To have gone to the loo?

(93 Posts)
FCEK Tue 17-Dec-13 11:41:02

At the weekend, dd and I went to the cinema to see frozen. She's 5.

Half way through I went to the loo. I thought about leaving it til the movie finished as was unsure about leaving dd in the hall, but I was desperate!!

Dd was fine, enjoying the movie and I made sure she knew to stay put. I was only 5 mins (toilet right next door to the room).

Mil and sil seem to think it was very risky (dd told them mummy missed some of the movie)

I'm annoyed. WIBU?

Feminine Tue 17-Dec-13 11:44:28

I wouldn't have done.

But, as you know/knew the layout you probably made the correct choice.

Boardingblues Tue 17-Dec-13 11:55:48

Well I would have done it. When a girls gotta go, a girls gotta go!
The risk of anything happening in the auditorium is considerably lower than in the rush of cinemas emptying

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 17-Dec-13 11:57:20

Not unreasonable at all.

grabaspoon Tue 17-Dec-13 12:02:25

Maybe it's because I am a nanny but if I need to go during the film - I take dc aged 6. I don't imagine he will miss out too much in the 3/4 minutes we're out of the room.

curlew Tue 17-Dec-13 12:06:53

What on earth is going to happen to a 5 year old left for 3 minutes in a cinema?

BaileysOnRocks Tue 17-Dec-13 12:07:23

I wouldn't have left a 5 year old alone. You have no idea who can be around.

LeafyGreen13 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:08:32

I would have taken her with me to be honest.

Another film might have come out and sometimes the queue for the toilet at cinemas can be very long.

I once had a creepy guy come and sit next to me halfway through a film. I moved seats but to be honest I find cinemas quite creepy in general because of the dark.

cazzybabs Tue 17-Dec-13 12:09:29

I would have taken mine too - sorry!

HeadfirstThroughTheTimeVortex Tue 17-Dec-13 12:10:14

I've done it. If your dd knew to stay put I don't see the problem. I couldn't leave dc4 aged 6 as he would run around/bounce on the seats/poke people without supervision, but my others were fine to leave for a few minutes.

lynniep Tue 17-Dec-13 12:11:52

I have a 6 year old and left him for 5 minutes during Frozen to take the 4 year old to the loo. It really depends on the child. If I was really worried I might ask the (obvious) parent next to us to keep an eye on him.

HeadfirstThroughTheTimeVortex Tue 17-Dec-13 12:13:19

I have asked another parent to keep an eye out for the other dcs when taking one dc to the loo too. Plenty of other parents aroing during a family film.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 17-Dec-13 12:15:36

I personally wouldn't have left her. But head first has a good point - ask another parent to keep an eye open.

5HundredUsernamesLater Tue 17-Dec-13 12:24:36

I'm guessing with the choice of film that there were plenty of families also in the cinema and probably not too many dodgy weirdos waiting to prey on vulnerable children. I'm sure too that anyone seated behind would have noticed if anyone different approached your child while you were gone and would have been suspicious especially if your child seemed distressed by it. Lots of mums leave children in cars while they pop in to the bank etc and I think that's a lot bigger risk as you really don't know who can be hanging round the streets.

Nancy66 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:56:27

you know your kid. you were confident she'd be ok and stay put.

I wouldn't leave my daughter because I wouldn't trust her to not get up and come and look for me.

somethingchristmassy Tue 17-Dec-13 13:00:50

I've left my 6 and 4 yo in cinema and in a cafe while i go to the loo. I also let them go to the loo by themselves.

QueenofallIsee Tue 17-Dec-13 13:03:14

Hmmm, I have left DS2 aged 8 for a few mins at the flicks while I nipped to the loo (The Hobbit was looooooong) but I would not leave the other 2 boys as they are different kids and more inclined to get into bother. I would allow NONE of them to go to the loo without me in a public place.

ClaudiusMaximus Tue 17-Dec-13 13:06:25

at 5? Absolutely not.

YouTheCat Tue 17-Dec-13 13:06:52

I used to leave mine at that age. She was perfectly capable of sitting still and knew not to leave the screen with anyone but me.

No way would my bladder have lasted through a whole film back then.

FCEK Tue 17-Dec-13 13:19:38

It's not something I normally do, I was just desperate that time. Yes she's well behaved for her age and there were other mums about.

monicalewinski Tue 17-Dec-13 13:29:48

I would have done it, and I have done it.

My boys are 8 & 11 now and this year I've started letting them be in the film on their own, whilst I have a coffee in the café next door - my mum and sister are very shock that I do and think it's awful.

