To be annoyed at myself for not knowing what to say.

(43 Posts)
IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 15-Jun-13 18:27:03

The woman behind the counter at the local shop ( although I have never seen her before) said to DS " have you got your dad something nice for tommorow then ?" he looked perplexed and said no. " didn't you make something at school?" "Er..."
Ds looked really confused and I just stood there, and then said " oh, is it soon then? I hadn't realised. Thanksbye"
I actually hadn't realised it was tomorrow, but we dont do it anyway. Ds sees his dad about 5 times a year, and to send him a card saying Worlds Greatest Dad would be a bit weird. I mean,if ds suddenly decided to do that I wouldn't say anything, but I am not exactly suggesting it.
I wish I had fixed her with a steely glare and said..what? aibu to feel annoyed that she even asked? Surely she must know that not everyone has a dad?
It's the same discomfort I feel when the school has "dads day" . Grr. Ds never really say much about any of this stuff, so aibu to feel annoyed on his behalf?
Sorry, ramble, but its just got me thinking about it all. Should I make ds send his dad a card?? Aargh.

Sparklymommy Sat 15-Jun-13 18:32:18

Have you spoken to your ds about it? If he is not bothered then I wouldn't worry. If he is, then maybe ask him what he would like to do. If he is upset by people mentioning it then perhaps you could say to the shop assistant that its a touchy subject.

HenriettaPye Sat 15-Jun-13 18:32:40

I don't think this woman meant any offence, she was only trying to make conversation!

WorraLiberty Sat 15-Jun-13 18:34:37

She probably thought he was someone else

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 15-Jun-13 18:35:37

Nah, I havnt brought if up with ds. He is pretty oblivious I think.
It just annoys me when people take it for granted that everybody has a dad.

HenriettaPye Sat 15-Jun-13 18:38:31

Your DS has a father he sees 5 times a year. I grew up without a dad AT mother and him split when she was pregnant, she christened me her religion so he wanted nothing to do with me. I grew up with all those questions, didn't bother me though. People just see days like this as a conversation starter.

Sparklymommy Sat 15-Jun-13 18:38:42

Totally understand that! My dh keeps reminding me - "it's Father's Day tomorrow" he doesn't seem to realise how hard that is for me as my own dad passed away a few years ago. Obviously I want to celebrate with him and the dc but it still hurts that my own dad isn't here to be honoured to.

LastTangoInDevonshire Sat 15-Jun-13 18:41:38

My God, soon people won't be able to speak at all OP. She obviously was trying to be nice and talk to your DS, not offend you!

thebody Sat 15-Jun-13 18:43:48

Op am sure she was just making conversation.

Sparkly, so sorry chik, maybe tell your dh how you feel.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 15-Jun-13 18:44:44

Oh I totally feel for you; she was a bit presumptious. Don't feel bad. You're everything to him. brew flowers

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 15-Jun-13 18:45:30

Sparkly me too. I miss my Dad such a lot. I've got some lovely flowers to take to him. Can you do the same?

seesensepeople Sat 15-Jun-13 18:49:17

OP, I'm with you! My DH died suddenly 3 years ago - I absolutely dread father's day and the big build up before it.

My kids would be devastated by questions like that from a stranger, they are not equipped to respond...

AnotherLovelyCupOfTea Sat 15-Jun-13 18:50:37

I don't think it's "just trying to make conversation". I know from the various busy bodies who've said it to me that it's really fishing for information.

SummersHere Sat 15-Jun-13 18:52:06

I've had this too, at my local corner shop funnily enough, except it isn't funny when your child is fatherless. The man in question also took it upon himself to tell me I needed to find myself a husband shock.
He was very weird and inappropriate though and I eventually mentioned it to the shop owner as I was uncomfortable with his constant personal questions and thankfully he no longer works there.
I always use the term parents rather than mum or dad as I know quite a few children who have lost mothers as well as those without fathers.

