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Not to want my kids without heating or hot water

(74 Posts)
NoNoNoMYDoIt Sun 09-Dec-12 18:05:53

DCs (6 and 3) due to go to their dad's on weds until Sun. we have shared residence and a court order stipulating contact. His boiler has broken. It has not worked for over a week. He has no heating and no hot water. Hasn't even got an electric shower. His house is huge and detached and in the middle of nowhere. It is freezing at the best of times and DD feels the cold badly. He has said the repair men have no idea how to fix it and he doesn't know what to do to get it fixed now.

AIBU not to want kids to go? He has a couple of electric heaters but TBH they don't do a lot in that massive draughty house. They are at school in the day during the week but there is no way of having a wash or anything. And it will be freezing overnight and all weekend. He won't get it looked at again until nxt weekend because he is at work all week so no chance of it being fixed by the time they go.

I can't stop them from going because of this tho - can I?

NoNoNoMYDoIt Sun 09-Dec-12 18:41:04

I never have my heating on overnight. And my house is colder than most. I always have fleece on inside in the winter.

I am more worried about them not being able to wash without both getting v cold

No health issues. DD prone to chest infections and does have a horrid cough at the moment. But we all do.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sun 09-Dec-12 18:42:06

"Why are you all so keen to send them?"

I'm just thinking that they're going to one of their homes.

They're not being sent anywhere.

If the boiler breaks in your home, you just deal until it is fixed.

DeltaUniformDeltaEcho Sun 09-Dec-12 18:42:11

We've just survived 2 weeks with no heating or hot water so it is doable.

Make sure they have plenty of warm clothing and maybe some hot water bottles. Maybe you could make it clear they are welcome back if they feel miserable with it.

It wasn't so hard - we just heated one room and hung out together with lots of snuggling under blankets. Having no hot water was the worst bit but we heated water on the hob and filled the kitchen sink to wash hair etc.

HazleNutt Sun 09-Dec-12 18:42:25

Yes I'm sure they will survive, but honestly, 7 degrees and no hot water? YANBU.

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 18:43:19

Send them with hot water bottles and hand warmers and warm clothes. They'll be warm in bed. Their relationship with their dad is more important than a few days without a bath. YABU

Poppetspinkpants Sun 09-Dec-12 19:09:57

Our house had no on demand hot water or heating until I was 14.
We had one tank of hot water once a week, when Mum lit the boiler, and that was enough for a (small)weekly bath each.
No heating at all in the bedrooms, only one room had a coal fire. Washes were from water heated on the stove. And we were fine.

<Realises she sounds like Monty Python' Yorkshiremen>

As the poster above says, fleeces and socks plus hot water bottles in bed.

squeakytoy Sun 09-Dec-12 20:27:29

Hot water is easily obtained, there is a magical invention called a kettle... wink

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 09-Dec-12 20:36:05

It is his responsibility to make sure he can keep them warm. Do you have reason to believe he won't?

zukiecat Sun 09-Dec-12 20:38:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Sun 09-Dec-12 22:50:08

sockreturningpixie (pls can I have my socks back?!). He doesn't feel the cold and neither does DS. I honestly don't think he realises how cold it is even tho the thermometer on the baby monitor shows 7 degrees in the bedroom. I know this because he told me. And I lived in the house for 7 yrs so I know how cold it gets and have seen those sort of temps with my eyes even with heating

I phone to speak to the kids and hear DD complaining she is cold and she talks about it when she is here. So even when he 'heats' it still isn't warm enough for her. I do think on the whole he doesn't understand that she really is cold. Therefore I think that when the house hasn't been heated for over 2 weeks, there is no way Dd will be warm enough there next weekend. I hate to think how cold she would feel if he got her to have a strip wash with a bowl of water in an untested room

Last winter when the pipes froze, he ended up with no running hot or cold water in the kitchen for 3 weeks. He wasn't in a rush to get it fixed. You can probably imagine how I felt about that.

lisad123 Sun 09-Dec-12 22:53:07

Warm clothes, hot water bottles and ask him to boil water for wash.
They will live

VelvetSpoon Sun 09-Dec-12 23:06:48

The lack of heating wouldn't worry me, I haven't put my heating on yet (tbh it doesnt make much difference to the house temp when it is switched on, as I only have 4 working radiators). My DS2 is always cold, but he would be unless I heated the house to tropical temperatures (as my Ex-PIL do) and even putting the heating on full all day and night only makes it a little warmer than it is now, so not worth it.

