He either didn’t resist your authority much or was easily broken. Lucky you. Don’t try to generalize from your sample size of one.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold. Good luck with the teen years. ;)

  5. Jen
    June 1, 2011 7:05 pm

    So basically what everyone is saying that I don’t deserve any kudos for my son being so well behaved. I just got lucky. I also have no right to judge other parents no matter the circumstances. I also have no right to speak my mind about parenting at all since I just have one child. I shouldn’t judge anyone ever. I got it. You guys win. I suck. I’m gonna go take a walk and get some ice cream with my son now. I apologize to you all.

  6. Rebecca
    June 1, 2011 7:14 pm

    ERIC WILLIAMS…you are seriously the most well-spoken blog commenter I have ever had the pleasure to read. Thank you for your even tempered, non-judgemental response to Jen and her issues and accusations. As a stay-at-home-breeder…er, mom…with 4 kids, I have met with her kind of prejudice and judgement before and it feels very nice to see such a well-thought-out defense of a choice that many many well-educated people have made. Gonna stop now because taking the high road is quite a task, and I am determined not to slip. :) Anyway, THANK YOU ERIC WILLIAMS. :)

  7. malbrec92
    June 1, 2011 7:14 pm

    Jen, you CAN say whatever you like. But your comment was directed at other commenters, rather than responding to the post. And it was judgemental, not funny or friendly. I guess you just get what you give.

    Kudos to all the lighthearted comments, funny stories, etc.

  8. red pen mama
    June 1, 2011 7:16 pm

    I’m finding these comments wildly ironic as i just had a battle with my very headstrong 4yo about something. (I won.)

    Unrelated: she’s wearing pants.

    @jen, 2yos not wearing pants is not ‘toddlers gone wild’. Well, maybe in @spoon’s house. Let it go.

    This also may be the only time i have ever heartily agreed with @funkydung. Well said, sir.

    And, yes, @spudmom FTW!

  9. Eric Williams
    June 1, 2011 7:17 pm

    Jen: “So basically what everyone is saying that I don’t deserve any kudos for my son being so well behaved.”

    Me: “As OnlyMyOpinion pointed out, you have *one* kid, with an apparently placid and compliant temperament. Still, single parenthood can’t be easy, and given the scant evidence presented in your comments, you seem to have done a good job raising your child. Kudos. No, really. No snark intended.”

    Jen: “I also have no right to judge other parents no matter the circumstances.”

    Me: “I know it’s very tempting to be judgmental. I’m guilty of it on almost daily basis. We should all give each other benefit of the doubt, though. To put it another way, assume the other guy isn’t trying to be a complete asshat and act/speak accordingly. ;) Don’t we all want that courtesy extended to us? Doesn’t the Golden Rule apply here?”

    Jen: “I also have no right to speak my mind about parenting at all since I just have one child.”

    Me: “Also, families are (to borrow from physics) an n-body problem. Complexity of relationships is proportional to 2^n, where n is the number of persons in a family. So, not only can one or more children have a strong-willed personality or special needs, but dynamics within a family are rife with trials and tribulations.”

    Jen: “I shouldn’t judge anyone ever.”

    Me: “Lastly, single parenthood isn’t the only way raising children can be challenging. Being a stay-at-home parent isn’t necessarily all about eating bon-bons and watching soaps. Some families homeschool. Some parents are at home with the kids while their partners are active members of the military stationed overseas. Others are at home because they’ve laid been off.”

    Jen: “I got it. You guys win. I suck.”

    Sorry, you can’t bust into a room with guns blazing and pretend to be surprised and hurt when people fire back. What the hell do you expect when you presume that pantsless kids = spineless parents and call anyone with more than one kid a breeder?!

    Jen: “more often than not I am considered a failure because my marriage didn’t last”

    You seem to be rather sensitive and defensive about your status as single mother. How ironic that you’ve judged others so harshly.

  10. Rebecca
    June 1, 2011 7:19 pm

    “So basically what everyone is saying that I don’t deserve any kudos for my son being so well behaved.” Jen no one is saying that at all! YOu seem so determined to be a victim here. If you had just said, “Wow, I feel so blessed that my kid never ran around in his undies outside,” we would all have left it alone. It’s just a matter of knowing how to speak, or type, effectively to people.

    And as far as this one…” I also have no right to judge other parents no matter the circumstances,” NO! You certainly do not have the right to judge other people. No one does. People are certainly entitled to their own opinions but no one has the right to judge people they don’t know.

