WIBU here?

(65 Posts)
IfYouLoveSomebodyLetThemSleep Mon 02-Sep-13 17:59:12

Our drive has lots of blackberries growing on it, the children that live on the street were taking a big interest in me giving some to DS so I invited them to pick some theirselves (after checking for allergies and the usual speech about always checking with an adult before you eat wild berries). I gave them a bowl and told them to get picking.

Next thing I know one of their Dads is storming across the street shouting about them being poisonous, the kids were all crying by that point, thinking that I'd poisoned them.
I calmly pointed out that they are obviously not poisonous as they are blackberries, can be bought at most shops etc. He carried on shouting about not being so reckless in future, how I could have poisoned all the kids.

I apologised for upsetting him but really, there was nothing to be upset about. I still don't think I was being unreasonable for letting the children do something as normal as picking blackberries, or was I?

ANormalOne Mon 02-Sep-13 18:05:31

How old are they? I wouldn't have let them do it by themselves in case they picked anything else and ate it, to avoid accidental poisonings. But his reaction was completely silly and definitely over the top.

Sirzy Mon 02-Sep-13 18:07:07

I wouldn't encourage strange children to pick berries no. And I would be mighty pissed off if someone else encouraged DS to

Trills Mon 02-Sep-13 18:07:31

He is being very silly.

I can understand why someone might not want a young child to be introduced to the idea of "pick things and eat them", but he went about expressing that feeling in a very over-the-top way.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 02-Sep-13 18:09:38

I think you were being U.

Even though I can see you were just trying to be nice and the father was being OTT.

Cluffyflump Mon 02-Sep-13 18:10:19

If the kids are old enough to play out, they should be old enough to know what blackberries are.
Bloody cotton wool parents!

FredFlintstonesSister Mon 02-Sep-13 18:12:18

I think you're not supposed to eat berries growing near a road because they pick up traffic pollution. I could be completely wrong, but people thinking this sort of thing would be reason enough not to encourage others' children to pick berries on your drive! X

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 02-Sep-13 18:14:52

Sirzy why? It's a bloody Blackberry! OP YANBU of course the Dad sounds like an idiot.

Sirzy Mon 02-Sep-13 18:16:08

Because I don't think strangers should be encouraging children to eat food, certainly not pick food. There is no need.

Why not just say to them "well come back with an adult and feel free to help yourself to some if they say ok?"

FrauMoose Mon 02-Sep-13 18:16:31

Crazy, crazy world.

My husband is a keen (and knowledgeable) forager for mushrooms. On our recent holiday my daughter's friend joined us in eating a breakfast made from delicious parasol mushrooms.

It's Coke and cheesy wotsits and hydrogenated fats and and milk chocolate that has hardly any cocoa solids and fast food burgers that that are bad for you....

CwtchesAndCuddles Mon 02-Sep-13 18:19:02

I can't believe people are saying you were being unreasonable!!!! Blackberries are a healthy natural free food - what is wrong with people today.

I have spent the afternoon picking blackberries with my children and will be making bramble jelly tomorrow.

Sirzy Mon 02-Sep-13 18:20:26

Frau - it is different when it is with a child you know. You can't make decisions yourself to feed a strangers child.

DoJo Mon 02-Sep-13 18:23:51

It's tricky - on the one hand it's obvious that you were being kind and trying to encourage these children to eat something delicious and healthy. However, the dad wasn't to know that you had given them the speech about not eating any old berries, and we are always drumming into children that you don't accept sweets etc from strangers, so perhaps he was concerned that this was setting a dangerous precedent by encouraging them.

Topseyt Mon 02-Sep-13 18:25:02

He was being completely OTT.

I have always picked blackberries and so have my children and most of their friend.

Get a sackful of cotton wool, take it round to his house and tell him you thought he must be in need of this because he obviously shrouds his kids in it.

IfYouLoveSomebodyLetThemSleep Mon 02-Sep-13 18:27:04

I do know the children as DS plays out on the cul de sac a lot with them, have had them round to play etc. there are no other berries on the drive, only blackberries. I told them all the info they needed to know about only going for big black ones.

Maybe I was BU, I was just so shocked that they had no idea what they were and wanted them to have fun learning about them. They're only blackberries FGS!

FrauMoose Mon 02-Sep-13 18:27:15

I think it's about us -as a society/community - empowering children to make sensible decisions themselves. It's just a bit unfortunate that some parents are fearful to the point of stupidity. (Quite possibly the same parents who think it's fine to let small kids have unlimted access to technology on which they encounter all sorts of scary and unsuitable stuff.)

diddl Mon 02-Sep-13 18:28:50

He was OTT imo, but do you run a car up & down said drive-if so, yuk!

Sleepyhoglet Mon 02-Sep-13 18:28:50

So he was fine about letting them play outside alone, but got funny when you interacted. You are not unreasonable at all.

Floggingmolly Mon 02-Sep-13 18:30:46

I think it was a perfectly innocuous thing to do. And the op is not a "stranger" to these kids; she lives in the house across the street from mad Dad!!

Sirzy Mon 02-Sep-13 18:32:34

Why not send them home to check first then?