My dad died when I was very young and this used to come up quite often in school/from random strangers/new people. It never phased me as a child, as this was normal for me so my reaction was also to be pretty nonplussed by it. I can understand your reaction OP but I'm sure your son would not be upset by it at this age

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 15-Jun-13 18:54:33

Weeell LastTango, I don't think its some new fangled pc gorn mad idea that you try not to put people on th spot. s'basic manners. I was just a bit surprised when she kept at it!
I dont think she thought knew him worra.
Ta for the cuppa NeoMaxi!

Sparklymommy Sat 15-Jun-13 18:54:50

I will take some flowers to my dads grave, yes. But it's not the same. Miss my dad terribly sad

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 15-Jun-13 18:57:04

god,yes, that would be awful seesense. Sorry for your loss x

RikeBider Sat 15-Jun-13 19:29:54

I think she was probably just trying to make conversation. Schools are a bit more careful about this these days, but most people will assume children have a dad.

I think you should talk to your DS so he understands that his situation may be a little unusual so people might make this mistake, but nothing is meant by it. It won't be the last time he is asked about his dad.

jammiedonut Sat 15-Jun-13 19:42:12

I think yabu for being annoyed that you didn't say something. Yes, in this day and age it probably isn't prudent to ask anyone about fathers day when so many children are without their fathers. However I don't think she needed to go home feeling bad about herself for asking im sure what she thought was an innocent question. What satisfaction would you have gained from making a comment back? In situations like this you just have to rise above it and sigh at the naivety of some people.

cortado Sat 15-Jun-13 19:54:53

Presumably you object to any recognition of children's mothers on the same grounds.

helenthemadex Sat 15-Jun-13 20:00:02

YABU she was trying to make conversation, I do understand how you feel though, my youngest dd doesnt see her father her two elder sisters do (same father) and in school they have been making things for fathers day. She came out of school the other day and said we have been making something for fathers day I need to tell my teacher I dont have a daddy, she is 4 she was very matter of fact about it, I was sad and had a little cry about it later

CrapBag Sat 15-Jun-13 20:05:09

Sorry but YABU. How is she to know that your DS doesn't have much of a relationship with his dad? Are all children not to have their dads mentioned in case theirs isn't around much?

For mothers day, DS's school asked them to take in £1 so they could pick a card and present. I thought this was such a lovely idea. For fathers day they could buy cards for 50p but no mention of a present. Its a shame that mothers day and fathers day was not treated the same.

I grew up without my mum but I do know that people assume you have one.

AnotherLovelyCupOfTea Sat 15-Jun-13 20:14:05

the making conversation excuse is bullshit. she's never seen your son come into the local shop in how many years with a father has she??

People KNOW that 1 in 3 marriages break down, that co-habiting couples who have children are even more likely than married couples to split up. It happens. ALL the time, and yet people think no they don't that 'where is your daddy?' is an acceptable conversational gambit to a young child whom has never, in that place, been seen with a father. I'm sorry but that is HORSE SHIT


AnotherLovelyCupOfTea Sat 15-Jun-13 20:14:49


IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 15-Jun-13 20:15:13

I dont know about " in this day and age" . I knew loads of kids who didn't have dads 25 years ago.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 15-Jun-13 20:26:09

I think all shop assistants should just keep their mouths shut at all times just in case they offend somebody.
Then of course we'll get threads about how rude they are.
They can't win.hmm

hersheys123 Sat 15-Jun-13 20:26:36

Actually every child does have a dad.

Tune in tomorrow for another startling biological revelation...

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 15-Jun-13 20:26:46

I probably wouldn't so about mothers in certain situations, no cortado.
I know a little girl with no mum ( no contact) just a dad, and that must be worse, I think, simply because its more common to not have a dad, and people do generally assume you have a mum.
i still think " dads day" at school is silly. It is supposed to " support male centred learning" or somesuch, in which case I dont see why they can't just have " mens day".

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 15-Jun-13 20:27:27

I think people are being awful to the OP....she's obviously going to be sensitive about the fact that her DS does not have an "active" Dad in his life ffs. how rude people are not to even consider that this might hurt at times and cause her to be sensitive and want to vent a bit.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 15-Jun-13 20:28:41

I agree that "Dad's Day" is silly. Why not "Special Person Day" where every child brings their special person....can be a parent, aunt, Grandparent, uncle, friend...whatever! It's far more inclusive.

