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DS and the drunk nutter and keep your catsbumfaces to yourselves

(55 Posts)

Solstice night: I took DS (who is 6 and three quarters) with me for morris dance-out in some Fitzrovia pubs. Everything was going quite nicely until the arrival of drunk nutter, who proceeded to hang around being a bit annoying and nicking people's drinks. Then DN (drunk nutter) nicked DS's drink, and I intervened and said that it was DS's drink and to put it down please, DN did not co-operate so I led DS away with the promise of another one. Then for some reason DN went totally hatstand and started throwing furniture around and screaming.
DS broke away from me, ran towards DN and shouted 'What do you think you're doing? Stop it, that's naughty!' I grabbed him and pulled him away, the whole of our group moved away ie left the pub the nutter was at; nutter was by this time hurling tables at the pub's windows (it was a fast-happening and quite impressive drunk-nutter tantrum).
Once we were away, DS started crying in shock and reaction, I cuddled him, the rest of our group were very kind and helpful, and he's settled down now.
The thing is, I am very impressed with his sheer bravery in reprimanding a nutter - how do I tell him that it was a good thing to speak up when someone is behaving badly while at the same time teach him not to be officious or to risk himself by confronting people?

worraliberty Wed 22-Jun-11 01:19:30

Where was the Landlord/Lady/Security while he was smashing up the pub?

I think you need to tell him in a situation like that, he's not to 'break away' from you for any reason. He could have got badly hurt.

It's a good thing to speak up when children are behaving badly but adults are a whole new ball game he shouldn't tackle until he's an adult himself.

thumbwitch Wed 22-Jun-11 01:24:46

SGB, good on your boy for trying to confront him but yes, he needs to understand that in cases like that, his personal safety is more important than telling someone off. I don't know how much they understand about safety at that age - you would know more - but that's the angle to go with, I think.

Poor boy - not surprised he was shocked though! Hope the police got the drunk nutter.

The pub staff did call the police and the nutter was arrested. It did happen quite fast - nutter flipped out, we departed while the pub staff were on the phone to the police, some of our lot were in the loo when it all kicked off and caught up with us later down the road to say that nutter had been arrested.
I did discuss it a little with DS on the way home (at his instigation - everyone had been gently trying to distract him onto thinking about other things) both to the effect that the nutter was someone who was sad and angry and had messed up head and couldn't really help it, and also that while it's good and brave to address someone behaving badly, you need to take care in doing so.
I am proud of my boy on the one hand - it's good that he has a sense of good/bad/.behaviour and is prepared to address it, and I would like him to grow up not to be the sort of person who steps over a murder victim, but on the other hand he's my little baby and I don't want him stabbed for trying to intervene in a fight that isn't his problem.

Punkatheart Wed 22-Jun-11 02:21:12

Tell him from me (a random stranger) that I am very impressed by his integrity (you may have to explain the word). He was very brave but sometimes adults act in a funny way that makes them a bit scary - but it doesn't happen very often. But he should always stay with his mum in situations that frighten him.

You should be proud. I hope he gets over what must have been a shock.

JarethTheGoblinKing Wed 22-Jun-11 02:25:44

Crap, I missed solstice things.

Punkatheart thank you. He is fine, fast asleep (not waking up from bad dreams or anything) and I know what you mean about his integrity. He is kind of used to adults with MH problems but the ones he knows are not violent.

mathanxiety Wed 22-Jun-11 03:32:12

Just tell him he shouldn't intervene with people behaving badly in pubs as they can be very volatile and not amenable to reason. Everywhere else is fine imo.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 22-Jun-11 03:39:28

Awww, the sweet boy. I agree that it's probably okay to tell him that he did very very well - and everything that you've already said - but not to break away from you in a pub/crowded situation. That's not sending any message about bravery or getting involved that you'll have to undo later, that's just an age-specific injunction, you know?

(As an aside, always nice to know a fellow Morris person. One of the things I love about it is the way it seems to combine family-friendly culture and, well, pubs).

Tortoise, are you a Morris person too? Whereabouts are you based?

MsTeak Wed 22-Jun-11 11:53:39

Not sure thats good advice math, people can be highly volatile outside of pubs too!

worraliberty Wed 22-Jun-11 11:56:43

I was just thinking the same MsTeak

A few words about the effects of alcohol on some people might be in order.

The more I think about it, the more I worry about what could have happened to the OP's DS sad

EricNorthmansMistress Wed 22-Jun-11 11:56:50

mathanxiety that's daft! Is that a catsbumface about the DS being in a pub? It's not advisable for 6 year old children to confront shouty furniture throwing types anywhere, is it really?

mayorquimby Wed 22-Jun-11 11:58:23

Morris dancing has gone gangsta

Insomnia11 Wed 22-Jun-11 11:58:26

I'd love to Morris dance but it looks very committed. The local group practise all autumn/winter and dance all spring/summer it seems - every weekend at a different pub/fete/festival according to their published schedule. Maybe when the kids are a bit older.

slartybartfast Wed 22-Jun-11 12:03:02

i would say good on him but mainly it is better to Turn the other cheek and not be provoked by Bad behaviour, whoever it is

EldritchCleavage Wed 22-Jun-11 12:03:14

Well done your DS. I agree the best thing is to emphasise the not breaking away from you aspect.

Ever done Thaxted Morris festival? Lovely setting, much less chance of drunk nutters. The World Conker Championships in Northamptonshire also has some good groups dancing, as well as being the best eccentric English day out you could wish for.

Insomnia, yes it does involve a degree of commitment in that it's harder than it looks to do it properly. but it is a good family-friendly hobby. Eldritch, we've not done Thaxted but have done loads of other events. We were at Maldon Day of Dance at the weekend and had a nutter-free great time.

slhilly Wed 22-Jun-11 12:22:14

slarty, I see your "turn the other cheek" Jesus quote and raise you this one from Hillel instead:
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for myself alone, who am I? If not now, when?"

SGB's son is a shining example of a moral reaction to someone doing something wrong. It was risky but it was absolutely right for him to have that urge to speak out. If we are all too scared to speak out, we cede public space to the badly behaved.

Insomnia11 Wed 22-Jun-11 12:25:53

Thanks SpringChicken. Perhaps they would let me go along for a trial session when they start their new season in October.

Hullygully Wed 22-Jun-11 12:29:26

<bangs sticks together and tinkles ankle bells>

toddlerama Wed 22-Jun-11 12:33:34

Maybe tell him that it's always good to speak up, but when the person is much bigger than you, you need to think about whether it's better to just tell a grownup instead. When you're a grownup, you can reprimand willynilly! grin

Insomnia: I'm sure they will, Morris teams are always happy to have new recruits and it's understood that you can try it and see how you go on without having to commit yourself to it completely. My team have a rule that new members don't have to pay any subscriptions for two terms, for instance. And we do also have a rule that you don't get to dance in kit, in public, until you know what you're doing, but it's fine to take your time over learning.

Toddlerama, yes, that's good advice, I will tell him that if he mentions the incident again.

worldgonecrazy Wed 22-Jun-11 12:50:56

What a brave and moral young man, you are right to be proud, though it must have been terrifying for you when he did it. Maybe you could suggest that the first thing he needs to do in these situation is firstly to make sure he is okay because otherwise he can't help anyone, then make sure his friends/family are okay, and only then when he has got everyone away from the bad situation should he wade back in and sort it out - when he's older!

sunshineandbooks Wed 22-Jun-11 12:52:28

I think you just tell him what you put in the last sentence of your OP (or what Toddlerama said). But I'm only really posting because I want to say Awwww and give your gorgeous brave boy a big virtual cuddle. smile

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