  11. Eric Williams
    June 1, 2011 7:20 pm

    Point I forgot to add below the Jen/me comparison:

    It’s called nuance. Try it some time.

  12. SpudMom
    June 1, 2011 7:25 pm

    Jen, I just want you to know that your status as a single mother earns my RESPECT, not my ridicule. I very viscerally understand how hard it is to be a parent and I have a husband who helps me. To be the only one on call, day and night, with nary a break or time to myself is not something I think I could do or do well. I respect those that tackle that challenge.

    With regard to your opinions on pants (or no pants) wearing toddlers – I think you’ve really got to simmah down.

  13. Jen
    June 1, 2011 7:35 pm

    @Eric Wms… I got it. You have proven me wrong exponentially. I am an unrefined troll who lacks empathy for others and lacks reading comprehension. I apologize again and will try in the future not to judge people. I have never posted comments on this blog even though I read it every day. I don’t know why I felt so compelled to do so but I regret it immensely.

  14. stellabella
    June 1, 2011 7:45 pm

    I think you’ve done a fine job with your son, Jen. And I could understand your point about parents not parenting their kids, until you had to go make the breeder comment. I have six kids. I’ve heard every rude, harsh thing someone can say to a parent of many children. Your breeder comment is nothing new. But it’s an ignorant statement.

    See, I also don’t put up with bull crap and if I say they need to put pants on, they put pants on or suffer the consequences. Sure, I’ve had my battles and sometimes I chose not to wage them. But wearing clothes isn’t optional in our house (but we’re Baptists, so that goes without saying ;-) I don’t care what other parents do…pants or no pants on your toddler. As long as they are happy and healthy, who cares? I totally understand a parent’s decision to not wage that battle with a strong-willed toddler.

    My first son is like yours. He’s easy going, obedient, a model kid. My second son is the polar opposite. He’s like a Tasmanian Devil. You never know what he’s going to pull. He’s been raised the same way as my first son. He taught me that every preconceived notion I had about raising children was WRONG. After he was born, I stopped patting myself on the back for my awesome parenting and started praying he’d make it to adulthood. I don’t put up with his crap, but I do chose my battles with him wisely. Today he told me I could be kind of scary. I said, good. A healthy fear of the wrath of your mother is fine by me.

    See, each one of my six children have grown my character and made me the person I am today. I wouldn’t be who I am, without them. I’ve learned about guilt, how to be humble, how to offer an apology and mean it, how to be compassionate, how to stand my ground and when to back down and how to be kind to others in an online forum.

  15. MizzPenz
    June 1, 2011 7:50 pm

    What the hell did we all do before the Internet came about? This is entertaining as hell to say the least. I raised two kids as a single Mom, so does that make me a Half-Breeder?

  16. jennviolet
    June 1, 2011 7:51 pm

    from one Jen to another… relax and have a brewskie. It’s the internet afterall so don’t feel the majority of us commenters are attacking you. Internet can misconstrue opinions very easily. Everyone understands that, RIGHT? So much room for error. Jen, again, relax. peace love empathy….

  17. red pen mama
    June 1, 2011 7:58 pm

    Oh, geez. Someone’s feelings got hurt. Thanks to @rebecca and @funkydung for saying what i was thinking.

  18. Sam's Dog
    June 1, 2011 8:26 pm

    Stellabella, you sound like the kind of parent everyone can admire. I never tried to be a friend to my kids, I figure they can make friends, not parents. Jen, you just have to adjust your comments for the common man, or be prepared to face the music. Don’t stop posting, just learn to temper your thoughts, We all have to do it in many situations.

  19. SpudDad
    June 1, 2011 8:30 pm

    I suspect RedPenPapa would have grasped this at once: Jen is a borderline. She will say or do anything she has to to get attention. Avert your eyes at the freak, all, and let’s have a tranquil evening.

  20. Kacie
    June 1, 2011 9:03 pm

    @ Jen

    I guess I’m one of the moms who “can’t” force her 2-year-old to wear pants. I shall explain further.

    The guy does wear clothing when we are outside. It’s not that hard. And he could wear clothing inside if it was important to me, but it’s not that big of a deal to me, honestly.

    We’re working on potty-training and it’s easier if he can just have a diaper or underwear on without pants, you know?

