WIBU and if so, what would you have done (if anything) - baby on the bus

(114 Posts)
ChrissyKochanski Thu 26-Jun-14 19:14:24

I am genuinely interested as I acted out of impulse and adrenaline. I would also like to say I am the least confrontational person in the world so what happened is very unusual for me.

I got on a bus after work and a toddler, perhaps 18mo to 2yrs, was in a pram in the pram space. His mother was sat in the first two seats in front of the pram and the baby was facing her. When I got on, the boy was crying. The mother had big headphones on and wasn't looking at the baby and generally ignoring him. 5 minutes into my journey and the toddler was still crying but the distressed thrashing, face going red, struggling to breath, going to be sick crying. The mother opposite him had not acknowledged him, talked to him, touched him, tried to calm him down, nothingsad . I even wondered if she was with him.

A woman sat behind the mother tapped the mother on the shoulder and asked if he was her baby. The mother said he was and do the woman said "he looks a bit distressed to me". The mother just said "well he's tired" and that was that. The mother went back to ignoring himsad. The woman behind the mother kept muttering and saying it wasn't right.

Another 5 mins later and the bout is thrashing around bent double over in his pram, still crying and struggling to breath. I admit I got angry and upset at seeing him so got up and said to the mother that I didn't want to sound accusatory but I had been on the bus for 10 minutes and had not seen her interact with her son once and he was now struggling to breathe. Her response was that if she picks him up he headbutts hershock. I said my daughter used to do that but children still need interaction.

Then the bus driver turns round and says "could everyone (meaning me) sit down. He'll be off the bus soon, he's been to the hospital and is teething and has a cold. I can raise my own soon without any help but I'm driving you people home". The woman behind the mother shouts to him asking why the mother can't look after him.

I sat down then and luckily got off at the next stop. I realise the mother may have had a hard day, she could have PNDsad but all I could see is the poor boy screaming and looking round for anyone. She said not one word to him the entire time.

Was I being a busy body and should have kept my nose out?

I would like to point out that the direction the bus came from was not from the hospital. Also I'm really angry at the father/bus driver's insinuation that we were upset about the crying as I would hate for anyone to think that. We've all been there.

What would you have done?

Tangerinefairy Thu 26-Jun-14 19:17:09

So the bus driver was the baby's father?

londonrach Thu 26-Jun-14 19:17:31

I'm sorry I couldn't have left it. I would have pulled faces at the baby hoping to distract him. Talked to mum saying what. Beautiful baby etc. anything.

Floralnomad Thu 26-Jun-14 19:18:35

I think you did the right thing but I would contact the bus company and speak to his supervisor ,I don't see how he can have his full attention on his job if he's also doubling as a CM for his child .

ChrissyKochanski Thu 26-Jun-14 19:19:00

That's what it sounded like Tangerine

CoffeeTea103 Thu 26-Jun-14 19:20:21

Well I definitely would not have given her the judgmental line about not interacting with her child, seriously not your place.

MaryShelley Thu 26-Jun-14 19:20:45

Busybody

ChrissyKochanski Thu 26-Jun-14 19:21:44

Floral the bus driver wasn't doing anything either though. That child could have been on the bus by himself and his situation wouldn't have been any worse than what it was. So both parents were on the bus but in 10 minutes of him screaming and thrashing about, neither said one word/noise or touched him oncesad

shakinstevenslovechild Thu 26-Jun-14 19:23:11

When my oldest was around that age, he resisted naps that he desperately needed and all I could do would be to leave him to it for 10 minutes, any interaction at all would just mean his mood would get worse and he would be more awake.

It used to piss me right off when 'well meaning' strangers would give me advice, or stick their head in his buggy to settle him when I knew exactly what I was doing, and it was for the sake of my ds whether random strangers with a 10 minute snapshot agreed with me or not.

WashingFanatic Thu 26-Jun-14 19:25:20

DC2 was well into toddler tantrum stage by age 2.