You know your own children and you make decisions based on your own situation, YANBU.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Tue 17-Dec-13 13:36:54

I wouldn't have done it, if I took too long (which is more than a minute in my dcs eyes) they would have come looking for me and might have wandered into another film by mistake or whatever, I wouldn't judge anyone else for doing it though, it isn't that big a deal, you know your own dc and what they will be likely to do.

curlew Tue 17-Dec-13 13:42:15

"and probably not too many dodgy weirdos waiting to prey on vulnerable children"


formerbabe Tue 17-Dec-13 14:07:47

I did this when I took both of mine to the cinema. My youngest was in nappies and pooped hallway through the film. My son point blank refused to move...he was sat between 2 other mums and their kids. I also changed my youngest in the loo with the door open so I could see the door to the screen he was in. I therefore would have seen him if he had walked out.

clarinetV2 Tue 17-Dec-13 15:35:28

I did this with DD1 when she was that age and she was fine. DD2 would have freaked out, come to look for me, got lost, shouted the place down and generally caused mayhem. YANBU. As others have said, you know your own child and if she's OK with being left for a few minutes, make the most of it!

I wouldnt have but id happily ask anothernparent to keep an eye on mine. Risks of abduction - very very low. Risk of him deciding to have a wander, look for me or go to buy an ice cream - still low but not as low. In which case another parent saying "your mummy will be back in a sec" would be enough to keep him where he was till I got back.

SecretRed Tue 17-Dec-13 15:46:37

Depends on the child really. I left my dd at that age in the cinema to go to the loo and she was fine. I couldn't have left ds as I was not sure he would stay put for 5 mins if I wasn't there.

phantomnamechanger Tue 17-Dec-13 16:00:13

every 5 yo child is different, every cinema is different in size/layout/busyness, every parent is different. you made the decision you made, others disagreed - why not just shrug it off instead of coming here to see what % agree with you or not?

Runningoverthefields Tue 17-Dec-13 16:11:36

envy that you can leave your kids while you go to the loo. I bet you can drink whole cups of tea as well, can't you, before they go cold?

I see you and your sort about, drinking your cups of tea while your children do colouring-in books in cafes. A child who stays where you left them without shackles (I presume you didn't use shackles?)

If you think that I'm giving you a hard stare because I'm judging you for leaving your child, you're wrong. I'm glaring because I'm jealous. Five minutes would be all it took for my child to have created total carnage. It would have taken months to unravel the police/social services/concerned onlookers/payment for damage to property/hospital visit to reset bones etc…

curlew Tue 17-Dec-13 16:22:30


With dd if I had even suggested such a thing I would have had a howling octopus wrapped round my knees hysterically accusing me of leaving meeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

Runningoverthefields Tue 17-Dec-13 16:49:33

grin @curlew I can imagine DS doing that too - but if I'd actually left him there is no way he'd still be there when I got back. He could cover quite a bit of ground in five minutes when he was five. The boy was a bolter.

Up until DS was 5 even when at home I had to pee with the door open shouting 'BE CAREFUL' 'PUT THAT DOWN' 'TAKE THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH' 'TAKE YOUR FINGER OUT OF THERE' 'STOP CLIMBING UP THAT' at random intervals through the open door just hoping that I was shouting the right admonishment at the right time.

One time when he was four I peed with the door shut. Oh, the dangerous luxury. When I came out it was awfully quiet and I noticed a draught. He'd managed to turn the latch on the front door and he was legging it up a London street in a dodgy area, completely naked, barefoot and laughing his little head off. He hadn't been naked when I left him. It had been three minutes, I swear. I need more tea just thinking about it…

I've done it - in fact, last night I left 3 of mine in the cinema while I did some Christmas Shopping. Ok, so they are a bit older now wink but I've let mine out of sight for 5 minutes more times than I can remember, and did when they were younger as well. (Youngest is 5.) If I was in a cinema and another mother left her DC for 5 minutes, and the child was not distressed, I wouldn't bat an eyelid. If the child WAS distressed I would offer comfort (like sitting next to them until Mummy comes back). If a complete stranger walked over and sat by them, causing them more distress, or tried to leave with them I would call them on it. I'm sure that 99% of the population would do the same.

Shamoy Tue 17-Dec-13 17:04:32

I've got a 5 year old and I'd totally leave him for a few minutes while u went to the toilet. I've also got an 8 year old and I'd think twice about leaving him as he's more chaotic!

