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To delegate care of 3yo to her brother

(16 Posts)
JohnStuartMills Tue 28-Jun-11 00:26:05

Something happened today which is making me feel uneasy about my action. I was waiting at the school gate waiting for my ds. I was chatting to another mother whose 3yo was just inside the school gate. We were waiting for our respective children to emerge from the school. The other woman spotted someone she wanted to speak to and asked me to keep an eye on her 3yo. When the kids came out of school, I told her 9yo son to watch his sister and not allow her outside the school gate and also that his mum was chatting and would be back in a minute. I then left with my son but was looking back. I saw the other mother look frantically at the gate and pointed further in where her 9yo son had gone with his sister.

I was in a mad rush as I had a doctor's appointment to keep. Was it errant of me to reassign care of the 3yo to her 9yo brother? I am not normally flakey and am feeling quite bad about this.

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Tue 28-Jun-11 00:28:28

Why didn't you tell her that you were in a rush?

worraliberty Tue 28-Jun-11 00:32:53

Yes, sorry it was out of order imo.

The mum asked you and I assume you agreed?

You should have returned the 3yr old to her and told her you were in a hurry.

JohnStuartMills Tue 28-Jun-11 00:35:56

Well, at the time she went to speak to the other woman, we were all just standing there waiting. She spent longer than I had expected in conversation. It was only after I walked away I began to have second thoughts and this is why I was looking back. At that stage she was back at the gate. I think it was a really wrong call or else it would not be troubling me.

quimbledonsemi Tue 28-Jun-11 00:40:10

This post has reminded me of the time I had to get on a double decker replacement bus with my newborn ds and 3yo dd. I hadn't folded the new pram before and was struggling a bit even though it can be done one-handed. The driver offered to hold ds for me and a bit of struggling later I folded it. Turned round to the driver - no ds! He had given him to his 3 yo sister to hold! She had only held him once before sat down on the sofa with me right beside her. Thankfully she didn't drop him but I was livid!
Your situation was a bit different but I can sympathise with the woman to an extent. No harm done though so I wouldn't dwell on it.

worraliberty Tue 28-Jun-11 00:40:39

Well we live and learn smile

worraliberty Tue 28-Jun-11 00:41:41

quimble shock

Blimey, there are no words!

Bast Tue 28-Jun-11 00:42:46

YABU. Wherever possible and unless otherwise stated, return small child directly to abandoner wink

It was kind of you watch her child but TBH, if someone agreed to watch one of mine, I'd hope they'd do just that and return them to me if they couldn't.

JohnStuartMills Tue 28-Jun-11 00:49:58

Yes, but something could have happened. I guess I endangered her. At the time, it seemed perfected sensible to entrust her to the 9yo. Also, want to apologize and don't know what the hell I'm going to say.

midlandsmumof4 Tue 28-Jun-11 00:53:08

YABU...sorry if you were in a mad rush you shouldn't have delegated to to a 9yo....Ring the doctors and tell them you are going to be late.....

garlicnutter Tue 28-Jun-11 02:12:09

YABU. But this sort of thing makes me go hmm I'm so OLD now! I was walking my younger sibs to school and back from the age of six ... and went alone before then, from 4yo. It was a mile each way. Times have changed!
<leans on zimmer frame, swigs gin>

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Tue 28-Jun-11 07:09:54

Just be honest hold you hands up and say sorry.

spookshowangel Tue 28-Jun-11 08:26:24

9 years old is fine to be in charge of a 3 year old for all of a couple of minutes. the mum might think you are a bit off for dashing off though. would suggest and shit i am sorry about the other day over a couple of wine 's

purpleplump Tue 28-Jun-11 12:09:13

I would have trotted them both back to the mother and said 'Time for me to go now, bye!' and walked away without another word. Other peoples children are not your responsibility and therefore you shouldn't feel obliged to agree to watch them, I certainly wouldn't have. It would have been 'Sorry, no.' and thats that!

mumblebum Tue 28-Jun-11 12:16:25

I would have told the brother to take the child to the mother and watched him do it before going. Not that this helps you at all. Wether a 9 yo is capable of being trusted to watch a 3yo depends so much on the children involved I can't honestly say if it was ok or not in this case. Maybe it was. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I was the other mother though. perhaps apologise, explain that you had to dash off, and explain that you were watching as you walked away to make sure she got them.

Maryz Tue 28-Jun-11 12:31:54

You need to apologise and say you just weren't thinking. Some 9 year olds could look after a 3 year old for a few minutes, but some 9-near olds shoudn't be left alone, much less watch a younger child.

It depends on the child - unless you know her 9 year old very well and are sure she would leave her 3 year old with him, you owe her an apology. Get it over and done with asap or it will niggle with you for ages.

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