Order, Order.. Calling the AIBU mumsnet Jury to Court! Who's being unreasonable?

(87 Posts)
Nahui Wed 24-Jun-09 18:43:11

To explain the situation, been talking to a friend on and off all afternoon about something and we're not quite sure if this is ok or not, so i thought i'd ask you lovely lot grin

Friend has lovely DH, and three kids aged 14, 3 and 5 months.

Last night she had to take the 14yo out after she'd put the other two to bed and left DH in charge.

As she pulled up at home and parked on the drive she caught her DH coming out of the corner shop opposite with a pint of milk in one hand and the baby monitor in the other.

She is, i think, understandably a little upset and angry with him, but he cant see what the problem is.. they were asleep, he had the monitor and the shop is literally right opposite their house.. the same distance as the length of their back-garden which they both potter around in when the kids are in bed without a second thought.

I think they've hit an impasse and i'm not sure who to 'side with'.. i think i'd be annoyed if it were me, but i can also see his arguement.

So.. who's being unreasonable? Dad for popping to the shop with baby monitor for 5 minutes, or my friend for still being annoyed 20hours later?

Nahui Wed 24-Jun-09 18:45:24

He has btw promised not to do it again because she's so upset over it, but still doesnt see what the big deal is.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 24-Jun-09 18:45:42

Hmm, I wouldn't want him making a regular thing of it. How essential was the milk, did the DH know what time his DW would be back, when does the shop shut?

Totally reasonable of the DH to get some milk if the shop is opposite the house. What was he gone 3 minutes?
Your friend is being unreasonable.

Nahui Wed 24-Jun-09 18:47:39

The shop shuts at 8 and this was about 7.50ish from what she said, apparently it was essential for evening cup of tea and early breakfast, he wasnt sure if she'd be back in time so decided to pop there himself.

Tambajam Wed 24-Jun-09 18:47:46

If it is literally right across the road and the monitor was completely functioning the whole time I think I would forgive.
I would feel uncomfortable because of the 'what ifs' that are possible but I think it's just about OK.

Bathsheba Wed 24-Jun-09 18:47:57

I would think he was being unreasonable.

It WASN'T an emergancy - she was due back any minute, and if it takes such a little time to get to the shop then he could have waited until she returned - he wasn't a single parent in crisis or even alone all night with no milk for a cup of tea.

To me the "same distance as the end of the garden" is a bit of a moot point - I'm expecting everyone to disagree with me and pick holes in the argument, but to my mind going out the front door and across the road is different - more potential for things to go wrong (being locked out, knocked down by a car...ehm, kidnapped by aliens...)...its a kind of intangible thing but to me it just seems different.

But in summary, she was due back any minute, he should have waited.

fruitstick Wed 24-Jun-09 18:48:03

I've had this discussion with DH. If he had been run over (highly unlikely I know) then noone would know kids were in the house. Actually baby monitor might have given it away.

No need to do it in my opinion

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 24-Jun-09 18:48:21

HIBU imo.

zookeeper Wed 24-Jun-09 18:48:23

If the shop was only across the road and both dcs were asleep then I don't see a problem. The risk that anyting would happen to them in that five minutes or indeed to their dad is pretty remote.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 24-Jun-09 18:48:53

Well, he's agreed not to do it again and had a good reason, she should let him off this time.

Nancy66 Wed 24-Jun-09 18:49:08

wouldn't particularly bother me - he was a stone's throw away and with the baby monitor.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 24-Jun-09 18:50:07

How much would DW have yelled if there was no milk for breakfast? grin

zeke Wed 24-Jun-09 18:50:32

Bit strange how he couldn't wait 5 mins for the milk.

I don't think he did anything wrong though tbh, as it was literally SO close.

MrsBadger Wed 24-Jun-09 18:50:37

they both were [gavel]

he was unreasonable to leave the house - he could have been mugged / hit by a car / witness to a robbery and forced to hang about by the police (see my previous famous neighbour-popped-out-leaving-pan-on-stove story)

she is being unreasonable not to let it drop a day later.

megapixels Wed 24-Jun-09 18:52:07

I wouldn't like it at all, but nothing happened and he's promised not to do it again, so she's BU for being mad with him STILL.

bronze Wed 24-Jun-09 18:53:07

I guess theyre more likely to realise about the kids if hes out on the street with the monitor than if he had a heart attack down the end of the garden

spicemonster Wed 24-Jun-09 18:54:45

I think that's fine. If the monitor still works, then there's no problem. And actually if it didn't, if he were literally gone for 2 mins, then I don't think it's a big issue. If he hadn't popped across the road, there quite possibly would have been no milk for breakfast which would have been a disaster! I go upstairs to see my neighbours sometimes - although I don't cross any roads I suppose. I'd like to think a grown man can generally cross a small road on his own though (unless of course they live at the side of the M1)

Onestonetogo Wed 24-Jun-09 19:05:46

She IBU.

