Who WBU? Mortifying train incident.

(421 Posts)
MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 17:18:42

Ds, 15 months, has an unfortunate hair pulling habit. Today on the train he got hold of the hair of the teenage girl sitting in the seat behind his and yanked it. She screamed 'get the fuck off me' and glared at him. She kept turning round and glaring at him the rest of the journey.

FunkyFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 17:20:43

Presumably your son wasn't there on his own, in which case the parent he was with was being unreasonable for not ensuring that his hands were nowhere near someone's hair.

Svrider Sun 03-Nov-13 17:20:47

The girl wbu
Obv you need to keep an eye on your baby, but honestly most young girls wouldn't have reacted like thisshock
Hope you're ok

Oh dear, clearly the girl WBVU but you WBU for allowing it to happen.

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Nov-13 17:22:18

I assume you apologised and told your son off (in an age-appropriate kind of way?)

Sirzy Sun 03-Nov-13 17:22:24

I wouldn't be best amused if a strange child pulled my hair either. I wouldn't have reacted like that but I would have been pissed off.

You shouldn't have let it happen and when it did you should have been very aplogietic.

UnexpectedFrightInShaggingArea Sun 03-Nov-13 17:22:35

Teenage girls will not always understand the levels of awareness that a 15 mo will have. I don't blame her for being upset but in a few years she will probably realise she could have been more understanding.

Maryz Sun 03-Nov-13 17:23:02

She probably got a terrible fright.

Were you sitting behind her? In which case she was sitting there minding her own business, when someone suddenly grabbed her hair and gave it a tug.

She probably shouted before she knew who it was.

And of course, your toddler should have been stopped before he got that close, especially if he was standing on the seat and leaning over.

DreamlessSleep Sun 03-Nov-13 17:23:17


ThisWayForCrazy Sun 03-Nov-13 17:23:25

Did she know he was a child before she said this?

CrohnicallyTired Sun 03-Nov-13 17:23:54

Did she realise it was a baby sitting behind her and grabbing her hair? She probably reacted in instinct, I am sure my reaction to being grabbed out of the blue would be similar (though she should have apologised as soon as she realised)

AngelsLieToKeepControl Sun 03-Nov-13 17:24:03

Did she see it was your ds pulling her hair. If it was from behind I would have probably reacted the same way (although not the glares afterwards).

ubik Sun 03-Nov-13 17:24:19

not everyone thinks your child is cute

freemanbatch Sun 03-Nov-13 17:24:32

did she know it was a toddler before she spoke or did she have no idea who had just grabbed her hair?

If I didn't know it was a child behind me I'd probably react in pretty much the same way to being assaulted whilst minding my own business. There could be many reasons she is on edge whilst travelling and lets be honest the child shouldn't have been in a position to do it in the first place.

MrPricklepants Sun 03-Nov-13 17:24:59

What Maryz said.

You haven't actually said if you apologised, or how you let him grab a strangers hair.

kali110 Sun 03-Nov-13 17:25:48

She prob was shocked!i may have reacted in same way. Im generally in my own world with ipod and book and it would have scared me

Ilovegeorgeclooney Sun 03-Nov-13 17:26:22

Both of you but how did you expect a perfect stranger, and teenager to boot, to react to having their hair pulled. It hurts! You need to supervise your child and she is entitled to travel without being assaulted.

DownstairsMixUp Sun 03-Nov-13 17:26:33

Maybe she didn't see it was a child before? Not saying the language is approp but if i felt my hair grabbed suddenly i think i might let out a swear word in shock.. not something you'd expect is it really?!

RevoltingPeasant Sun 03-Nov-13 17:26:59

Sorry but I think YABU and the was being understandably unreasonable if that makes sense.

Agree with Mary that she probably was in her own little world when suddenly some kid grabbed her and she just reacted. Also agree she probably had no real idea how little he was.

Also also, if you were not watching him closely enough that he could lean over and grab someone, how do you know he hadn't been annoying her for some time before? I mean, maybe she'd been gritting her teeth for ages and then suddenly YANK and she just lost it.

What did you do?

CiderBomb Sun 03-Nov-13 17:27:19

Why did you allow your child to pull a random strangers hair?

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 17:27:44

Was it just the one pull or had your DS been pulling, touching or stroking her hair before that? Had the teenager shown earlier signs of not being happy about it, e.g. turning round, huffing, tutting, etc?

You were obviously unreasonable to allow your DS the opportunity to pull a stranger's hair knowing that it was one of his habits. I also hope that you apologised regardless of her outburst.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:27:52

Did you apologise immediately? And what were you doing so your son could grab her hair, or was Rapunzel behind you?
To be fair, she was probably glaring at you.

blueemerald Sun 03-Nov-13 17:28:00

If a stranger, potentially adult stranger, yanked my hair I would respond in the same way she did. She had no way of knowing it was a child. If you apologised properly and corrected your child then she shouldn't have kept glaring, but your post doesn't make that clear. Your son does need to realise that pulling hair will make people cross/upset with him.

IsThatTrue Sun 03-Nov-13 17:28:50

Wow Ywbu for your toddler being able to get that close.

If she knew it was a child SWB (a bit) U if not she reacted as many would when grabbed out of the blue.

MadAsFish Sun 03-Nov-13 17:28:52

Her no so much, you very. As others have pointed out, she probably got a shock, it hurt quite a bit (you said yanked, not just pulled), and for all you know, it was the last straw in a chain of rotten things that had happened to her today.
Also, not everyone thinks your child is cute, as ubik said.

LittlePeaPod Sun 03-Nov-13 17:28:55

I suspect she was caught from ehind/unaware and that's why she reacted the way she did. So based on that she was not BU. who was responsible for your DC? Did they know yor DC as a bad habit of pulling people's hair? If so, why did they not ensure he was not in a position not to do this? If the person with your child knows about the hair pulling then that person would BU if they got upset about the girls reaction. They should ave apologised to her for the incident.

LEMisafucker Sun 03-Nov-13 17:29:05

I probably would have lamped her one if she swore at my child like that

MammaTJ Sun 03-Nov-13 17:30:02

Did she realise it was a baby sitting behind her and grabbing her hair? She probably reacted in instinct, I am sure my reaction to being grabbed out of the blue would be similar (though she should have apologised as soon as she realised)

This, with the added comment that a teenage girl would not have the grace and ability to correct her error, so acted with bravado of a teen and kept up the glaring.

Do make sure your wonderful DS is not able to do this to anyone again though.

Mckayz Sun 03-Nov-13 17:30:07

You were being unreasonable. You should be making sure he can't reach to pull anyone's hair.

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 17:30:11

Ds, 15 months, has an unfortunate hair pulling habit.

It's always annoying to see useless parents who won't do anything to control their children, and just smile indulgently.

ihearsounds Sun 03-Nov-13 17:30:33

Don't really know that many people who wouldn't react to suddenly having their hair pulled from behind.
Don't know that many people who wouldn't keep looking behind them to ensure it didn't happen again.
So she wnbu.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 03-Nov-13 17:30:46

LEM what would you do if an adult man yanked your hair on the train? Because maybe the girl swore before she knew who it was....

Moxiegirl Sun 03-Nov-13 17:31:18

If you know he has a hair pulling habit you need to watch like a hawk!
How embarrassing! X
Teenage girls are so dramatic though grin

Remotecontrolduck Sun 03-Nov-13 17:31:31

The girl probably panicked, I would too to be honest. I would have apologised for swearing at the baby though! She may have been too shy and embarrassed for shouting though so kept quiet.

If you know your DS has a habit of pulling hair you need to be on your guard at all times in public areas such as the train or the bus, yes he can't understand how bad it is but hair pulling is horrible and you can't allow it to happen.

mawbroon Sun 03-Nov-13 17:31:41

What ubik said.

Aquilla Sun 03-Nov-13 17:32:01

You poor thing! The girl sounds horrible. I can understand her getting a shock but what kind of person continues to react in such an aggressive way to a BABY? She could run into real trouble later on if she approaches other situations like this hmm

FloresCircumdati Sun 03-Nov-13 17:32:46

That's very painful, and I wouldn't be too quick to criticise a teenager for telling a stranger to get off them when assaulted.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 17:33:09

I probably would have lamped her one if she swore at my child like that

Well of course you wouldn't, you'd have been arrested if you had.

You would have been upset, as i'm sure she was when her hair was yanked while she was sitting minding her own business.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 03-Nov-13 17:33:27

This reminds me of a mortifying incident from school.

I was walking up a staircase between class periods and someone behind me yanked my ponytail. I gasped "What the fuck?!" Thinking it was some big kid or bully.

It was my head of year blush

IMO it is a totally understandable way to react. My teacher was thankfully grown up enough to apologise for startling me....

Loopyloulu Sun 03-Nov-13 17:33:45

He's 15 months and got hold of someone's hair who was sitting behind him.

So that means he must have been standing up and facing backwards- he wouldn't be able to reach over the back of the seat if he was sitting down.

So here we have a child who is allowed to stand on train seats ( they do have notices saying keep your feet off the seats.) or maybe he was sitting on your lap and has very long arms.

In either case you are the adult and should make sure he doesn't grab people's hair.

When I am on a train I get really annoyed if kids kick the back of my seat( from behind), stand on seats and lean over the back of mine, and generally behave in an inconsiderate manner.

But it's the parents I blame.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Nov-13 17:34:12

And this was mortifying? You have a very sheltered life.

Laming someone is assault. That's a criminal offence sine thugs don't know how to behave.


reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 17:34:12

And she was probably glowering at you OP for not supervising and because she was jumpy thinking it might happen again.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:34:16

My toddler could have reached out like lightening and done it so I think a lot of you are being very harsh!

I would if it happened to me be really apologetic etc but its awkward when someone has shouted fuck off at you before you have the chance.

It is in no way acceptable to shout get the fuck off my hair to a small toddler.

And where did OP say she though it was cute??

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:35:10

The girl sounds horrible? To me the parent who allows their precious darling to cause physical pain to complete strangers sounds horrible.
And maybe the girl just kept looking round to make sure she wasn't hurt again. Some of just tend to have a resting bitch face.

Lizzabadger Sun 03-Nov-13 17:35:33

You should have controlled your child.

I would react in exactly the same way, I would act as if I was being attacked

Only once I'd seen it was a child would I calm down and move.

Until then you'd get my basic instinct - to draw attention to the fact I was being attacked, and to react aggressively to a threat.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:36:59

I think there is a whole load of projection and assumptions about this woman's parenting going on here.

thistlelicker Sun 03-Nov-13 17:38:08

Op. Do u think its unreasonable to be on a Train and have "somebody" pull your hair?? How exactly would u have reacted???

insancerre Sun 03-Nov-13 17:38:12

you know how toddlers cannot regulate their behaviour and are prone to tantrums?
you know they act instinctively without thinking?
well, guess what? so do teenagers
especially teenage girls who are 95% hormones and not in control of what they say and do, most of the time
the poor girl was probably really embarrassed

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:39:14

Harold if the OP said 'I apologised profusely, but she kept glaring' I might think differently about the parenting.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:40:00

Yeah so embarrassed she gave him dirty looks for the rest of the journey. Hmm.

BrianTheMole Sun 03-Nov-13 17:40:14

Did you apologise op?

FairPhyllis Sun 03-Nov-13 17:40:51

I would panic and lash out verbally if someone grabbed my hair from behind. If you didn't apologise for him then YWBU.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:40:54

Dirty looks, or checking that he was now under control?

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 17:40:56

Of course there is HaroldlLoyd, how else would a site like this run, we only ever get one side of the story.
And replies can only come from imagined responses to a situation.

ICameOnTheJitney Sun 03-Nov-13 17:41:11

I was in a supermarket once and "someone" grabbed my arse quite hard...I immediately yelled "What the FUCK are you doing!??" loudly as I lived in a rough part of London and had been assaulted once before. Turned round and there was a boy aged about 5 and his Mother looked daggers at me!

SHE should have apologised and I would have too! Instead she had decided it was fine/funny for her old enough to know better child to grab my arse! Yes of course he COULD have had some SN but I didn't know that when I felt the grab...and she could have said "So sorry he has SN..." and I'd have said sorry for swearing but I'd had a shock.

BlueJess Sun 03-Nov-13 17:41:23

Sorry, YBU.

It's your job to make sure you are supervising him. Of course sometimes he'll get away from you, but then you have to put up with the consequences and grovel profusely.

Ii is very sore having your hair pulled, edpecially if it's long. Her language was inappropriate but probably instinctive.

How much did you apologise? People rareky continue to glare if you grovel and appropriately chastise the child in questi

WooWooOwl Sun 03-Nov-13 17:42:48

Girl was not unreasonable. Baby was not unreasonable.

You are very unreasonable.

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 17:42:48

Harold That's because the OP hasn't come back to clarify the situation. People are basing their responses on the OP's version of what happened. If she'd said that her DS wanted to pull the girl's hair but she sat him so that he couldn't and distracted him but XYZ happened and she is mortified that her DS managed to do this, then the responses would have been different.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:43:14

What if you dropped a tin of beans on a woman's foot in the supermarket and she shouted FUCK OFF at you?

I wouldn't grovel I'd run & hide.

