Man in Sainsbury's cafe-was I out of order?

(348 Posts)
Beatrixpotty Sat 29-Jun-13 13:30:04

Took 3 DCs (2,3 & baby) on my own to Sainsburys,3 year old was hungry after swimming so decided to go to cafe first.
Was getting the lunch when 3yr old DS went to man in queue with a croissant on his tray and pointed to it & toched it saying "I want one of those."Big fuss,man said don't want that,boy touched it etc,lady on till sympathetic and said of course,no problem,I'll get another one etc.

Meanwhile I was furious with DS,he knows not to touch in cafes & shops,and I td him off,made him come and stand with me,hold my hand(which he hates) and wait quietly.I also made him go and apologise to the man,which he did.
The man did not even acknowledge him though and said loudly to me "Just control your children!"
I was very offended.I was upset he had not accepted the apology from DS.He was none the worse off as he had a new croissant.
The cashier said to me "Sorry about that rude man" afterwards and I said "Don't worry,I'm going to say something."
So once my DCs were nicely sitting down I went over and said "Excuse me,no need to be so rude,my son apologised,he's only 3 and I had already told him off." He then said "Well it's not very nice for someone to touch your breakfast."
I then said something about don't criticise me and I think you were unnecessarily rude" and walked off.
We then continued eating ours co,the DCs were well behaved,that was the end.
I know I was angry and maybe acted impulsively confronting him and an now wondering if I was out of order?I'm prepared to be told I was,I'm not expecting everyone to agree with me as I can see it from both sides but after what the cashier said I felt maybe he was unnecessarily rude to me?

He over reacted! Children are not going to learn through critism.

I think he was a bit rude but you totally over reacted.

He did touch his food, some people really can't stand that. You should have ignored him after being in the queue, going over to him was over the top.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 13:34:32

You both over reacted.

BringOn2014 Sat 29-Jun-13 13:34:40

YABU I would be furious if a random 3 yr old came up and touched my food, and I say that as someone who has a 3yr old DD. Im afraid I agree with the man, learn to control your children. My DD would not go and touch someone else food.

saintmerryweather Sat 29-Jun-13 13:34:41

i think if it had ended with your ds touching his croissant and you not doing anything about it you would have been unreasonable. as it is, yadnbu he was rude to you and your child

I wouldn't have wanted to eat food that someone else's child had been touching. He didn't need to be so abrupt about it, but you didn't need to go and say anything afterwards either. Your DS is 3, sometimes they do things they shouldn't, and it can be awkward and embarassing. Apologise, shrug it off, and move on.

saintmerryweather Sat 29-Jun-13 13:36:05

the man got a new croissant the child and mother both apologised and the man should have accepted the apology like an adult

OwlinaTree Sat 29-Jun-13 13:36:52

You did the right things up to going over to him, i think you should have left it there tbh. You and your son apologised, man didn't accept, end of.

He sounds like he doesn't know much about 3 year olds!

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 29-Jun-13 13:38:48

He didn't need to respond like that, but you didn't need to make a big deal about it. At the point you went up to him and raised the issue again you WBU

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 13:39:01

Some people dislike children.
Even more so when their breakfast has just been prodded by a child. He has no reason to tolerate it, why should he?
Yes he was rude. I was rude to the owner of the crotch sniffing dog that made me spill my coffee.
It would have been nicer and kinder for him to have said 'Never mind, children will be children' but he didn't. You continued the disagreement when you told him off, he could have told you to fuck off then and there but he didn't.
You were both rude.

raisah Sat 29-Jun-13 13:39:41

I am sorry that he upset you and I hope he's not affected you too much. People like that man. It wind me up because they become so disproportionately rude while trying to teach everybody manners. They are so hypocritical, an old woman at my drs surgery was talking loudly and decided to tell my dd off for talking loudly to her doll. My dd was not as loud as that old bat.

OTTMummA Sat 29-Jun-13 13:40:05

I would of eaten the croissant your 3 yr old touched tbh you can't die from 3yr old cooties can you? :S
He was unreasonably grumpy and rude, I would have just ignored him and told DS well done for apologising.

LastTangoInDevonshire Sat 29-Jun-13 13:40:14

You shouldn't have gone up to him. It was all sorted at the till - no need for further confrontation. YWBU.

eurozammo Sat 29-Jun-13 13:41:54

I agree with the man.

ihearsounds Sat 29-Jun-13 13:45:04

When your child wandered off, did you call him back then, or was it after he had touched another persons food?

He should have accepted your apology but he didn't.

Having said that, the poor man just went out for breakfast and had a child poke at his food and then a mother who harangued him. I think you were lucky he didn't tell you to fuck off, I would have (although I probably would have accepted your apology).

Sounds like you were both in the wrong to me.

mayorquimby Sat 29-Jun-13 13:47:54

why in the name of god would you have gone back over to him a second time.
You found him rude and he clearly didn't want to interact with you.
Just leave him be.

notanyanymore Sat 29-Jun-13 13:49:12

I think you were perfectly reasonable. Your dc did something he shouldn't, you dealt with it and your child tried to appologise. I think you did the right thing, you weren't rude but you did demonstrate to your dc both how you expect him to behave and also that you will stick up for him in front of oversized idiots/bullies and not be intimidated. I say, well done you you should be proud!

So all the interaction was from your side, your son touched his food, then went up and spoke to him again, (apologising) then you harassing him at his table for not responding in the way that you wanted him to. Leave the poor guy alone. He's allowed to be unsociable and not like children and from your OP he didn't swear at you, didn't raise his voice, just objected that some one had messed about with his food, and didn't want to interact with you and your child. UABU

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 13:50:23

Ywbvu to confront him and continue the argument.

You thought he was rude but you behaved worse actually.

Gruntfuttock Sat 29-Jun-13 13:50:34

I also think you should have left the man in peace.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 29-Jun-13 13:51:00

OP I don't know if this helps, but my dad has what we think is undiagnosed Asperger's. (A doctor has suggested this and he fits many of the characteristics, but wouldn't pursue the matter - he is from a generation where they didn't test at school.)

My dad would have reacted very badly to that, but it's part of the way he is. He cannot bear children's voices and he has a real obsession about children touching things and 'making them sticky'.

Since joining MN, I often wonder if a child who is seemingly acting up may have SN. Maybe it would help you to think the same about this man. Perhaps he couldn't control his reaction very well. You made your point, now get over it.

ZillionChocolate Sat 29-Jun-13 13:51:05

You started this by failing to control your child. He was not unreasonable in being grumpy. He could have graciously accepted your apology but he wasn't obliged to. You were unreasonable in prolonging the incident.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 13:52:00

Why wasn't your 3 year old under control in the first place.... You say he hates holding your hand. So you let him rule the roost?

JedwardScissorhands Sat 29-Jun-13 13:52:45

YABU. I think you should have called your child back before he touched the croissant. I also think you should have apologised, not your 3 year old. Sending a toddler to speak to someone they have already annoyed is not good. Why go you think someone out for a quiet breakfast wants to be bothered by kids.

TotallyBursar Sat 29-Jun-13 13:54:00

People aren't obliged to be accepting of things that they dislike.
Your son acted really inappropriately, you know that and told him off - it is necessary for your little boy to learn to apologise but also that sorry is not a cure all and apologies won't always be accepted if the other person is still unhappy. From what you did next it sounds like you need to learn the same thing. You are cross because he didn't accept what you thought was appropriate recompense & got shirty when he didn't feel the same - you don't get to make those decisions.

YABU to go and tell him off, the situation would never have occurred if you had been hanging on to your toddler & it is no one else's responsibility to make allowances for parents not being able to manage, we are often just lucky people are kind about it.

Also the cashier said the most appropriate thing to try and stop a full on mummy melt down (bearing in mind they have an unhappy customer & wasted food now) so I really wouldn't hang much weight on that considering you went and berated another customer anyway.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 29-Jun-13 13:57:16

yy Bursar

crumblepie Sat 29-Jun-13 13:57:17

i would be pissed off if someone prodded my food,you should of controlled your child and left the bloke alone .

Helpyourself Sat 29-Jun-13 13:57:53

You took a 3,2yo and a baby swimming. That's like the the pentathlon of parenting and if a spat with twat is the only collateral damage you're amazing. Go straight to the swimming pool café next time.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 13:59:55

Why is he a 'twat' ?

Helpyourself Sat 29-Jun-13 14:02:39

I think it's twatty to make a fuss if a 3yo touched your food and then continue moaning after the child's apologised.

Beatrixpotty Sat 29-Jun-13 14:04:10

Oh well looks like I was U.Fair enough.
In answer to why/how it happened in the first place,I had my hands full.Baby in sling,2 year old next to me,3 year old who I thought was sensible,me bending over to pick up the lunch..
I obviously accompanied him him to apologise and also said sorry.
Was probably oversensitive because I don't like to think I can't control my children but going out with 3 under 4 can be hard work sometimes.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sat 29-Jun-13 14:06:14

He sounds like a 3 year old so don't worry about it

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 14:06:40

It may be hard work but that doesn't allow you to verbally abuse people who don't find your children fantastic.

You should have said sorry and left it at that.

He didn't continue moaning he went off to eat his food it was the OP who interrupted him to still go on about it.

perplexedpirate Sat 29-Jun-13 14:08:06

Three year olds aren't sensible.
I agree with the man, I would have been livid.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 14:09:13

He didn't continue moaning??

The op carried it on tho...

Where and how did you take two preschoolers and a baby swimming? Much respect!

Gruntfuttock Sat 29-Jun-13 14:10:08

I feel sorry for the man tbh.

WhoNickedMyName Sat 29-Jun-13 14:11:04

Good god, the poor guy went out for breakfast and ended up having his food prodded, followed by being harassed by you. The cafe also lost out - I assume you didn't offer to pay for the wasted croissant?


ihearsounds Sat 29-Jun-13 14:11:41

So you knew that your child wasn't with you, because you thought that he was off somewhere being sensible?

The man was right. Learn to control your children. You also need to learn that not everyone likes children. Even if people do like children, they certainly do not like them touching food.

And yes i know it's hard. Had 3 under 4. This is what reins and wrist straps are invented for. For the child that doesn't like to hold hands, because like it or not, they cannot wander off when they feel like it.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 14:11:59

That poor cashier, she thought she'd defused the situation.
Just be aware Op, that next time you might get someone who would react much more aggressively to your scolding of them.

DarkWinter Sat 29-Jun-13 14:12:16

You would have got very short shrift if you'd have done that to me, I'm afraid. Your son ruined his breakfast, then you made it worse! I think, actually, that you for off rather lightly.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 14:12:20

If you struggle op, why choose a Saturday to take them? Everywhere is much busier...

TotallyBursar Sat 29-Jun-13 14:13:01

The poor guy isn't a twat, he just doesn't shit rainbows and sunbeams in the face of toddler onslaught - that is most definitely allowed.

Go to a cafe, find someone queueing and go and stick your finger in their ham roll - how long before you were asked to leave? Allowances were made for the fact this was a child.

He was forced into three separate interactions because of something someone else's child did - he had no part in this until he was randomly picked by the toddler.

Experiences like this are why folk avoid 'family friendly' or just have their heart sink when children are herded in to where they are eating.
If you are childless there seems to be a completely unreasonable expectation by some parents that you fawn over and accept whatever behaviour is being allowed - usually disrupting your meal or your enjoyment- and anyone not beaming like an electrified corpse is subhuman because they dislike children (usually your child - no plural) and is just asking for an earful about how dreadful they are. Complete oblivious self absorption.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 14:13:53


HandMini Sat 29-Jun-13 14:15:21

You were unreasonable to go back to him and harangue. I would have felt you were very aggressively.