  21. Sue
    June 1, 2011 9:16 pm

    Eric Williams – you sound like an awesome Dad! I have three (ages 9,6 and 4) and while they have never been found down the street in their diaper – as any parent knows sometimes things get out of control. That’s what makes life fun. I agree with Ginny that the really scary thing is that they were missing and no one seemed to notice. I wouldn’t have put it past any of my children to escape the house, but I am certain (pretty much haha) that I would have noticed before they got past the neighbors house. My kids are all wonderful and well-mannered – but I don’t believe in getting them to that point by dominating them. I want to raise a daughter strong willed enough to say NO to a boyfriend who tries to push her around – maybe that means that I have to lock horns with her occasionally – but I’ll take the trade off. There are times when your children MUST obey you without question or comment and times when I believe its okay for them to exert their will. I am raising future leaders, not future yes men. And really what is the big freaking deal about pants on a two year old. If it bothers you that much stay in the freaking house or move to the country where you don’t have to be in your neighbors business.

  22. Jen
    June 1, 2011 9:27 pm

    I guess i need to elaborate further. I dont care what kids do indoors but for a child to be completely naked outside in front of the entire neighborhood every day in the summer is a bit much. I guess im just a prude. I never meant to say anyone was a bad parent. Otjers may think that imin need of attention but actually im quite the opposite. If i were constantly making controversial comments on here then that would be true, but it’s not.

  23. Cassie
    June 1, 2011 10:28 pm

    How I parent is I pick my battles wisely. And I’m with stellabella, in that I don’t friend my kids. I’m their Mom.

    And @Jen, I was raised by a single Mom. I have nothing but respect for that. But never once did my Mother make herself out to be the victim. She put on her big girl undies and mucked through life and did a damn fine job.

    And I understand what you mean about parents not parenting. But as you can probably tell, most of the commenters here probably don’t take much crap from their kids. I sure as hell don’t. I’m 26, my kids are 3 and under. I’m not going to let them rule my life. But it’s a matter of give and take.

    And if someone preaches that their kid is perfect in every way is waiting for their rude awakening. No such thing as perfect. We all have our bad days and it’s OK to have flaws.

  24. Rebecca
    June 1, 2011 10:47 pm

    BTW Ginny…I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the title of this post!!! It’s very similar to a lame inside joke I have with one of my best friends. It made me laugh today and I definitely needed a laugh. :)

  25. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    June 1, 2011 11:14 pm

    I raise my glass to all of you parents out there. Reading the anecdotes and experiences you face with raising your children reinforces what I’ve always known about myself — I don’t have the patience or the desire to be a parent. I am perfectly happy being an aunt to my nephews, but I know myself pretty well to realize that it takes a special breed to be a parent. There’s no perfect way from what I can tell. Whether you are a single parent or two-parents, it’s a challenge all around. From what I can see, though, the rewards are great. God bless you all.

  26. Lorrie
    June 1, 2011 11:14 pm

    To @malbrec92. Cute pic and great memory you captured. I would hope no one would be offended or disgusted by it.

  27. malbrec92
    June 1, 2011 11:22 pm

    @Lorrie, the thought occurred to me belatedly, and I hope not, too. But there is no butt crack or private parts showing, so it’s pretty PG. Just funny kid craziness — what was he thinking?!!

  28. aunt_chilada
    June 1, 2011 11:34 pm

    Oh boy, I hesitate to add to these comments.
    First off this has happpened to me, so I understand how it can happen ( regardless of the instuctions you give any child).
    secondly I do not have children but I am the youngest of 6 in my family. I have been the caretaker of all 25 of my neices and nephews at some stage in their childhood. I have put a child to bed for a nap and caught a few winks myself only to wake up and the child is not in his bed any longer. luckily he was in the backyard with his toys. He was safe, we lived very rurally at the time. I fear for some parents but I respect the job they have on a daily basis.

    My sister was one of those exibitionist children. She had the personality of a rattlesnake until she could get her shoes and pants off. For whatever reason she was so much happier, so she spent the majority of her youth unclothed. All her baby pictures will atest to that fact. Her granddaughter is twice as defiant as she ever was as a child-The Mothers Curse hit her double with that one.

  29. Hot Mama
    June 2, 2011 12:27 am

    Hot Mama got too sick reading the ‘Jen’ comments to read them all. My kids are sometimes well behaved…and sometimes not. My kids sometimes wear pants…and sometimes not. If someone is offended by their lack of pants (or their lack of good behavior for that matter) on, say, a hot summer day… then perhaps someone should KMA. Kids are kids…no kid is perfect. No parent is perfect. Get off your high horse, sweet cheeks.