The last thing I used to do when he was in the middle of one was give him attention.

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Thu 26-Jun-14 19:25:24

I would have hated to see this. I don't see how it makes you a busybody to show concern for a distressed child. I would have maybe gone to talk to him and try to distract him. Children crying really upsets me.

seasidesally Thu 26-Jun-14 19:26:04

dont blame you for saying something,poor child

both parents sound rubbish

Berryglitter Thu 26-Jun-14 19:28:51

It used to drive me crazy when people interfered in my ds nap resistance. There was nothing I could do but ignore him, if I made any form of eye contact things got horribly worse.

You cannot judge someone on a 10minute snapshot of their lives, she said to you the child was just tired. She knows him best.

firesidechat Thu 26-Jun-14 19:29:40

You can't go around telling strangers to interact with their children. It's not great, but you have no idea of what the complete picture is.

It seems an amazing coincidence that the bus driver was the father, but what did you expect him to do? He was at work and driving the bus, supposedly.

PerpendicularVincenzo Thu 26-Jun-14 19:31:00

I don’t think worrying about a child is being a busybody or judgemental, and I don't understand the MN attitude that it's far better to do nothing than be accused of these things.

It's a difficult one OP, I think you were right to point out that he was struggling to breathe, but maybe not that she hadn't been interacting with him as it would automatically put her on the defensive.

However, you spoke out because of genuine concern, so I don't think that's a bad thing. I hope the baby is ok.

slightlyglitterstained Thu 26-Jun-14 19:31:18

10 minutes? That's really not very long in tantrum terms. I am pretty sure DS has kicked off for longer than that, without having a cold + teething.

maddening Thu 26-Jun-14 19:31:40

Shakstevens - it is one thing letting a toddler cry down for a nap as nothing else works but once your child is bent double and struggling to breath then surely everyone would go in to soothe the child.

RoaringTiger Thu 26-Jun-14 19:32:43

My dd didn't nap and when she needed to she would fight it, she'd get upset and cry pretty much like that toddler. If I tried to interact with her to calm her down she would get more upset and it would prolong it which wasn't good for her or anyone else. It used to annoy the hell out of me feeling everyone else's judgemental states in my back and I would have been quite angry if anyone had of come and questioned my parenting based on a snippet of them seeing my over tired child. Ywbu in my opinion

Billygoats Thu 26-Jun-14 19:33:09

YABU to comment on the mothers parenting.
You may not have liked it but you don't know anything about their day/life to comment on her parenting. I hate posts like these.

When my dd tantrums I have to leave her to get it out, she will only get louder if I intervene because she has worked herself into such a tired state.

As for the father being the driver I can't see it not being allowed? I don't know the bus driver rules. The baby had his mother /carer there two so it wasn't as though he was in charge of him I guess.

AnyoneForTennis Thu 26-Jun-14 19:33:12

So why should other paying passengers have to endure that?

FreudiansSlipper Thu 26-Jun-14 19:33:18

toddler having tantrum mother ignores

just so happens father is there and ignoring him too

I can not see what the issue is

AnyoneForTennis Thu 26-Jun-14 19:33:24

Whilst the

AnyoneForTennis Thu 26-Jun-14 19:34:44

Oops! Whilst the 'mother' shut down and opted out wearing headphones to drown out HER child?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 26-Jun-14 19:36:18

IME, at that time of day screaming toddlers on the bus just get worse when you interact with them. That bent double, gasping for breath, crying rarely abates when parents or busy body strangers try to interfere. It just deteriorates.

shakinstevenslovechild Thu 26-Jun-14 19:36:59

No Maddening the tantrum the op describes sounds very similar to the ones ds used to have.

It would kill me to sit there not looking at him or soothing him, but it really made him 10000 times worse if I did.

If you haven't had a child who does that I understand it must look awful, but sometimes it's all you can do, and the people who think they are being helpful, generally are not.

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