He sounds a bit ratty. Oh well, no law that says you have to be nice / like children / say things like "oh don't worry about it" when inside you are seething.

You don't know he hadn't just had an equally shit / trying morning (tho I doubt it, how on earth do you take all three swimming? Genuine Q, I have a toddler and a 6 month old and would like to do it)

Floggingmolly Sat 29-Jun-13 14:16:32

You were looking for confrontation going back over to him like that.
Your child should not have touched food on another persons tray, full stop.
Random people in cafes don't have to be sympathetic to your difficulties juggling 3 children, they just want to be left in peace to have their meal.

AmberSocks Sat 29-Jun-13 14:16:53

yanbu he was.

Beatrixpotty Sat 29-Jun-13 14:17:04

Swimming lesson where I don't get in!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Jun-13 14:17:10

I don't think you should have approached him after your son apologised; he apologised, that was the end of it. It's kind - but not aways done - to acknowledge an apology. Kids (all the ones that I know anyway) don't have hygiene standards that I would think ok, but they're kids... as long as they don't touch stuff it's fine.

The cashier probably saw the look on your face and tried to appease you, the customer. Her other customer (the man) had gone. Her heart probably sank at the thought of you making a thing of it again but what could she do? One customer against another? Not very nice for her.

You probably feel aggrieved, shamed, 'got at' and myriad other emotions. You know now that your son does touch so you'll make sure he doesn't in future and it won't happen again. Try to forget it now, not the end of the world.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 14:17:33

So many places don't allow 3 non swimmers to one adult. Yes, how did you do that? confused

JedwardScissorhands Sat 29-Jun-13 14:18:45

Good point about paying for the croissant. You should have offered immediately, the man shouldn't have had to ask.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 14:18:55

It wouldn't be permitted in our local pools, you need an adult for every two children under 8 I think, or it might be an adult per child.
Because adequate supervision is tricky.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 29-Jun-13 14:18:56

Well, you both agree that your child shouldn't have done it. You just didn't enjoy receiving criticism.

It is absolutely fine for other adults not to want to talk to your children and not to know how to, so to address you about them, as relevant. Not nice, not friendly but one kind of normal.

When people are grumpy and rude it's often best to let their behaviour speak for itself, not legitimise it and drag yourself down by engaging with them.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 29-Jun-13 14:19:48

Now now Bursar don't hold back. You say what you feel grin

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 14:20:27

xpost OP, so it was a swimming class and you and your other two were watching. Mystery solved.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 29-Jun-13 14:22:45

I think the whole episode was a bit bizarre tbh. It was Sainsbury's self service - that croissant had been passed by dozens of people any of whom might have breathed on it - and the staff putting it out may well have touched it with their fingers rather than the tongs. He was wrong and then you were wrong by pursuing it.

I was once told by a silver service waitress that when customers were really rude the waiting used to spit in their next course.

You might not die from three year old cooties, but when my boys were three they were (and still are, tbh) willy fiddlers. I wouldn't want an unknown child touching my breakfast!

You were out of order to take it further IMO. It was dealt with, I think the man whose breakfast was ruined was entitled to an opinion.

Nottalotta Sat 29-Jun-13 14:35:12

I wouldn't like a random child to touch my food. I would have been pleased that the parent made the child apologise, but then what is a suitable response? I wouldn't really want to say 'oh don't worry its alright' even to a three yr old. . .

NicknameIncomplete Sat 29-Jun-13 14:52:07

I wouldnt want my own child touching my food never mind someone elses.

I think u need to keep a hold of you children so this doesnt happen again.

Burmobasher Sat 29-Jun-13 15:06:32

Boo fucking hoo, the grown man got his croissant touched, got his knickers in a twist and got given another one - big deal! He was rude and ungracious to a 3 year old and right or wrong my motherly instinct would have kicked in and I would have said something too op.


Mintyy Sat 29-Jun-13 15:10:34

I think he was very ungracious not to accept your ds's apology.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Jun-13 15:14:52

He was ungracious but there was no requirement on him to be gracious. Mother instinct or not, kids can't expect constant adoration, or even tolerance, from the general public when they do things wrong. That's how they learn, I think, from the glares and stares and sometimes sharp words, far more than the head-patting and indulgence.

Mintyy Sat 29-Jun-13 15:16:57

No, he didn't have to be gracious about it and lots of people don't understand or like little children. Its a shame, but that's just the way it is. A sad lesson for your ds to learn.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 15:20:09

How should he have reacted then? He told op to control her children.... We all agree with him! So what should the man have done?

Leverette Sat 29-Jun-13 15:20:22

If I'd seen this incident, I would have thought you were a little unhinged/aggressive to have left your 3 under 4 unaccompanied while you went to have a go at the man.

tittytittyhanghang Sat 29-Jun-13 15:20:39

YANBU, if a 3 year old touching (and i am assuming it was a slight poke, not a full on tussle) your food is enough to put you off then how the fuck was he even managing to eat at a self service where all manners of people have quite probably touched it before him? He sounds like a drama llama to me. And it doesnt give him the right to be an ungracious arsehole to a 3 year old neither.

ecclesvet Sat 29-Jun-13 15:21:10

If a toddler touched my food, I would expect an apology from the mother, not (just) the toddler.

While I do think that bringing up the issue again with the man was a bit silly (poking at a situation that was done and finished) I think the OP is being flamed here for no good reason.

OP you've accepted that you were being U so if I were you I'd step away from this thread now.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 15:26:41

Why is she being flamed? I don't see that she is

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 15:29:10

I don't think the man did anything wrong. You should have just accepted the rebuke on behalf on your son and forgotten about the matter.

tedmundo Sat 29-Jun-13 15:29:11

Leverets .. That was the bit of the tale that caught my eye too! No way coud I leave my 3 at a table alone in a cafe.

Burmobasher Sat 29-Jun-13 15:29:28

So we expect perfect manners from a 3yo but a grown man who should know better acts like a rude knobber and that's ok?
He got his croissant touched, it's not like somebody pulled their pants down and shat on his plate. Ffs

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 15:33:22


The man was rude to the OP not her child.

tedmundo Sat 29-Jun-13 15:33:46

Posted too soon .. They are far too unpredictable to be unattended!and as much as I love them, I am sure others would not approve of their antics.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 15:37:05

Its not about expecting perfect manners from a child, but expecting a parent to control their child and that is all that the man in question pointed out.

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 15:37:14

YANBU. He was rude; since he'd chosen to insult you in public, you were fine to tell him he was rude. The irony of people yelling, "Control your child", when they are clearly unable to control their adult temper, always amazes me.

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 15:39:51

I don't really see telling the OP to control her children and walking away from the situation as being unable to control his temper.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 15:42:02

Neither do I.

OP should have been controlling her children. She wasn't. She then confronted this man because he didn't react to her little darling the way she wanted him to. That is more rude imo.

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 15:43:19

Really, BadLad??? That's the state of manners now? If an adult steps on my foot in a shop and then apologises, which response is polite:

A) Say. don't worry about it, even if it hurt.

B) Loudly tell them "Just watch where you're going!"

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 15:45:33

Especially not if you consider the man's other comment

From the OP

""Well it's not very nice for someone to touch your breakfast.""

Hardly evidence of an out of control temper tantrum.

IWillDoItInAMinute Sat 29-Jun-13 15:45:55

When I hear "you should CONTROL your child" it makes me think of a
dog...or it that just me?

Burmobasher Sat 29-Jun-13 15:47:42

Alisvo, I beg to differ. The man ignored an apology from a little boy (rude) and bellowed across the cafe at the OP (also rude) all because his croissant got touched. How are kids supposed to learn manners if this how an adult behaves?
The cashier was an independent witness and she also called him a rude man

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 15:48:13

You didn't say he wasn't polite, solar. You said he was unable to control his temper.

He was grumpy, admittedly, but he wasn't mad with anger, from the description given.

And there is a difference between an accident and failure to control your children.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 15:48:37

If you want to live in UK society you will occasionally encounter children and indeed 3 year old children. They may occasionally do things they shouldn't but if the mother is trying their best you just have to live with it. I'm sure its slightly annoying if a child gets over excited and pokes your breakfast but its one of those things. The man was a grade A tosser.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 15:48:59

How are kids supposed to learn manners if this how an adult behaves?

That is why the MOTHER should have behaved properly, it is a much worse example to see your Mother behaving like that than a stranger.

SsimTee Sat 29-Jun-13 15:49:01

I would have freaked if somebody had started touching the food i was about to eat. The man was right. You need to control your children when you are in public. My kids would never dream of going up to somebody and touching their food. He is also entitled not to like kids and be left alone. He was very polite by not giving you abuse and telling you to f**k off, as I would have done, when you went up to him to tell him off. Some cheek you've got there. Your out of control kid did touch his food after all. I also hope the cashier sold you that same croissant that your child has touched and not a brand new one.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 15:49:19

'When I hear "you should CONTROL your child" it makes me think of a
dog...or it that just me?'

No, it reminded me of the dog that stuck its nose i my crotch whilst I was carrying a coffee. The owner said 'But he's only being friendly'
I told her to control her bloody animal.

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 15:50:04

It reads to me as if he was standing next to the OP and her child, so not exactly bellowing across the cafe

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 15:50:27

I'm sure its slightly annoying if a child gets over excited and pokes your breakfast but its one of those things

Sorry it isn't "one of those things" at all. One of those things suggests its something that is unavoidable and people just have to put up with. This could have been avoided if the OP had kept her child next to her and stopped him before he got close enough to someone else to touch their food

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 15:50:45


DoodleAlley Sat 29-Jun-13 15:51:56

YABU to have gone back and carried it on. I would have felt very attacked by that.

I would not have wanted food prodded by the hands of a small child which might have just been on the floor, up their nose, down their pants.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 15:52:02

He didn't bellow, just like op didn't 'march over' to the man 'abandoning' her 3 young children

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 15:53:01

I think that response is an inability to control his temper, clearly. He responded in anger and annoyance, rather than with polite dispassion, which is what he would have done if he had exercised some control over his temper.

Iwilldoitinaminute I also think of dogs!

There is no significant social diffence between a 3-year-old touching a croissant (FFS) and an adult accidentally injuring you. Indeed, TouchGate caused no harm whatsoever. Shouldn't have been that difficult to politely accept a toddler's apology.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 15:54:50

He did accept the boys apology tho... Did you expect him to lie and say 'its ok' to him?

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 15:56:19

So if anyone ever expresses annoyance at anything, they are unable to control their temper?

That might work for Mr. Spock, but on Earth it's complete rubbish.

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 15:56:50

Eyesunderarock, now see I think your response was fine. Dog owner did not apologise, and I do expect people to control their animals. I don't expect children to be always and ever under perfect control, but I do expect an apology from the child and/or parent when they stray. That's how they learn to be polite adults, who accept apologies with good grace.

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 15:59:25

HeySoulSister - yes, of course he should say it's okay. It was okay. He had his food touched; it was replaced; boy apologised. Yes, the only polite response it 'fine', or similar. Not 'control your child'. That's rude.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 16:00:05

Yes, but I like small children and I dislike dogs.
Who knows, the man in the cafe with the contaminated croissant might feel entirely the opposite.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 16:01:10

But it's not ok... To touch food... The 3 year old would at best get mixed messages, at worst think he was 'ok' touching and can do it again

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 16:01:32

Nobody is obliged to accept an apology. It sounds like the man realised that the fault was with the OP, more than the child, hence his comment that she should control him.