ReluctantBeing Sun 03-Nov-13 17:43:21

You were being unreasonable to not have ensured your child didn't pull someone's hair. You knew he was likely to do it.
Maybe she shouldn't have sworn, but, to be honest, I might have sworn if someone had suddenly yanked my hair from behind. She probably kept looking behind waiting for you to apologise.

MerylStrop Sun 03-Nov-13 17:44:04

Girl WBU to scream and swear. Not BU to be very annoyed.

I remember my 3 as toddlers pulling my hair and I found it painful and annoying and I'm their doting mother. I hope you apologised.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 17:44:40

I would still apologise Harold and say it was an accident.

buss Sun 03-Nov-13 17:45:30

She probably reacted instinctively when she shouted

It must have given her quite a shock to have had her hair pulled hard from behind without warning

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 17:45:55

So would I reeling

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:46:02

Harold, what if you threw a tin of beans at someone in the supermarket? This wasn't an accident.

Raddy Sun 03-Nov-13 17:46:16

Having my hair yanked would make me Very Cross Indeed.

I would not have had such a fish wifey reaction but I would certainly have said something and expected an apology from the child's mum.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:47:25

I would ordinarily be totally apologetic but I would be so shock If someone started shouting and swearing at me I'm not actually sure what I'd do, it's never happened to me, thank god.

The few things my toddler has done which I've had to apologise for the other person is normally understanding.

I can understand it if someone grabs your arse, my assumption would be it was a bloke.

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 17:48:10

How on earth did a 15 month old manage to bother someone in the seat behind? Sounds like you were not adequately supervising.

If the girl saw it was a baby though she shouldn't have shouted/sworn.

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 17:48:18

Ok, thanks for the replies. I wasn't there. Dh had him, I was in the loo. Yes he was up on the seats, but didn't have shoes on - it was a 1.5 hour journey. He's never pulled a stranger's hair before, it's usually me while I'm holding him, or sometimes dd when she's in the trolley next to him, so although hair pulling is a general habit of his, I wouldn't have been aware of the possibility of him doing it to a random stranger on the train.

Dh only told me when we'd got off the train. I'd have apologised. I asked him if she knew it was ds, as she may have thought it was dh, but he said no she knew it was ds as he (ds) was there with his arms out (for more hair <cringe>) when she turned around. Secondly I said didn't you apologise and he said no because she looked so enraged! He's not usually a bellend, honest! I think he just thought she was only just keeping the lid on her rage, so if he said anything at all, he'd set her off, so he just kept his head down.

I think he should've just said sorry. If that set her off then she's obviously being a knob, but as it stands, she is the wronged party.

frogspoon Sun 03-Nov-13 17:48:52

YAB a bit U. You caused her to have a painful and nasty shock, by poor control of your son's behaviour.

You should have prevented your son from pulling other people's hair, and you should have apologised to her. If you had, perhaps she would also have apologised for swearing (which most of us, thinking were being attacked would probably do) No wonder she was glaring the whole journey.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 03-Nov-13 17:49:41

Harold dropping a tin of beans is clearly an unfortunate accident. Pulling someone's hair is not.

People are making assumptions about OP parenting because she says " DS has a hair pulling habit" like it's some force of nature beyond her control. And she doesn't mention apologising.

If it had been me I would've said something like "I'm terribly sorry, he's going through a stage and I hope you're not hurt. However, please don't swear at my son, he's only little".

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:49:50

A toddler is not culpable in the same way as an adult.

We all do our best to control them but things DO happen.

Your not giving someone a chance to apologise properly if you start shouting fucks at them are you.

So throwing beans is not comparable. Maybe dropping them in a momentary lapse of concentration?

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:50:08

But do you not understand that 'get the fuck off me' is an instinctive reaction, and one that we should be encouraging young girls to have? This time it was a baby, but she didn't know that. It could've been someone trying to assault her.

frogspoon Sun 03-Nov-13 17:50:19

Sorry, cross post.

Now I see it was your DH's fault not yours, he should have apologised.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 17:50:34

hettienne, I imagine the seats were back to back on a train.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:50:34

That would be a very good response.

It sounds as though she shouted in instinct, lots of people have very sensitive scalps as well to be fair. I'm presuming you apologised?

RevoltingPeasant Sun 03-Nov-13 17:50:53

Massive x post OP!!

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 17:50:54

YDHWBU to not supervise the baby properly
She might not have been unreasonable if she shouted first in reaction to having her hair yanked.
If she knew it was the baby she shouldn't have shouted, but also your DH should have apologised.

maddening Sun 03-Nov-13 17:51:11

If you apologised straight away and ensured no further hair pulling incidents then she wbu for the continued glaring. The initial reaction was just a reaction to something that you should have prevented.

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 17:51:29

My first thought when I read the OP is that my 13 year old DD would not have reacted like that. She's slightly passive, a little anxious and not at all assertive/aggressive so she wouldn't have reacted like this even if she was being assaulted or being touched inappropriately by anyone on a train. I really wish that she was assertive/aggressive enough to shout get the fuck off me to anyone who threatened her safety, whether it was a real threat or not.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:51:58

Yeah he probably should have but I can understand if she was looking ragey that he was concerned about starting a ruckus.

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 17:53:10

It does sound like the girl shouted instinctively at having her hair pulled - good for her!
When she turned and realised it was a baby, she should have had an apology from the parent.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:53:33

She doesn't know it wasn't your DH. Is she psychic? Your son holding his arms out means nothing.

Chippednailvarnish Sun 03-Nov-13 17:53:38

He's not usually a bellend

Well he was this time. Your DH doesn't control your DS and then you have the nerve to refer to the other person a "knob". You both sound utterly charming.

Thurlow Sun 03-Nov-13 17:53:40

Her reaction was perfect normal, I'd have sworn like a trooper if that had happened.

She was probably being U to keep glaring - but it really depends on how you dealt with it

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 17:54:07

Oh well.
Another day another dilemma. grin

Thecurlywurlymum Sun 03-Nov-13 17:54:17

Just as well it wasn't my dd's hair he pulled. She is wearing some really nice clip in hair pieces at the moment. What a shock! like a scene from last of the Mohicans.

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 17:54:24

But do you not understand that 'get the fuck off me' is an instinctive reaction, and one that we should be encouraging young girls to have? This time it was a baby, but she didn't know that. It could've been someone trying to assault her.

^ This ^

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 17:54:48

It's perfectly reasonable to look daggers at useless parents who fail to control their child, don't apologise, and clearly think that their child's behaviour is acceptable.

"Your not giving someone a chance to apologise properly if you start shouting fucks at them are you."

Think this through though, you are on public transport, most people stop their children before they cause physical harm to a stranger. And very few passengers are normally small children. So you are likely to assume that the hair puller is an adult, and that it was done maliciously.

If you think someone has just deliberately tried to hurt you why would you wait for an apology rather than instinctively yell at them to let go of your hair?

thistlelicker Sun 03-Nov-13 17:55:43

Does you other half not know that your baby likes to pull hair ?

RevoltingPeasant Sun 03-Nov-13 17:55:47

....and I agree with the poster who said they'd rather teen girls did react this way.

A toddler will have been scared by someone shouting eff off. But he won't know what it means and he'll forget it by next week.

Whereas, teen girls do get groped and assaulted in public. Asserting oneself if one is travelling alone is actually really healthy. Maybe she was on her own on a long train journey for the first time, feeling nervous about managing on her own, full of advice from her mum about watching her purse and not going anywhere unlit and all that.... And then someone grabbed her.

I'd rather that reaction than frightened acquiescence.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 17:56:13

all, exactly my earlier point. I hope your DD is able to find her voice. Actually, I hope that she never needs to find it.

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 17:56:17

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

ZillionChocolate Sun 03-Nov-13 17:56:29

DHWBU. He should have apologised immediately.

PuppyMonkey Sun 03-Nov-13 17:57:10

Mortifying train incident indeed hmm grin

Expecting something a bit better

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 17:57:35

This all sounds a bit weird to me.

How can you say the girl spent the rest of the journey turning round and glaring at your son when you didn't even know about the incident until you got off the train?

Surely if this girl had actually done that, you'd have noticed and, at the very least, ask your husband why.

LittlePeaPod Sun 03-Nov-13 17:58:33

Your DH was BVA. He should have had better control and apologised to the girl.

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 17:58:55

I've got fibromyalgia and I have 2 spots on my head that are permanently painful. If my hair had been pulled in either of these spots I wouldn't have said get the fuck of me (I'm generally not like that grin ) but I would have screamed loudly because I would have been in a lot of pain. People would have thought my reaction was extreme because I don't look ill.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 17:58:59

I'm on my own here! grin

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 17:59:20

I agree puupymonkey I thought it would at least involve the opening of the toilet doors whilst OP was on the pot!

Weeantwee Sun 03-Nov-13 18:01:31

This has happened to me, although not on a train and it took all my strength not to swear in pain. I said Ouch as I looked at the little boy, he said nothing. His dad said nothing. Dad should have apologised. I hope you apologised to the teenage girl. No she shouldn't have used such language but hard not to when you're in unexpected pain.

FairPhyllis Sun 03-Nov-13 18:01:32

Your DH almost certainly has the luxury of never having to consider how he would react and if necessary defend himself if he were grabbed from behind by the hair. Which is not an unusual way of being assaulted. Her reaction was assertive and justified.

She probably thought it was your DH and that's why she was giving him dirty looks - he should have explained it was the toddler and apologised.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:02:03

BearBehind, yeah, while she was wiping her bum! grin

BlueJess Sun 03-Nov-13 18:02:06

Ok then, she continued to glare due as she was waiting fir an apology.

Your DH was too scared of a teenage girl to apologise for his child hurting her ...? shock

Loopyloulu Sun 03-Nov-13 18:02:25

I don't approve of her language but most teens seem to say Fuck these days when they mean 'very' or something.

But honestly- you ought to teach your DS not to pull hair- anyones. Because this is what happens if they aren't taught it's wrong and the adult they are with is not able to stop them in time.

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 18:02:47

Me too Gobby DD2 (13) is the only one of mine that I really worry about. DD1 (17) is assertive enough to deal with situations and DD3 (6) is absolutely going to be that 13 year old who shouts get the fuck off me on trains grin

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:03:51

Chipped I didn't call her a knob you knob I said IF she had blown her top as a reaction to dh apologising then she WOULD have been being a knob (at that point), but he should've apologised anyway, and let her be the one to decide whether or not to be a knob about it. His not apologising robbed her of her opportunity to either be a knob or be the bigger person about it.

Sorry if that wasn't clear but no I certainly wasn't calling her a knob.

Rosencrantz Sun 03-Nov-13 18:04:01

I would be livid if a baby pulled my hair. Not sure I'd have sworn at a baby, but I would have been so beyond angry with you as it's mother.

Letticetheslug Sun 03-Nov-13 18:04:46

yabu, she is young, it was a fright. I would hve apologised on behalf of my child and made sure that they realised that you must not do that to people. How else will children learn

frogspoon Sun 03-Nov-13 18:04:46

I agree puupymonkey I thought it would at least involve the opening of the toilet doors whilst OP was on the pot!

Agreed, this would have been much better

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 18:04:59

I bet the girl is telling this story as "some creepy bloke pulled my hair on the train, when I turned round he just ignored me and acted like it was his kid".

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:06:13

There's just too many variables here. From the OP I got the impression the teenager was aware it was a toddler rather than an adult potential attacker.

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:06:15

Also, for those of you wondering if it was your 13yo - I would've thought she was maybe 17-19 or 20. Too old for just 'girl', possibly too young for 'woman', that's the only reason I described her as a teenager.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:06:43

One last question OP, if you were in the loo at the time of the mortifying incident, didn't you wonder why she kept glaring at your DS for the rest of the journey?
I would have asked whispered to DH WTF was her problem.

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:07:06

His not apologising robbed her of her opportunity to either be a knob or be the bigger person about it.

Oh FFS, how far up yourselves are you and your husband? This wasn't a learning opportunity for a girl who had been assaulted to be magnanimous. It was a learning opportunity for you and your husband to not be useless parents who indulge a badly behaved child whom you can't control. It wasn't her fault. She was minding her own business. The whole event if you and your husband's problem for (a) not controlling your child and (b) not apologising like any decent people would do. Now you're going on about how she could "be the bigger person". You and your husband could have apologised. You didn't. She's already the bigger person.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 18:07:57

Mike, being a mum and step-mum to many DCs, I would say your husband needs to start being able to apologise for the behaviour of your DS or you'll end up with no friends! Most people understand that kids can be little sods at times, but if the parents don't deal with it/apologise it becomes an issue.

"You and your husband could have apologised. You didn't. She's already the bigger person."


Chippednailvarnish Sun 03-Nov-13 18:09:08

What Friday said.

Maryz Sun 03-Nov-13 18:10:21

The thing is, I've told (now-teenage) dd to shout out and make a noise if anyone touches her inappropriately, especially on a train.

I think it's right that a girl who has her hair pulled/bum slapped/boob grabbed should instantly should "fuck off, leave me alone". That instant noise-making reaction might save her from a worse attack.

I remember excruciating journeys as a teenager being afraid to shout when some stranger rubbed up against me, and I hope that teenage girls these days are more outspoken.

The fact that it was a toddler who grabbed her hair won't have registered until after she shouted.

Your dh was a twat and should have apologised (as you have said).