Running forget the tea, have a wine!

ironmansmum Tue 17-Dec-13 20:56:06

No, wouldn't leave them anywhere alone

MalcolmTuckersMistress Tue 17-Dec-13 21:05:07

No way would I have! The entire theatre was probably full of paedophiles. Also the cinema could have gone on fire while you were away too...what would you have done then? Not to mention you could easily have slipped on a pissy floor, knocked yourself out, fallen head first in the toilet and drowned.

I think you were completely unreasonable. Hand your child over to Social Services IMMEDIATELY!

P.s. Yanbu.

monicalewinski Tue 17-Dec-13 21:06:00

Running Actual lol'd at your errant child and your 'hard, jealous glaring'

monicalewinski Tue 17-Dec-13 21:07:25


Wise words....

I'd have just taken her with me and made sure I was quick. My DC usually need to go at least once or twice when we go to the cinema anyway. I absolutely wouldn't leave them though. My dad was sexually assaulted in a cinema when he was 11 and sitting alone. So I'm probably more weary than most.

girliefriend Tue 17-Dec-13 21:12:19

I took my dd 7yo to see Frozen as well at wend smile I left her for 5 mins to nip to the loo and I even thought 'hmm bet mn wouldn't approve' grin

Joysmum Tue 17-Dec-13 21:15:33

It's a family film, there would have been lots of families. I'd have done it, and did do it.

WelshMaenad Tue 17-Dec-13 21:19:08

Yep, done it loads of times. Will also happily leave DS (3) with dd (7) while I go. Wouldn't leave him alone as carnage would ensue but oddly if his sister's there he'll happily sit still and quiet.

Then again I'm one of those horrendous mothers who leaves them in the car whilst I nip into bank/shop so you may want to disregard my irresponsible opinion.

rabbitlady Tue 17-Dec-13 21:21:22

wouldn't have done it. the child is too precious to me to take any really idiotic risks like leaving her unguarded in a place where weirdos will choose to be in order to find children.

LeafyGreen13 Tue 17-Dec-13 22:50:41

There is kind of an assumption here that the child will get distressed if someone strange goes and sits with them but that often isn't the case. Those pictures of that poor girl in Thailand who happily wandered off hand in hand with the guy who raped and killed her were so chilling. A stranger wouldn't know if the guy was her dad or some random weirdo. If you leave a child in the car then I assume the doors are locked so no one can get in or out. I'm not the hysterical type but I do find cinemas very creepy places.

curlew Tue 17-Dec-13 22:54:02

"to me to take any really idiotic risks like leaving her unguarded in a place where weirdos will choose to be in order to find children."

Because children are regularly stolen from cinemas while family films are being shown. Evidence of this danger, please?

JanetAndRoy Tue 17-Dec-13 23:00:18

I'd happily leave my two (5 & 8) while I went to the WC. If anyone tried to take them, it wouldn't be long before they brought them back..!

Abbierhodes Tue 17-Dec-13 23:31:01

Haha rabbitlady!!

You are joking, right??

IThoughtThat Tue 17-Dec-13 23:43:27

I would probably have done it although it would depend a bit on the child, the cinema and the rest of the clientele.

YANBU smile

MrsUptight Tue 17-Dec-13 23:47:40

I dont get why people wouldnt just take the child with them. Why take risks?

BrianTheMole Tue 17-Dec-13 23:48:38

No I wouldn't have. I went to see Frozen today with my 4 and 6 yr old. The youngest wanted the loo and I thought about leaving the oldest, but I didn't. Although had I been sitting near some parents I probably would have asked them to keep an eye, but the cinema was quite empty so there was no one sitting near us.

Caitlin17 Wed 18-Dec-13 00:56:24

running laughed at your random admonishment.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 18-Dec-13 01:19:29

I wouldn't, they probably would have stayed put at that age but you never know

justanuthermanicmumsday Wed 18-Dec-13 01:40:39

I've not had a life since having my kids so they haven't been to the cinema apart from with school as a treat ;) . Desperate pick up the kid and dash for the loo and run back again. Better to be safe than sorry.

You can tell her to stay out and by the sounds of it you know she would, but how'd you know an adult psycho would stay put. All it would take is for him or her to take the child and walk out. Sadly the way people are most would turn a blind eye. If you were a friend I'd say don't do it just to be extra cautious

rabbitlady Wed 18-Dec-13 03:37:03

a sexual assault could be carried out in a few seconds but the effects could last a lifetime.
a child could be told 'mummy sent me to get you' and go off happily with a stranger.
a crying child being carried out of a cinema could be thought by others to be someone being taken away so they didn't disturb people watching the film.

by all means leave your very small children alone in cinemas, until something bad happens (or they maturity unscathed), then post about it. in the meantime, the rest of us will continue to be more careful.

curlew Wed 18-Dec-13 07:00:02

Has there ever been a case of a child being assaulted in a cinema during the showing of a family film while her mother popped to the loo?

