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Fellow mum left my 3.5 yr old DD alone with her 9 yr old dd!!!!

(27 Posts)
bellbottom Wed 21-Sep-11 09:45:00

Went to babysit a friends 9 yr old who was home pulling sickie, so that she, the mum, could go for doc appt.
When she came back she suggested my dd stay all afternoon to play with her dd.
I agreed. Although, to be honest, I have been declining sleepovers etc, as there have been a few things I feel we're not on a level with as parents.
I went home, my house is opposite. Had the window open and after an hour I saw her, the mum, go off on her bike!!
I sent her sms to say I didn't like it that she'd left dd alone with her dd in the house and that I would go back to get her.
I took dd out of there, after asking her dd if she thought this was normal, which she thought it was.
On my way out, the mum was standing there, she must have come straight back after reading my sms, although she denied receiving it.
She asked what the problem was. I told her that was not the deal. I said if I leave dd with her then I expect her to supervise at all times. I also said she could have phoned me if she wanted to go out and I would have come back.
Then I went on to say that her dd is a child and that she should not expect her to be an adult as that is not fair on her. I know she's quite grown up, but none the less, she does not have the experience to act fast enough, should dd be heading towards danger, unlike most adults. God forbid, there are even many parents that don't even have that ability!
She said casually that she thought it was no problem and that I would see it that way too.
I was fuming and shaking with upset. I spoke my mind but I didnt shout or swear, I was just firm.
I since sent her an sms saying that we obviously see things differently but that I don't want a spolit friendship.
I think this has proved what I knew already - that we don't share the same values or principles when it comes to our kids. I wouldn't want to try and trust her again as there have been enough warning signs in the past. But I also don't want us to be at a distance as we live opposite and dd likes them too, so it would be too sad.
Is it just me who feels this is totally selfish and irresponsible behaviour of her to risk my childs safety like that? Let alone her own child??
I would really like to have feedback on this as I think it is a big topic.

dontlikemondays Wed 21-Sep-11 10:11:41

Morning. Totally agree. Surely if your friend needed you to babysit her DD while she went out, then she doesn't consider her responsible enough to look after herself, let alone a 3.5 year old?! No excuse for it, especially as you were only over the road.

My eldest is 11 and I still hesitate to leave him alone for more than 15 mins (I do sometimes, which I know some parents would think that was unacceptable) but certainly not with younger ones to look after after. In fairness he can be mature and all kids are different but I would always be extra vigilant about taking care of other people's DCs.

As for staying on good terms, I'd be polite and not mention it to other friends (in case word gets round that you're bitching about her) but at least you know not to leave your precious DD there again.

lesley33 Wed 21-Sep-11 10:21:30

I wouldn't have let my DD do this without asking you so YANBU.

But tbh I think a capable 9 year old is fine to be left with a 3 year old for a short while - especially as you are available just across the road if needed. As long as 9 year old is sensible and won't start trying to fry chips for example, then I don't think its any more dangerous than playing outside together in a large garden.

wellwisher Wed 21-Sep-11 10:27:40

YANBU that a 9-year-old shouldn't be responsible for a 3YO, but I don't really understand why you'd leave a 3.5 to play with a 9 year old, let alone one who apparently is off school sick and therefore maybe contagious. I think that's U.

Also, dealing with this by text instead of phoning is juvenile, passive-aggressive and therefore U.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 21-Sep-11 10:47:45

Why would you leave your 3 year ld to play with a 9 year old though? UNless you wanted a babysitter I can't see the reason;'s not like they'll be mates really is it?

Of course the woman ws wrong...but as the Mother of a 3 year old I just can't see why your friend offered for her to play with her daughter for the aftenoon. Odd.

bellbottom Wed 21-Sep-11 10:50:40

Thanks everyone. Feel a bit more reassured. Don't like mondays - I had the same thought! I asked her dd why she had wanted me to babysit if she then goes and leaves her and she answered it was because she thought she needed to be looked after as she was sick. I asked her if she'd been left alone often and she said yes. I also asked her if she'd been left alone at my dd's age and she said, yes, all the time...