Tortington Wed 24-Jun-09 19:07:15

dad - couldt he wait for the milk - its not urgent

branflake81 Wed 24-Jun-09 19:08:13

She is being unreasonable.

He would only have been gone for 5 minutes. It's not the end of the world.

hocuspontas Wed 24-Jun-09 19:11:50

I'm someone who 'pops out' and often forgets a key. So in that case HIB slightly U. And 20 hours is NOTHING grin

DisturbinglySexuallyInactive Wed 24-Jun-09 19:22:00

they are both being unreasonable grin

Snorbs Wed 24-Jun-09 19:37:50

So he did something that represented a tiny but real risk, and nothing bad actually happened. He's realised she wasn't happy about it so although he doesn't necessarily agree with her concerns, he's being sensitive to her feelings by agreeing not to do it again.

Yet, she's still banging on about it and bitching to her friends about how awful he is.

She is most definitely being unreasonable.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 19:41:56

I actually think he is absolutely in the right - and he would have been even if he hadn't taken the monitor. 5 minutes - what's going to happen in 5 minutes? Ask the controlled crying brigade about leaving a child crying for 5 minutes!

HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 24-Jun-09 19:50:53

you are.

For even considering taking sides.

That'll only ever come back and bite you in the bum grin

hullygully Wed 24-Jun-09 19:53:23

He should have got them up and dressed and strapped in buggies and taken them with him in case one of them sneezed.

flowerybeanbag Wed 24-Jun-09 19:57:44

He shouldn't have done it, but she is being unreasonable still being cross 20 hours later even though he's promised not to do it again.

Nahui Wed 24-Jun-09 19:58:39

lol, Hecate, i'm trying to make like Switzerland, lol, but they're making it difficult because they seem to feel me agreeing with either of them will prove them in the right.

I can see both sides of the argument so am staying firmly on the fence, lol... i just told her i can see why she'd be annoyed, but its really not that big a deal.. and like everyone else said, he's agreed not to do it again so why go on?

I would have been absolutely furious with my dh if he'd done this and would prob still be going on about it years later. Maybe IBU?! Still, it's a safe bet that this woman's dh won't be doing it again in a hurry but I think I'd say that HIBU, they would have just had to drink their tea black ...

My first ever post on an AIBU btw (I think), am a bit apprehensive grin

Pingpong Wed 24-Jun-09 20:03:51

she is being very unreasonable IMO.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 20:04:30

WHY shouldn't he have done it? WHY?????????????

fucksticks Wed 24-Jun-09 20:04:35

Its the sort of thing my DH would do and the sort of thing that I couldnt even contemplate doing.
DH does not do stuff like that purely because he knows how much I dont want him to. He cant understand why I fee; so strongly about it either.

I say she needs to let it drop. He made a mistake but the fcat that he agreed never to do it again makes her v unreasonable to still be going on about it!

SIBU. He didn't know she would get back in time and he took a very small risk - probably less than ... I don't know, say, driving on a wet motorway.

In our house having no milk would be a Very Big Deal.

I used to do it. At our last house, the off-license was right across the road and I could see our front door from the shop, so I'd pop over for stuff, the difference is, I never took the monitor.
My dp also did it once or twice.

I can understand why your friend is upset, her dh did after all leave her dc's at home alone, but as you said, they quite happily sit out in the garden.
Although unlikely, what if he'd benn hit by a car or something?

theyoungvisiter Wed 24-Jun-09 20:06:35

She is being unreasonable - not for feeling worried about him popping over the road (irrationally IMO but I can see why she would feel funny about it) but for not letting it go.

She has the right to say she doesn't want him to do it again, but having said that (and got his agreement) she needs to let it drop.

If he did it again knowing it would upset her then he is being unreasonable.