YANBU. confused

Like curlew I would like to see the statistics and studies of 5 year olds left in a cinema for 5 minutes re assaults/kidnapping etc.

Sirzy Wed 18-Dec-13 07:11:49

I can't picture myself being able to leave DS when he is 5 - simply because of the type of personality he is he will either walk off to try to find the toilets himself, or end up at the front of the cinema trying to entertain everyone else.

The abduction/sexual abuse argument is taking things too far though. You would wonder why the media isn't full of stories of these poor children being snatched while their mum has a wee!

It does depend on the child I agree Sirzy. DS1 wouldn't have wanted to be left. DS2 wouldn't have cared less.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 07:18:36

Curlew the famous author Malorie Blackman was.

Sirzy Wed 18-Dec-13 07:26:48

Wasn't she a teenager at the time though? So are you now saying that even as a teen they should be constantly supervised?

Jinty64 Wed 18-Dec-13 07:27:12

The thing is when can you leave them to pop to the toilet, let them go in the mens toilet, change at the swimming pool alone, stay in the toy aisle or computer aisle at Tesco.

I would get some odd looks taking ds's 1&2 (18 & 16) everywhere with me and have already been told that ds3 (7) shouldn't be in the ladies changing room at the swimming pool. It has to be a balance of protecting them and giving them responsibility for themselves.

Every child is different and every situation is different. You have to risk assess as you go and only you can know your child, the situation you are in and make the right choice for you both.

FuckyNell Wed 18-Dec-13 07:27:27

I wouldn't, but it's not for fear of abduction. It's simply because IMO a child of 5 should be supervised at all times whilst in public.

What is the 5 year old (who is presumably glued to the film) going to do though? It is a case of not trusting the child?

Aeroaddict Wed 18-Dec-13 07:50:38

I wouldn't have done it as DS has a history of begging to be left on his own in similar circumstances, only to start sobbing for me a minute later, so I don't leave him now as he makes me look badgrin. I am not convinced most cinemas are full of paedophiles waiting to strike though, and if you have a child who is happy to be left then I don't see a problem.

curlew Wed 18-Dec-13 10:17:48


Malorie Blackman was 13. I presume you're not saying that you should take a 13 year old to the loo with you?

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 10:25:29

No, I'm saying that it happens....regardless of age. WHY take the risk just so that your tiny child does not miss 5 minutes of a film? Why would you? Even if the risk is one in a's a risk which does not need to be taken.

We weigh up risks every it safe to cross the road? Shall I take my child to ooh or will he be ok? Do I need to put a coat on?

some risks carry heavier weights than others. Why take them?

curlew Wed 18-Dec-13 10:27:49

Because it's not a risk at all. It has never happened. Your child is more likely to trip on the steps and break her ankle as you rush her, protesting, out of the cinema with you.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 10:31:02

curlew what on earth are you talking about? Do you have access to ALL police files and ALL memories on earth? hmm

I would never leave a 5 year old unattended in a public place...not ever.

Would you leave one in a shopping centre sitting on a bench while you went to the loo? Doubt it. Not much difference. Enclosed space full of strangers and I am NOT just talking about sexual assault. All kinds of things could happen which might scare or confuse a small child.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 18-Dec-13 10:35:22

Depends on the individual child and the individual scenario....

In a crowded cinema showing a family film, surrounded by other families, a child who knows to sit quietly and wait - and you know they will not be scared by any of the film content - yes I would leave them.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 10:37:31

Why is a place full of other families somehow safe? Other families are not all good...or all helpful you know. Having kids does not make you immune to being less than nice.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 18-Dec-13 10:41:25

My eldest is 13 now, takes the bus to the next city, meets her friends outside the cinema and gets herself home after - we only allow daytime for now.... unless an adult is going too... the boundaries move depending on age and circumstance...

there are risks - but life is not about continual risk avoidance - more about risk-management ... what age WOULD you leave a child to nip to the loo for 3 or 4 min in a cinema showing a family film, surrounded by other families ....???