JoyceDivision Sat 15-Jun-13 20:33:57

why not family day? Off tangent a bit, at my dds school they had a elderly parishoners (catholic school attached to local church) and egrandparnets lunch, andiere one class as their performace sang The Luminieres,but instead of 'I belong to you, you belong to me, you're my sweetheart' they sang 'Ibelong to you, you belong to me you're my Grandma.. I belomg to you,you belong tome you're my Grandad' It was absolutely ace!! grin

pleiadianpony Sat 15-Jun-13 20:38:11

A youth club leader I know was talking about making father's day cards with the kids last week. I asked him if he had any thoughts about the kids that didn't have dads at home. He said 'i hadn't even thought about that!' I despair of this ignorance.

YANBU to not know what to say...silly woman!

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 15-Jun-13 20:44:26

Why any sort of day really?
Both Mothers and Fathers days bring on so much angst on MN.
The only winners are the card manufacturers.

HooverFairy Sat 15-Jun-13 20:44:34

Hmm, I think (as lots of others have already pointed out) that she was only trying to make conversation, but that doesn't mean that YABU. If you'd have had a massive go at her then I would be saying different! But you didn't, you dealt with an uncomfortable situation. Some people just speak without thinking, its not really appropriate to ask questions like that. Your DS probably isn't phased by the question so please don't beat yourself up about it. Unfortunately, this is probably going to happen again so focus on equipping your DS with how to handle it rather than feeling guilty about his dad not being there for him. You are his world, and he wont feel like he has anything missing smile.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 15-Jun-13 20:54:36

AnotheLovely patently relationship break down doesn't mean the child doesn't still have two parents confused

I think yabu Op - I can understand why it bothers you,but for it to bother you enough that you wish you'd said something outright rude to the woman is a bit ott.

exexpat Sat 15-Jun-13 21:04:30

hersheys123 - 'actually every child does have a dad' - sadly not true.

My children do not have a dad because he died nearly 7 years ago.

Some children might have had a man involved in their conception who then walked out before they were born, or before they were old enough to get to know him.

Some children are the product of donor insemination by single mothers or lesbian couples.

Some children have fathers who are abusive, addicted, criminal etc and have never done anything to earn a place in the child's life.

There are plenty of children with no one to send a card to on father's day.

Musicaltheatremum Sat 15-Jun-13 21:07:59

This is my children's 2nd Father's Day without their father. He was 50 when he died. My own father is 80 and I really good health. I found it really hard buying his card again this year knowing my 2 (20 and 17) had no one to give to. I think people need to be tactful in these situations.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 15-Jun-13 21:20:04

Come to think of it, DS is lucky he has not had to deal with the death of a parent. And i agree lady beagle- the mothers day threads on here alone...!
I dont normally think about the whole missing dad thing, but DS is 7 now, and it is maybe beginning to affect him in other ways. I have started teaching him football, after i realised he did not have any clue what the rules were after watching him play with his friends! Ok, he is never going to be a massive footie fan, but i want him to be able to fit in!

crumblepie Sat 15-Jun-13 21:57:19

yabu seems like no one can mention anything nowadays without people getting annoyed .

maddening Sat 15-Jun-13 22:01:27

Yabu - the world can't start pretending that fathers don't exist just because your ex is a fool who doesn't treasure his beautiful son.

seesensepeople Sat 15-Jun-13 22:06:28

exexpat and musicaltheatremum - I will be thinking of you tomorrow xx

HamsterDam Sat 15-Jun-13 22:15:52

new girl at work asked me if i would be seeing my dad tomorrow. he died when i was young, it is uncomfortable for me because i don't like telling people he's dead. i didn't tell her just said I've only got my grandad and i will be seeing him . love my grandad he has been the best grandad ever, always made time for us taught us things and took us places. almost made up for not having a dad

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