CaptainSweatPants Mon 02-Sep-13 18:33:42


He's a nutter!
We pick black berries on the way home from Sch by a main road

No one's died yet!

BrokenSunglasses Mon 02-Sep-13 18:33:43

I don't think YWBU. I'd like a neighbour like you.

We have blackberries growing wild in a dead end past our house. The local children come round and pick them, they then bring them to me to check that they are all blackberries and then the children take them home.

YANBU you know these children and as long as the children know they can't just pick and eat anything then it's fine

Jan49 Mon 02-Sep-13 18:37:14

He was OTT but I don't think you should introduce other people's dc to idea of picking fruit off bushes and eating it, not without knowing the parents well and knowing they're fine about it. The trouble is, the dc might then pick something like a berry off a bush and eat it.

Snatchoo Mon 02-Sep-13 18:41:11

YANBU at all IMO.

As Cluffy says - if they're old enough to be playing out they're old enough to pick blackberries.

Jan49 - the OP does specifically say that she gave them a lecture about checking with an adult first....which they were!

fluffyraggies Mon 02-Sep-13 18:43:44

Bit on the fence here.

It's safer not to encourage other folks kids to do anything, go anywhere or eat anything without seeing their parent first.

He reacted like a prize prat though. What's wrong with going over calmly and saying 'i'd rather my little Jonny didn't pick fruit without my knowledge, but thanks for the thought'.

CharityFunDay Mon 02-Sep-13 18:43:53

No good deed goes unpunished...

IfYouLoveSomebodyLetThemSleep Mon 02-Sep-13 18:57:00

Well I'm glad the majority of you have I wasn't BU, I was beginning to think I'd done something awful.

I just feel a bit sad now as all the kids think I've been trying to hurt them sad

Coconutty Mon 02-Sep-13 18:59:33

UANBU and I'm sure you meant well.

FrauMoose Mon 02-Sep-13 18:59:58

One of the difficult things children have to learn is that some adults - including parents - are wrong. If the local kids know you as a good sensible person they are likely to know, deep down, that you would not hurt them. It is more likely that they will distrust somebody who shouts and screams and panics.

Blissx Mon 02-Sep-13 19:36:14

What is wrong with society at present? It's picking blackberries for heaven's sake! What a bullying and unreasonable idiot that man was. Sorry you got shouted out OP-I'd love a neighbour like you.

Icedink Mon 02-Sep-13 19:41:04

Ywnbu at all! The father is an ungrateful idiot, you sound like a lovely neighbour.

Jan49 Mon 02-Sep-13 19:45:44

The trouble is, whilst you intend to show the child how to pick blackberries, you never know what they might pick which is unsuitable to eat and you don't know how well other people's kids learn the lesson about asking an adult. Other parents might tell their child "never pick anything from the bushes and eat it", knowing their child is impulsive and wouldn't remember about checking or about different fruits.

EST0106 Mon 02-Sep-13 19:48:02

Yanbu, I can't believe anyone thinks you were. Personally I find picking blackberries boring so I'd be delighted if DD came home with a bowl full. Admittedly she's only 2, so maybe in a few years!

quoteunquote Mon 02-Sep-13 19:54:00

what a twonk,

Suggest he looks up a recipe for apple and blackberry crumble, google blackberries images, and a nice bottle of wine will help with the apology.

How does anyone get to be old enough to breed, and not know what a blackberry looks like.

I bet he feels embarrassed when he finds out.

AwkwardSquad Mon 02-Sep-13 21:41:53

Goodness me. When I was little, I knew what blackberries looked like, where to find them and when they were ripe. Because adults showed me and explained... YANBU.

carabos Mon 02-Sep-13 21:44:08

Crikey- where are all you folks who've got ripe blackberries? We've got tiny green bullets here still sad.

whois Mon 02-Sep-13 21:51:54

Crikey- where are all you folks who've got ripe blackberries? We've got tiny green bullets here still

South. The BEST blackberries I have ever seen along Lee Valley at the weekend. Seriously huge and super sweet.

Goldenbear Mon 02-Sep-13 21:59:48

YANBU. Do you think he knew that they were blackberries because the OTT reaction would suggest not?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 02-Sep-13 22:13:14


I would be mortified if that dad belonged to my house

superram Mon 02-Sep-13 22:17:44


HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 02-Sep-13 22:19:33

Yanbu I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

primallass Mon 02-Sep-13 22:21:22


They are called BRAMBLES grin

Backtobedlam Mon 02-Sep-13 22:22:10

YANBU-if the children are old enough to be playing out without an adult then the parents can hardly complain to you about 'allowing' them to do something. He sounds crazy! Would he have preferred you and DS gleefully picked and ate them all whilst the others sat and watched? I can't believe some posters think you shouldn't have let them join in, threads like this make me think twice about helping anyone else out...as a friend once told me 'never does a good deed go unpunished'.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Mon 02-Sep-13 22:26:17

I would let children pick them if we had them growing near us but I'd only agree after they had gone home and asked. It'd only be with children where I know the parents though.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 02-Sep-13 22:31:42

Ridiculous stupid man.
Who doesn't know what blackberries are (or as primalass correctly said brambles)
Ive picked them since I was a child, and will be picking more when they come to fruit in a month or so. we have millions round here.