Wellwisher....not so much wellwishing you have chosen to attack me on this it seems. IN fact, when I arrived I did check if she was contgious and she quietly told me that it was more likely her dd just wanted to be at home with mum and was not sick at all. When the mum came home from her doc appt she asked her dd for the truth and she admitted she was not sick at all.
I chose not to add all these details as it was too much info and i was looking for advice and feedback specifically on my question about her leaving my dd.
As to the sms - I did speak my mind already when I saw her and she put her head to the floor and said sorry. My sms was to clear the air and not passive agressive at all, so I have no idea why you come to that conclusion. And why so strange that I would leave dd with a 9 year old to play? I'm a single mum and dd is an only child and she likes to play with other kids sometimes!! Is that not ok?!

bellbottom Wed 21-Sep-11 10:52:36

What is so odd MumblingRagDoll???? Some 3.5 year olds have a 9 year old sister who they love to play with. Some 3.5 year olds do not and benefit from playing with an older child. IN my world that is nothing strange!

TotemPole Wed 21-Sep-11 10:53:20

On my way out, the mum was standing there, she must have come straight back after reading my sms, although she denied receiving it.

Maybe she's telling the truth, they were playing ok together and she only nipped out for a couple of minutes.

It doesn't make sense that she would ask you to babysit while she went to the docs. She would have just left her DD alone by herself.

YANBU - no way would I leave my 9 year old DS in charge of a 3.5 yr old, no matter how mature he is. Did she tell you where she went?? I suppose if she just went up the road to get a pint of milk or something that is almost ok. Like Totem said this cant be normal practice as she wouldnt have asked you to look after her DD whilst she went to the doctors.

lesley33 Wed 21-Sep-11 11:05:52

I had read it that other mum was popping out for a short time. Otherwise she wouldn't have got a babysitter for her DD. I would have popped out for 5 mins and left 2 of my DC alone at these ages. But I would have got a babysitter for any lengthier periods.

But everyone parents differently so she was wrong not to check this with you.

bellbottom Wed 21-Sep-11 11:53:07

When her dd opened the door she said ' mums just gone to the supermarket'. She uses the same supermarket as I do, which isn't that far, but is always a very busy one and I know first hand that it's impossible to leave the house, do the shopping and get back in 5 mins. So I feel sure she wasn't truthful.
Also, to add, it takes only a couple of mins to start a fire, for a child to fall out of a 3rd floor appartment window. etc, etc. I would never trust that a 9 year has the maturity to act fast enough within those 2 mins, when she is preoccupies with playing her music and lost in the thoughts in her 9 year old head. 9 year olds should be left to be 9 year olds and not expected to be able to do this!
I agree lesley33 - the least she could have done is check with me. But to be honest, as I said, there were things in the past, but I wanted to give her some benefit of the doubt as I feel sure she knows my principles. For example, there was one time she brought her dd to play at our place when she was 8. She said, oh maybe the 2 of them can go out and play? And I said, not without me. And she said, oh, but dd is very capable and grown up. And at the time I said ' I wouldn;t be happy with that as dd is not an adult and I wouldbn't want my dd alone with her in the street'. We live on a bend and cars come round quick somettimes, you have to watch the kids closely at all times, so I was surprised at her blaze attitude.
Another time in the past she had dd for the day as I had to be out. When she brought her back home she said that she'd taken the kids to the park. That's fine with me. But then she went on to say that they had gone with a rubber dingy boat on the lake - both dd's and another girl, a friend of her dd. When she showed me the photo I saw that my dd had no armbands on or anything!!!! Dd was only 2.5!!!! I hate confrontation and I was biting my tongue as our friendship was still quite new. I will never give anyone any more chances once I feel they can't be trusted. It's crazy though, as there are some things you just think are so obvious and isn't it a bit too awkward to lay down those kids of rules when you meet another mum who wants to do play-date sharing?? I'm starting to wonder if I should now in the future....