Then he walks away, content at having made his point, but obviously he has already proved to solarbright that he is a nutter who can't control his temper and flies off the handle at the slightest provocation.

The OP did the right thing in making her son apologise, although it perhaps would have been better to apologise herself. Once it became apparent that the man wasn't satisfied with that, she should have left it.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 16:02:20

This could have been avoided if the OP had kept her child next to her

Well yes if a child is treated like a dog and given no freedom or chance to learn responsibility then it could have been avoided. Personally I believe 3 year olds are old enough to be given a bit of freedom in safe environments so they can learn how to behave, most 3 year olds are able to understand and follow basic instructions, yes they might overstep the boundaries now and again, but that's how they learn.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 16:04:07

A cafe is not a safe environment to give a child freedom.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 16:05:07

Safe environment? A cafe? Did he have hot tea/coffee on his tray as well as a croissant?

pigletmania Sat 29-Jun-13 16:05:21

Yanbu at all the man was rude, for all you sanctimonious parents don't your children ever put a foot wrong! He got a new croissant fgs. But you should have not gone back to,him and re started te argument

IWillDoItInAMinute Sat 29-Jun-13 16:06:32

So glad it's not just me !! I hate it when dogs do that.

I have only (so far) been told to control my DCS once. I was quite upset about it and did answer back. What made it worse was they were with my DH but the man didn't say anything to him confused

pigletmania Sat 29-Jun-13 16:06:36

The op did pull her ds up on it ad made him apologise, she was not letting him get away with it!

Nerfmother Sat 29-Jun-13 16:07:43

Depends what the context is. If the lid was charging around being annoying and as part of that wandered over and touched his food then I can see it might have been building. Ds has aspergers and would absolutely freak if some one touched his food. There are lots and lots of people allowed out in public who would have issues with this - their lives are spent dealing with unexpected events, some more upsetting than others. People with OCD, people who avoid children due to ttc, people with allergies - best to suck it up really.

Nerfmother Sat 29-Jun-13 16:07:56

Kid not lid!

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 16:09:17

BadLad, I didn't say he was a nutter. I said he was rude. Rude because he was unable to control his temper and responded... rudely.

And yes, you are rather obliged to accept an apology over trivial social faux pas. That be good manners. If the child had rammed him with a shopping trolley in the leg, well, that's a different story. That HURTS.

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Sat 29-Jun-13 16:09:30

He was rude and grumpy but you should have left it.

I would forget about it smile

Dominodonkey Sat 29-Jun-13 16:12:04

YAb totally unreasonable.

Your child's behaviour was completely unacceptable. You should have apologised not your child and the man's response (though not polite) was totally true.

To go and abuse a stranger because he didn't accept your child's ridiculous behaviour as ok is incredibly self absorbed and rude. If I had been in the cafe I would have been unable to stop myself telling you that harassing the man was shocking behaviour.

Your original post suggests that you now realise your behaviour may have been OTT, the fact that you are still in doubt astounds me.

ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 16:13:05

I then said something about don't criticise me and I think you were unnecessarily rude" and walked off.

Oh the fucking irony! You tell him not to criticise you while criticising him.

To be quite honest, at that point I'd have told you in no uncertain terms to fuck the fuck off out of my face.

When you apologise to someone, there's no obligation for them to accept it; it would be meaningless if it was automatically accepted and would basically mean that any behaviour is acceptable so long as an apology is offered.

The poor man did nothing wrong. It was all you and your child's doing.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 16:13:08

True Pompeii - but random strangers don't have to like it.

Dominodonkey Sat 29-Jun-13 16:13:35

solar Using the wrong cutlery is a 'trivial social faux pas'

someone sticking their fingers in your food is not.

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 16:14:03

I suppose I'll have to disagree with you, Solarbright. For me, he most certainly was able to control his temper. He expressed his opinion, and left it at that. Failing to control his temper for me is would mean effing and blinding, and wanting to continue the argument.

And, no, nobody is obliged to be satisfied with an apology. If you offer one, and they aren't satisfied, but they walk away, then you do the same. That is good manners.

Lweji Sat 29-Jun-13 16:14:18

So, the 3 year old was in the queue with a croissant on his tray...
Oh, wait.

Personally, it wouldn't have bothered me, unless the child actually took the croissant.
I tend to be fairly tolerant of children, unless they are really running riot.
Touching a croissant is not that bad, FGS.

Of course apologising doesn't make it all good, but at least the man should have acknowledged the apology and maybe tell the child not to do it again.

Challenging the man could have potentially been dangerous for you, though.

everlong Sat 29-Jun-13 16:14:37

I don't think yabu.

The bloke was a nobber. I might have done the same as you tbh depending on my mood.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 16:15:58

Why could it have been dangerous?

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 16:17:33

Touching a croissant is not that bad, FGS

I don't know. My two-year-old nephew regularly has his fingers up his nose. And I saw him scratching his bum tonight.

Sure, toddlers will be toddlers, but I can see why people might prefer not to have their food touched by toddlers they have never met before.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 16:18:21

Because anyone who doesn't adore small children is obviously aggressive, insane and potentially violent?
Especially if they are.......male.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 16:18:30

Luckily it was before he paid for it so cafe exchanged it!

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 16:19:26

Alisvolatpropiis, nobody has to like anything, but the general idea is that manners help us rub along rather than break into fights every time our personal annoyances trip us up. Ignoring a 3 year old trying to apologise is extremely rude.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 16:20:42

Do you think that lack of a breakfast might have made him insist that the OP replace it?
Or would he just place the croissant on the table and say 'As you've fingered it, you might as well have it' and walked out.
All those roads not taken. Those potential story lines unfed.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 16:21:06

Yes and the OP should have left it. He was rude. She then became confrontational rather than just letting it go like a reasonable person.

ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 16:21:17

Rude because he was unable to control his temper...

Yes, he sounds like a complete maniac from OP's description.


BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 16:21:21

the general idea is that manners help us rub along rather than break into fights every time our personal annoyances trip us up

He walked away from the situation - the OP decided to carry on when she went over to him. Absolutely nothing that the man did was ever going to make them break into fight.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 16:24:39

Visions of OP holding small child in his face:
'See what you've done, you monster? Crushed his belief in society s welcoming and interesting, made his pilgrim soul shrivel. Look at his misery because you refused to accept his apology, his childish spirit rebuffed.
Have you no shame, no pity, no altruism?'

<sniff> Little Nell pathos, will no one think of the children?

I can only judge based on what I'd do faced with having suffered at the hands of OP's food-touching 3yo.

Nothing. Precisely nothing. In fact it wouldn't even enter my head to say a thing, apart from 'Looks like he wants a croissant!'

However I do understand some people have more stringent standards when it comes to food hygiene grin so, perhaps if I had had a problem with it, I'd have asked discreetly for a new one. But then I'd have accepted the 3yo's apology, because I'm not an arse.

IWillDoItInAMinute Sat 29-Jun-13 16:33:12

grin @ Eyes

soverylucky Sat 29-Jun-13 16:39:56

The man was NBU to want a different croissant after the three year old had touched it.
YANBU to tell your son off and make him apologise.
He was BU to not acknowledge your son.
You were BU to carry on making a mountain out of a mole hill.

To me I think it is difficult to assess fully when we don't know how you told him off. Many a time I have seen children be naughty and the response from the parents has been somewhat pointless.

perplexedpirate Sat 29-Jun-13 16:43:40

As an aside, I once got told to control my children. The little horrors weren't even mine!
They were running around in a pub while their parents got pissed and I happened to be the nearest adult.
Now that was annoying. angry

Bowlersarm Sat 29-Jun-13 16:43:40

OP I do feel for you because you sound like you were harassed at the time.

I think your mistake was to pursue it though. Your DS did wrong; he apologised on your request; grumpy man should have accepted but he didn't and that was his prerogative; the whole incident should have ended there.

The situation had run out of steam but you chose to start it all up again.

It happened, now try and forget about it.

Personally I believe 3 year olds are old enough to be given a bit of freedom in safe environments so they can learn how to behave

I agree, but a cafe is certainly not a 'safe environment' to allow a 3yr old to go free range.

MalcolmTuckersMum Sat 29-Jun-13 16:57:09

Totally not to do with the OP's problem but <<<respect>>> to Bursar for not one but two brilliant witticisms in one post back there

"Shitting rainbows" - fabulous!


"beaming like an electrified corpse" - beyond fabulous. grin

As you were...........

miemohrs Sat 29-Jun-13 17:06:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

everlong Sat 29-Jun-13 17:11:29

Come on. The boy is 3. If he were 10 and had mauled the bloody croissant I could forgive and understand the bloke's behaviour.

And it didn't spoil his breakfast, he got a fresh croissant!

Some people don't live in the real world.

Lweji Sat 29-Jun-13 17:12:33

You never know when the other person might becom violent.

I was once threatened by a woman of "taking you off that chair" when with my 8 year old.
obviously she didn't expect me to have krav maga training, with my light frame and mild mannered albeit firm attitude in general, plus smart coat and bag, and she could have come out really bad, but I digress

SoleSource Sat 29-Jun-13 17:13:17


Elquota Sat 29-Jun-13 17:15:17

We all make mistakes! If you were very apologetic he should have accepted this. Sadly, more people are unforgiving these days, which makes the world a worse place.

themaltesecat Sat 29-Jun-13 17:17:13

I feel a bit of sympathy for that man. Your child was ill-behaved, and you were right to make him apologise.

I don't understand why you went back and started haranguing the man again when the incident was closed.

Ledkr Sat 29-Jun-13 17:19:37

The man sounds like a pompous arse.
The croissant was exchanged free of charge and the child was reprimanded so there was no need for him to bear a ridiculous grudge towards it all.
I hate people like this, they seem to go around all indignant and spoiling for a row.
Life really is too short.

ZZZenagain Sat 29-Jun-13 17:23:05

I think you should have left it at the point where you got ds to hold your hand and told him it was not ok to touch the man's food.

You went over and criticised him forbeing rude then told him not to criticise you. A bit weird that.

Ferraro1 Sat 29-Jun-13 17:23:08

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

PuppyMonkey Sat 29-Jun-13 17:27:03

grin this thread will go into classics won't it?

Croissant Contamination Fury.

Fwiw, I think some people on here are mistaking a small boy wandering over and touching a piece of food with a teenager or adult wandering over and pissing all over it.

Ledkr Sat 29-Jun-13 17:27:13

Op had three dc with her though. Have no e if you ever been in a position where your toddler wriggled free and touched something? Cos I am frequently.

themaltesecat Sat 29-Jun-13 17:27:18

Just saw Bursar's "shitting rainbows" comment upthread.

Bravo! grin

Ledkr Sat 29-Jun-13 17:30:57

I spend half my life chasing after my 2.5 yr old who is a bolter and I've only got her to keep an eye on.
If you are queuing in a cafe with three kids and a tray I can absolutely see why the 3 yr old managed to do some croissant poking. The op isn't an octopus and let's not forget it was saisburys cafe not the bloody Ivy

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sat 29-Jun-13 17:31:01

He was rude, but then you were ruder so unfortunately you lost the moral high ground.

I've seen 3 year olds with their fingers up their noses, messing round on the floor, shoving their hands down their underpants, etc. There's no way of knowing if the 3 year old that's just fondled your breakfast had washed their hands moments before, or been firking round in something truly disgusting. I play it safe myself! Wouldn't be rude about it though. An apology would more than suffice and as long as the offending breakfast item was replaced, there would be no problem.