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 18:10:42

Hell yeah, friday.

She was probably in pain and worried that she'd just lost a handful of hair extensions.

She shouldn't have sworn, in an ideal world. But I think that your family's hair-pulling and non-apology outweigh her language.

Caitlin17 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:11:54

You and your husband are completely unreasonable. You should have stopped this before it even happened and you should have apologised profusely to the girl.

As for her swearing, I expect she was taken aback and it was instinctive reaction. She wasn't swearing at your child ,she was reacting to what happened. And as you didn't apologise to her, why should she apologise for swearing?

Mumpire Sun 03-Nov-13 18:13:19

You laugh bearbehind, it happened to me once. And it was much more embarrassing cos I was 'forrin'. The driver came racing down the carriage angrily, turned some sort of key in the toilet and then we were back on our way with him screaming at me in front of the other passengers 'that's a 90 second delay and the fine is £180'. I was planning to say 'no entiendo, no tengo dinero, lo siento mucho, no hablo inglés'. When we got of the train I put my hood up, let my hair down, put my sunglasses on, swapped ruck sacks with my friend who was laughing at my nervous. All the passengers on the train were wishing me good luck dodging the fine !

Trills Sun 03-Nov-13 18:14:22

I agree with Maryz - shouting is a very sensible reaction to have if you have just been grabbed while on public transport.

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:15:11

Fucking hell Friday13 The OP didn't apologise at all. Useless parents never do bit harsh! I wasn't there. I didn't know about it until we had all got off the train. I had no opportunity to apologise at all, and had I had the opportunity, I would have done. I'm not a useless parent just because I cannot control my baby from 100 yards away on the shitter! Blimey.

fluffyraggies Sun 03-Nov-13 18:15:32

If she was able to keep glaring at your son after the incident then it seems that he was still allowed to stand on the seat behind her within reach/jn easy view then?

She probably kept turning round to make sure her hair wasn't going to get pulled again.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:16:02

I can see that I was working on the assumption that it was clear it was a toddler and that might not be the case.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Nov-13 18:16:15

I suspect she was glaring at your husband. And deservedly. I am astonished that he didn't apologise. That is outrageous.

I'll bet you could kill your DH? He really acted like a prize chump!

Chippednailvarnish Sun 03-Nov-13 18:17:13

But your DH can control your child and didn't, but you still refer to the other person as a "knob"?!?!

Coconutty Sun 03-Nov-13 18:17:17

Your DH was being U. He sounds like a total dick, I can't imagine why he didn't apologise to the poor girl, who was probably terrified.

Trills Sun 03-Nov-13 18:17:46

Are you sure she was glaring at the toddler rather than glaring at the two adults who failed to control the toddler and did not apologise for the toddler's behaviour?

fluffyraggies Sun 03-Nov-13 18:17:58

OP your thread asks WHO was being U.

I think it was your DH - who was in charge of DS at the time, but didn't apologise for his behaviour.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:18:08

See, why didn't you wonder why she kept turning round to glare at your DS?
I mean, i'd have thought it very odd if a young Woman kept doing that for no apparent reason?

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 18:18:32

OP, you haven't explained how you know this girl continued to turn round and glare at your son for the rest of the journey when you didn't even know it had happened until you got off the train.....?

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:19:20

She must have turned right round to do that if your seats were back to back.

LittlePeaPod Sun 03-Nov-13 18:19:36

Op I am assuming that you are trying to teach your DC that this behaviour is unacceptable. With regards the teens age, I don't think that's relevant. I think people will probably react negatively when caught unaware like she was.. Your DH should have grown a pair and apologised. That would have rob ably defused the situation.

Maryz Sun 03-Nov-13 18:19:46

To be fair to the op, she isn't a knob, her dh is.

Though the fact that she is actually asking was the girl being unreasonable is a slight hint of possible knobbishness [arf], as she should know their girl wasn't unreasonable to shout out when an unseen stranger grabbed her hair.

YouTheCat Sun 03-Nov-13 18:20:39

Oh ffs - how could the OP apologise for something she had no idea happened until after the train journey had ended?

The dh was unreasonable for not apologising but there's bugger all the OP could have done as she didn't know what had happened.

Jeez, calm down people. Toddlers occasionally do unpredictable things. Ds1 had a 'hair pulling habit'. He was like lightning and could go from peacefully playing with his toys to hanging from your roots in nano seconds. Thankfully he never did it to a stranger, but this was due to luck rather than superior parenting.

The op's dh should have apologised but I think writing them off as useless parents is a tad ott.

PresidentServalan Sun 03-Nov-13 18:21:20

I can understand her reaction tbh. I am usually in my own world when on the train so I would have probably shouted when it happened. I would imagine it made her jump and it hurt her, so YWBU to let your DS do it in the first place, I'm afraid.

ReluctantBeing Sun 03-Nov-13 18:22:27

Did you not wonder why she was turning around?

MadgeBishop Sun 03-Nov-13 18:22:46

I agree with a Trills.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:23:22

There was an odd thing here a few years back when some young girls had their hair cut from behind on the buses without their knowledge.
It turned out it may have been linked to a very nasty murder case that was linked to another murder in Italy.
Very strange one that was.

PresidentServalan Sun 03-Nov-13 18:23:31

Sorry just seen it was your DH in charge - then you are both BU. The girl had probably been taught to shout loudly if someone touched her.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 18:23:33

You keep saying you weren't there, OP, but for you to have come on AIBU asking about the situation, and phrasing it as you did, do you think your DH was in the right? Are you trying to prove him wrong? Because if so you should have asked 'AIBU to think my DH could have dealt with this better?', rather than a load of guff about the girl swearing and looking at your DS and no mention of your DH being unreasonable.

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:23:56

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

Maryz Sun 03-Nov-13 18:24:24

I remember that reeling. I don't remember the outcome though.

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:25:12

OP. did you not wonder why she kept giving you evils?
i'll ask again.

notanyanymore Sun 03-Nov-13 18:25:36

If my daughter reacted like that to a very young child I'd be horrified. If it was her initial reaction on having her hair pulled I'd still expect her to immediately apologise upon turning round and seeing who it was. I don't think its ever OK to scream/swear at a child.
I am very surprised your DH didn't say anything though.

rabbitlady Sun 03-Nov-13 18:25:50

you are the unreasonable one. control your child.

also, you don't know what issues the teenager has.

YouTheCat Sun 03-Nov-13 18:26:54

Why can't people read the OP's posts?

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 18:27:01

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

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 18:27:03

For all she knew if could have been the DH since he ignored her when she turned round notanyanymore.

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:28:10

Youthecat Thank. Fuck. Someone understands! :D

I didn't see her glaring, dh told me after we got off the train. I was too busy supervising my 2 kids and dh I didn't see or hear or know anything about it until she and we all had gone.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 18:28:14

Mike, I'm sooooooo stealing that!

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:28:33

They got someone for it Maryz, seems he'd killed his GF in Italy and stuffed her in a tiny room in a church, then killed a Mother a mile or so away from here.
Her DC found her when they got home from school, her had mutilated her body and put body parts in a plastic bag beside her.
One of her DC had the same name as one of mine and it kind of stuck, the whole horror of it.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:29:18

I agree with you mrs miniver.

Of course you have to defend yourself but on seeing it was a toddler even if you didn't feel you ought to apologise you could just say I thought that was an adult. It hurt!

reelingintheyears Sun 03-Nov-13 18:30:03

So for the rest of the 1.5 hour journey you didn't see her glaring at your DS?

silverten Sun 03-Nov-13 18:31:38

I had this happen to me once- back to back seats, irritating child on the seat behind me allowed to stand in it started messing with my hair after a few minutes of general fidgeting, which was bad enough.

I told said child to 'stop doing that' firmly and it's terminally wet parents at least had the grace to look sheepish.

They didn't stop the child from standing on the seat, though, which was really annoying as I could feel it fidgeting and wriggling over the top of the seat- very distracting and I didn't know whether it was going to start messing with my hair again or not. If you did that I wouldn't have blamed the girl for turning round and glaring at all.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:31:39

I actually think if you feel attacked on a train it would be better to leg it and ring the button for a guard than get aggressive - it could make a situation worse.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 18:32:50

The teenager wasn't being unreasonable - I take heart that she shouted - good for her that she had the strength to shout out and make a fuss rather than be * a good girl* <vomit> and be quiet and nice and non threatening hmm
Lucky for her it was a small child- I know of several teenagers who have been assaulted on public transport.
You are minimising what has happened here and your DH needs a bloody quick lesson on parenting.
Calling others on here cunts isn't helpful.

MrsNellyLovett Sun 03-Nov-13 18:33:14

OP nobody who's read the thread seems to think you're personally at fault at this point apart from in your choice of DH. And the teenager was clearly not BU in reacting to having her hair pulled by someone unknown who didn't apologize. Maybe this would be a good time to step away and have some wine?

notanyanymore Sun 03-Nov-13 18:34:52

Yes maybe, but then maybe if she had thought it was DH she would have continued the verbal confrontation? Or maybe, from the positioning of DH and DS it was obvious to her who it was? Or maybe she's just obnoxious? Or maybe DH is a secret hair puller and nearly had his cover blown? Who knows?!

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:37:59

Sorry just seen it was your DH in charge - then you are both BU hmm Are you sure? Someone did something which I had no knowledge of and no control over, but I'm jointly responsible? Because I married the person in question, is that right? Another fine contribution. Is it a full moon tonight?

ReluctantBeing Sun 03-Nov-13 18:38:11

So your dh told you she had kept glaring?

From your language, I suspect it won't be the first time your child has hear the f word anyway.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:38:18

Can we get CCTV footage? It's the only way!

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:38:36

*cuntribution. Obviously! Damn autocorrect grin

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:38:58

So everyone on MN swears at babies then?

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:40:18

I've said cunt on here but I categorically do not shout cunt at my toddler.

Floggingmolly Sun 03-Nov-13 18:41:04

If hair pulling is a habit of his, you were bloody silly not to consider the possibility of him doing it to random strangers.
If he was standing up on the seat behind her head, close enough to grab her hair he was probably being bloody annoying even before the hair grabbing, tbh.
I hate people invading my space when I'm trapped in a seat on a train or bus.

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:41:56

Someone did something which I had no knowledge of and no control over, but I'm jointly responsible?

So since you weren't there and weren't responsible and don't think you've done anything wrong, why did you start this thread? It reads awfully like you started out wanting to be told the teenager was BU, which is odd, since you didn't know anything about what had happened.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 18:41:59

Harold, hair pulling can be a very sexual thing and is happens in a lot of assaults. Shouting may not help if someone is out to beat you up for the sake of it, but may be useful in the case of a surreptitious sexual assault.
There is a brilliant (but vv sad) blog by a young girl who was sexually assaulted a number of times on the tube. She was too scared to say anything while it was happening, but these assaults range from groping to her actually being penetrated digitally. Attackers like this rely on their victims being shocked into silence.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 18:43:24

No you are not responsible but you started a thread to try and insinuate the teenager was unreasonable in her reaction.
The teenager was minding her own business sitting on a train - her hair is pulled - hard - she luckily has parents who have told her to stand up for herself and so she does.
Your DH does not apologise for your sons behaviour< this is the major point >
Yet you think it is unreasonable for her to be defensive/on guard for the rest of the journey. hmm

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 18:44:36

I find it hard to believe that, if you spent the rest of the journey keeping such a close eye on your child, you can possibly not have noticed the person sitting directly behind him, continually turning round and glaring at him.

It seems far more likely that this girl made the comment after your chid did something he should not have done, and left it at that.

If your husband neither apologised to the girl or reprimanded your son then he is absolutely the one BU. Good luck next time it happens!

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 18:44:50

Thing is, if you are sitting on a train and someone pulls your hair from behind, you shout out, turn around, see a man with a baby and the man ignores you and says nothing you might not immediately think it was the baby. I would actually think something a bit weird was going on, so probably wouldn't apologise - I'd be waiting for the man to explain himself.

Mia4 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:45:44

OP, YANBU because you had no clue, the girl WNBU because she probably reacted instinctively and rightly to the hair grabbing- I've had hair grabbed and sniffed (bleugh), arse and tits grabbed and been rubbed up against on the tube and wished I'd yelled that out at the time rather then suffer through it quietly. Until she turned around she had no clue who it was and your DH saying nothing probably pissed her off further. She may well have accepted the apology or said her own for swearing- who knows.

Your DP was VVU for not apologising despite the worry of 'rage', an apology could have completely diffused and changed the situation. He needs to get stronger because in 10 years or so that will be your DC giving him glowers for various different teenagery things.

I think it's pretty unanimous that your DH was to blame and unreasonable, are you going to show him the thread? Does he know he was unreasonable or is he going to sit there silently if there's a next time this situation occurs?

notanyanymore Sun 03-Nov-13 18:46:36

Ah bless reluctant I wouldn't go about suspecting things like that, I love fooking swearing, especially on MN. And yet I never swear at or in front of my own children. In fact, I don't even swear at other peoples! Not even when they're getting right on my tits!

IamInvisible Sun 03-Nov-13 18:47:00

Your DH was BU. Knowing some of the teenage girls who hang out with my teen boys, you are lucky that she didn't hit out, tbh. (They aren't horrible girls, or hooligans btw, they just stand up for themselves).

