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AIBU? Genuinely interested in opinions

(26 Posts)
nackerednurse Tue 30-Aug-11 16:50:11

I have name changed because I was wearing my work ID badge at the time.

I was driving home from work, wearing my nurse's uniform.

I see 2 girls, aged about 10, standing right on the edge of the pavement, waving at me quite energetically. They did not look distressed, but seemed to be trying to attract my attention.

I pulled over and stopped, asked them if they were ok, they said yes. So I asked them why they were waving at me. They started giggling. So I asked if their parents were around - they said yes, in the house,

So I told them that it really wasn't a good idea to stand at the edge of the road, waving at passing motorists - they really did appear to be trying to "flag me down". I said it could be dangerous, and could cause an accident.

They ran into the house, so I got out of the car and walked a little way up the drive. A lady came out of the house, saying they were just playing a game, and it wasn't their intention to cause a problem.

I just said that I didn't think it was a safe game to play.

She appeared to think I was being unreasonable. Was I?

MrsDBouquetVAMOSRAFA Tue 30-Aug-11 16:51:47


diabolo Tue 30-Aug-11 16:52:52

Totally not! What if you had been a paedophile?

Any mother allowing her children to attract the attention of strangers in cars for fun is asking for trouble.

YouDoTheMath Tue 30-Aug-11 16:53:33

Seems a bit of an odd game to play...

So they weren't just waving like children sometimes do, they actually had the intention that you should stop?

And the mother didn't tell them not to?

TheFlyingOnion Tue 30-Aug-11 16:53:41

umm yes maybe. Why did you stop? I think unless they looked distressed I would have presumed it was a game and carried on driving.

TheFlyingOnion Tue 30-Aug-11 16:54:25

diabolo isn't it exhausting to live with that level of fear all the time?

youarekidding Tue 30-Aug-11 16:54:44

YANBU. It sounds sound the type of game children will play - but they need to know it's wrong whether they meant to cause a problem or not.

ragged Tue 30-Aug-11 16:56:14

I think Diabolo is talking OTT, but... I can kind of see both sides. They were just waving hello but they knew it was cheeky somehow, too. I'd be more worried about them getting a mouthful of colourful abuse (telling off) by random grumpy stranger who thought he was getting waved over.

nackerednurse Tue 30-Aug-11 16:57:26

I suppose I stopped because I couldn't be sure they weren't trying to attract my attention. I had a split second to make the decision, and, probably because I am a nurse, I decided to err on the side of caution - just in case they did need help.

Maybe I was wrong and I should have just kept going?

pjmama Tue 30-Aug-11 16:58:36

When we were kids we used to do that, wave at passing motorists - it was mainly for the excitement of seeing how many waved back! Sounds like they were just being a bit over zealous about it.

MrsDBouquetVAMOSRAFA Tue 30-Aug-11 16:58:57


In whose world is standing on the edge of the pavement waving energetically, a game ?

It is distracting for motorists, and dangerous for the children whose silly parents let them do it.

ViviPru Tue 30-Aug-11 16:59:28

I don't think you were wrong to stop, and YANBU, but perhaps getting out of the car and walking up the drive was a step further than many would have taken.

MrsDBouquetVAMOSRAFA Tue 30-Aug-11 16:59:39


In todays world, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

G1nger Tue 30-Aug-11 16:59:45

Isn't it just a difference of opinion, fueled by her desire to defend her kids (ie their actions), and your point that you put across? Is it really worth an AIBU thread?

Tchootnika Tue 30-Aug-11 17:00:18

No, I don't think YANBU.
But I think this might become one of those threads about setting boundaries for DCs, taking responsibility when their behaviour impedes on other people, etc...
<sits and waits>

nackerednurse Tue 30-Aug-11 17:02:58

Sorry - didn't know there were special rules about when you could start a AIBU thread. I am interested in people's opinions that's all. I am prepared to accept that IABU if that is the majority view.

OTOH I would be very cross with my kids if they stood at the side of the road, waving at motorists.

Insomnia11 Tue 30-Aug-11 17:08:22

Is it really worth an AIBU thread?

I don't have anything further to contribute on the topic than has been said so far, but I think it was definitely more worth a thread than lots of other topics. It raises lots of issues/dilemmas we face in modern life.

G1nger Tue 30-Aug-11 17:08:49

I'm just questioning whether the terms 'reasonable'/'unreasonable' even come into this. I mean, if I marked everyone who disagreed with me as being unreasonable I'd be here forever:

Me: "I don't think much of BLAH. He's just so unreasonable"
Other: "Why do you say that?"
Me: "He doesn't agree with me. Unreasonable!".

I can't even decide if I'm on the 'no harm done' or 'harm done' side of the fence... Does that make me unreasonable?

diddl Tue 30-Aug-11 17:11:26

Did they only start waving when it was obvious that you were a nurse?

Insomnia11 Tue 30-Aug-11 17:13:49

Ah, I thought of something!

When I was a kid, we used to stand on a bridge and wave at train drivers to see how many would sound the horn. (Not a whistle, it wasn't that long ago!) Did a bit of actual trainspotting too

Also used to wave at other drivers/passengers on long car journeys to see how many would wave back.

But I agree, waving so as to indicate distress/help may be required should be discouraged if it isn't actually required. My 6 year old knows that, they had The Boy Who Cried wolf in assembly last year.

ZillionChocolate Tue 30-Aug-11 17:14:47

Weird. I don't mind people waving from motorway bridges etc but it's usually obvious that they're just waving. If it looked like they were trying to flag you down then I think they deserved a bit of a telling off.

nackerednurse Tue 30-Aug-11 17:18:25

Well - I suppose I think I was reasonable to stop, reasonable to enquire if the girls were ok, reasonable to tell them I thought what they were doing was unsafe and not sensible.

Maybe I should have left it at that and driven off, however, maybe the mother didn't know what they were up to, maybe the next person they distracted/stopped would be angry or abusive?

The mother appeared to think I was being unreasonable and that it was an acceptable game for them to play.

Maybe I was being unreasonable. I don't think so. Some people on here think I was unreasonable - others disagree.

I am just interested - that is all.

nackerednurse Tue 30-Aug-11 17:20:10

diddl - I am not sure. That is partly why I stopped. I thought they might be waving at me because I was in my uniform.

G1nger Tue 30-Aug-11 17:22:53

nurse - the mother was unreasonable for not apologising - I presume - for her children messing you around.

There's my considered tuppence. yes, it took me a while to get there. Then again, children annoy adults all the time so.... Oh gosh, it's hard, this one, isn't it?

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 30-Aug-11 17:23:30

The mother was just being a little defensive I reckon - as most of us are sometimes when our dcs do something a bit daft.

Doesn't mean to say she doesn't agree with you - if she didn't there and then I imagine on reflection she might.

She also might not have realised quite how flaggy-downy (as opposed to friendly-wavy) they were being.

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