Tailtwister Sat 29-Jun-13 17:31:03

Well OP, sometimes these things happen. Any reasonable person would understand that. You had 3 children under 4 and I'm guessing 2 hands at the most (not 3!). No doubt you were doing your best and I would challenge any parent to say that at one time or another they haven't dropped the ball. I hate the phrase 'control your children'. They are people (albeit young ones) and not animals! Yes, your son shouldn't have touched the man's croissant and he was within his rights to ask for another one. Unfortunately, he chose to be rude and ungracious when he ignored your son's apology and decided to continue (and worsen) the situation by using that ridiculous phrase.

If it had been me, I would have offered to swop the croissant with your son and accepted his apology.

Yes, you were unreasonable to confront him further but you did so as you were (understandably) furious. I would have struggled to leave it too.

Beatrixpotty Sat 29-Jun-13 17:38:18

Thanks for all the replies.
I totally accept that it is wrong to touch food,understood why he was upset,apologised to him,told off my son and apologised too and did all I could to rectify the situation.
But he chose to ignore our apologies and all I got was a loud insult in return.Which provoked me.
I totally agree though that I should have left it there and fumed silently.

It has been interesting reading all your comments,thank you,especially for the sympathetic ones!

ZZZenagain Sat 29-Jun-13 17:39:42

it is really hard when people are horrible to your dc, we all know how that is but sometimes rather than have your dc hear more of the same, it is best to leave it IME. I've certainly had some unpleasant experiences and I am sure most of us have

fluffyraggies Sat 29-Jun-13 17:41:44

''man said don't want that,boy touched it etc,lady on till sympathetic and said of course,no problem,I'll get another one''

OP made son appologise.

''The man did not even acknowledge him though and said loudly to me "Just control your children!"

This sounds like someone unable to control their temper??? Really??? I'd have told you loudly to control your kids as well if one of them poked my food!

I think it is unwise to make a child this young appologise to a stranger. i feel it's meaningless and risks a snub to the child. Which is exactly what happened. Better to appologise to the man yourself and go reprimand your child and explain the boy what he had done wrong in privacy. I'm no fan of seeing very young children told off and forced to appologise. It was your responsibility, OP, to smooth the waters.

Then you went over to the guy and started it all off again! Unbelievable!

themaltesecat Sat 29-Jun-13 17:41:53

Yes, you were unreasonable to confront him further but you did so as you were (understandably) furious. I would have struggled to leave it too.

The irony is that the man has been accused on this thread of being "unable to control his temper" (though while he was waspish, there is no evidence of him losing it at any stage)- the man should control himself! He has also been called a twat for asking the OP to control her children- a parent should not have to control her children like dogs!

The only person who lost control here was the OP. Self-control is an excellent trait and yes, you should control your children until they are old enough to behave properly.

Please don't let your children grow up thinking it's OK to abuse strangers when they don't accept your apology gracefully enough for your liking, when they have been harmed or put out by YOUR behaviour.

fluffyraggies Sat 29-Jun-13 17:42:51

Xpost with your last post OP. Silent fuming would have been better, yes smile

ImNotBloody14 Sat 29-Jun-13 17:43:49

You over reacted- yes he was rude but you dont get to demand other people are mannerly and polite. I find it very funny that you think you had a right to reprimand and adult about their attitude.

You should have just spoken to your ds about how the man spoke rudely and that it wasnt ok to do that. And that sometime he will come across rude people but not to get annoyed by it because its their problem not any reflection on you. So dont take in board their negativity.

broccolirocks Sat 29-Jun-13 17:50:53

I wonder how he should have reacted? I know it's good manners to accept an apology graciously but what if the 'hurt' person is still unhappy. Should he have said 'that's ok' or 'never mind' even if he was thinking the opposite? His reply was along the lines of 'don't do it again' but to the mum rather than the child. Not a polite reply but not nasty or aggressive and at least it was honest.

Elquota Sat 29-Jun-13 18:04:40

How about "control your stuffy and ridiculous attitude"?

Viviennemary Sat 29-Jun-13 18:06:30

Your DS was only doing something that three year olds do if you take your eyes of them for a second. So no blame there at a busy time. The man should really have accepted the apology as he got a fresh croissant and your child was ohly three. So he was a bit mean. But I don't think you should have gone and confronted him again. You should have just left him alone as none of it was his fault.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sat 29-Jun-13 18:11:55

after what the cashier said I felt maybe he was unnecessarily rude to me?

That's a bit worrying tbh. Why does it matter what the cashier said? It's what you think and what your standards/interpretations are that count.

Unless you know you behaved badly and are trying to excuse yourself by 'blaming' the cashier.

I think you were totally unreasonable to harrass the man at his table. He doesn't have to come over all sweetness and light just because your son apologised. And the man was right - you should control your own children or accept that other people will be pissed off with you/them.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sat 29-Jun-13 18:14:41

And what he said was not an insult really - more a statement of fact. And way to go for teaching your kids how to respond appropriately in awkward situations.

fuckwittery Sat 29-Jun-13 18:18:29

I wouldn't have gone up to him again when sitting down, I would have (in an ideal world) made an immediate reply, something like, unfortunately I can't keep my children on a leash like a dog, and small children do touch things, but as you will see I have disciplined him and you have a new croissant so all's well that ends well eh? with a big smile

I hate hate hate the phrase "control your children" as most of us try bloody hard at all times to control them, and sometimes they just do things which we can't predict because you don't have a crystal ball!

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 18:24:23

'unfortunately I can't keep my children on a leash like a dog'

I did, I had reins on mine. I was a non-driver, we walked miles and those reins were fab. DD being 2 at the time when James Bulger was murdered helped me stand firm in the face of the 'Tut tut, I wouldn't leash my child' free-rangers.
DS on the spectrum, he'd have had that croissant past the point of no return before I'd drawn breath otherwise.
But OP has come back, seems to have calmed down a bit. Probably the man has too.
Good luck next week. grin

RevoltingPeasant Sat 29-Jun-13 18:29:43

Cannot believe the man now 'insulted' the OP shock

Since when is saying loudly (not yelling fgs) 'Just control your children' and 'Well, it's not very nice to have your breakfast touched' an insult???!

The OP's determination to continue the fight makes her a look a bit unhinged..... You are lucky the man didn't call security to get your family to stop bothering him.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 18:29:52

Whether or not it was something that 3 year olds do or not (which is debatable in itself!) that doesn't change the fact that man was well within his rights to be pissed off that someone had poked his food!

RevoltingPeasant Sat 29-Jun-13 18:30:30

Eyes, yes, the OP will always be That Woman to the Sainsbo caff staff now.

Elquota Sat 29-Jun-13 18:36:33

> Since when is saying loudly 'Just control your children' an insult???

It's very unfair to the child who'd just apologised but got ignored, and it's rude to keep banging on about something once you've received an apology.

Rulesgirl Sat 29-Jun-13 18:36:44

Bless, your poor little boy. Being taught to do the right thing and go and apologise and then some ignorant insensitive nasty man (who should know better) ignores the apology. What does that teach the poor child? That it not worth apologising for something you have done wrong? The little boy was just being completely natural and normal. He saw something he wanted and went up and touched it. Hope you explained to him that although what he did was not acceptable that the man was also in the wrong for not acknowledging the little boy and his apology.
Victor Meldrew comes to mind!!!

ImNotBloody14 Sat 29-Jun-13 18:44:14

Rulesgirl i think the op could use this as a very useful leason for her son. It is a fact of life that not everyone acts as they should or as you think they should. If you are to lead a happy life you are better learning and acceptin g this early on and realising that their actions are no reflection on yours. Continuing to hold onto upset means you are upset but it doesn't make the other person no longer rude. He is a stranger op will most likely never see again so nothing at all can be gained from her teaching her ds that continuing to be angry is the right reaction. Far better that she teaches him to apologise and then move on and not to take on board any of the other persons issues.

cakebar Sat 29-Jun-13 18:56:41

I HATE people making their toddler apologise to me or my kids. You are in a situation where a kid has done something unpleasant to you or your kids and then are forced to engage with them further whilst parent coaxes apology. No thanks. I just want you to go away. The kid isn't sorry or they wouldn't have done it, the parent is sorry, they should say sorry.

This kind of thing means you end up with brats at school who think they can do what they want but it is ok as long as they say sorry after.

OP, yes you overreacted. You need more tactics for 3 under 3, I have been there and you must be on top of this for safety reasons, what if he had wondered out the door? My tactic was a double pushchair, and other toddler with hand on pushchair. When we were out that hand never came off the pushchair, if my attention was diverted I used my foot/body/hand to check he was still there. When middle became older we used reins. It means your children have less freedom and you need to train them like dogs but it is one of the many costs of 3 under 3. I also wouldn't have done a Sainsbury's cafe on a Saturday. Would have been too difficult for me.

ShaggingZumbaStylee Sat 29-Jun-13 19:01:43

unreasonable on both sides.

Big breath and move on

HumphreyCobbler Sat 29-Jun-13 19:05:52

making your 3 year old apologise for doing something they should not do IS 'controlling your kid'.

I wouldn't have followed him to have a go though, he was clearly an irascible man.

TiggyD Sat 29-Jun-13 19:08:46

Man- Bit unreasonable.
OP- Rather unreasonable. More unreasonable than man.

Feminine Sat 29-Jun-13 19:11:30

But 3 yr olds are so unpredictable.

sometimes they do just suddenly reach out and touch something they shouldn't.

I have/had mine right next to me, on reins etc...they can still make mistakes surely?

I'd never make a Mum feel worse because her child touched my food confused It takes a few seconds to ask for a new one!

It means your children have less freedom and you need to train them like dogs but it is one of the many costs of 3 under 3.

Really?! Train them like dogs? Actually shocked.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 19:24:55

How would you train a dog?
With love and patience, clear links between action and consequence, positive reinforcement, consistency, lots of praise, fresh start every day...
I've never understood the pearl-clutching that goes on here when the comparison is made.
But then I don't own a dog and never have. Perhaps you beat them into obedience?

BrianTheMole Sat 29-Jun-13 19:27:24

I think you should have left him alone. He didn't ask to get into an altercation with you, he just went for breakfast. You should have left it at the apology, not gone over for another go because you didn't like his response. It sounds pretty aggressive of you.

Burmobasher Sat 29-Jun-13 19:29:53

Yes, the shit mums who can't control their dc's should be issued with cattle prods by the state. That way we can stop our unruly toddlers from maurauding round sainsburys mauling the precious gold plated croissants and upsetting all the decent folk

Helpyourself Sat 29-Jun-13 19:32:35

Ssimtree I would have freaked if somebody had started touching the food i was about to eat. The man was right. You need to control your children when you are in public. My kids would never dream of going up to somebody and touching their food...He was very polite by not giving you abuse and telling you to f**k off, as I would have done, when you went up to him to tell him off. Some cheek you've got there. Your out of control kid did touch his food after all.
You sound charming. hmm

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 19:33:27


You were polite and still got your point across to him. He was an inconsiderate arrogant arse.

ilovesooty Sat 29-Jun-13 19:36:11

I don't think it's at all polite to accost the man at his table and disturb his breakfast in order to pursue the point.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 19:38:26

Needaholiday you have a strange definition of polite!