Case dismissed, the court will now adjourn for gin and tonic

<bangs gavel>

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 20:09:50

He didn't make a mistake. He did something completely safe that ensured early morning tea. Where's the problem?

hullygully Wed 24-Jun-09 20:11:37

But what if they'd sneezed? Or turned over in their sleep? I don't think you've really thought this through, Seeker.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 20:15:50

And I forgot alien abduction. Sorry. <seeker hangs head in shame and hands children to social services>

nellynaemates Wed 24-Jun-09 20:18:51

Jesus, of course she's being unreasonable. All this "he could be hit by a car" nonsense is so stupid. I'd have to check the statistics but I would think he is far more likely to have an accident in his home which knocks him out. These things happen. Yes what he did carried risks but those risks were small and he did everything reasonable, IMO, to reduce them.

What a bunch of pansies we are in this country.

Nahui Wed 24-Jun-09 20:21:08

i believe there is more chance of falling down your own stairs than being hit by a car anyway, lol.

Freely admit to being a pansy, I wonder if she just suffers like I do from a ridiculously over-active imagination which prevents her from being rational about this kind of thing. Perhaps she keeps playing the 'what if' scenarios over and over in her head (alien abduction in particular I think would be most worrying) and for that reason can't let it drop?

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 20:21:33

<seeker wrestles children back from social services>

nelly I don't think what I said was stupid at all. Like i said, I have done it and my dp has done it and I see nothing wrong with it, but I can understand the mother's concerns. Anything could happen while he is out of the house, the room, whatever, the main thing is that dangers are reduced and minimised. So if the dc's are safe in a secured house with the oven/iron etc off, then it would be perfectly fine to spend a few mins at the shop or in the bath as long as the dangers are thought through and are minimal.

He was right opposite their house with the baby monitor. He would have been gone 30 seconds if there was no queue.

She is being completely unreasonable imo. I would have done the same as him. As you say, he was gone no further than the end of their garden.

morningpaper Wed 24-Jun-09 20:29:46

"he could be hit by a car"

Unless he was drunk and blind it is unlikely

He could just as well die IN the house from falling out of the attic / down stairs / electrocuting himself / having a massive heart attack

As this part of the argument is nonsense, then SHE is BU

Wallace Wed 24-Jun-09 20:31:12

hmm

I see nothing at all wrong with what the dh did.

You must count up the votes and let them know the vedict grin

toddlerama Wed 24-Jun-09 20:31:15

If the 14 year old was home, SIBU. If not HIBU.

Ultimately, they just need to agree what's ok for next time. If she isn't comfortable with it, he shouldn't do it. My DH has all kinds of safety rules which I think are naff and pointless, but I do them because they're important to him, and they're his kids. Works both ways.

I didn't say 'he could have been' I said 'what if he had been'

I am on his side FFS, but don't think there is anything wrong with thinking about possible accidents no matter how unlikely.

Swedes Wed 24-Jun-09 20:35:18

Does she ever go into the garden at night when the children are in bed and tidy up the toys/water the garden/clean out the barbie/take down the parasol/bring in washing/peg out washing etc? If yes, is she ever longer than 3 mins? And does she take the baby monitor with her?

Sassybeast Wed 24-Jun-09 20:38:40

HIBU. Why didn't he text her to say there was no milk ? O do they live in some weird place where all the shops shut at 8pm? Another few hours of her being in a strop should ensure he doesn't risk it again wink

bigchris Wed 24-Jun-09 20:39:24

I think it's fine what he did
I often leave 5 yr old ds watching tv while I nip out to postba letter over the road with 2 yr old dd
some on here would call ss on me I'm sure
we, as parents, weigh up the risks
I think good for him for taking the baby monitor, most wouldn't

theyoungvisiter Wed 24-Jun-09 20:41:42

By littleboyblue on Wed 24-Jun-09 20:33:58
I didn't say 'he could have been' I said 'what if he had been'

I am on his side FFS, but don't think there is anything wrong with thinking about possible accidents no matter how unlikely.

Littleboyblue - I quite agree. I conduct a full and thorough risk assessment before all potentially hazardous activities for eg:

Shower: risk of slipping and hitting head, potentially dying and/or sustaining severe concussion, thus leaving the children unsupervised until DH returns home from work.

Consider taking a bath? But then must weigh alternate risk of running it too hot and scalding self/child during preparation, and/or falling asleep and drowning during bath.

Possible solution 1: take bath half an hour before DH due home so that should fatal accident occur, children only unsupervised for minimal time. But then must consider possibility that DH is delayed and/or killed on bike riding home.

POssible solution 2: phone DH to advise him of intention to take bath/shower, ask him to telephone after half hour and assertain that I am alive and conscious, if no reply, DH to rush home in taxi.