  30. chachi says
    June 2, 2011 12:47 am

    Wow, I must be losing my grasp on the city. There was a post about not wearing pants and I was not mentioned once in the post nor the comments. I shall return to my pantless batcave and reevaluate my marketing techniques. When I return I shall conquer the world! Muahahaha or something like that. (The comments needed some comedy.)

  31. Hot Mama
    June 2, 2011 12:55 am

    @chachi.. crack you crack me up!

  32. bucdaddy
    June 2, 2011 1:31 am


    I now better understand and support your penchant for high-alcohol beer.


    Don’t mind the naysayers, they’re all just envious. I was a perfect only child myself. Except I had a sister.

    I like Steven Wright’s line: “I was an only child … eventually.”

  33. Jen
    June 2, 2011 6:22 am

    I guess I need to further clarify…I did not mean to equate a toddler not wearing pants to bad parenting. My issue is that my neighbor lets her 3 year old run around all day with zero clothes on. This is not just in her own yard. This child roams the neighborhood naked. She pees in other peoples’ yards like a stray cat. Her mother does absolutely nothing to correct this behavior. I don’t even know why I’m still commenting because no matter what I say at this point, I will just be further demonized. I’m not trying to claim to be a victim or perfect. I defended myself when others implied that I couldn’t possibly be a parent. It was also implied that I am on welfare since I am a single mom. Both of those issues upset me and that is why I got defensive. My original post was more about my neighbor than the other commenters. I just wanted their opinion since they have experienced unruly toddlers. I admit I was wrong and apologize for the way I worded my statements.

  34. steeler_tom
    June 2, 2011 8:03 am

    Damn! I think this has been taken too seriously. Seems most are wanting to point the finger at the parent. I had a friend who has two escape artists. You should see the attempts they made to corral those boys, and wouldn’t ya know it one got out one night….. took the car keys too was gonna go get mom from work. LOL The articles above don’t mean the parents were drunk, stoned or even negligent. Stuff happens sometimes.
    For the record, we need a little sophmoric humor inserted here….. Lighten up!

    LMAO over the whole thing…. Jen as a single parent,…. I’d hit ya. LOL

  35. Julia
    June 2, 2011 9:54 am

    I think @Jen needs to get laid. Seriously. Haven’t seen someone so uptight on a freakin blog before.

    I agree with Ginny’s original point. The part that bothers me is that there seem to be a lot of toddlers running around unsupervised, and the fact that they get so far away from home that it makes the news before the parents realize where their kids are. Then again, there have been a handful of reports of crying children left locked inside apartments/etc while their parents are out buying drugs or otherwise just gone for hours on end.

  36. Tanya
    June 2, 2011 10:06 am

    @spoon – Your original post made my morning. I wish I could “fan” you just for that.

    I am a mother to a 2 1/2 y/o who generally doesn’t object to wearing pants. Some days, diapering gets me a kick to the throat – but if I manage that, the pants part is easy. Potty training cannot come soon enough. That being said, given my child’s penchant for playing with dirt, sand and gravel (despite my attempts to distract him with expensive toys), I may adopt a “clothing optional” policy myself. We are currently going through 3 outfits a day – the laundry is killing me. I still have to do the obligatory check of his nethers for stray pebbles and other debris, regardless of the presence of his pantalones – why not conserve a little water? I already use enough hosing him down 2x a day, after he looks like he spent a shift in the mines.

    I don’t think this these incidents indicate a public (quasi)nudity issue … just parents/caregivers learning the hard way what wonderful little escapists toddlers can be. Hot day + screen door + minor distraction = sayonara! I am a single parent, constantly amazed at what toddler brain can conceive of. But if I had to constantly supervise my child, I would accomplish nothing. Sometimes a heavy dose of caution/preparation and faith is all you’ve got. And hope that, in the 2 minutes it takes to start yet another load of laundry, your child doesn’t master some awesome new feat. I wouldn’t hand out any parenting awards, but I would hesitate to roundly condemn them all, or assume they must be horrible negligent parents. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Hopefully, lesson learned. My #1 rule: Fear Silence.

    While I do not have much difficulty containing my toddler, I do have a Jack Russell who is an evil genius of Houdini proportions. When he figured out how to open the latches on his pen, I tried zip-tying it shut. It took me longer to fasten them than it did for him to chew through all 5. Until I learn to weld, he’ll likely be free-range. I just hope the bungee cord on the yard gate holds up.