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 19:39:51

Personally I don't see anything wrong with what the OP did. She was polite in her manner. How else was she going to get her point across? Get customer services to read it out over the tannoy?

ilovesooty Sat 29-Jun-13 19:41:26

If I'd been disturbed at my table like that I'd have told her to go away in no uncertain terms. It's plain rude.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 19:42:20

why did she need to get a point across at all?

salsmum Sat 29-Jun-13 19:42:56

I have also been swimming when my 2 DC were get hot,bothered,tired and more than a little stressed at times, as OP said 3 small children are hard work...BUT...supposing 'Mr Unreasonable had, had an equally stressful day, he may have popped out for a bit of peace when his Grandchildren were visiting, he may be going through a messy divorce, he may be about to lose his job, he may be recently widowed, he may be in terrible pain. In fact there could equally be 101 reasons why he wasn't feeling particularly friendly that day. I presume of course that if your DC touch HIS croissant and said 'I want that' you did indeed buy the 'rejected' croissant? or did you not want to do that in case the man had touched it? hmm. A recent wedding I attended was ruined by a precious father asking his DC (aged @ 4) EVERY 2 mins 'Henry' eat your food, Henry sit still, Henry are you ok? Henry you are such a good boy...Henry,Henry , by the time we'd eaten we could have ALL cheerfully strangled dear precious thoroughly spoilt lovely DC Henry! and we like DCs angry.

inabeautifulplace Sat 29-Jun-13 19:45:50

Croissant man was definitely rude. For all the people who seem to have missed it, the OP did apologise to him. OP, you were unreasonable in continuing the matter; nothing is to be gained. As someone else said, it can be good for your kids to learn that you cannot rely on others to be civil.

I am quite worried at the number of people who think it's OK to dismiss an apology with a critical response for something like this. It's a sure fire way of escalating the unpleasantness of the situation. No one wins.

MrsDeVere Sat 29-Jun-13 19:51:28

Man was an arse.
OP needs to calm down a bit.
What on earth would you do if something serious happened? Spontaneously combust?

I am all for being assertive and saying your piece but following someone to their seat and carrying on? Bit bonkers.

HotCrossPun Sat 29-Jun-13 19:53:42

How did a 3 year old manage to reach up to touch something on the mans tray?

Icantstopeatinglol Sat 29-Jun-13 20:00:06

Jesus, really?? A 3yr old touched some bloke croissant and its the end of the world?!!! He got a new one, the dc apologised and so did the mam, what does he want? He wants to live in someone's shoes for a day who has real problems if this upsets him!
There are other more important things in life to get annoyed and upset about!
Yanbu op!!

salsmum I thought that too. I cried into my breakfast in Sainsburys this morning due to family bereavement, I'm not sure how tolerant I'd have been of a strange 3 year old mauling my breakfast.
I would have acknowledged a child though I'm not sure how good an idea it is to get your 3 yr old child to apologise to a complete stranger

fuckwittery Sat 29-Jun-13 20:03:36

Hotcross I imagine the man had his tray down on those shelves you slide your tray along, they are perfect 3 year old touch height. The child may not have even realised it was the man's tray if the man wasn't holding it and had placed it on the shelf whilst waiting.

eyesunderarock, sorry, I wasn't rein bashing at all, reins hadn't even occurred to me, I suppose I thought more that you can't keep a child outside a shop like a dog nor on such a tight (metaphorical) leash, children are still learning about the world. I guess even if the child was on reins next to the OP it wouldn't have stopped him touching the tray

IWillDoItInAMinute Sat 29-Jun-13 20:05:23

grin at eyes and burmo

Don't know if anyone has pointed out that sainsburys croissants are really not very nice anymore?

Gruntfuttock Sat 29-Jun-13 20:06:32

Icantstopeatinglol re:- "He wants to live in someone's shoes for a day who has real problems if this upsets him!" you have no idea whether the man "has real problems" himself .

Icantstopeatinglol Sat 29-Jun-13 20:08:14

Gruntfuttock, fair enough but I would never take my problems out on an innocent 3yr old.

Shitsinger Sat 29-Jun-13 20:09:51

You were unreasonable to keep going on at him
He told you to keep your children under control - reasonable really but you got defensive. ( because he touched a nerve )

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Sat 29-Jun-13 20:10:15

I have food issues and probably would have had a melt down tbh. I shouldn't have to tolerate it any more than I have to tolerate my sisters son who is going through a biting stage or tolerate the kids who were kicking my chair in the cinema... and I have a child before anyone pulls the 'you musnt have kids' shit...

everlong Sat 29-Jun-13 20:13:07

But marceline the man hadn't paid for his croissant. He had it swapped.

It's a non issue.

Pagwatch Sat 29-Jun-13 20:14:04

Following him and telling him off or not graciously accepting an apology was batshit overkill.

You apologised. He was curmudgeonly. Just leave it.

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Sat 29-Jun-13 20:15:29

Yes ever long, a non issue.

Until the op made it an issue.

Shitsinger Sat 29-Jun-13 20:15:36

everlong the issue was solved until the OP went back for a pop at him!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sat 29-Jun-13 20:16:05

Yabvu. How embarrassing.

inabeautifulplace Sat 29-Jun-13 20:16:17

No, I don't agree that it's reasonable to tell someone to keep their kids under control after said child has been scolded and then both child and parent have apologised.

everlong Sat 29-Jun-13 20:18:08

My ' non issue ' comment was at meltdown comment marceline.

TotallyBursar Sat 29-Jun-13 20:18:37

But really - nobody is obliged to be ok with your children, nobody.

It is nice when people like your children, are tolerant or kind but it is not the law.
To me my dc are the best dc ever made, bar none. I would go to the ends of the Earth for them and am staggered daily by their wonderfulness - but it really does not escape me that most other people really, really don't give a shit about them. Honestly they don't, it's lovely if they are interested but your children are wonderful to a very limited pool of people.

We are often lucky in this country that we are met with tolerance when we fuck up a bit. Some countries are friendlier, some less so. But although a kind word is often the response it shouldn't be expected that others will put up with inconvenience because you have your hands full.

Icantstopeating - you have no idea what this man's deal was. None at all. I got a mouthful of abuse from the type of parent you sound - I asked if they could please take their child back to their table. We had been expected to put up with a toddler screaming around the table, trying to eat our food and generally being a nuisance. We were in a supermarket cafe around the corner from the hospital in which we had just lost our child. Usually 'other people's children' tolerant we were not in a place to deal with it. It shouldn't have happened - this shouldn't have happened.
No one owes you a gracious acceptance of your mistake.

Also if I'm paying £15/hour for my lot to be looked after so we can have a meal out together then you can get fucked if you think I want to deal with your kids too.

Tabliope Sat 29-Jun-13 20:18:41

Agree with fluffyraggies above, you should have apologised to him not your DS. Your DS had annoyed him once so you sent him over again to apologise, risking annoying the man again (not everyone likes kids or wants to be bothered with them or engage with them). Your automatic response should have been to apologise to the man and not bothered him again but you didn't - you sent your DS and then you went over! He probably wanted a quiet half hour with a coffee and croissant. I don't think little kids that age should be left to wander in a cafe. I would make sure they were in a chair and if they moved then we leave.

ragged Sat 29-Jun-13 20:18:44

What Pagwatch said ^.

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 20:19:14

Well at least the little boy has learned a very valuable life lesson because I this man's attitude. He has learned that there are some very solemn, miserable and down right nasty people I this world. And that even if you try to docthe right thing there are some people that jus throw it back in your fave- even if you're a toddler!

MissStrawberry Sat 29-Jun-13 20:20:31

Firstly I hate Sainsburys as they said I wasn't allowed to feed my baby in their café. <irrelevant>


The man got a new croissant. Even if he stropped because he thought he wouldn't get one he did not have to go on and should have accepted your son's apology. He is only 3 ffs (I know you know that grin).

You did the right thing going over to him. People being rude and shitty to kids need telling.

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 20:20:32

throw it back in your face! God dammit iPhone.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 20:25:55

People being rude and shitty to kids need telling.

But parents demonstrating rude and shitty behaviour to their children is ok?

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Sat 29-Jun-13 20:26:13

But my food problems are not a non issue ever long hence the meltdown, no one knows this guys deal. It was done and dusted till she eent over.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 20:27:27

Yes needaholidaynow, I would also hazard a guess that many of those same people will in years to come complain about 'kids having no respect' for them, and fail to make the connection.

ilovesooty Sat 29-Jun-13 20:28:18

The person who "went on" about it was the OP by going over to his table. If anyone "needed telling", she did.

MissStrawberry Sat 29-Jun-13 20:28:34

I didn't think she was rude and shitty.

Icantstopeatinglol Sat 29-Jun-13 20:28:53

Totallybursar, so from one comment you've decided what sort of parent I am? Very strange and very presumptuous!
All children make mistakes and notice the word 'children'....adults should know better and act better! I would definately have words with my children if they did what op's child did (as she did!) but its not the end of the world seriously. I've had bad days believe me but I would not take my problems out on a child, simple as that.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 20:29:52

How is going over to someones table to continue a pointless argument not being rude and shitty?

ilovesooty Sat 29-Jun-13 20:30:06

In my view she was extremely rude to accost him at his table.

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 20:30:34

pompeii He was 3 years old, still learning right from wrong. He messed up in the cafe. He apologised.

The man should have accepted the apology, graciously got his new croissant that didn't have life threatening children germs on it, and smiled.

Shitsinger Sat 29-Jun-13 20:31:06

he hit the nail on the head with
"control your children"
nerve touched (quite rightly) OP went on the defensive and escalated the situation.
What if he had touched/pulled over a pot of tea on to himself??

WestieMamma Sat 29-Jun-13 20:32:14

I think that most of what happened was a storm in a teacup. The only really unreasonable behaviour was the OP following him to his table to continue the drama. I would have found that aggressive and rather intimidating.

Gruntfuttock Sat 29-Jun-13 20:35:06

Yes, the OP made the whole episode so much worse by berating the man, who was entitled to want to have his breakfast in peace.

everlong Sat 29-Jun-13 20:35:15

If the guy has issues about food where is the issue once he has a new clean croissant?

His rude behaviour after was another matter.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 20:36:59

needaholidaynow, yes I was agreeing with you :-)

I was always taught it was good manners to graciously accept an apology, especially for a mishap that had no intended malice, but it's disappointing how many think blurting out an insulting comeback is an acceptable response.

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 20:38:19

aah ok I'm sorry I misunderstood smile

SORRY grin

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 20:42:07

Pay some damn attention next time angry

Only joking wink, I accept your apology grin

salsmum Sat 29-Jun-13 20:43:50

Sauvignonblanche I'm sooo sorry to hear of your bereavement, I too have had my fill of losing people/family members this year...that is why I can also empathize with others who may be having a really bad time lately and may not be as tolerant as usual as said maybe this man in Sainsburys could be going through his own private hell. We just don't know. sad.

MissYamabuki Sat 29-Jun-13 20:48:27

The man should have accepted the child's apology FGS - surely as an adult he can be expected to do that? It would have been an essential part for the incident to be resolved (sorry, apology accepted, everyone move on). HE was childish, immature and unreasonable. YWNBU to approach him 2nd time and bring this to his attention.

TotallyBursar Sat 29-Jun-13 20:51:59

Icantstopeating - I have presumed nothing or I would have said 'the type of parent you are' but your comment allied you, in this case, with a parent that was unreasonable. You also assumed - you have no idea of this mans circumstances. You wrote off his right to be having a bad day and not being a luffly, happy, shiny grandad whilst supporting mothers' rights to be having a bad day.