If she was sat minding her own business (probably plugged into an iPod) she would have got a massive shock, and it would have hurt, and unless she is a different species she won't have had eyes in the back of her head so would have had no way of knowing it was a baby until she turned round.

Your DH should have apologised straight away and sat your baby down. You say he had his arms out for more hair after she yelled, so it did him no harm, did it?

Latetothematch Sun 03-Nov-13 18:48:33

The girl was not unreasonable at all.


This comment at the bottom is why I don't think she was unreasonable at all.

@robodog - Here's a quote from Ellie's blog which really stuck with me.

I honestly don’t know why I didn’t force myself away. I mean, it was crowded, but if I’d shouted loudly enough ‘would you kindly take your erect dick out of my arse’ I’m sure someone would have moved out of the way for me. I think it must have been a mixture of shock and disbelief, a lack of quick thinking, and perhaps a lack of courage too.

When I told someone about a very similar situation which happened to me, they said 'Why didn't you say anything at the time? It's your fault that you let it happen.'

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 18:49:38

Hettienne I put that exact point to dh, but he is certain from their relative positions that she would have known it was definitely the baby and not him.

Friday I started it to show dh. I didn't put anything 'leading' in the OP, as I didn't want my stance on it to affect responses, so I just put the bare bones of it there for an initial reaction before explaining how I knew etc.

HaroldLloyd Are you my dh?!

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 03-Nov-13 18:52:09

Lucky for her it was a small child- I know of several teenagers who have been assaulted on public transport.

Quite. I travelled extensively by public transport as a teenage girl and remember the constant feeling of vulnerability / fear. Also having your hair pulled without warning is painful and frightening. The combination of the two would be triggering. Your DH WBU for not apologising and for having any empathy.

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 18:53:28

i didn't put anything 'leading' in the OP

Of course you were 'leading' in your first post OP. You only put one side of the story across so it was pretty obvious what your stance was.

I think the only one being a bit unreasonable is your DH for not apologising. I'd have been mortified if either of mine did that at that age. It's nobody's fault really though, toddlers are unpredictable and they can be very quick. Presumably your DH at least moved your DS so the girl's hair was out of reach?

I think the girl shouting is an understandable reaction as well, although glaring at a baby is a bit much (although a 18ish-yo maybe doesn't realise that a 15mo is still a baby).

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 18:54:31

Umm -you put who was being unreasonable in the OP !
You invited others to find the teenager unreasonable in her response.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 18:56:29

Gobby, yes totally fair point.

OP no! shock

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 18:56:47

Me too notanyanymore The most that slips out in front of the DC is the occasional 'bloody'. In my head however it's more like 'Fuck you then' as Contrary Mary DD3 is being difficult again.

notanyanymore Sun 03-Nov-13 19:00:32

Yes I say bloody too, I realised this when DD2 dropped something and said 'bloody thing' shock right in front of DM too!

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 19:01:51

Bearbehind Clearly from some of the replies it wasn't obvious what my stance was even after I'd explained it multiple times, so I'm pretty fucking sure it wasn't obvious from the OP!

*No you are not responsible but you started a thread to try and insinuate the teenager was unreasonable in her reaction...
Yet you think it is unreasonable for her to be defensive/on guard for the rest of the journey.*

NO I didn't and no I don't! Can you please just stop. Please, please read what I have written, and comment based on that rather than on this odd vision you seem to have of me. I don't think swbu to have reacted to a hair pulling. The glares seem a bit odd, but (a) she was probably fucked off and (b) I didn't see them myself so can't be certain that she was glaring at ds and not dh as he thinks.

And to the poster who said maybe it was dh - no, the train was very busy and dd was there too. I'm sure dh is not an attacker, but even if he was, he couldn't have done it on this occasion.

DuckWaddle Sun 03-Nov-13 19:02:04

I'm genuinely quite surprised at the unanimous reaction as I can't believe people think its appropriate to swear at someone let alone to a 15 month old even if their hair was pulled. I haven't read the whole thread but I think the girl massively over reacted. So long as you apologised then I think she was being very unreasonable

Zilvernblue Sun 03-Nov-13 19:02:08

The girl probably got a terrible fright/couldn't see behind what exactly was happening/had already been enduring it for the past 10 minutes/found it really sore.

I have long blonde hair. The number of people, usually men and children, who seem to think its somehow public property and not part of me that hurts when pulled/unexpectedly fondled is unbelievable. Just last week some weirdo man managed to get it caught in his shirt button. I mean how? Because he was standing too close to me from behind no doubt.

I suspect that similar has happened to this girl and she is understandably defensive. Just control your DC and don't bring him up to behave like a chav.

saintmerryweather Sun 03-Nov-13 19:04:12

i think.the girl was well within her rights to shout at your child. id have done the same then id have had a go at your useless DH as well.

nice how you're calling people cunts too. you sound delightful

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 19:04:36

Mike you think men don't attack girls because their DC are present? Some men attack their DC.

TartinaTiara Sun 03-Nov-13 19:05:23

I'd disagree that you were balanced in your OP. Maybe look again at the way you worded it.

Anyway, you weren't unreasonable. Your 15mo wasn't unreasonable (though should have been told not to stand on seats and not pull hair -it's not that difficult). Your H is a knobend.

And for what it's worth, when I was a girl, I was told that if anyone touched me in a threatening manner, I should grab the offending hand and bend the fingers backward. I've taught my children the same. It's only through luck that your child was just sworn at, because as a young teen I wouldn't have assumed that the hair pulling was a child, and he could have been injured - not through malice, but in the belief that I was defending myself against an adult. For his sake, if not for the general population, your H should be teaching him not to pull hair (as should you, but I accept you weren't there).

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:05:24

Why wouldn't it be appropriate to swear at someone who pulls your hair from behind on public transport DuckWaddle? Or indeed the example someone else gave of having their bum grabbed. Sounds like the ideal situation to swear in.

Seems clear the girl didn't know it was a 15 month old, and wasn't explained/apologised to either.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 19:07:23

OP is saying it was clear to the girl it was the toddler.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 19:07:48

OP wasn't there.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 03-Nov-13 19:09:08

Posting to say good on the teenager/young woman.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 19:10:20

Neither were we to be fair!

On here we can only go on what OP says. If people don't believe it it's a pointless discussion anyway isn't it?

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:11:38

Who WBU ?
you wrote this - Op that is what I am responding to.
you wrote this asking who was being unreasonable.
Sorry you don't like the answers...

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 19:14:53

Gobby I know some people do unthinkable things, and that Jack the ripper's wife probably thought her husband would never do anything awful either. So what I was saying was, not only do I not think him capable of that, but if he was capable, he couldn't have gotten away with it as everyone would've seen. In fact I'm sure a lot of people did see what happened, which is another reason why it's so mortifying, as half a carriage full of people would've been thinking 'how awful' all the way home while I was sat there oblivious to any problem.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 19:15:18

The husband who ignored the girl was there and he couldn't bring himself to apologise. Going on his word, how do we know she knew it was the kid? She could've been sat there worried about the poor cow married to a pervert, for all we know.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 19:17:39

Mike, I'm not saying he was assaulting her, just that she didn't know that he wasn't. But, don't think for a second that assaults don't happen in public. They do. Daily. Read the Graun piece linked by a PP.

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 19:17:51

OP, I have no idea what point you were trying to make.

Your husband was a twat for

a) allowing it to happen in the first place
B) not apologising to the girl
C) not reprimanding your son.

You were remiss in failing to notice someone who alledgedly continued to glare at your child.

The girl was minding her own business until your son pulled her hair. Maybe swearing was unnecessary but you've shown your not above that yourself.

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:18:09

I can't believe people think its appropriate to swear at someone let alone to a 15 month old even if their hair was pulled.

Yeah, because teaching teenage girls that they should be meek, quiet and apologetic when assaulted on public transport is an absolutely great way to proceed.

AmIthatHot Sun 03-Nov-13 19:20:15

I'm clearly not the right type for MN. I think it is entirely appropriate to swear at someone yanking your hair

oh, and Duck, perhaps if you had read the thread, you would see that no apology was forthcoming hmm

Zilvernblue Sun 03-Nov-13 19:20:35

The OP wasn't there and this is what he told her well that puts a different slant on it then.

I very much doubt a teenage girl would react to a toddler pulling their hair once in this manner. Those are words specifically chosen to ward off the attentions of an adult male.

I also repeatedly glared at the man last week who managed to get my hair tangled in his shirt button. I am sure the man who sat too close to me on the bus and kept pressing his leg against me thought I was terribly unreasonable when I told him to get his fucking leg off me too. Or when I swore at the guy in the takeaway who decided to stroke my hair from behind.

Perhaps, just perhaps, your DH is scared of the real story getting back to you and is covering his tracks in advance.

Why on earth wouldn't you profusely apologise if your DS pulled someone's hair so violently to provoke such a reaction?

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 19:20:39

I've just had a chat with DD2 (13) and talked through being assaulted or touched inappropriately on a train or elsewhere. She now knows that shouting get the fuck off me very loudly should be her initial reaction because her safety is more important than upsetting people. She will however apologise if said instigator turns out to be a baby/toddler.

I'll be having the same chat with DD1 (17) later. I won't have this chat with DD3 (6) for a good few years yet because a) she's too young, and b) she would like the idea of shouting get the fuck off me at people just a bit too much grin

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:21:33

It's very weird that he didn't apologise or explain to the girl. If my child genuinely/accidentally pulled someone's hair, hard enough to make them shout out like that, I'd immediately say "oh I'm so, so sorry - that was my toddler".

Surely he wouldn't want the girl and the rest of the train to think he was the pervert hair puller?

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 19:24:03

Wow. Some people are massively overreacting here. I actually can't believe some of the responses!! I'm sitting here like this [shocked]

I can't believe someone would suggest because you swear on an Internet forum you must be cussing away in front of your dc!!

Op: your DH WBU to not be keeping a closer eye on ds especially if he was standing on the seat and he is VU to not apologise however angry she looked. But she was BU to react like that - total overreaction. I would probably have jumped and shouted "ouch!" I might also have looked round grumpily (especially if an apology wasn't immediate) had your DH then apologised and clearly made an effort to prevent it happening again I would have smiled and said don't worry - these things happen. Toddlers do grab and pull and you can't be on them all the time. Especially on a busy train with other dc, as long as he was doing his best I wouldn't have minded.

I think some people have gone way ott with the whole sexual attack thing - on a busy train? Hair pulling? Really? Groping then that reaction is totally fine but I would much more imagine it would be an accident / caught on something than an attack. I mean - who would pull your hair from a seat behind you in a sexually motivated attack? Plus it would be pretty clear from the way it was pulled it was a child and not sexually motivated surely? I know my ds's little hands feel very different in my hair to an adults!!

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 19:24:59

Gobby - I was thinking earlier on about a man who was giving me some unwanted attention on the walk home at night, shouting fuck off really set him off and he chased me down the street. Very frightening.

I suppose on a crowded train your actually just looking to draw a lot of attention, if its a predatory attack, so I can see it would be a safer thing to do.

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 19:25:40

I really don't think she was assaulted. A baby pulled her hair.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 19:27:22


LittleBairn Sun 03-Nov-13 19:28:25

This whole incident happened because you allowed your DS to stand on the seat. By doing that it allowed him to be in contact with the girls hair, when you already knew he was a hair puller.
I can't stand parents who do this they think nothing of the others passengers right to be left in peace yet they have a babbling baby in their ear while the parents sit all smiley and starry eyed at how cute he's being with the other passengers. While the passenger is thinking what bloody indulgent parents.

MulberryHag Sun 03-Nov-13 19:29:12

This is RIDICULOUS! Why can't someone ask a simple question on AIBU without people telling hers she's a "useless parent" and attacking her character when she wasn't even there!

YES-the OP's DH should've apologised.
YES- the girl on the train would definitely have got a fright (although I doubt she was "terrified" as someone wrote.) and reacted accordingly.

Maybe they were both unreasonable, maybe just the DH was, but stop attacking the OP, it's immature and akin to bullying at stages. MN can be a nasty place, even when we totally disagree with each other, can't we do it in a civil manner?

LittleBairn Sun 03-Nov-13 19:31:19

bloob its instinctive to react like that she probably wanting thinking oh I'm on the train therefore its not likely to be a sexual assault.
My BIL police office warned me against wearing my hair in a pony tail while out alone. He says its the way many sexual assaults start hair pulled from behind, woman tries to put her hands up to get him off and suddenly he has control of her hands too.

blueemerald Sun 03-Nov-13 19:31:42

The girl didn't know it was a baby as her hair was pulled though, but in the moments afterwards. If this had happened to me I would have turned around, seen the child and been ready to apologise for my reaction. If I was faced with the child's parent looking the other way and refusing to make eye contact with me, let alone speak to me, I'm afraid no apology would be forthcoming.

I used to work with teenagers with profound learning difficulties. They would sometimes slap people or shout very loudly if a stranger got too close particularly in the supermarket . Sometimes people would swear in shock and we never held it against them. It's a perfectly understandable reaction to a sudden, painful shock.

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:31:48

attacking her character when she wasn't even there!