RevoltingPeasant Mon 02-Sep-13 22:33:56

Sweet Jesus. You mean some of you would expect a NT child with no allergies to go home and ask a parent before eating a blackberry?!

This is why we have late teens unable to function on their own....

I mean, the only possible excuse is if the children were like 3-4, but if they are playing out alone I'm guessing 8+, in which case...

OP YANBU, at all. Tell him to keep his precious darlings inside and off your property if he feels like that, and never to come onto your drive and speak to you like that again. What a control freak.

anonnymousey Mon 02-Sep-13 22:34:44

chump dad, cool neebs op

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 02-Sep-13 22:37:13

YANBU. In what world should a child not be taught that they can eat blackberries?

But only the one's higher up than a dog can cock his leg. wink

Yamyoid Mon 02-Sep-13 22:40:25

shock yanbu

pootlebug Mon 02-Sep-13 22:42:43

I'm with RevoltingPeasants - I really really don't get people who suggested that you should have sent the kids home to ask whether they were allowed to eat a blackberry? wtf?

If the OP's DS had asked her for an apple from Tescos (i.e not the tree) for each of them should they ask too?

But I really wonder if a lot of people don't know what blackberries are / don't 'trust' picking themselves. I can't believe how many there are, with no-one picking them. sad

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Mon 02-Sep-13 22:52:31

You have no idea if they have allergies or not though, and berries are quite common allergens. Better to ask than not.

SomethingOnce Mon 02-Sep-13 23:22:28

How was he to know you know your berries? For all he knew, you could be completely ignorant and filling his children with deadly nightshade berries.

I'm not a cotton wool enthusiast but I think I'd be cross.

Pozzled Mon 02-Sep-13 23:33:33

Yanbu. I'm shocked that people think blackberries are such a big deal. Any child old enough to be playing out is old enough to declare allergies and listen to/understand a talk about not eating other berries without checking.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 02-Sep-13 23:34:08

But everybody knows what a blackberry looks like surely confused.
People and kids have been eating them forever.

EATmum Mon 02-Sep-13 23:41:11

I was the kid aged 3 who ate deadly nightshade rather than blackberries - so I figure knowing about them, what's safe to eat and what isn't, is rather important. Otherwise they'll just do it their own way - and end up yakking in hospital! YANBU

jessieagain Tue 03-Sep-13 01:57:47


He should have been out supervising them. I would ignore him an next time the children talk to you tell them that they had better go home to their dad because he was upset last time.

longingforsomesleep Tue 03-Sep-13 06:19:01

I regularly went blackberry picking with my dad when I was little in local woods and in my grandparents' garden. We thought nothing of eating them straight from the hedge unwashed.

I must admit though, I am slightly nervous about picking them now, in an urban area where they are exposed to lots of traffic fumes, but I presume if they're thoroughly washed then it's OK?

But I do think his behaviour was totally unreasonable - especially in front of the kids.

livinginwonderland Tue 03-Sep-13 07:00:03

YANBU. My dad used to take my friends and I blackberry picking all the time and I loved it. How do people get to become parents without knowing what a blackberry looks like?!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 03-Sep-13 07:41:14

Sirzy Oh yes...because kids need an adult with them ALL the time....even when the neighbouring kid's mum wants to let them pick a frigging blackberry!

cherrytomato40 Tue 03-Sep-13 07:56:06

YANBU it's not like it was a random bush in the street it was your own blackberry bush in your own garden! Our elderly neighbour has loads of blackberries overhanging her garden wall into the street she always tells us to help ourselves.

My next door neighbour gave my kids a kinder egg each yesterday without telling me- now I don't mind at all, but I think I'd have more grounds to complain at them being given saturated fat than he does at his kids being given frigging blackberries!

cherrytomato40 Tue 03-Sep-13 08:02:51

I meant to add, it's very sad that we bring our kids up on unseasonal pre-packaged fruit with a gazillion airmiles such as blueberries etc but we are too scared to let them eat the free seasonal and tasty produce on our doorstep.

Reminds me of my friend who was disgusted that we ate eggs from our neighbour's chickens!

daisychain01 Tue 03-Sep-13 08:06:18

The father should have been grateful those children were getting an education in how blackberries grow on brambles. Probably before you came along, they thought they were cultivated in little black plastic trays in Tesco.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Tue 03-Sep-13 08:12:39

They were old enough to be playing out unsupervised - they're old enough to pick blackberries. I think its sad that these lovely traditions are dying out because lots of parents don't bother doing this kind of stuff anymore.

None of the kids i teach (14+) in one class knew what paddling was, had never been sledging or picked blackberries / winkles

Op i wish you lived in my street - we could draw hopscotch on the ground and teach the kids skipping games too :-)

What an idiot. He would have passed out at the wild food walk ds2 & ds3 did age 5 & 8. They were shown how to eat (raw) nettles & gorse bush flowers amongst other things. My mother claims to have lived on nettle soup post war.

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