This man didn't take anything out on a child at all - he didn't go misty eyed over an apology from a 3 year old, so? More people need to realise that a 'sorreee' is not always sufficient to a person that is aggrieved (unless they are the aggrieved party in which case you often see the about face). If you are still unhappy then you don't have any moral obligation to say otherwise even though in many cases we do.
This was a moutain out of a molehill, the adult thing to do was to realise your toddler should not be poking people's food, react appropriately, recognise he was a bit pissed off and continue on with your day.
Hopefully, if you happen to be the one having a bad day and don't respond with the exuberance another parent expects (not what you would feel appropriate, the possibly ridiculous expectations of a complete stranger) you don't get followed and harrangued about it. Because that wouldn't be very nice.

thepixiefrog Sat 29-Jun-13 20:54:31

I think it's really sad that there are so many people who believe that it's reasonable to disregard children, whether it's talking to them or even just acknowledging their existence. If the toddler had been an elderly person with dementia, for example, or an adult with special needs it would not be deemed acceptable for the croissant man to completely ignore them as they tried to offer an apology. It would be seen as bloody rude. Kids are people, and they will only learn how to interact respectfully with others if their own interactions with adults are based upon tolerance and respect. It would have taken no effort for croissant man to mumble a word of acceptance and it would have all been over. This 'not liking kids' thing just doesn't cut it, they're not dogs fgs.

ButchCassidy Sat 29-Jun-13 20:56:34

You left your children and went over to him to give him a gobful???

ilovesooty Sat 29-Jun-13 20:58:10

I'm surprised by the number of people who think it's acceptable to follow someone to their table, invade their space and disturb their meal.

Shitsinger Sat 29-Jun-13 21:02:44

He didn't say he hated kids - just told the OP ( quite rightly ) to control them.
As I said earlier what if there had been a pot of hot tea on his tray and the child had pulled it over or burnt his fingers?
The OP went on the defensive because he was right !

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 21:03:06

If the toddler had been an elderly person with dementia, for example, or an adult with special needs it would not be deemed acceptable for the croissant man to completely ignore them as they tried to offer an apology. It would be seen as bloody rude. Kids are people

To some kids are just there to be seen and not heard, rather like in the Charles Dickens era. They aren't worthy.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 21:03:19

Me to Ilove

especially those who think the man was rude (which he was a bit) and a bad thing for a child to see, but the mothers massive overreaction was warranted and fine for her children to witness.

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 21:04:13

When I say they aren't worthy. I mean kids aren't worthy.

Sirzy Sat 29-Jun-13 21:04:43

I don't hate children, but I hate certain actions carried out by children (and adults). Why should someone smile and put up with something just because it is a child in the wrong?

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 21:06:05

Because children are learning. Thanks to this experience he probably knows not to do it again. People need patience and a bit of compassion.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 21:07:49

IMO once you start being an aggressive prick to somebody you don't have the right to expect them to do nothing about it.

thepixiefrog Sat 29-Jun-13 21:09:37

Needaholiday, I think it's one of the words things about our society. I don't believe the op should have gone to croissant man's table - that was definitely an invasion of his space and she should have left it - but I understand why she felt upset. It is crap to see anyone treated as 'non-human', and it shouldn't be accepted just because the person receiving it is a child.

TotallyBursar Sat 29-Jun-13 21:10:00

I don't agree that it's Dickensian child cruelty.

Obnoxious behaviour by anybody is a pita. On most days most people try to be accomodating - if they have a bad day and don't make it all okay again quickly enough, it's still not them that caused the problem in the first place.

Not everybody wants to be on the recieving end of my dc's, that wouldn't change if I substituted my nan, mother, husband or next door neighbour.

YoniRanger Sat 29-Jun-13 21:13:10

YABU. Touching food is a horrid thing to do. You were not controlling your child and you got told off.

Following him to have a row because he didn't engage with your child is quite aggressive so although he set a poor example by not accepting and apology gracefully you set a much worse one.

Children need to hold hands or sit still where there is hot food/ drinks, and I say this as the proud owner of a hand holding refusenik!

crashdoll Sat 29-Jun-13 21:14:10

You were both unreasonable but I see you had already accepted that. smile

Shitsinger Sat 29-Jun-13 21:16:08

The child wasn't at fault - he is 3 !
His mother is - cafes are full of people carrying trays of hot food and drinks.
I have waitressed in a traditional café as a teenager and seeing DC getting in the way of people with trays of food takes me back to the time a young child had a pot of hot water (boiling) tipped over him as he ran about. Guess who his mother blamed hmm

WhoNickedMyName Sat 29-Jun-13 21:16:17

Consider yourself lucky that all he managed to touch was a croissant, and be thankful that he didn't pull a cup of hot tea or coffee all over himself and/or the man.

Floggingmolly Sat 29-Jun-13 21:16:54

The little boy was just being completely natural and normal hmm
It's not acceptable to march up to someone and fiddle with the food on their plate; presumably the child now knows this. Allowing it to pass unremarked because it's natural and normal (it bloody isn't!) is hardly a better lesson than the one he hopefully learnt?

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 21:20:29

Floggingmolly, it wasn't unremarked, the OP said she was 'furious' and told the child off etc. The child doesn't need some grumpy old man getting aggressive with his mother to learn from his actions.

Gruntfuttock Sat 29-Jun-13 21:26:00

I disagree that the man was aggressive. The OP, however, was.

ninah Sat 29-Jun-13 21:26:58

yabu - don't blame the bloke for being irritated

ilovesooty Sat 29-Jun-13 21:31:59

pompeii, where does it say the man was old?

I agree that the aggressive behaviour came from the OP in pursuing the point by disturbing his meal.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 21:37:09

Old is a relative term, and his age isn't really relevant. I accept my usage of it was superfluous, however.

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 21:41:13

I can't even comprehend why he couldn't just accept the little boy's apology without getting all uppity at him and the OP. If a child had touched my food and they apologised to me, I would wholeheartedly accept their apology, not shun them away and have a go at their parent.

For one I don't have the guts to cause confrontation and for two why would I be so cold to a little 3 year old?

Personally I wouldn't have gone over to him. Again I don't have the guts. But I can understand why the OP chose to do it. Sometimes we don't know exactly how we would react in these situations, whereby a grown man acts in a despicable manner towards a child. That child being your child. Some say the wouldn't do it, but sometimes when you know
Someone else is in the wrong you want to put them straight. So maybe I would do it, I don't know.

Bottom line, he's a miserable human being.

everlong Sat 29-Jun-13 21:43:12

Yep that sums it up nicely need

humdumaggapang Sat 29-Jun-13 21:43:32

Jesus wept do people really get agitated about a child prodding their food? I am sure I wouldn't give a flying fook . The man was a pompous git.

thepixiefrog Sat 29-Jun-13 21:43:42

YY Needaholiday!

garlicnutty Sat 29-Jun-13 21:44:13

The child wasn't at fault - he is 3! His mother is.

Yes, this is it. I've been putting myself in the customer's shoes.

If your child invades my space/breakfast/life, am I to suppose he is fully aware of the implications and respond as I would to a grown man doing the same? No. Therefore, I'm accepting that you - his responsible adult - are to blame for the insult. You should apologise.

By sending your child to apologise, you're giving him the responsibility. Which is very nice for his upbringing, but you're not my mother and I want an apology from the person at fault: you.

By insisting I should play nice with your little one, you're now demanding that I take part in raising your child! Well, excuse me, you've already invaded my space and refused to woman up & take the blame. Now you're launching a second invasion and telling me help raise your child? Well, you can fuck off.

... As it happens, I would have played nice, but I'm a soppy old woman. I feel the chap was utterly within his rights, if none too charming, and you overstepped your mark big time, OP.

ninah Sat 29-Jun-13 21:45:10

no he's not
3 year old ambles up prods your food
a bit of loud parenting and you have the kid in your face again
then you have the mother, all righteously indignant
I agree with him, control your dc in the first place

ninah Sat 29-Jun-13 21:46:51

that was to needs
I agree with garlic

ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 21:47:26

it's rude to keep banging on about something once you've received an apology.


The poor bloke didn't keep banging on about anything; he was followed to his seat by some woman who wanted to start an argument with him.

Lazyjaney Sat 29-Jun-13 21:51:36

Bloke was completely in the right. OP just got miffed and over reacted.

Burmillababe Sat 29-Jun-13 21:52:11

I was in a supermarket once when a young child ran into my leg - I had recently injured it so it was incredibly painful - the mother half heartedly apologised while laughing - I wasn't going to make a scene so I walked away without reacting to her. Her partner then proceeded to follow me, shouting at me calling me a miserable bitch - so YWBU. Tbh, I am funny about people touching food too so I wouldn't have been amused, and even less so after you went back over there.

ilovesooty Sat 29-Jun-13 21:53:14

If the mother had done the apologising in the first place I think it would have been better all round - she was the one at fault. I agree with garlic too.

ninah Sat 29-Jun-13 21:54:23

am wondering how op managed to leave a baby plus a 2 and 3 year old at table while she went over to pursue spat

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 22:00:53


I think describing the mans behaviour as despicable is a bit over the top. Rude certainly,despicable no.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 29-Jun-13 22:05:37

I agree with garlic too.

You shouldn't force strangers who you have already pissed off into unsolicited interactions with toddlers. I hate being in those awkward circumstances where you have to wait nicely so a mother can coax or berate an apology out of a small child. You don't apologise for disturbing someone by disturbing them again. You just say sorry let me get you another croissant

The man could have been more gracious but he wasn't.

Technotropic Sun 30-Jun-13 01:04:10

That bloke was a bit grumpy. However;

Last year, on our hols, we were eating breakfast in a hotel in France. It was one of those buffet style breakfasts were you help yourself to everything (yes we're that classy lol). As it was quite busy the only remaining tables were where the food was all laid out.

As we were sat down eating another English family walked in and got themselves organised. One by one they started to walk to get some food, the young boy trailing behind (about 5-6 years old). As he approached the croissants we looked in horror as he put his hand right down his pants and started scratching his arse quite vigorously. I'm not sure what the problem was (worms perhaps) but he was having a jolly good rummage round. He then proceeded to finger all the croissants until he came across one that he fancied for his breakfast.

Since then I've had a slight aversion to other people's kids touching my food.

Just saying.

MidniteScribbler Sun 30-Jun-13 01:20:11

I think the mothers reaction was probably what kicked all of this off in the first place. "Hey! get your finger out of my croisssant!" Mother says "Oh my gosh, I'm really so very sorry! Please, let me replace that for you" and pays for new croissant. Takes child over to her own table, sits them down and tells them why they were in the wrong. Issue over.

Instead, man had to ask the waitress for a new croissant, which OP didn't seem inclined to be willing replace at all, presumably didn't pay for the new fingered croissant (did it go back in the bread basket?), loud parented her child while all the man wants to do is get his breakfast and sit down. Then the poor man, who is still trying to sit and eat his unfingered croissant in peace is being harassed by said toddler trying to mutter an apology which he doesn't have any real understanding of because mummy wants to try and make a point. He's then expected to gush over the little darling and provide soothing words. All the while, he's mentally fuming over the only ten peaceful minutes he was going to get to read the paper this morning being wasted dealing with a parent who can't manage her children and thinks that she needs to keep intruding on him and try and include him in her parenting. And you wonder why he was pissed off?

foodaholic Sun 30-Jun-13 01:35:45

You were completely in the right. This guy was an ignoramus & deserved your wrath!

MyShoofly Sun 30-Jun-13 02:44:08

frankly I think you handled it fine OP. I probably wouldn't have gone up to him, but likely would have briefly said similar in line. he was rude and OTT - why not call him up on it?

LessMissAbs Sun 30-Jun-13 03:14:24

How many times did you have to interior that poor man's breakfast? 3 times!

Why not simply have apologised yourself, and meant it, and left him alone?

