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I didn't see a stranger take a photo of my DS. I feel sick.

(242 Posts)
CoffeeChocolateWine Fri 17-May-13 17:02:25

Please go easy on me as I'm expecting to get a flaming here. But if anyone has anything nice and supportive to say then please do!

I took my two DC swimming earlier...DS is almost 5, DD is 10 months. We were on the bus on the way to the pool and I stood with DD in her pram in the buggy area (the brake on my pram doesn't work so had to stay with her where I was) but DS wanted to sit at the back of the bus. There was only about 3 rows of seats between us and I could see him quite clearly so I thought it was fine.

My DS is a confident little chap and he started chatting to a man who was sitting opposite him...showing him his Octonauts toys that he had with him and telling him the characters names etc. Anyway, I could hear exactly what my DS was saying and I could see him from where I was and he was fine, the man he was chatting to was in his 50s or 60s and looked like a nice friendly man and I wasn't concerned at all. He was just being friendly to my DS. But I was keeping an eye on him...but also trying to entertain DD in her pram.

Anyway, when we got off the bus my DS said goodbye to the man he had been chatting to and the man smiled and waved. And my DS started telling me that he'd been chatting to a nice man and telling me what they'd been talking about. But then he told me the man took a photo of my DS on his phone. I DID NOT see this...must have been when I was looking at DD in her pram.

The way my DS tells it, was that DS pulled a funny face and the man took a pic so DS could see it. But I just FEEL SICK at the thought of this man...a COMPLETE stranger walking around with a pic of my son on his phone and I am really punishing myself already that I didn't see it and walk over to the man and ask him to not take photos of my son and to delete it from his phone.

I can't stop thinking about it and I feel sick and I'm shaking as I type this. I don't think I'm over-reacting...any mum would feel the same right? Before anyone starts criticising me...I know, I know I will get my DS to sit or stand with me next time and not speak to strangers. It was very misjudged and I'm punishing myself already. But as I was there and hearing (but evidently not seeing) everything that was going on, I didn't see the harm. Now I do.

TallGiraffe Fri 17-May-13 17:11:35

I assume your son was fully clothed? In which case then I would think of it this way instead...

Grandad on the bus home from seeing his grandchild who is of a similar age. He's been playing pull funny faces and I'll show you the picture with his grandchild so thinks it would also be a good way of entertaining your DS. He does it without thinking, because he's a nice loving person who wouldn't consider that it could be a problem.

Please don't ban your son from talking to strangers when you're there (and presumably at 5 he's unlikely to be anywhere on his own). People are not all bad and communities are eroded if no one speaks to each other.

Have a brew and try to focus on the nice things that happened today.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 17-May-13 17:11:41

It's the sort of thing I can imagine DH doing. Our kids love seeing pictures of themselves pulling faces or with mucky faces.

It is a daft thing to do, given the paedophile panic these sorts of actions can provoke, but is likely to have been done in innocence. You were there, the man could see you looking at him.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 17:11:53

Having said that, I think I had the talk about not ever going anywhere with someone else, when DS1 was about 4.

HeySoulSister Fri 17-May-13 17:12:45

The worst thing here is that your pram has no working brake!! shock

maresedotes Fri 17-May-13 17:12:51

Don't know why you're getting a flaming. Yes, nice to chat to a friendly stranger and you couldn't have him next to you but I wouldn't want a photo taken. Yes, he won't have his name and address but it's inappropriate. I chat to children but wouldn't dream of taking a photo of them.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 17:13:02


do you mean she's being U to expect kindness on AIBU?

fluffymindy Fri 17-May-13 17:14:17

You are over reacting. When we were in Hong Kong our children had loads (like over 20) pics taken by charming people amazed we had so many (5) children and one of them having massively curly hair.... no big deal

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 17-May-13 17:14:30


the man was probably showing your DS how gadgety his phone was and proved it with a photo to show your son.

I don't know why you'd be "feeling sick".

BlingLoving Fri 17-May-13 17:15:31

I think OP thinks she'll be flamed for not noticing? OP, as you can see, that's not really going to happen. DS is fine. Some man was being friendly. Maybe he'll tell his wife about the sweet little boy he met on the bus this morning and show her the picture. There is nothing else he can do.

NorthernLurker Fri 17-May-13 17:15:40

Op I think your upset is misjudged and I agree there's nothing to worry about here HOWEVER neither should you be flamed for being a loving and caring mum. The world can be a scary place and sometimes that gets on top of us. Being responsible for our children's safety and happiness means sometimes we do get a bit over-wrought.

Overprotection I have reported your unpleasant and goading comment. If there are grips being handed out here I suggest you get one.

HeySoulSister Fri 17-May-13 17:15:44

Why do you assume a man in his 50's/60's has sinister motives tho?

soverylucky Fri 17-May-13 17:16:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheeseandchive Fri 17-May-13 17:16:28

No, Jamie, two separate things.

AIBU probably not the place to find supportive opinion
<tongue firmly in cheek>

OPIBU about the photograph

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 17:16:55

If I speak to children in public I always make sure that I make eye-contact with the parent in a sort of "is it OK?" way. Much as I would ask permission to stoke a dog.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 17:17:17

..or even stroke a dog

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 17:17:42


I see wink

moonshinestar Fri 17-May-13 17:18:13

I'd say that yes it is suspicious, but he probably meant no harm and that I'm sure it will be fine. I understand how you feel but it could have been a photo of a different part of him etc... x

maresedotes Fri 17-May-13 17:19:09

fluffymindy thinking about it DD1 was also photographed lots in HK but people asked (and I didn't mind). They said they liked her blonde hair. So, why wouldn't I be keen on someone over here doing it? I think it's because he didn't ask and you didn't see him do it.

Ledkr Fri 17-May-13 17:20:36

You should call the police. He's obviously a sex offender hmm

JackieTheFart Fri 17-May-13 17:21:41

Tell us then what the harm is?

You are massively overreacting and need to calm down. In what possible way is this damaging to your son? Your son will remember the friendly man on the bus and you will remember shaking and feeling sick about it.

Genuinely don't get it.

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Fri 17-May-13 17:23:07

Jesus wept <shakes head sadly and wanders back out of thread>

Cloverer Fri 17-May-13 17:23:17

How is it suspicious moonshine?

Cravingdairy Fri 17-May-13 17:24:13

OP I hope you feel a bit better now. You have in no way failed your son.

I feel your reaction illustrates how paranoid our society is.

timidviper Fri 17-May-13 17:24:40

This is the second post I've read in just a few days of a young mum getting all in a tizz about someone just being friendly to a child. I think paranoia is taking over and you, and some others, are stressing yourselves out for nothing. What a horrible world if older people cannot chat and play with children.

HeySoulSister Fri 17-May-13 17:24:41

Hey, you even sure it was a pic?? He might have filmed him

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