As she didn't even tell us she wasn't there, the revelation that it's her husband who failed to control their child and then refused to apologise, rather than the OP, came later.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:33:32

You are very naive or being very dense
Touching hair, fondling hair, pulling hair are all very common types of initial sexual assault which then often escalates.
The teenager had no idea it was a toddler who grabbed her hair and responded immediately ( thank god)
There was NO apology from the DH - she was therefore on her guard on the rest of the journey.

Groovee Sun 03-Nov-13 19:35:27

I was once attacked by having my hair pulled. I reacted by trying to fight back to get them off me.

I don't think the girl was out of order as you don't know what may have happened in the past to her.

I do think that your husband should have apologised but he didn't and if there is ever a next time, then maybe he will learn by his mistake this time.

MikeReepySpooksard Sun 03-Nov-13 19:37:07

Ok, I used to think running a situation past MN was a good kind of litmus test for any given occurrence. But in thsi thread I have gone from being a useless parent due to ds' behaviour when I wasn't even present, being responsible for dh's actions that I didn't see or know about just because I married him, and now dh is a sex pest. You'll forgive me for rolling my eyes and moving on.

Thanks for curing my mn addiction though.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 19:38:27

The OP has said that although she wasn't there it was obvious to her DH that the girl knew it was the toddler.

Obviously the answers are going to be different if she thought it was him as it would be beyond creepy to start pulling girls hair on a train sat there with your 2 kids.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 03-Nov-13 19:39:29

OP - I really can't believe he didn't apologise; which is probably why she kept glaring.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:40:14

Noone is attacking the OP
Her who WBU ? has brought up a totally different scenario to what she had imagined.
Because some of us have teenage daughters who / have ourselves been /been touched stroked ie assaulted on public transport.
Your DH was at fault for not apologising and you were unwise in starting a thread with Who WBU

RevoltingPeasant Sun 03-Nov-13 19:40:30

Gosh it's a variation on most AIBUs!

OP: who was unreasonable it was the girl right

Everyone else: no, YABU massively

OP: oh well actually it was my DH, I wasn't even there.

Everyone: right well your DH is a twonk then.

OP: I didn't say he wasn't unreasonable, you cunts!

Everyone: confused

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 19:40:45

Glad the OP thinks that girls should just take anything (literally) when travelling. And nobody should ever say 'but...'

IamInvisible Sun 03-Nov-13 19:41:22

Bloob Read this and then say people are bing ridiculous about the sexual assault and hair pulling!

NotYoMomma Sun 03-Nov-13 19:43:55

I can't believe he didn't apologise! shock

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 19:45:55

That's not what she said. Totally unfair to put words in her mouth!

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:48:21

Harold - OP has assumed it was obvious to the girl after she turned round, not that it was obvious before she shouted.

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 19:50:45

Well I want to thank the OP because this thread has prompted me to discuss situations like this with my teenage DDs so that they know they can do whatever it takes to protect themselves, even if they have read the situation wrong and need to apologise afterwards.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 19:51:20

youll forgive me for rolling my eyes you arent getting this OP.

The teenager reacted because she didn't realise it was a small child(sexual assault is very common on public transport)- your DH could have apologised - he didn't - she was therefore unsure and very wary.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 19:53:53

I don't think anyone has said that the OPs DH is a sex pest. But some people are. And the poor girl wasn't to know either way.

BOF Sun 03-Nov-13 19:54:40

Who cares? Maybe I need a break.

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 03-Nov-13 19:54:48

Did she know it was a child before she shouted? Knowing that it had been afterwards didn't mean her immediate reaction was wrong, and you're dh's failure to apologise made it difficult for her to do so.

Another who thinks good on the girl and that your toddler could have come off worse: I react violently to unexpected contact (hand on waist, hair pulling type stuff) and may well have had my fingernails deep in his hand before I realised.

I have a toddler myself and have treated hair pulling much like biting: a very stern "no" along with a glare until he stops trying to repeat. Much gentler attempts to remind him not to bite or hair pull when he's moving in and cuddles and praise for gentleness. It becomes unacceptable very quickly.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 20:01:15

No one is calling the OPs DH a sex pest.
The teenager doesn't have eyes in the back of her head hopefully grin
Her reaction was therefore appropriate.
if DH had immediately responded -" im so sorry he pulled your hair "it would have stopped but he didn't and therefore she was wary (understandable)

jjazz Sun 03-Nov-13 20:05:22

You can't expect a teenager to be any more reasonable than a toddler. I should know. I have one of each!!!

ReluctantBeing Sun 03-Nov-13 20:11:42

RevoltingPeasant grin

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 20:14:00

A thought- most teenagers would probably be listening to their Ipod or on their phone and therefore less likely to know it was a toddler.

Twighlightsparkle Sun 03-Nov-13 20:14:22

It's unfortunate she said what she did, lessons learnt all round, I would assume.

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 20:14:30

Im with mulberry. This thread is unbelievable!

Mrsosbourne it doesn't stop being rude just because you cross through it you know confused I didn't say anything rude to you, just my opinion. So I think that personal attack was completely unwarranted. As are a lot of the others on this thread.

Iaminvisible: I really don't think that one extremely bizarre (and as stated on the article) most unusual case would make most of us think someone grabbing our hair is sexual assault.

How would someone even sexually assault someone from the row behind anyway?! Climb over the top?!
I'm not saying hair pulling can't be a prelude to an assault BUT I think it's unlikely on a packed train, when someone is sitting on the row behind. Standing / sitting next to you : fine maybe it could. But FAR FAR more likely is its a child / accident surely?!

Bearbehind Sun 03-Nov-13 20:17:20

You've just summed it up perfectly revoltingpeasant. What a weird thread?

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 20:17:43

But FAR FAR more likely is its a child / accident surely?!

Child: parent apologises. Everyone smiles. Soon over.

Accident: person having accident apologises. Everyone smiles. Soon over.

This case: useless parents refuse to apologise, sit being passive aggressive as though it's nothing to do with them. What was the person whose hair was pulled supposed to do?

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 20:21:40

Totally agree friday the DH was v unreasonable to not apologise. He should have got on with it however angry she was and it would probably have diffused the situation.

But her reaction was unreasonable too, I wouldn't react like that immediately and I don't think many other people would either. I would probably shout "ouch" though.

I do expect though that had the DH apologised the woman would have too, sometimes we all react wrongly and she probably would have said "sorry I shouted he gave me a fright" etc.. All fine. Had the parents not said anything you would be irritated and not feel like apologising, even if you knew you were wrong.

MikeReepy - it seems as if you have had a terrible bashing on this thread, and the worst you have done is not word your OP perfectly (probably because you knew what happened, and did that thing where you write a post and don't realise that it isn't as clear to someone who doesn't know the full background as it is to you).

I hope this doesn't put you off MN.

To answer your question - I do think the girl reacted as she did out of shock - it is a shame she swore at your toddler, but understandable. I think your dh was in the wrong when he didn't apologise to her, and tell your ds off at once. Not only did she deserve an apology, but your ds needed to be told, very firmly, right then that he had done something wrong - at that age it does need to be immediate.

And hopefully, in the future, your dh will know not to let your ds stand somewhere where someone else's hair could be in reach, and to apologise if your ds does momentarily evade his iron grip and gets hold of someone's hair!

Totally bizarre thread!
Do some posters actually read any of the thread?

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 20:22:13

Actually, in a train full of mostly adults, it's much more likely that the person pulling your hair/touching your bum/squeezing your tits is an adult assaulting you. Shout first, then apologise later if necessary.

PresidentServalan Sun 03-Nov-13 20:22:19

No OP I meant you are being unreasonable by implying the poor girl was in any way being unreasonable. She reacted naturally - and you seem to think that she was in the wrong.

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 20:23:37

I don't think you should call them useless parents though.

We all make mistakes / errors of judgement. That doesn't render us useless. It's also pretty damn rude.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 20:25:38

If you won't apologise for your children physically hurting somebody else, then you're a crap parent.

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 20:26:20

Yes to the sexual things: much more likely to be an adult.

Pulling your hair from the seat behind?! An adult has NEVER done that to me. I've had it done accidentally and by a child. It just would never occur to me someone would do that on purpose. And why would you shout first?! They are in the seat behind you - what are they going to do next?

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 20:26:48

Why are you calling them useless parents? It's totally OTT. Can't you see why OP is getting arsey??

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 20:27:24

Wtf? Of course you're not! A bit rude maybe! Making a mistake - yes. A crap parent? No. Don't be ridiculous.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 20:28:43

OP said she felt an apology was needed.

I would have been pretty shocked if a had been shouted at and not reacted in a perfect way. Would that make me a crap parent?

Totally OTT

PresidentServalan Sun 03-Nov-13 20:29:04

And I agree with other posters who have said that it was lucky the girl didn't lash out instinctively if she felt under threat. I can't believe your DH didn't say anything at the time - if your DS has 'an unfortunate hair pulling habit' I would suggest that you may both have to get used to apologising. It isn't your DS's fault - you should be supervising him, as his parents.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 20:29:34

Do you know I wish I could agree with you - that its ridiculous to even think that anyone would be assaulted on a train.
God - how ludicrous and yet ... It happens to women everyday- from touching to rape.
I have been touched (unwanted) licked(unwanted) Groped(unwanted)just sitting or standing on a train and yet you call it unusual.
The teenager was sitting on a train, probably on her ipod or phone when she is grabbed by the hair from behind.
She reacts - no one apologises - she is wary .

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 20:29:36

But how was the girl to know that it was an accident bloob? From her point of view, someone yanked her hair, she automatically cried out and looked behind to see a baby and a man who didn't apologise to her? She had no way of knowing whether it was the baby or him who had done it and since he didn't say sorry she might well have thought it was him.

It's been mentioned on here that the it was 'obvious' it was the baby but how was it obvious? Like I said above, she had her hair yanked from behind (and I doubt very much she has eyes in the back of her head), cried out then turned around to see a man and a baby -- a man who didn't apologise btw so how was she know who it was? How was it 'obvious' that it was the baby?

The OP's DH should have apologised and he was a twat not to.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 20:33:40

Pulling your hair from the seat behind?! An adult has NEVER done that to me.

hmm So because it hasn't happened to you means it hasn't happened to anyone else or couldn't happen?

And why would you shout first?! They are in the seat behind you - what are they going to do next?

She probably shouted out instinctively without thinking. If it was an automatic reaction I highly doubt she'd have been thinking logically. She probably got a fright.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 20:36:16

she probably shouted out instinctively
YES - this !!!!!
Women are told to be quiet ,compliant,good.
The fact this teenager reacted in this way is good - she reacted according to her instincts .

Fivefourthreetwoone - the OP said her dh told her that her child's hands were still stretched out towards the girl's hair - that is why he assumed she knew it was the boy and not him.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 20:39:52

If she was in the seat behind and she was looking forward wouldnt it be a bit obvious it was him? The toddler must have been standing on the seat and reached out at her when she was actually facing her.

If it was the seat in front then it could have been either.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 20:41:38

Exactly MrsOsbourne. IMO girls and women should be taught to react according to their instincts if they think their being attacked. I know certain posters seem to think that it was apparently obvious that she wasn't being attacked and that it was a baby confused but the fact is, it wasn't. She got a fright and reacted instinctively.

The notion that we should just stay quiet and put up and shut up in this sort of situation is actually quite scary.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 20:43:18

Sorry, ^they're being attacked

HyvaPaiva Sun 03-Nov-13 20:43:35


Such a weird thread.
The girl: Not unreasonable. Surprise/pain at hair-yank = reaction.
The baby: Too little to be understand.
The husband: Needs to watch his baby and his own manners.
OP: 'Cuntribution'? You're just rude. All people have done is give their opinions. You were the one who asked for opinions!

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 20:44:38

fivefour - how can you say for a fact she didnt know, you really cant.

AllDirections Sun 03-Nov-13 20:45:32

Shout first, then apologise later if necessary.

Good advice! Better to be safe than sorry!!

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 20:46:02

the OP said her dh told her that her child's hands were still stretched out towards the girl's hair - that is why he assumed she knew it was the boy and not him.

The point is, she didn't see who did it so how was she to know for sure? Even if she did realise it was the baby as soon as she turned round she was probably pissed that his dad did nothing to apologise to her.

Mia4 Sun 03-Nov-13 20:47:05

Bloob, my hair was grabbed by an adult who then proceeded to sniff it.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 20:48:00

Words seem to be getting put into peoples mouths here left right and centre.

No one is saying in any way at all that young women should be putting up with getting attacked on a train without saying anything. No one is saying they should be getting silenced.

This was a thread about what should you actually do if a TODDLER pulls hair on a train.

thistlelicker Sun 03-Nov-13 20:48:47

No this thread asked who was unreasonable! The dad or the girl ... Not the toddler was right or wrong

Daddy1001 Sun 03-Nov-13 20:49:55

Mumsnet is such a pleasant place at times isn't it OP?
15 month olds sometimes grab/pull hair when they shouldn't, you should have been keeping a closer eye but sometimes these things happen. Equally teenagers sometimes swear when they shouldn't and don't really understand what little children do in the same way the parents on here do. She shouldn't have sworn but these things happen.
Can anyone explain how has this thread got to 11 pages?

Canidae Sun 03-Nov-13 20:51:42

Why should the girl apologise for shouting/swearing while being in unexpected pain while the husband didn't bother to apologise for his child's actions?