People are allowed to dislike children touching his food. He may well have had medical or mh reasons for reacting the way he did. Such as AS.That's what I would have assumed.

Just how slighted can your 3 year old have been for you to react in this way?

LessMissAbs Sun 30-Jun-13 03:16:20


OwlinaTree Sun 30-Jun-13 05:58:16

I don't think croissant man reacted that badly, some people seem to think he was really nasty, but it doesn't come across that way from the op. His comment - control your children - is not nice to hear, but in this case was valid imho.

Did you pay for the croissant? i can't work it out from what is on here.

I also quite want a croissant now.

HollyBerryBush Sun 30-Jun-13 06:23:46

You learn to pick your battles. Frankly fishwifing it in Sainsburys with children in tow is not a battle I would choose.

Frankly, 3yos are minging little creatures (I've had 3 of them) fingers up noses, up backsides, picking up crap from the floor - no I wouldn't want my food prodded by one either.

As ever these incidents are a very small snapshot of someones life. You have no idea whether the mans dog was run over that morning, his wife died, whether he has some form of OCD or whether he's just plain grumpy.

But a lesson to be learned, don't let your child wander round shops and cafes being a royal PITA to other people.

JedwardScissorhands Sun 30-Jun-13 10:26:17

I see even in accepting she was a bit U, the OP has said she thinks croissant man ought to have accepted "our apologies".

No!! You made a 3 year old apologise. That is not your apology at all. YOU should have apologised then spoken to your 3 year old separately. And you should have done it immediately when the croissant was poked and offered to pay for the poked croissant, allowing the man to have a fresh one. He shouldn't have had to ask the cashier.

everlong Sun 30-Jun-13 10:30:43

If croissant man hadn't behaved like a tool and accepted the apology the OP wouldn't have felt the need to go over and say her piece.

I mean break it down. A small child touches a croissant. The croissant is exchanged. End of story.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 10:34:54

Exactly everlong - so the OP shouldn't not have continued the argument and been confrontational because she hasn't had the reaction she wanted.

Nobody is obliged to accept an apology,whether it's from a 3 year old or an adult.

everlong Sun 30-Jun-13 10:40:48

I get why the OP acted how she did.

Her 3 year old apologised. He's 3. A baby and he said sorry, he got a scolding off his mum for touching the croissant too.

Anybody with an ounce of normality would have accepted this child's apology. The man was a nob imo.

We all defend our dc if we think it's right. The OP felt that the man should have accepted the boys apology.

Sometimes in this stressful world and don't forget she was there on her own with 3 young children we do things on impulse.

Beatrixpotty Sun 30-Jun-13 10:45:59

Croissant man was in front of me in the queue,the whole touching/complaining/exchanging thing happened very quickly.There was one customer between me & croissant man and we apologised in the queue,I did not send my DS off on his own to a random stranger at a table and I said sorry too,whilst I was with him.
I can't believe this has gone on for 11 pages !
I'm going to return to the nice quiet pushchair and breastfeeding threads now.
This has been interesting though.

Beatrixpotty Sun 30-Jun-13 10:48:11

X-post with everlong ,thank you for understanding and sticking up for me!

everlong Sun 30-Jun-13 10:51:36

Hey no worries OP.

MoleyMick Sun 30-Jun-13 10:53:56

Goodness. Storm in a teacup springs to mind.
Man was grumpy and a bit rude, OP shouldn't have gone up to him. We all make mistakes. I don't see the need for all the lectures and rage on the thread. OP said in her first post she was prepared to accept she was in the wrong.

Tabliope Sun 30-Jun-13 10:54:47

That's not how you described it though Beatrix - you said you sent your DS over to him to apologise. What were you thinking allowing your DS wandering about the queue? He should have been kept with you in the first place. Where were the two younger ones in all this? Garlic summed it up exactly - you should have apologised immediately and offered to pay for the croissant and then left it - even if the man had said what he did but you annoyed him and annoyed him and annoyed him. I think he's right in that you need to control your children. You're responsible for them and you weren't. The three year old was wandering around (he was two ahead of where you were in the queue). As others have said making your DS apologise to him and expecting the man to respond to this is trying to engage the man in your parenting and people don't want to be bothered. You should have apologised so that there was minimum fuss and disturbance to the man.

Bowlersarm Sun 30-Jun-13 10:57:11

grin @ I'm going to return to the nice quiet pushchair and breastfeeding threads now

That's like me OP, i go and wonder round baby name threads when it gets too annoying and sparky in AIBU.

At least you had the balls to start the thread.

TartinaTiara Sun 30-Jun-13 10:58:21

So, OP is finding it difficult to manage 3 children under 4, so 3yo wanders off. Understandable, but not entirely unpredictable. Could've been avoided.

3yo touches man's croissant. Again, understandable, and entirely predictable. 3yo's touch everything. OP will know this, having a 3yo.

Man not particularly chuffed about having breakfast messed about by 3yo. Can't blame him for this, on account of y'know, 3yo's touch everything, and not everything they touch is something you'd want in your mouth.

Croissant is replaced, not by OP. OP bit unreasonable here for not offering to pay, but man hasn't lost out.

OP gets "furious" at her 3yo. Really? Furious?

OP and 3yo both apologise. Man isn't "furious" but ignores and says OP should control her child. He's being a bit of an arse here, but again, understandable. He's addressing the mother, not the 3yo who's behaving exactly like a 3yo does.

OP then goes back and kicks off at the man.

OP, we've all been there with small children. If you're seriously unable to hang on to 2 small children in Sainsbury's caff (bearing in mind baby in sling doesn't need a hand holding), if you're furious at a toddler for doing exactly what toddlers do, and if you're leaving your small children at a table to go and start a fight with a random stranger, you maybe need to be asking for real, practical help. People are nice, if you let them be. Honestly, if I'd seen you struggling, I would have offered. But people aren't nice if you give them reason not to be. If I'd seen you kicking off, I'd have backed away sharpish.

everlong Sun 30-Jun-13 10:59:07

He didn't let him wander off to apologise. The man was next door but one to her.

MoleyMick Sun 30-Jun-13 11:01:22

She doesn't need help. She got a bit cross and behaved unreasonably for a minute, then posted to see what others thought. That's all!

TeamJavert Sun 30-Jun-13 11:02:25

The OP didn't act on impulse though,did she? She decided that he was going to say something when talking to the cashier,after the initial incident was over,then she got her children settled,before confronting the man. There's nothing impulsive about that. That's just looking for trouble.

TartinaTiara Sun 30-Jun-13 11:02:33

apologies, OP, didn't see your update (slow typist). But honestly, ask for help. Maybe croissant man was an arse, maybe he wasn't (he may have been having bad day himself, nobody knows), but most people would help.

Tabliope Sun 30-Jun-13 11:03:07

everlong in the OP Beatrix says she made her DS come and stand next to her after he'd touched the croissant then it says I made him go and apologise to the man so the boy was sent over to the man. No one said anything about him wandering off to apologise. The boy was wandering about the queue when his mum should have kept him with him. At the front of the queue there will be hot drinks. It would only have taken a customer to have not seen the child, turn with his cake and drink and trip over the child, potentially hurting someone. The child shouldn't have been allowed to wander in the first place.

Crowler Sun 30-Jun-13 11:03:30

I think this guy was overreacting. When you leave your house, humans are about and occasionally they will encroach upon you. That's life.

That being said, I don't think it was a good idea to send a 3 year old off to apologize to a man who you had every reason to suspect was grumpy. You should have apologized, because if any blame was to be assigned, it was to you for not preventing it.

I'm laughing at whomever said her toddler would never touch a stranger's food. Ha! A 3 year old under perfect control. Perfect just up til the point that she's not.

GiveMumABreak Sun 30-Jun-13 11:04:22

I think the man was a little rude and grumpy.

I think you completely overreacted!


TartinaTiara Sun 30-Jun-13 11:04:50

Moley I don't mean she's losing it. I meant help in "can you just hang on to child's hand whilst I reach for tray" type help. Because you need five arms and eyes in your arse when they're that age.

everlong Sun 30-Jun-13 11:06:39

I think we do things that in retrospect we might not. I think the situation got the better of the OP and she needed to say her piece.

And when you think how the man in question acted I honestly can't blame her.

Maybe the incidence will make the man ponder on his nobbish behaviour?

lottieandmia Sun 30-Jun-13 11:07:35

How did a 3 year old manage to reach the food on his tray anyway? confused

The man sounds mean and grumpy! It's all very well to say control your children - the OP has three kids under 4! Not easy - I am sure we've all had situations where one of our children did something we didn't want them to before being able to stop it.

MoleyMick Sun 30-Jun-13 11:11:23

She planned to go up to him, but it would have still all been in the space of a few minutes when she was stressed and cross and not rational. If we are letting the man off for his rudeness (and he was rude) as he was possibly having a bad day, we could let the OP off a bit too for being stressed etc surely. It wasn't right, I wouldn't have done it (wimp, aside from anything else) and it wasn't reasonable but it's not horrendously awful, a bad lesson to her kids, etc.

everlong Sun 30-Jun-13 11:11:32

Tabliope we weren't there, I would have guessed ( before the OP explained ) that the OP wouldn't have sent her 3 year old ds all the way to the front of the queue out of sight where there were hot drinks.

She thought it was the right thing to get her ds to apologise for touching the croissant and as the man was only one in front it was feasible for him to do.

MoleyMick Sun 30-Jun-13 11:12:47

Sorry Tartina, I thought you meant parenting class/anger management type help! Apologies smile

TeamJavert Sun 30-Jun-13 11:14:10

No,she really didn't need to say her piece,not to him anyway.

And I very much doubt that the man is going to think he's the one in the wrong here,when the OP was the one who aggravated the situation,and who was obviously spoiling for a fight,by confronting him when it was over and done with. I'd imagine that what will stick in his mind is how aggressive and unreasonable the OP was,not his snubbing of a three year old.

Tabliope Sun 30-Jun-13 11:18:28

everlong, it wasn't the child's place to apologise. He's little more than a baby. The OP should have done it, which she now says she did but didn't put that in the OP. The man did overeact but if he was at the front of the queue about to pick his coffee up he might have had a shock thinking about the repercussions of a young child underfoot when he hadn't seen him - who knows. The OP was more unreasonable than the man.

edam Sun 30-Jun-13 11:19:19

The child did something that annoyed the man. The OP and the staff sorted it out and the child apologised. Man was grumpy and ungracious - hey ho, not the ideal response but people are allowed to be grumpy and the child will encounter grumpy adults.

What OP did wrong was to carry it on. Should have left it at apology.

everlong Sun 30-Jun-13 11:19:27

But the OP reprimanded her ds straightaway and encouraged him to apologise.

What more could she have done?

If in that scenario she had shrugged and ignored then yes I could see why the man would be pissed off.

He had the apology straightaway and a new croissant.

Why is his behaviour being dismissed? He was a dick.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 30-Jun-13 11:22:45

She could have apologised herself instead of expecting him to engage with a 3 yo. She could have sorted out the replacement croissant herself instead of making him deal with it. She could have left him alone after bothering him twice already.

TartinaTiara Sun 30-Jun-13 11:24:06

Cheers Moley. Am not a big fan of telling people how to parent - I think mostly what you need with small children is somebody saying "OK, where are you sitting, I'll carry the tray over for you" or whatever. I think a lot of the stress (and from that, anger, to misquote Yoda) comes from mothers (and it is mostly mothers who get judged, sadly) expecting to be constantly criticised. And a lot of "loud parenting" can be laid at the same door as well. Trying to prove to others that you've got it under control, when in any sane society others would really be pitching in a bit.