dontlikemondays Wed 21-Sep-11 12:31:48

Lesley, I might have left 2 of my OWN children for a short amount of time, but when you've agreed to look after other people's DCs you have to think differently - especially as OP was just over the road and would have easily been able to pop over for a few mins.

betterwhenthesunshines Wed 21-Sep-11 12:43:19

Of course YANBU. What she thinks is OK regarding leaving her own children alone for a short while is her business, but if your dd has been invited to play then she should be there at all times. I would be furious.

minimisschief Wed 21-Sep-11 12:46:33

irregardless of what people think. if something happened to the child then the woman would have been in major trouble and the op has the right to sue her to kingdom come because she left her in charge not a 9 year old.

lesley33 Wed 21-Sep-11 12:48:08

dontlikemondays - I did say the other parent was wrong to do this without checking with OP first.

Ormirian Wed 21-Sep-11 12:51:49

Well I guess it depends on the 9yr old, the 3 yr old and how long it was for.

And she should have checked with you first.

diddl Wed 21-Sep-11 12:53:59

Whatever anyone else does-surely it´s not up to another parent to make decisions about leaving someone else´s 3.5yr old with another minor?

If she knew she needed to go out again why not ask OP to stay a bit longer?

But I do find it odd that OP left a 3.5 to play with an (unwell) 9yr old.

planetpotty Wed 21-Sep-11 13:05:27

YANBU I would never ever do that and would most definately have done what you did.

If I had done this (which I never would) I would fully expect a complete ear bashing and maybe worse!

A 9 year old wouldnt know what to do if the child was choking or had a bad slip on the kitchen floor, a bee sting etc Its way to much responsibility for a nine year old especially as its not a sibling.

I dont get where your friend went to and why she didnt just knock on your door and say....bit odd, secretive behaviour (from just reading your OP).

Like you say though you dont want a falling out when she lives so close. Just dont leave DD with her anymore.

Rubyx Wed 21-Sep-11 13:07:54

If my kids are 5/10 minutes late back from school, my husband starts querying it. My instincts start to kick in around 20 minutes. ( timings for example only)
I am just trying to say that some people just don't see the same dangers, some are too relaxed and some overly cautious.
I personally feel YANBU. But just remember she may not see things the same way. You can still be freinds of sorts, and her daughter could come and play with your child at your place. This is of course if there are other points you do get along on otherwise there is nothing wrong with being a hello and goodbye type of neighbour.

lollilou Wed 21-Sep-11 14:40:58

My 8 nearly 9 DS loves playing with his 3 yo cousin I'd NEVER leave them alone though.

halcyondays Wed 21-Sep-11 15:05:01

It might possibly be ok to leave a very sensible 9 year old looking after a younger sibling for a very short time, but it's totally unacceptable to leave them looking after someone else's child without telling them. Why didn't she just ask you to come and watch them for a couple of minutes? At least I hope she was only going to be a couple of minutes, wonder where she was going?

wellwisher Thu 22-Sep-11 08:10:47

bellbottom, I think you'll find quite a few posters have said the same as me... and you mentioned two texts in your #OP, which is two too many between adults in a sensitive situation. Grow up. Oh, and if this woman lets her kid stay off school when she's NOT ill, she's too irresponsible to look after your child.

bellbottom Thu 22-Sep-11 21:29:03

Hello wellwisher.
I use mumsnet for non judgemental advice and feedback, but there will always be one like you who only puts forward comments that are non constructive and only seeks to vent out their own hang-ups.
I wish you well in your hope of being a well-wisher. Maybe one day you'll get there ;-)

youarekidding Thu 22-Sep-11 21:45:46

YANBU to be concerned about a 9yo in charge of a 3yo.

YABU to have stopped and sent a text about it and left enough time for the mother to return before you went to get your DD. Personally I would have gone straight over and saved the text until I knew my child was safe.

Gigondas Thu 22-Sep-11 22:03:20

This is Aibu bellbottom and I don't think Well wisher is being unconstructive. Also if you are in Aibu you are by it's nature asking for people go give opinions that are subjective and involve judging what the op is.

That said yanbu - dd is same age and I completely see how you want someone there who would know how to deal with falls etc

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