If I was her I would have spent the rest of the journey watching out for the annoying child and glaring at his father for being so rude.

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 20:51:43

I didn't say that five. I said that its far more likely to be an accident. I completely agree that in some cases an instinctive reaction would be to shout. E.g if someone grabs your bum. If someone pulls your hair from the seat behind I don't think most people's first thought is that it would be sexually motivated. And no one has really addressed that point. It is a very different scenario to someone grabbing your bum which is clearly an assault. This could have easily and most likely was: an accident. If someone bumps you on the arm do you scream at them instinctively because you think they could be about to assault you? Of course you don't. You're on a busy train, these things happen.

Apparently it was obvious that it was the baby. I don't know how, but we have to accept that as the case as anything else would be wild hypothesising and totally useless for the purposes of this argument.

Mrsosbourne: but can you see that those types of assault are very different in nature to having your hair pulled from the seat behind? And therefore you would react differently (even on instinct?)

skaen Sun 03-Nov-13 20:52:56

One way this could have gone is baby yanks hair, girl swears and turns round, DH apologises profusely, girl either accepts apology (polite) and apologises for her language or continues to glare (rude and ignore).

Your DH was massively at fault for bit apologising and the swearing and glaring is nowhere near as serious in the context.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 20:53:37

how can you say for a fact she didnt know, you really cant.

I don't know for sure - that's the point! I was replying to the few posts here who said that it must have been obvious to her that it was the baby when they have no way of knowing that. Maybe she really didn't know or thought it was the OP's DH.

Or maybe she cried out instinctively like has been said then realised that it was the baby and was maybe embarrassed that she has reacted so aggressively and then start to feel slightly pissed off when the adult in charge made no effort to apologise for his son's behaviour?

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 20:54:24

People don't 'yank' your hair by accident.

hettienne Sun 03-Nov-13 20:56:26

Of course someone yanking your hair is assault, whether the motivation is sexual or not confused

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 20:57:00

I have teenagers - they are usually on their phone or on Ipod/other device.
The OP states the teenager was * behind* her toddler - on trains, seats are back to back.
She was minding her own business and her hair was yanked - she reacted-
Quite rightly.
Noone said Im sorry - she continues to be wary .

Daddy1001 Sun 03-Nov-13 20:58:10

Also - you all realise OP left over an hour ago and you're talking to yourselves now right?

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 20:59:34

I'm not talking to myself. I'm talking to people who think that women should not worry about being touched inappropriately.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 20:59:49

If someone pulls your hair from the seat behind I don't think most people's first thought is that it would be sexually motivated.

Tbf though, nobody has said that the girl must have thought it was sexually motivated, that was merely given as a possible explanation. I actually doubt very much she thought it was sexually motivated, it's more likely that she was in her own world when she felt someone yank on her hair when she wasn't expecting it and she reacted instinctively without thinking by crying out. She obviously got quite the fright.

That along with the fact that the adult in charge made no effort to apologise for his son's behaviour probably pissed her off big time. I know it would piss me off.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 21:03:03

Who is saying that gobby?

No one is saying that at all.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 21:04:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 21:05:15

And for whoever said that she would have seen who done it if she was sitting behind him, seats on trains are back to back. If she was sitting behind him, she would be facing the opposite way so she wouldn't have seen.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 21:05:52

The girl was in the seat behind the toddler according to the OP.

So the man was in the seat in front of her.

So i am struggling how she can not have known it was the child.

How was the incident mortifying u were neither there nor knew anything about it til after the event.

Title should read aibu for thinking my husband is an idiot (insert any other derogatory word here if preferred) for not apologising to the teenager our toddler assaulted on the train.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 21:06:44

Unless it was a back to back seat, of course.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sun 03-Nov-13 21:07:24

I've had my hair stroked and/or sniffed while on public transport, in pubs, while standing in a queue. It does happen.

notmyproblem Sun 03-Nov-13 21:09:10

So what the fuck do you actually want to hear, OP?

I'll summarise the responses for you:
- the girl was well within her rights to shout and swear in surprise and shock at someone pulling her hair.
- your DH was a complete idiot for not apologising
- you weren't there, so you aren't to blame.
- shit happens, sometimes toddlers pull hair. Adults responsible for those toddlers should be falling over themselves apologising for it, not expecting those on the receiving end of bad toddler behaviour to be lovely and accommodating.

Anything else? Or would you like to continue posting about the tiny details and what ifs and who would be a knob if X, Y or Z had happened? Or can we just let this lie now?

2tiredtoScare Sun 03-Nov-13 21:10:54

Assaulted! Really eastmidlands

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 21:11:10

This could be two very different threads depending on we accept the OP saying that it was pretty clear it was the toddler.

Thats the point. There are some pretty wild things getting thrown around now, I dont even think hardly anyone has said anything bad about the teenager at all.

I think its rude to shout at a toddler, however I understand that in shock you might do. However, I would say something straight away even if to say he really gave me a fright then you should be keeping an eye on him. She didnt have to apologise.

I really do not think that women should be meek and silent and accept being touched on trains. However when the person doing the touching is a baby, of course its a totally different senario. People dont generally go around telling babies to fuck off, however tempting it may be.

friday16 Sun 03-Nov-13 21:16:27

People dont generally go around telling babies to fuck off, however tempting it may be.

Yeah, but as the OP wasn't there, we don't know what happened, do we? For someone whose husband didn't tell her what happened, she seems to know an awful lot about what happened.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 21:17:22

Time for a brew I think.

Fivefourthreetwoone - I have told you what the OP reported - that when the girl looked up after the first hair pull, the OP's ds was still reaching out towards her hair. But it was only after the initial yank, and her very reasonable reaction to it that she would have seen this.

Hyva - some people on this thread have been very nasty in the way they have given their contributions, and I don't blame the OP for getting a bit upset by this.

If I have read her posts correctly, she wanted MN to tell her dh that he should have apologised, even though the girl's reaction seemed aggressive to him, and instead she got some rather aggressive and personal opinions shoved down her throat. Part of that is because her OP missed out some details - as I said, I suspect that because she knew the background, she wrote an OP that made sense of you knew the background, but she didn't realise that it wouldn't make as much sense when you didn't know the full story, as she did.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 21:18:38

*The girl was in the seat behind the toddler according to the OP.

So the man was in the seat in front of her.

So i am struggling how she can not have known it was the child.*

Again, train seats are back to back and she was sitting in the seat behind the OP's dh and ds. If she was sitting in the seat opposite them then yes, she would have been facing them and would be able to see who it was. But she wasn't sitting in the opposite seat, she was sitting behind (I think this fact needs to be emphasized) them therefore would have been facing the opposite way and wouldn't have seen who done it. Honestly, it's not a difficult concept to grasp.

The OP even said herself that 'she kept turning round and glaring at him the rest of the journey.' If she had to keep turning round to look at them, she was obviously facing the opposite way.

Bloob Sun 03-Nov-13 21:19:32

I really do not think that women should be meek and silent and accept being touched on trains. However when the person doing the touching is a baby, of course its a totally different senario. People dont generally go around telling babies to fuck off, however tempting it may be.


I'm very sorry that happened to you mrsosbourne. It must have been horrible. However, I still think pulling away, shouting ouch etc would have been fine and probably done as much good in either scenario as swearing. I wasn't there though, I just think I would give the benefit of the doubt in those cases unless there was reason to think otherwise.

Also, perhaps we're envisioning a different type of train? I'm thinking of the ones where the seat comes right up above the top of your head type thing so it would be quite hard to do much through / over that than pull hair? So more likely an accident / baby reaching over. I guess if it was the lower ones that come to shoulders it would be more possible for someone to grab at you.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 21:21:44

Again, she wasn't telling the baby to fuck off, she yelled 'get the fuck off me' as her hair was pulled when there was a good chance she didn't know it was a baby.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 21:22:30

< head desk>

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 21:24:00

Somebody on a train touches you, there's always reason to think otherwise.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 21:24:07

That was in response to Bloob and her different type of train hmm

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 21:24:21

I think the OP was getting opinions about what should have been done really but not expecting the level of nastiness about her parenting, that her child is obviously used to bad language as she said cunt on MN, and various other totally OTT derogatory comments.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 03-Nov-13 21:24:43

'she kept turning round and glaring at him the rest of the journey.'

maybe she kept turning around because she didn't want her hair pulling again.

FreyaFridays Sun 03-Nov-13 21:25:39

Wow, what a weird thread. Having just completed a four hour journey on a massively overcrowded train, I'm just in the mood to comment.

First off, I don't think there's anybody in the world who likes the idea of other people's children on public transport. They are more or less guaranteed to be the most irritating little brats you've ever had the displeasure of coming across... and I'm a teacher, I've a high threshold for annoying children! However, far worse are the wet, and yes, useless parents who do sweet FA to control their children. I had my foot trodden on, on purpose, and an attempted trip-up by an oh-so-adorable toddler today, whilst oh-so-busy mummy was fiddling away on her blinking iPad.

So, OP, your toddler shouldn't have been stood up on the train seats at all. I don't care if it's a 1.5 hour journey, they should be sat down with a book, colouring, small toy, whatever. NEVER stood up on the bloody seat. It's annoying to everyone around you, who immediately has to keep an eye on the child to make sure they don't get grabbed or vomited on, etc.

Therefore, you may well BU for having earlier allowed your toddler to behave in such a way before you went to the loo. Especially knowing he's a hair-puller by toddler trade.

Your husband is obviously being massively unreasonable for allowing the event to happen (you are exempt from the actual incident, as you weren't there), but most especially for not apologising for it. What a tit! I am sure you've told him so.

However, his "fear" of a teenager's rage is nothing compared to the fear of a young woman who suddenly thought herself being assaulted in public, and rightly yelled out in an attempt to stop it. There's never going to be anything unreasonable about a person who attempts to stop a possible assault by calling out in alarm. Many of us have been assaulted in public, it's happened to me numerous times, most recently just last month. Young women should be taught how to protect themselves from this in public, as it seems that, unfortunately, many young men are still not learning the lesson to keep their hands and other various parts to themselves and away from strangers.

The girl was right to shout, never mind what she shouted, she won't have damaged your son in anyway. Your husband was awful to not apologise for the incident. She may well have really thought it was him, not the baby.

Or maybe she was glaring because the OP's dh hadn't apologised or told the child off. I think I would glare too - even if I had turned round after the hair pull and seen a child obviously reaching out for another go.

MrsOsbourne Sun 03-Nov-13 21:29:10

The girl was right to shout

My last post was in response to *BoneyBackJefferson - not Freya.

Oops - rogue bolding there. I shall give up now. [blush

Arghh - blush

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 03-Nov-13 21:33:39


I do agree that she was/is ode an apology as well.

TheHouseonHauntedHill Sun 03-Nov-13 21:38:08


"I should grab the offending hand and bend the fingers backward. I've taught my children the same. It's only through luck that your child was just sworn at, because as a young teen I wouldn't have assumed that the hair pulling was a child, and he could have been injured"

This has made me really grin. Just imagining a not pleasant but quite typical child standing on seat accidentally pulling womans hair and all of a sudden op's DH is thrown into all sort of contorted highly sophisticated defense moves with broken fingers, a good kick in the balls, probably a broken nose....as Op comes back innocently from the loo, to a scene of carnage...

TheHouseonHauntedHill Sun 03-Nov-13 21:40:26


I think you should write an open apology for your and your husbands disgusting degenerative behaviour towards this lass in what you think may be her local paper. grin

PresidentServalan Sun 03-Nov-13 21:42:46

The girl did what she was supposed to do - she reacted loudly and assertively at the first sign of a perceived threat. The husband was incredibly rude not to apologise to her. The trains I travel on have the seats back to back too.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 03-Nov-13 21:53:56

OP what the hell was your husband doing whilst your child was amusing himself standing on the seat and he had the chance to not only yank a handful of the poor girls hair and stand reaching for more wtf didn't your husband act as soon as his hand went near her?

TartinaTiara Sun 03-Nov-13 21:56:13

HouseonHauntedHill grin. I would have stopped with the self defence as soon as I grabbed the hand and found it belonged to a tiny person, so OP's H would have escaped with no more than a couple of flesh wounds. But I'm in favour of women not just knowing how to defend themselves, but giving themselves permission to defend themselves - obviously deadly assault by a toddler's not in the same league as a sexual attack, but I grew up in the early 1970's, where (as we've seen from recent news reports) casual assault of young women and girls was seen as something you just had to put up with. Am quite pleased that a young woman felt able to yell out - better to attract attention and apologise afterwards than to feel ashamed and keep quiet.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 03-Nov-13 21:56:36

However, his "fear" of a teenager's rage is nothing compared to the fear of a young woman who suddenly thought herself being assaulted in public, and rightly yelled out in an attempt to stop it. There's never going to be anything unreasonable about a person who attempts to stop a possible assault by calling out in alarm. Many of us have been assaulted in public, it's happened to me numerous times, most recently just last month. Young women should be taught how to protect themselves from this in public, as it seems that, unfortunately, many young men are still not learning the lesson to keep their hands and other various parts to themselves and away from strangers.