Salmotrutta Sun 30-Jun-13 11:24:37

I wonder why people came to the conclusion that the man was old? hmm

My favourite bit on this thread was when someone described the man as "waspish" grin

I'd forgotten that word and its fabulous.

NicknameIncomplete Sun 30-Jun-13 17:06:58

I have re-read the OP and i have no idea what the man did that was so rude and wrong.

OwlinaTree Sun 30-Jun-13 17:56:09

croissant man didn't accept the 3 year old's apology, which enraged the mother.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 17:59:26

I'm not really sure what the man was meant to say when the child apologised to him. He clearly didn't think it was ok and clearly didn't think it was actually the child's fault,hence the comment to the mum. It's not as though he shouted at the little boy. It sounds very much as though he was narked that the mum wasn't controlling her child.

I still think OP was significantly more unreasonable than he was. Confronting him after he'd sat down to eat was actually quite aggressive as well as being over the top bonkers in comparison to the earlier exchange.

Tryharder Sun 30-Jun-13 18:11:22

I'm staggered at the amount of people on this thread who presumably are parents themselves and yet would be disgusted at the prospect of a random small child poking their croissant.

I mean, seriously? Do you imagine that no-one in the back kitchen at the cafe has touched it?

The man was rude. He got a new croissant and should have accepted the apology graciously.

Mintyy Sun 30-Jun-13 18:16:38

"I'm not really sure what the man was meant to say when the child apologised to him."

Really? you are not sure what to say to a small child when they apologise to you?

Let's try this one on for size:

"Thank you for saying sorry"

There are two questions on this thread:

Should man have accepted an apology from a 3 year old?: YES

Was op a tad unreasonable to take it further with him: YES but understandably so.

garlicnutty Sun 30-Jun-13 18:22:09

Sure I'd say that, Mintyy, but I'm soppy. "Thank you for saying sorry" is a parental thing to say. It seems safe to assume the man wasn't in a mood to help parent other people's children.

Madlizzy Sun 30-Jun-13 18:41:53

I'm with the man. I don't want some random child's grubby fingers poking my food.

TiggyD Sun 30-Jun-13 18:45:11

I wonder if the cafe still sold the fingered croissant?

Cravey Sun 30-Jun-13 19:05:42

Yabu. You could say sorry all you liked to me I would be fuming if some strange child came along and touched my food. You really should control said child. No excuses really.

Scholes34 Sun 30-Jun-13 19:06:17

Having been in the position of having a three year old, a two year old and a baby, I doubt I would have found myself in a cafe on my own anywhere. The problem when you're so into a baby/toddler stage in your life, you can quickly forget that a lot of people around you aren't and certainly are not so tolerant of your children. I remember my DD throwing up in the reception area of a hairdressers, and I said to the poor receptionist starting to clear it up that it was okay because it was only bread and strawberries and she'd only just eaten it. What I was trying to say was that at least it wasn't anything very ghastly that had been in her stomach for ages, and therefore almost looked and smelt the same as when it had been eaten, ie just some bread and strawberries in a little pile on the floor. The receptionist gave me a strange look (and now, looking back, I very clearly see why).

If my three year old neice came and prodded my croissant, I'd laugh it off and eat it. If a stranger's child came and did the same, I would be rather taken aback and would wonder whether its parent/carer was. If I was a grumpy old man, I doubt I'd see the lighter side of this, more so if the mother came to reprimand me. I'd rather she kept her reprimanding for her child.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 19:06:38


I meant not sure what he was meant to say given he was still clearly irritated.

He was definitely rude,I can't imagine doing the same thing myself. I don't agree that it was understandable that the OP took it further though. So he didn't accept the apology? And? Random stranger is rude shock?

If he'd shouted at the little boy then I'd have been all for the OP saying something further. As it is,he didn't. So it's not understandable at all it's unnecessarily confrontational and aggressive.

If we accosted every person who didn't react in the well mannered way we wanted them to nobody would ever get anything done.

NicknameIncomplete Sun 30-Jun-13 23:14:38

I wouldnt have accepted the 3 yr olds apology either. Id have expected an apology from the mum as the child probably didnt know any better. The OP was the one not watching her child.

I would have been horrified if my child touched someone elses food.

Mintyy Sun 30-Jun-13 23:17:16

It was NOT the 3 year old's fault that the adult in charge did not apologise, so to not accept an apology from the 3 year old is just plain mean and spiteful.

garlicnutty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:30:13

"Mean", yes, but you're still expecting the bloke to be 'parental' towards the child when there's no reason why he should. He's out for a grown-up breakfast by himself, not a muck-n with random toddlers!

The child's apology doesn't mean anything in an adult sense. There must be a three-year-old, somewhere, who would go "I'm terribly sorry, how clumsy of me! Let me pay for that one. Miss, could we get a fresh croissant for the gentleman please?"

But that three-year-old wouldn't have poked the other man's croissant in the first place, would he wink

AquaBoo Sun 30-Jun-13 23:41:57

I'm surprised at what a hard time the OP has had here. I think she did very well and the man was rude. It annoys me a bit that we are supposed to be so accommodating and forgiving towards people who can't tolerate small children doing what small children do.

garlicnutty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:46:25

Boo, why should people tolerate small children buggering things up when in adult environments? Interacting with children is a choice, unless you're their carer. Why should a grown-up, choosing to do a grown-up thing, have interactions with other people's children forced upon him?

Lweji Sun 30-Jun-13 23:52:35

So, a cafee at a supermarket is adult only environment?

They are little children. They are learning.

Why do we have to sanitise our environment from children?

libertine73 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:58:43

Yes, you really should have left him alone after the till.

I hope your child learnt people don't like having their food touched?

ilovesooty Mon 01-Jul-13 00:22:45

Even if we accept that small children are naturally curious the man wasn't under any obligation to have his space invaded and accept involvement in parenting the OP 's child. She should have apologised, offered to replace the croissant and then left the man in peace.

MidniteScribbler Mon 01-Jul-13 00:47:14

So, a cafee at a supermarket is adult only environment?

No, but your personal space is your own. There is no law that says you have to interact with any other human being if you choose not to. If you want to sit in the corner and read your paper in peace, then you are under no obligation to engage with anyone else around you, adult or child. Just like you are under no obligation to play peekaboo with the kid on the seat in front of you on the train, or to have a chat to the little old lady sitting next to you. If you want to eat your croissant without being interrupted constantly by a toddler and his ranting mother, then you should be allowed to.

EmmaBemma Mon 01-Jul-13 05:58:32

what is it with people? Of course the chap shouldn't have to be OK with strange children touching his food, but the offending croissant was replaced free of charge and the 3 year old apologised. It was rude of the man not to accept his apology - he got a new croissant, no harm done. He sounds about 3 himself.

saintmerryweather Mon 01-Jul-13 06:54:14

there are some right dickheads on this thread. all this sanctimonious 'well you should be controlling your child'... i dont even have a child and i can see how easily one might get away from you while youre choosing what to have at a cafe for 5 seconds.

just cos its aibu doesnt mean you have to be a twat. its not the rules you know.

The man was lucky. Had I been there with my big strapping teen ds1 he may well have sniffed it (it has happened before) then he'd have had a real reason to get the hump.

everlong Mon 01-Jul-13 07:19:20

We don't know he was old do we?

I really couldn't ignore a 3 year old boy saying sorry to me.
Heartless fucker.

NoobyNoob Mon 01-Jul-13 07:35:45

YABU for going back to him and having it out. We can't control other peoples actions, people don't behave as we would like so it's unreasonable to expect anything more from him. Your actions count, you control you - and if you want to behave like that then that's also your prerogative. We seem to spend too much time trying to change other people#s actions rather than concentrating on our own.

However, to me your son obviously didn't mean to poke it. I have a 3 year old who points to show me things and he ends up touching a painted fence or something daft. Children are clumsy, so you had full control of your children as much as you possibly could of at the time.

Sirzy Mon 01-Jul-13 08:28:12

No she didn't nooby. In a cafe setting having him stood next to her would have a)stopped this happening and b) made sure he was safe. What would have happened if he had poked his finger into someone's hot coffee? Or walked into a tray of hot food?

I agree the child didnt mean to do anything bad but the whole thing could have been avoided with basic supervision.

everlong Mon 01-Jul-13 08:38:10

Such perfect parents on here.

Give the op a break. She had 3 dc with her, alone.

And I doubt the child would have poked hot coffee. Not very appealing to a small child.

Sirzy Mon 01-Jul-13 08:39:11

I don't think supervising children in a cafe makes parents perfect. Simply sensible.

NoobyNoob Mon 01-Jul-13 08:55:08

I don't know Sirzy and don't care all that much to be honest!

Simply commenting on how I see it smile

everlong Mon 01-Jul-13 08:58:00

It is sensible but the fact the OP had 3 very young dc with her alone I think the fact that her dc wandered a few feet away from her could be forgiven. ( in my world anyway )

samandi Mon 01-Jul-13 09:15:52

Yes, you were out of order to go up to the man afterwards. That's really stupid and argumentative.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Mon 01-Jul-13 09:18:09

Reading some of the posts on here, I think several posters live in their own worlds a little too much and could do with living in the real world a bit more often.

Scholes34 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:23:00

I wouldn't have gone to a cafe on my own with three such young children. In fact, what I should say is that I didn't go to a cafe when my three children were this age, simply because I wouldn't have been able to keep them under control and buy my self-service food. The OP is being unreasonable in doing so and then moaning about the consequences as though it was beyond her control.

everlong Mon 01-Jul-13 09:24:43

What if the OP were a single parent? And had no choice to go alone. Jesus.

Scholes34 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:28:35

You don't HAVE to go to a cafe. If your child is likely to be hungry after a swimming lesson, it is possible to pre-empt this with snacks and drinks in your bag.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 09:40:18

There's a clear divide here:

In the RED corner; those who think that children shouldn't impose on other people and that it's up to the attending parent to control them. Should child(ren) do something they should then the parent is expected to apologise and not get aerated that the provoked person doesn't fall over themselves with gratitude.


In the BLUE corner; those parents who feel that the public at large should accept children and their behaviour, no matter what it is. The parent feels they have the right to be aggrieved if anybody (adult) falls short of those expectations.

Maybe we'd stop the angst if we met somewhere in the middle... PURPLE?

Those in the Blue corner though really should stop name-calling because that really does indicate the fact that they have no idea of personal parameters nor any consideration of others outside their own narrow field of interest, ie. their DCs. It's also more than a little bit pathetic.

everlong Mon 01-Jul-13 09:50:37

Yep in that perfect stepford wives world we have children that stand by our side, a partner or other capable adult to assist us, a bag full of snacks and drinks.

God help us if we ever stray from perfection.

EliotNess Mon 01-Jul-13 09:51:15

this event lasted 5 minutes

it has been analysed ot death

OP grow some

Sirzy Mon 01-Jul-13 09:52:02

I am a single parent, often out with 3 young children but if a child in my care wandered off I would blame myself not the child and certainly not the person that they went to annoy for getting annoyed.

Scholes34 Mon 01-Jul-13 10:02:41

everlong I think the issue is more around where one would like to apportion blame when things don't go quite as perfectly as you might like, rather than expecting perfection in our every day lives. I would also fall into the Sirzy camp.

inneedofsomehelpplz Mon 01-Jul-13 10:05:42

what if the man had a learning disability & didnt know how to handle the situation?! poor bloke having some strange woman shouting at him! yabvu & out of interet did you pay for the wasted food because if you didnt, again yabu.

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