On the whole I think solution 2 is preferable and is the one I usually adopt. There was of course the unfortunate time that DH phoned while I was still in bath and DS1 answered the phone and told DH that "mummy in bath DS go poo poo on carpet." DH, fearing the worst, took taxi home as agreed and was rather annoyed to find me drying hair. But better safe than sorry, I say.

ravenAK Wed 24-Jun-09 20:43:21

I think it was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I'm currently 'working' in my study at the other end of the house from sleeping dc AND I'm on second glass of wine, dh is in basement playing guitar: neither of us is as alert to the dc as we would be running across the road & back, baby monitor in hand.

He's said that although he doesn't see the problem, OK, his dw is unhappy with it so he won't do it again. Presumably she's expecting a bit more in the way of sackcloth & ashes? hmm

There ARE differing opinions on this - it's perfectly reasonable for the dh & dw to disagree - & they've now decided that 'future policy' follows the more cautious.

That's got to be the matter resolved & no more sulking required, surely...

Whatever, boring me now you're just being silly so I'm off to let you get on with it.

The youngvisitor, you are joking aren't you? I was sure you were till that last paragraph and now I'm not so sure.

theyoungvisiter Wed 24-Jun-09 20:48:37

awww LBB sorry, I was kidding around not trying to make you feel bad.

I was just trying to illustrate (in a light-hearted way wink) that our lives are full of hazards on a par with the likelihood of run over crossing the road.

And I used your post as a convenient peg for my joke - I wasn't trying to get at you. I think your POV is perfectly reasonable - albeit I have a different one.

Of course you are [thicko emoticon]

theyoungvisiter Wed 24-Jun-09 20:50:19

he he lyra don't worry I was joking.

But I have to rush now as I have to conduct a risk assessment on the chances of my laptop bursting into flames due to battery overheating. And I am not wearing a flame retardant bra (does anyone know a good manufacturer who does nursing bras in kevlar btw?)

poopscoop Wed 24-Jun-09 20:50:28

I would not have had a problem with it. He went over the road, and took the baby monitor with him. For a man that is quite sensibly thought out.

That's ok then grin Sorry for getting a bit irrate! Am sensitive about people taking the piss.
I understand fully your POV, but to some, the fact that he was out of the house would make an accident (although unlikely) all the worse wouldn't it?
Anyway, as you say, we all have different thoughts on it, I too think it was ok for him to do it. I've done it, never taken monitor though, and as you prob guessed I am a bit of a worrier. Not to the extent of calling dp to tell him I'm getting in the bath, although a good idea grin wink

onagar Wed 24-Jun-09 21:07:48

I'm on his side. I get the bit about 'hit by a car or kidnapped by aliens' but really a plane could crash on the garden when they are pottering out there.

The real question is..... did she drink a nice cup of tea in the morning made with the milk he got. If so she should drop it now.

MrsMcCluskey Wed 24-Jun-09 21:11:56

she is being vu

spicemonster Wed 24-Jun-09 21:17:27

Ooh kevlar bras. Very kinky

ReneRusso Wed 24-Jun-09 21:20:38

She is BU, what DH did was ok.

flaminhell Wed 24-Jun-09 21:36:35

She is bU, and they are his kids too, he can make a decision without her seconding it! I think he was sensible, and I think she is a controlling pain in the ass.

vezzie Wed 24-Jun-09 22:34:24

He should have phoned her to ask her to pick up some milk on the way back.

BitOfFun Wed 24-Jun-09 22:45:30

SIBU.

He doesn't sound like a dimwit if he took the monitor- I'm sure he had his key and used the Green Cross Code smile

She is being a pita by banging on about it.

Karam Wed 24-Jun-09 22:55:40

Agree SIBU.

If she is complaining that he left in case he was knocked over by the car, and then the children would have been left unattended, then the same reasoning would dictate that she must never leave the house with the children in the care of just one adult... he could have a heart attack and died in the house, and no-one would know and the children would be left unattended. Both are equally as likely scenarios.

I agree that he was sensible in that he carried the baby monitor - and guessing that he was known to the shop keeper, if he was knocked over by a car, then most people would know about the kids - holding a baby monitor is usually a pretty good indicator!

But what are the statistics for grown adults getting knocked over by cars in daylight in pedestrian areas these days??

She has said 'I don't like you doing this', he sees no problem with it but agrees not to do it anywway because it worries her. I think that sounds like a pretty good relationship.

Especially since it's somehting that MNers seem to be divided on, so not as if it's a completely unacceptable thing to do. In which case it would be bad that he doesn't understand even if he has agreed not to do it.

hambler Wed 24-Jun-09 23:08:47

she is unreasonable

Spero Wed 24-Jun-09 23:17:36

She is unreasonable.