And Bloob - you need to go to EveryDay Sexism's site or Twitter feed. Not only is assault & sexual assault on public transport depressingly common - it is so 'normal' that most women never report it. British Transport Police recently ran a campaign to get more women to report it because they were dismayed by the Everyday Sexism campaign.

And it's not just women - DH got felt up by some guy on the tube the other day on the pretext of 'warning' him that his phone was visible in his pocket. He told him to Fuck Off.

TheHouseonHauntedHill Sun 03-Nov-13 22:00:17

I agree Tart it just made me grin very much.

Poor op coming back to a scene of carnage and the toddler looking on, innocently.

Toddler picks on the wrong woman.

PerpendicularVincentPrice Sun 03-Nov-13 22:08:53

I agree with Harold et al. The OP is getting too much of a kicking and assumptions around her parenting are unfair.

However much you supervise, toddlers can move fast and do things you don't expect. Equally so, I feel it was normal for the girl to swear in shock/pain.

All that needed to happen was for the OP's DH to apologise, but i'm sure she's aware of that after reading this thread and 50 people telling her so.

It doesn't need to run to pages. OP, please don't be put off MN. You know AIBU is, erm, opinionated at times smile.

Bigfingers Sun 03-Nov-13 22:21:10

This thread is incredible - I have read pretty much all of it and am pretty shocked! I feel sorry for the OP, if she is still about - I think your posts have been pretty reasonable considering the abuse levelled at you and your DH.

Girl - NBU if she didn't know it was a toddler she was swearing at, if she did, BU.
DH - BU for not apologising, but bit more understandable that he may have been too shocked by her reaction and then the moment had passed.

Loads of posters on this thread - YABVVVVVU.

Equating this with assault!!!?!?!? WTAF ??

DH probably dealing with other DC, misses DS's arm shoot out. Hardly a hanging offence!!! You CANNOT be parents, those saying that.

Those who keep suggesting the OP and DH were BU for letting him stand on the seat sometimes during a 1.5hr journey, you CANNOT be parents either, or have never taken a child on a train. Straitjacket a 15mo for 1.5h? So you'd prefer to hear him scream for 1.5h? Or maybe parents should not be allowed to travel on trains full stop?

FutTheShuckUp Sun 03-Nov-13 22:29:47

Yes I have been and still am a parent. Bored or not standing on seats wouldn't be allowed mainly for safety reasons

Bigfingers Sun 03-Nov-13 22:31:07

With your arms round them?? Sorry I don't get why that's not safe

"Equating this with assault!!!?!?!? WTAF ??"

People have been saying that an adult yanking on someone's hair would be assault.

They've been saying that the girl's initial reaction would likely have been based on it being an adult doing it, not a baby.

And so the girl would likely have been reacting to thinking she was being assaulted.

Make more sense?

Bigfingers Sun 03-Nov-13 22:35:36

Yes I have read that, and as I said in my post, her reaction was NU if she didn't realise it was a 15mo, so end of discussion. There is no reason to extrapolate all the additional whys wherefores about girls being assaulted on trains since that did not happen. Some people on here have stated she was assaulted. confused

I've seen people saying that she would have felt like she was being assaulted, or that she was reacting as if she was being assaulted, not that she was assaulted by the baby.

IamInvisible Sun 03-Nov-13 22:38:32

As the OP, and presumably her DH, know that her toddler pulls hair they shouldn't have allowed him to stand on the seat and get close enough to pull the girl's hair, imo. Her DH should have been watching him really, really closely and stopped him as soon as he out his hand out. As he couldn't be bothered to do that, the decent thing was to apologise. But he couldn't be bothered to do that either.

Yes, I am a parent. Yes I have taken my DC on trains, buses and planes. No they have never pulled a stranger's hair.

Bigfingers Sun 03-Nov-13 22:42:05

Neither have mine but it's hardly a stretch of the imagination that it might accidentally happen!!! Especially with an older DC to also watch really closely. Very unforgiving thread, this.

Screamqueen Sun 03-Nov-13 22:43:05

I actually cant believe your DH didnt apologise OP!! Thats the most shocking thing about this, no matter it was a toddler and obviously they had no clue it was wrong, then in that case its the parents responsibility to apologise!

TheHouseonHauntedHill Sun 03-Nov-13 22:44:14

the most shocking thing

Calm down dear, the whole thing really is not that shocking.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 22:44:18

Oh lordy. Somebody yanks (ie pulls with some force) your hair on the train. Do you think 'I should be nice and polite, just in case', or ''who the fuck is that they have no business touching me they'd better let the fuck go'? The girl would have had no idea it was a toddler, the OP has no idea it was her toddler.

IamInvisible Sun 03-Nov-13 22:45:30

Yes, Bigfingers accidents can happen. The decent thing to do is apologise.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 22:48:04

Also, please remember that those of us with DCs are talking about how we would react to our DCs at the time. I have said (shouted) something along the lines of 'oh, fucking hell' when I was being headbutted by a DSC, and I could see who was doing that. I cannot imagine what my reaction would be if I didn't see it coming, or who it was coming from.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 03-Nov-13 22:49:09

Oh my fucking days. Your 15 month old was not being unreasonable. What a shocking way for the teenager to address him. It was obviously just 'one of those things'. The girl has issues.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 22:49:35

PS, I should point out that DSC was a tantrumming toddler at the time, and although they didn't mean to hurt me the action was deliberate.

fluffypillow Sun 03-Nov-13 22:51:09

Oh boo hoo, the girl had her hair pulled by a baby. NO BIG DEAL. Total over reaction on the girls part, and she was very rude and nasty.


Ffs hmm she had her hair pulled by a small child , get a fucking grip love.
Yes the child was too close if he could reach but fuck me, over reaction much???

I would've apologised but then drawn her a map to the other side of fuck for glaring repeatedly at my 15 month old ...

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 22:55:57

Again, she didn't know her hair was pulled by a child.

Bigfingers Sun 03-Nov-13 22:57:55

Yes he should have apologised but maybe he was a bit taken aback by her reaction, and his first impulse was to check what his other older DC had heard, etc etc, then the moment has passed. Just think it's all a fairly understandable situation and can't see why anyone would get so angry at the op and her dh!

I could give less than a shit if she knew-she knew when she turned around which is the point she should've been embarrassed by her twatty reaction hmm
She certainly knew while she continued glaring at the child, no?

Mimishimi Sun 03-Nov-13 23:02:05

If the parent knows the toddler has a hair pulling habit and hasn't taken adequate measures to prevent it happening (eg reading a book or playing with their phone whilst leaving said toddler to their own devices), the parent.

Her language wasn't great but I'd excuse it for the fright she probably got.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:03:02

How did she know it was the kid and not the fully grown bloke?

Geez, I am an actual gobby northern bird but I think faced with a bloke & a toddler I'd have thought ''shit that was an over reaction" & realised it was most likely the small child who was responsible...

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:09:44

Facing away so you couldn't see who it was?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 03-Nov-13 23:10:31

She gave a 15 month old repeated 'evils' throughout the journey. As I said, she has issues.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:12:27

She gave parents of a 15 mo evils. Don't give women shit for speaking out when they are touched by strangers.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 23:13:09


gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:14:15


}{ this is a grip, please take it grin

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 23:17:17

I would rather a brew grin

DownstairsMixUp Sun 03-Nov-13 23:17:24

Good god this thread is still going on!

grin grin gringrin

Fucking bonkers.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 03-Nov-13 23:18:20

SHE HAS ISSUES. It was a cunting toddler. She should have chilled the fuck out once she realised a baby was involved.

Not me, a wine is far better wink

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:21:23

I'll take that grip, I won't take the grip on my thigh, the dragging and smelling of my hair, the 'oops sorry' grab of my arse. If you think it's funny, well good on you. I will say again that the girl had no idea who had hold of her hair. Good on her for reacting. I hope to god my DCs will shout and scream and swear if somebody touches them inappropriately in public.

Chippednailvarnish Sun 03-Nov-13 23:25:18

She should have chilled the fuck out once she realised a baby was involved.

Perhaps she would have if the parents of the cunting toddler had said sorry...

If you can't recognise a situation for what it is then I'm sorry but you have issues too-please don't pass them on to your children sad. Perception is clearly something in which you are lacking...

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 03-Nov-13 23:30:37

You see, I don't need an apology from or on behalf of a baby because I am sane. Lucky me, eh? smile

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:36:33

Ok, I have issues because I don't want people I don't know to touch me. I don't want people I don't know to touch me without knowing they are going to do so (we're hardly talking about being introduced for the first time and being given a kiss on the cheek). I don't even want people I do know to yank my hair. Maybe I should tell my DCs that if they're sat there minding their own business they should just put up with people sat behind them assaulting them? Maybe I should start a thread because they reacted in a split second to a threat. Because that is what happened to this girl.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 23:39:39

I was in a play place once and thought a door was open so walked through with the pram, didn't realise a lady was waiting holding the door so must have looked like I shoved in. (Well I did but not purposefully)

On noticing I turned around to apologise and she started giving me dirty looks and calling me a fucking something under her breath.

Did I apologise? No I legged it. I was a bit put off by the level of aggression a didn't want a full blown ruckus.

I can see this as a similar scenario.

When someone comes at you with a level of aggression it really can wrong foot you.

No love, you have issues because you think it's assault.

Sigh hmm

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 23:42:14

SHE HAS ISSUES. It was a cunting toddler. She should have chilled the fuck out once she realised a baby was involved.

For the last fucking time, she might not have realised that it was the toddler! She was sitting behind them, facing the other way when her hair was pulled from behind and she cried out as her hair was being pulled. She wouldn't have been able to see who was doing the pulling until she turned around and even then, it wouldn't have necessarily been obvious who had done it. She may well have thought it was the bloke who did it.

PerpendicularVincentPrice Sun 03-Nov-13 23:46:16

How about we all respect each other's opinion and agree to disagree? I notice the OP has made herself scarce and I don't blame her grin

<turns lights off and goes to bed>

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 23:46:33

8She gave a 15 month old repeated 'evils' throughout the journey. As I said, she has issues.*

How do we know for sure she was giving the toddler evils? As has been pointed out several times, she might have been giving the dh dirty looks for either not apologising for his kids behaviour or for mistakenly thinking it was the dh who had grabbed her hair. There is also the possibility that she was just checking around to make sure her hair wasn't going to be pulled again.

Seeing as it wasn't obvious it was actually the baby who had pulled her hair, why would she give him dirty looks?

Bigfingers Sun 03-Nov-13 23:47:56

She may well have thought it was the bloke . what, the bloke sitting there with his two dcs? She may have drawn that conclusion. She may well be as deluded as you!

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 23:50:35

When she turned around and saw a man sitting there with a toddler & baby, I strongly suggest it was pretty obvious who did it. Especially as the toddler was clambering on the seat with arms stretched towards her barnet at the time.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 23:50:48

What does the fact he was sitting with his two dcs have to do with anything? Does sitting with two dcs suddenly make you incapable of pulling peoples hair now?

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:50:48

People causing you physical pain by doing something nasty is assault. However, my whole point was that the girl (when she cried out) didn't know what was happening. Do you really think that someone yanked her hair and she said nothing until she turned round and took a few seconds to take in that a child was sat there? I don't. I think she reacted instinctively.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 23:53:19

Even if she realised that it was the kid after turning around, she was probably embarrassed over lashing out so harshly towards a kid. Then when the kids dad didn't apologise for his behaviour she became pissed off. And rightly so.

fivefourthreetwoone Sun 03-Nov-13 23:56:52

Exactly, her hair was pulled from behind, she wasn't expecting it, got a fright and as she couldn't see who it was, she reacted instinctively. Given that she probably yelled out before she turned around to see who it was, she didn't realise that it was a baby.

If she realised it was after she turned round, she was probably embarrassed by her outburst.

Therefore, she wasn't deliberately lashing out and swearing at a toddler FFS.

Yep, after that instinctive reaction though she had time to correct-she didn't do that.

Perception is good, practice it-promise you'll be loads happier & waaaaaaaaaay less tense.

Anyway I'm checking out-OP NUAA.

HaroldLloyd Sun 03-Nov-13 23:57:18

You turn around. You see a man, a baby, and a toddler standing on the seat by your head with outstretched arms. Who didit.

Come on!

gobbynorthernbird Sun 03-Nov-13 23:57:30

Before I had kids I didn't realise that they were capable of biting, hair pulling, scratching, headbutting, slapping, kicking, and all the other things kids do that hurt. Why would she assume it was the DC? I wouldn't have thought it was a DC until I had my own and saw (felt) it happen.

fivefourthreetwoone Mon 04-Nov-13 00:01:01

she had time to correct-she didn't do that.

If she realised it was a toddler, she might have been feeling embarrassed for lasing out.

The OP's dh didn't do anything to help the situation neither. He didn't apologise to her for his kid's behaviour or make any attempt to rectify his behaviour.