    Ginny – I always enjoy your posts, but the comment section is icing on the cake. Smart, funny stuff. I am a fan of your fans.

  37. stellabella
    June 2, 2011 10:37 am

    @ Tanya…I have a free range Jack Russell too. I gave up. LOL! Fortunately, he’s also fat, so he doesn’t go too far.

  38. Liz
    June 2, 2011 10:54 am

    @Jen – please just go get your ice cream and shut up! And I dare you to do it with no pants on! lol

  39. JennyMoon
    June 2, 2011 11:14 am

    I heart Eric Williams!!

    4. For most families, controlling toddlers is like controlling a tornado. The best you can do is ride out the storm and hope for the best.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! In my experience anyway.

  40. Eric Williams
    June 2, 2011 11:24 am

    Thanks for all the support folks. If my wife read all these comments, though, she’d want to kick all your asses for inflating my ego. ;)

    “I did not mean to equate a toddler not wearing pants to bad parenting. My issue is that my neighbor lets her 3 year old run around all day with zero clothes on. This is not just in her own yard. This child roams the neighborhood naked. She pees in other peoples’ yards like a stray cat. Her mother does absolutely nothing to correct this behavior.”

    As Robbie Hart said in the Wedding Singer, “Gee, you know that information… really would’ve been more useful to me *yesterday!*” ;)

    That’s going considerably beyond mere nudity, and I don’t think any decent parent commenting here would condone such behavior or lax parenting.

    “I guess i need to elaborate further. I dont care what kids do indoors but for a child to be completely naked outside in front of the entire neighborhood every day in the summer is a bit much.”

    It’s certainly socially awkward, and I wouldn’t want my kids to be subjected to gawking and gossip, but mere public nudity of small children just doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

  41. pghsciencenerd
    June 2, 2011 12:39 pm

    Fayette County Parenting Pro Tip: When I was a small child, my parents told me that if I wandered away from them, the gypsies would come and get me and sell me to child molesters. To date, I’ve never been found randomly wandering the streets while only wearing a diaper and one shoe. SUCCESS.

  42. cmd_45
    June 2, 2011 1:10 pm

    @pghsciencenerd: That is EXACTLY the sort of logic my parents us with us! Glad to know we weren’t the only kids afraid of “the gypsies!”

  43. Carol
    June 2, 2011 3:11 pm

    Mine never completely described gypsies. For all we knew, gypsies were like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. We didn’t know they were actually ‘people.’

  44. Gina
    June 2, 2011 4:55 pm

    AGH! My parents used the gypsies excuse too! Must be a Western PA thing

  45. Me
    June 2, 2011 4:58 pm

    I have no kids, but my mother, who had five, used to say: “When I had one child, I thought I knew everything. Then the second came and was completely different than the first, so I realized I had something to learn. By the third I was sure I had everything figured out — I’d seen it all right? Then I had the fourth and fifth and realized that you never know it all.”

  46. Kathy
    June 2, 2011 7:10 pm

    @pghsciencenerd – awesome.

  47. VAgirl
    June 2, 2011 7:54 pm

    YUP,those gypsies would keep me and my 5 sisters in line! Eric thank you for your eloquent perspective and Jen do not hesitate to blog. You took us down a path that we would not have gone before. Ginny, I see your concern and do wonder when the media throws these stories out there. But we have to remember it takes a village to raise a child.

  48. pghsciencenerd
    June 2, 2011 10:12 pm

    I had no idea that other people’s parents also used “the gypsies” to keep kids in line! Must be a Burgh thing. My grandma used the highly threatening “The Man” and “The Face” as vague disciplinary threats. “You’d better go to bed RIGHT NOW or THE FACE is going to come and look in your window!”

  49. spoon
    June 2, 2011 10:56 pm

    We had Gypsies in Erie. They lived at Axe Murder Hallow. Dad would get close to that road and I’d straighten right up

  50. NewBurgher
    June 3, 2011 1:08 am

    Jen – I had one of those children too (she’s 20 now). Don’t take it personally, but mainly, you did just get lucky that he has an easy temperament. I am now a parent to a 6 year old adopted kiddo, who does nothing what I tell him. I’m the same person with the same values and the same parenting ideology. But the kiddos are wildly different. Me and you are good parents but having easy kids helped, my 2nd taught me that.

    BTW – best comment run in a long time. LOL You guys rock!