NoComet Wed 18-Dec-13 10:47:14


justanuthermanicmumsday Wed 18-Dec-13 10:50:08

It's not a case of not trusting the child to stay put its a case of not trusting strangers in the dark with a wee child. Big difference between a 5 year old and 15 year old. I would give a resounding no.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 10:51:39

StarDust I would say at about 9 or 10 when they've got some knowledge of right and wrong and can get up to find you should they need to.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 10:53:06

I'm not an overprotective parent at all. My DC play outside our home...they're the only ones allowed to do this in our cul de sac....others are all driven everywhere and play indoors or at soft bloody play centres. Next year when DD1 is 10, I will let her go to the local park with friends...but a 5 year old sat alone in a dark cinema? No thanks.

justanuthermanicmumsday Wed 18-Dec-13 11:01:54

I agree with mrsuptight

WireCatGlitteryBaubles Wed 18-Dec-13 11:06:20

I would have left the child & gone to the loo. Wouldn't have even occurred to me to take him/her!

Blimey, I am a bad mum!.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 18-Dec-13 11:08:25

There is a minute risk that something very serious will happen to your child in those few minutes. A much smaller risk than that you might have a car accident on the way home. Should we all therefore never travel by car because it's not worth the risk? We cannot, nor should we want to, avoid all risk in life.

I think this situation is exactly the sort of small responsibility that we can give to a child this age to develop into a well rounded adult. Of course a 5 year old is different to a 15 year old but how will a 15 year old mature enough to travel to the cinema on their own, get their own ticket etc if we never give them little freedoms along the way?

YY my 11 year old gets the bus/train into town with his friends all the time Made. He loves it.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:11:14

Ghoul making the choice to leave your child alone is not the same as the risks we take driving etc. Because it's avoidable.

We drive because we need to mostly.....we cross the road because we must.

Leaving your child is not comparable because it's completely avoidable. Might not be convenient....but it's avoidable.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:13:03

As for getting your child to learn begin with small steps that are appropriate.

Letting them pay at the shops....allowing them to lay the table....asking them to ask where the loos are in a cafe....and then, when they're old enough, letting them walk to the park with friends. Leaving a defenseless 5 year old alone in a public space is not right.

justanuthermanicmumsday Wed 18-Dec-13 11:14:07

15 year old may go cinema that's fine, not a 5 year old. All I think about is Madeline. They were across the road, she was asleep. Most of us say we wouldn't have done that but are we all being truthful. I find it shocking that ppl think it's ok to leave a 5 year alone in a cinema. Is it ok to leave her alone in a shopping mall or supermarket and walk down 10 aisles away?

Btw I don't think the op is a bad parent or anyone who does but naive yes.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:15:28

Manic DON'T mention Madeleine...on MN people will accuse you of hysteria.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:16:03

I agree with you by the way...that leaving a small child alone in public is stupid. Nothing more...just stupid.

Gruntfuttock Wed 18-Dec-13 11:16:28

To all those who wouldn't have been sure their child would stay put until they got back from the loo - SURELY you have heard of staple guns! Well worth the small cost for the peace of mind.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:17:46

Oh yes...then if you staple the child down, it would slow down any potential child snatchers! grin Maybe duct tape too....for added peace of mind?

Gruntfuttock Wed 18-Dec-13 11:27:33

By the way, if anyone is wondering how a stapled down child is removed from the seat once the film has ended:- OMG! shock I can't believe that you care more about ripped clothes than your child's safety! Get your priorities right!

Hope this helps smile

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:42:12

I know! Grunt you've put it all into perspective. Thanks so much for being the voice of reason.

{off to buy staple gun}

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 18-Dec-13 11:51:40

MrsUptight - Of course driving is avoidable - walking / public transport are both much safer. You take the view the risk involved in driving is worth the benefit of driving.

We agree that a child needs to take on responsibilities gradually. To me leaving a 5 year old to watch a film for a few minutes is one of those steps. You disagree for your child but that doesn't make OP unreasonable , just making a different judgement call to you.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:53:19

Well yes but some people can't walk 5 miles to school OR take public transport. I have no car so know ALL about how avoidable it is...but we need taxis it's not completley avoidable.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 18-Dec-13 11:58:45

But that proves the point. You take lots of taxis (a relatively risky thing) because it's worth the risk because it saves you a 5 mile walk or moving to be nearer to school. It is a simple risk benefit analysis. And a sensible one but it is not avoiding all risk which you stated upthread we should seek to do in the cinema situation.

Abitannoyedatthis Wed 18-Dec-13 12:00:28

I personally know of teenagers sexually assaulted in a cinema (separate occasions) so for that reason would feel wary, if seated near another family in full view probably ok.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 12:12:21

Ghoul....if I choose between leaving a 5 year old and NOT leaving her alone in the cinema....then NOT leaving her removes all risk. That's simple.

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