What if he was having a big poo? That could put you out of action for more than five minutes.

To take out my rubbish I have to leave my flat, go down a flight of stairs and out of a gate. This takes five minutes and we are asked to put it out late at night to be picked up at 6am.

So - either i put it out early evening with my dd in tow, or wake her up at 11pm to come with me, or we both get up at 5.30am?

You have to, as with everything in life, weigh up the risks. I do not believe that there is a risk in leaving a sleeping child for five minutes.

Yes you 'might' get hit by a car. you also 'might' have a fatal heart attack in your own home.

footballsgalore Wed 24-Jun-09 23:30:10

I think this is a really personal decision we all have to make and we would probably have a range of criteria which we would need to follow to reassure ourselves.
I think she IBU to keep on about it and he is BR to modify his behaviour to keep DW reassured. I also think he took reasonable precautions and the risks were minimal.

I'm just so impressed that she has a DH who would notice that there isn't any milk and would be as forward thinking as to consider the next mornings breakfast!!!

Not a chance in this house! smile

TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Wed 24-Jun-09 23:45:33

SIBU - fgs! We all need to relax a bit. If it was in my house I would be posting this thread:

AIBU - that my DH made a pathetic excuse for not getting any milk?

grin at 'what if he was having a big poo?'

kslatts Thu 25-Jun-09 08:03:03

I think she is being unreasonable.

GhostOfPsychomum5 Thu 25-Jun-09 08:11:17

ah, but none of you have picked up on the fact that she, while coming back from dropping off the DD1, could have come kareering around the corner in the car, plowed into the DH with the car, THENgone thru the front of the shop......

THEN where would they behmm??

SIBU however......we have a shop at the very end of our road, about 100yrds away, whenever we have been in hospital my DH has had to make the milk dash once the children are in bed occasionally, especially if I have been admitted in an emergency and so not had time to plan for such contingency. so far the gremlins have not gotten at the children.............((I thinkhmm)).

seeker Thu 25-Jun-09 08:46:44

It's also interesting that people think that, however irrational her worries are, he should promise not to do something quite sensible in order to appease her.

I wonder if it would work the other way round, that is, if it was the mother who popped across the road and the dad who was kicking off about it. Or would people be saying "Ignore him, he is an ar*e - what does he know?'

Swedes Thu 25-Jun-09 09:22:06

I always like Seeker's posts on matters concerning parents with an over-heightened sense of danger.

MmeLindt Thu 25-Jun-09 09:36:26

DH got on the wrong bus a month ago and I had to go out and pick him up. It was the most worrying 10 mins of my life, but there was no ohter way of getting the idiot home at 11.30pm.

I was furious and told him that if he did it again I would make him walk home (about an hours walk). But I did not hold a grudge, especially as he was most apologetic and promised never to do it again.

In this case, he was across the road, in view of the house and he was getting pint of milk, not doing a weekly shop.

SIBU

TheYearOfTheCatMPADist Thu 25-Jun-09 09:59:03

I agree with seeker - he has obviously promised not to do it again just for a quiet life.

clemette Thu 25-Jun-09 10:08:11

I would do it. If we had a shop across the road from us, and they sold chocolate and DH was out, I might consider that to be an emergency...

mayorquimby Thu 25-Jun-09 10:25:40

sibu, he popped over to the shop.no real danger there.

also don't get the attitude of "well if it upsets her so much he shouldn't do it again" that seems to pop up time and again on here to sensible things.

Another vote here to say she IBU, for all the reasons above. We have a shop right across the road too, I would and have popped over there (after double-checking I have the key and monitor), and honestly don't see why it is any more risky than being in the house or garden and possibly having an accident which then nobody would know about.

Rubyrubyrubyinthegame Thu 25-Jun-09 12:09:43

I think that what he did was absolutely fine.

dollius Thu 25-Jun-09 12:13:05

I would do this, definitely, so would DH - neither of us would think anything of it. He hasn't done anything wrong and she is BU.

I wouldn't do what he did, but I don't know why.
DH probably would if we had a shop that close, and so if he did it, I would be annoyed but then realise I couldn't really explain why, so would realise IWBU to be annoyed (I hope )
I think it's a primitive thing about being on your own land - feels much safer somehow even though I'm sure it's not. I suppose people have measures in place to stop other people encroaching on their own space - when you leave that area you mingle with strange people, and it's people, not baths, stairs or toasters that we really fear!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now