I wouldn't be overly happy about lack of hot water though, yes you can boil a kettle, hot water bottles etc but in a cold house one of the things I rely on to keep me warm is a hot bath. It won't hurt the DC not to have a bath for a few days, and just have to strip wash etc but imo it won't be very comfortable for them either. I think I would probably still send them on balance, but on the basis if they were really distressed he'd bring them back early, and that it was fixed (at least the hot water if not the heating too) before next contact.

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Sun 09-Dec-12 23:09:28

Won't he switch weeks? It seems unkind to put them through that if there's a warm house and hot water for them.

All you well 'ard people, bully for you, but you're being a bit too 'ard and it's voming out as unkindness.

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Sun 09-Dec-12 23:09:57

Coming, not voming (or even vomming!)

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Sun 09-Dec-12 23:10:28

Coming, not voming (or even vomming!)

NoNoNoMYDoIt Sun 09-Dec-12 23:13:56

Thanks all. Seems I am on balance maybe being just a bit unreasonable which is fine.

No he won't switch weeks. He thinks it is funny to have no hot water or heating. Yeah. Hilarious when your pipes burst hmm

I know the kids won't die. It is just I know how grim it will be for DD. and it is hard as mum just to stand by and let it happen. Spend my life standing by and watching things happen that I don't like. That is the joy of shared residence...

brighthair Sun 09-Dec-12 23:14:42

I wouldn't be happy. We had a power cut when I was 5 and we did the snuggling together, hot drinks etc etc. I ended up being taken to the doctors on day 4 of no power because I had actually turned blue with cold. It was snowing outside then but not actually frozen as we still had water

ThoughtsPlease Sun 09-Dec-12 23:19:09

We ran out of oil this time 2 years ago, when it was cold and snowing, I had to wait days for a delivery. We have and open fire, and I borrowed some electric heaters, and it was cold! But the children who were 3 and 4 at the time seemed ok, I was bloody frozen! Does he not have an immersion heater for the water?

NoNoNoMYDoIt Sun 09-Dec-12 23:20:47

No. Just a combi boiler. No immersion heater and no electric shower.

garlicbaubles Sun 09-Dec-12 23:21:52

I'm rubbish at being cold and have extremely miserable recollections of being cold as a child. I agree with everyone else, though, I'm afraid. Make it more about helping DD to cope than resisting. She's going to have to put up with cold at other times in her life; she may as well get some coping strategies now. Lots of fleece & woollies, hot water bottles, running about and hot drinks will help. I used to get dressed and undressed in bed! She could do that for a week. How about giving them loads of wet wipes so they have do a "festival bath" in bed?

garlicbaubles Sun 09-Dec-12 23:23:00

* was meant to say can have a "festival bath"

toomuchturkeyatendofthedinner Sun 09-Dec-12 23:28:20

I will go against the main feeling of this thread and say, no I would not be happy sending a 3 year old with an already bad cough to a freezing house with no heating or hot water. If he can't provide the basic necessities to keep the children warm, then I feel he is not entitled to have them until the utilities are repaired. OP, IMO, Yanbu.

KeatsiePie Mon 10-Dec-12 01:19:54

I am with toomuch, I think 3 is too little for being in an unheated house in December. But I have the impression that British adults are tougher about cold weather and limited access to indoor heating than Americans. I know, giant generalization, sorry! But it is my impression.

The crucial thing though is that if the ex were going to make an ongoing family activity out of keeping warm with electric blankets, space heaters, all staying in one room, keeping an eye on how cold the children get, then I would think it would be okay. But it sounds like he will not do anything to make up for it, so I think it is reasonable to say that conditions are not acceptable for small children to stay there.

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Mon 10-Dec-12 01:58:25

They'll be fine missing bath, we used to boil the kettle and fill a wash bowl to wash in the mornings at my grans house, no central heat, no hot water unless she switched it on for a half hour so she could have a bath. She used hot water bottles at night, and boiled a kettle for washing dishes and for us to wash. We were fine.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 10-Dec-12 02:12:46

send hot water bottles and lots of layers and cosy PJs, extra blankets. have you any spare heaters or electric blankets? i would also offer to bath them at yours.

if he layers them up well, feeds them good filling warm meals, porridge and tea for breakfast, gets the main room they'll be in warm with the heaters and has plenty of blankets on the sofas they'll be fine. electric blankets or hot water bottles in their beds, a heater in teh room for an hour or so before they are ready for bed. boil the kettle for strip washes infront of the heaters.

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