He had time to correct - he didn't

Before I had kids I didn't realise that they were capable of biting, hair pulling, scratching, headbutting, slapping, kicking, and all the other things kids do that hurt.


feelingood Mon 04-Nov-13 00:01:09

hideous thread.

lessonsintightropes Mon 04-Nov-13 00:59:37

Erm I've had this happen to me on a plane - had my hair gripped from behind me and shouted out in pain and alarm (although not 'get the fuck off me'). I looked behind me and it was a toddler - parents did not apologise and basically looked at me as if they were surprised and cross I'd made any noise of alarm. Small child then proceeded to kick the back of my seat for the remainder of a four hour flight. Fucked off? Yes I was and massively so, although apart from the original turning around to work out what had happened, didn't do or say anything. OP, you didn't know what had happened but your husband is totally, totally out of order, and he should have had your child under better control.

blueemerald Mon 04-Nov-13 01:21:20

The apology wouldn't be on behalf of the baby; it would be on account of not paying enough attention to your hair pulling child/allowing your hair pulling child to stand on his seat where he could reach someone's hair. I know accidents happen (I refer again to the fact that the teenagers I worked with with special needs occasionally shouted at or slapped strangers) but you can still apologise for them. I used I apologise, was I apologising on behalf of those teenagers? Hell no, I was apologising for my lack of action.

reelingintheyears Mon 04-Nov-13 01:32:53

blueemerald is quite right, you apologise for your lack of attention, it wasn't the childs fault, it was your fault for not supervising properly.
Or of course, in this instance, your DHs fault.


APartridgeAmongThePigeons Mon 04-Nov-13 02:49:07

Sorry I am confused, OP did the teenager have her hair pulled then

1. Turn around

2. See it was a baby that had pulled her hair

3. Then swear at the baby?

Or did you ds pull her hair

1. she swore

2. THEN see it was a baby and then continue to give dirty looks?

In the second scenario your dh was perfectly lucky to only get dirty looks for not explaining and apologizing.

If it was the first scenario, I'd think the teenager was total shit. I'd have certainly not apologized but would have told her to fucking calm down.

Tikkamasala Mon 04-Nov-13 03:21:51

Gobsmacked that you and your DH thinks the girl is unreasonable even though he didn't apologise.

The H was vvvvvvu for not apologising, can't stand indulgent parents who think their children should get away with being total nuisances to others and everyone else should just smile and take it. Your child physically hurt someone because you and your h were letting him stand up and interfere with other passengers, no wonder people were less than impressed.

differentnameforthis Mon 04-Nov-13 04:34:18

If that set her off then she's obviously being a knob Nice. So your toddler pulls someone's hair, and they are a knob because they object?

but as it stands, she is the wronged party Yes she is! And by your admission you weren't there, so you have no idea how many time he got her hair before she reacted. She may have been aware that he was a child when she turned around, but was she aware before that?

bragmatic Mon 04-Nov-13 05:45:57

Reading this makes me want to pull out my own hair.

LackingEnergy Mon 04-Nov-13 06:13:54

FFS I've seen 2 year olds who swear worse than that teenager and they're not being mauled on a train.

I'd shout out and use swear words if my hair was grabbed anywhere not just on a train. If the culprit happened to be a brat instead of an adult an apology for language would only be made if the parent apologised for the mauling my poor hair suffered not to mention the probability that said brats hand was sticky

If parent didn't apologise I'd probably end up loudly saying that my hair is not a toy for you to play with (giving parent a chance to correct situation if they haven't yet noticed though if they hadn't noticed I'd think less of them and wouldn't bother apologising for my own language). Followed by my best don't you dare do it again glare while muttering about ineffective parents.

Teenager- so not being unreasonable
Op- apparently wasn't there so nbu
Child- should have been supervised/ entertained. It wasn't an accident since he's a known hair puller

HTH :-)

Good grief, what a load of sanctimonious numpties I this thread.

You weren't there. Nobody on this thread was there when the incident occurred, so stop asserting that X thought this or Y thought that.

Shame it happened op, sounds like just one of those things when intentions and actions get a bit mixed up.

2tiredtoScare Mon 04-Nov-13 13:29:04

It is knobbish to check turning round and giving dirty looks if that is what happened, if someone pulled my hair I'd probably swear as well but upon discovering it was a toddler (assuming they didn't do it again) I'd leave it at that

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Mon 04-Nov-13 13:52:20

I think the dirty looks were at who hadn't bothered to apologize. If he had and then she continued to give dirty looks it would be a bit pathetic I agree

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Mon 04-Nov-13 13:52:34

were at the husband

MaidOfStars Mon 04-Nov-13 14:00:25

In the girl's position, I would have squeaked in surprise and ducked away (I don't have a very sensitive scalp so hair-pulling doesn't actually hurt me too much) and turned around to see what was going on.

There is no way on this planet I would have said "Get the fuck off me" to a toddler (and I'm a pretty sweary person). I might have tried, awkwardly, to say "Ouchy, that's not a nice thing to do to people", and then got a bit embarrassed because I'd be telling someone's child off and that's not right, and then I'd have blushed and got tongue-tied, and then I'd have gazed out of the window for the rest of journey, bemoaning my inability to talk to a toddler smile.

I definitely would have expected an apology from the parent though. How is it not natural to say "Oh golly, sorry about that"?

2tiredtoScare Mon 04-Nov-13 14:09:15

I think he shouldve apologised but not everyone is used to people swearing like that and could be taken aback

scottishegg Mon 04-Nov-13 14:34:46

Feel some of the comments you are getting are harsh and I'm not one for allowing my kids to get away with anything. The child is question is not much more than a baby and at that age they don't think, yes the child should have been told not to do it and discouraged from doing it but at the end of the day the girl should not have sworn at a baby like that, yes it may have been a shock and it possibly hurt like hell but still if my daughter swore at a baby like that then she would have been the one reprimanded not the child!!!!

squeakytoy Mon 04-Nov-13 15:37:05

just read through all of this and am pissing myself laughing at so much of the claptrap..

there is no way on earth that this girl could not have known there was a toddler behind her already on this trip... toddlers make plenty of noise.. as do their parents usually trying to entertain them or shut them up..

if I was that girl and my hair was suddenly yanked, my immediate thought would be that it was the toddler who I knew full well was in the seats behind me, and I would probably yell out, however I would not shout "get the fuck off me"... there was no need to be foul mouthed to a parent and child..

the father should have been supervising the toddler more, and most certainly should have immediately apologised for not keeping his child under better control

KellyElly Mon 04-Nov-13 16:29:07

When I get kicked in the back of my seat on a train journey I assume it's a kid - in fact I don't assume, I know because they are pretty noisy therefore I am aware they are behind me. Has MN entered the twilight zone or something? There is some crazy shit on this thread.

HaroldLloyd Mon 04-Nov-13 16:38:47

I was beginning to think I was on my own here. grin

fivefourthreetwoone Mon 04-Nov-13 17:01:13

She was probably in her own little world, like most teenagers when they're riding on public transport and likely wasn't paying attention to who was around her.

Even if she had noticed, she cried out instinctively without thinking when her hair was pulled. Do people not know what an instinctive reaction is?

HaroldLloyd Mon 04-Nov-13 17:13:21

You have a fixed imaginary scenario in you head and you will not deviate from it. So it's pointless!

fivefourthreetwoone Mon 04-Nov-13 17:17:09

You mean like everybody else in this thread has done, including yourself?

judgejudithjudy Mon 04-Nov-13 17:18:36

yabu & a knob!

HowlingTrap Mon 04-Nov-13 17:23:24

I think people are forgetting if the toddlers anything like my youngests is 'a diver' and reactions aren't always fast enough.
But I would have apologized profusely, although she does actually sound mental , and no....most 15 year olds wouldn't react like.
I would have been forced to say something on the repeated turning around and glaring, eliciting a hostile response to a toddler for a long period of time sounds like she's maybe a bit unhinged anyway.

HowlingTrap Mon 04-Nov-13 17:25:18

This, with the added comment that a teenage girl would not have the grace and ability

only very socially inept ones, I get the initial swear/scream etc but the repeated glaring is worrying.

Please stop using the word 'mental' to describe behaviour like this young lady exhibited.

HowlingTrap Mon 04-Nov-13 17:28:48

why not? the initial reaction understandable, the after bit not so much.

2tiredtoScare Mon 04-Nov-13 17:29:20

Im still shocked by the poster who called it assault

HaroldLloyd Mon 04-Nov-13 17:30:35

Not really. I think it would have been obvious it was a toddler but am open to the possibility it was ambiguous, hence the swearing.

fivefourthreetwoone Mon 04-Nov-13 17:36:37

Just a thought, buy maybe it actually was the dh who was doing the hair pulling. Maybe he has a secret hair pulling fetish that the OP doesn't know about.

Shame on him for trying to blame the poor baby!


fivefourthreetwoone Mon 04-Nov-13 17:37:05


HaroldLloyd Mon 04-Nov-13 17:38:41

What we need to do us find out the route, write to the train company and demand a CCTV tape.

Then I bet we could argue the toss over that for at least 500 posts grin

fivefourthreetwoone Mon 04-Nov-13 17:39:03

This thread title is also misleading - I highly doubt it was a 'mortifying' train incident considering the OP wasn't there when it happened and didn't notice anything going on afterwards.

YABU because of that fact alone.

fivefourthreetwoone Mon 04-Nov-13 17:41:53

What we need to do us find out the route, write to the train company and demand a CCTV tape.

Yeah the OP really needs to come back with the evidence in hand.

Is it sad that I'm now giggling to myself over the thought that the op's dh has been the one pulling people's hair all along and has been blaming the toddler?

Probably is, but I really don't care.

PerpendicularVincentPrice Mon 04-Nov-13 17:45:50

This thread will still be running when i"m old, grey and have lost my youthful bloom.

And it won't have moved on from the 'did the girl know the toddler did it?' question either.

<bangs head against wall>

2tiredtoScare Mon 04-Nov-13 17:47:07

The rogue toddler could pull a few greys out for you grin

HaroldLloyd Mon 04-Nov-13 17:47:27

It's bigger than who shot JR?

PerpendicularVincentPrice Mon 04-Nov-13 17:59:29

2tired I have plenty for him to choose from, and I promise not to swear either grin

Harold, nothing is bigger than the JR conundrum wink

baldisbeautiful Mon 04-Nov-13 18:18:04

I have alopecia. If your ds had pulled my "hair" I would have been mortified as it would have probably ended up on your lap!!

SarahAndFuck Mon 04-Nov-13 19:00:45

I've posted about this before but earlier this year I thought I felt someone gently tug on my hair from behind.

I was in a lift with a few other people at the time. When I turned around none of them seemed to be looking at me or paying me any attention at all.

The next day I realised that someone had actually cut off part of my hair and after posting about it on here I was convinced enough to mention it to the community police. They viewed the CCTV and could see a man reaching up behind me and me turning to look at him, although they couldn't get a clear look at him or what he had in his hand to cut my hair with.

I wish I'd shouted out the way this girl did and drawn attention to the man behind me. I am assuming she shouted immediately in shock or pain before she turned and realised it was a toddler pulling her hair. It would help if the OP/her DH could clarify though as it seems to be the sticking point of the thread.

I didn't shout because it was just a gentle tug at my hair, and once I'd looked around I thought I'd probably just caught it on my coat hood button or something. I wish I'd listened to my first instincts of thinking my hair had been pulled.

It upset me a lot when I realised what had happened, especially when I realised that people who cut women's hair usually escalate their behaviour to worse attacks on women.

I know that's not what was happening on your train, but in the first instance of the girl feeling someone yank her hair, and your description of it makes it sound like it would have been fast and painful, I can understand why she was alarmed and possibly frightened for those few seconds where she shouted and before she turned around to see who had grabbed her. She probably didn't know who had grabbed her or why when she shouted out.

It's obviously not your baby's fault. He's only 15 months old and as long as you are telling him 'no, that hurts' and stopping him when he pulls someone's hair he will soon learn not to do it.

Your DH was the unreasonable one. He knows your son has this habit, he was in charge at the time and he was aware the seats were back to back so your standing up DS was within easy reach of the girl behind him.

The young was probably startled and hurt, cried out in shock, realised she had shouted at a baby, received no apology from your DH and feeling embarrassed that she had shouted out on a busy train and had had everyone look at her.

Your DH could and should have apologised to her at the time regardless of what he thought she might say in reply.

That sounds horrible, Sarah - I hope you are OK.

gobbynorthernbird Mon 04-Nov-13 19:28:13

That is awful, Sarah. Hope you're ok x

SarahAndFuck Mon 04-Nov-13 19:45:39

I am, thank you, it was a few months ago now, but at the time it was a bit unnerving.

Nothing ever came of it, I haven't heard from the police since it happened, but I avoid those lifts now.

LaGuardia Mon 04-Nov-13 19:45:46

She may have just spent a fortune on hair extensions. YABU. Keep the kid under control in public places and you won't get shouted at.

pippitysqueakity Mon 04-Nov-13 19:52:14

Nah, OP ain't coming back, is she?

fluffyraggies Mon 04-Nov-13 19:56:23

I recon the baby had been a pain in the arse for a while, standing up on the seat behind the teenager over a long journey.

Not everyone is blessed with alot of patience and a mild temper. When the final hair pull happened she may have just lost her temper. It's not her job to be patient with the child - it was the child's fathers job to patiently look after his kid, ie: get him sat down and occupied, not stood up on the seat being a pain to the general public.

2tiredtoScare Mon 04-Nov-13 20:46:16

That is scary Sarah there was a famous case of a man that took cuttings from women's hair on the bus etc who went on to murder a woman he didn't know and put all the hair he'd collected in her hands. It was on crime watch and they caught the evil bastard though

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