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AIBU to wonder how any parent could walk by their child in the street without uttering a single word to them?

(27 Posts)
CommaSpliceQueen Tue 06-Aug-13 21:01:02

This happened to me again today.

My daughter is 5 and doesn't know her father. We split up when she was merely a few weeks old due to him being physically and verbally abusive to me, and yelling at/shaking dd.

Anyway, he's never made any attempt to get in touch. And for obvious reasons i haven't went out my way to encourage him to have a relationship with dd.

Today, me and dd were walking to the supermarket. A very narrow pathway next to a busy road. I looked ahead of us and my whole body seized up. My ex - dd's father - was walking towards us. When he met my eye, he paused for a moment and looked as though he was considering turning back. But instead he walked on. And i walked on too. Dd was chattering away to me, completely unaware her father was only 20 feet in front of us.

I felt really numb but tried to act as normally as I could. My walking pace was very slow. I didn't want him to think i was scared and was rushing by him. Anyway, he kept glancing at dd. He looked really sad tbh. Had a sort of 'longing' expression in his eyes.

As he got right beside us, i knelt down and pretended to be tying my shoe. I thought he might have stopped too and tried to say something. God knows what. But i just wanted to give him that opportunity if you see what I mean? But he didn't stop at all. He just kept on walking as fast as he could, looking over his shoulder a few times at dd.

I'm just trying to put myself in his shoes. If i were him, i don't think i could have physically stopped myself from saying something to my own child - even a mere hello. There's no way i could have just walked by her as if she was some random stranger.

On the other hand, he's probably spent the last five years trying to pretend he doesn't have a child, so seeing her today obviously shocked him and perhaps stirred up some deep emotions.

He lives in the same town as us, and we've had 'encounters' like this maybe 5 times in the past five years. And he's never talked to us. Every other time, he crossed the street, didn't look at us etc, but today he actually looked at her several times.

Ah, this has turned into a ramble. I just don't understand his thought process. Was it shock? Or did he really just not want to say hello to his daughter? Random people are always saying hello to dd. She wouldn't have thought it odd at all.

frogspoon Tue 06-Aug-13 21:06:34

Maybe he didn't feel it an appropriate time to greet her completely unannounced. Clearly as she hasn't met him since she was a baby, she would not recognise him and it would come as a massive shock to her too.

No it's not unusual for random people (I assume friends of yours rather than total strangers!) to greet your DD. But how do you think she might feel if a random man walks up to her and goes "Hi Comma's DD, I'm your dad."?

CommaSpliceQueen Tue 06-Aug-13 21:09:33

Of course i wouldn't want him to say that! I'd have been horrified.

But 'hello' or a smile or something wouldn't have gone amiss.

I just don't understand how a parent could walk by their own flesh and blood without saying a single thing. I know that I wouldn't have been able to stop myself saying something like 'hi'.

HairyGrotter Tue 06-Aug-13 21:09:34

The absent father of my child did this whilst pushing his new born daughter in her pram. I smiled, and carried on walking.

I let it go, he is the one who has to live with his actions, my DD has a wonderful dad who adores her, her bio father is nothing other than genes.

McNewPants2013 Tue 06-Aug-13 21:14:23

I think he did the right thing, it would be too much for your DD to process on a shopping trip.

CocacolaMum Tue 06-Aug-13 21:17:02

I would love this to happen should ds and I ever encounter his bio father, sadly I believe he is still alive although sometimes when I am feeling optimistic I have a little check of the local obituaries...

CocacolaMum Tue 06-Aug-13 21:17:42

and for what its worth this was not a stressful experience for your young daughter - he did the right thing.

Pigsmummy Tue 06-Aug-13 21:20:35

I know someone else who does the same, he stands at the school gate collecting his other children too, he also writes a blog about what a great parent he is to his four children. He actually has (at least) 5. This man, like your ex is a pathetic man

CommaSpliceQueen Tue 06-Aug-13 21:21:08

What do you mean 'too much to process'? As i said before, i didn't want him to let on whatsoever who he was or that he was a relation to her. I just don't understand how he could physically walk on by, ignoring her?

DD always has strangers on the street saying hello to her or commenting on her hair/shoes/teddy etc. She wouldn't have thought it odd at all if my ex was to say hello too. She'd just think of him as some other random person being polite.

Maybe I'm just more 'human' than he is, i suppose.

If i saw my estranged daughter, and had an opportunity to say hello - NOT in any way upset/confuse her, let on who i was - just an innocent hello - i wouldn't be able to stop myself.

mrsjay Tue 06-Aug-13 21:21:26

he doesnt know his child and I dont think you want him to be involved for whatever reason I think he did the right thing in the circumstances but it must have been very upsetting for you do you not want him to see her at all you have your reasons but I dont think he felt it was his place to say hello

FWIW i wouldnt know my dad if he passed me in the street and if he did see me i am sure he wouldnt say hello, and im an adult

HairyGrotter Tue 06-Aug-13 21:21:30

In fact, I wouldn't want DD's bio father to approach us without prior communication. He has been given the indefinite option of contact if he should ever feel the need, but he hasn't and has respected the agreement that neither of us create drama.

DD knows that she has a bio father and is fully in the picture as there will be no shocks later in life. In your situation, I figure he has done the right thing however, if he ever gets a moment of consciousness he should discuss it with you before involving your DD

mrsjay Tue 06-Aug-13 21:23:36

but he isnt some random if he said hello it would have probably gone onto a conversation of sorts, you are not estranged from your child and to say hello to a little girl you have ignored for 5 years is strange imo

CommaSpliceQueen Tue 06-Aug-13 21:33:42

Thanks. I think i'm too emotional right now to see it realistically from his POV tbh. in my head, i'm telling myself that i would have smiled at dd and said hello instead of rushing by, stealing glances.

But if i really was him, maybe I wouldn't react that way at all.

I haven't stopped contact at all. It's never been discussed. As soon as i split up with him, he never got back in touch. I was still at the same address and kept the same number for a year. I always thought the ball was in his court. i didn't want to go chasing him.

Yes, he also acts the 'doting' dad, which is really annoying. Through mutual friends, I've gathered that he has an online blog about the strife of being a single dad, where he refers to me as the 'bitch', and was considering getting a tattoo of dd's name very recently... hmm

So he's quite happy to permanently ink his body with her name, but not even look her in the eye. It's little wonder I'm confused.

I probably should have posted this tomorrow instead of today. I'm obviously still a bit in shock and not thinking sensibly.

He's an arse. My dd is wonderful. I just hope her little heart isn't broken when she wants to seek him out for herself when she's older.

mrsjay Tue 06-Aug-13 21:37:33

this must be really upsetting for you I didnt think you had stopped contact I was just meaning if he isnt interested then you dont want to push it.

He actually sounds a complete arsehole can you contact him and ask him if he wants to see her

you know it was probably better you posted and not let it fester people who deny their children are really the lowest of the low, I hope you are alright

TroublesomeEx Tue 06-Aug-13 22:41:17

In his position, I'd have done exactly the same as he did.

I think you'd have found it quite intimidating if he had actually said something and may well have found yourself on here posting about how threatening you found it, and wondering if that meant he was going to get in touch and how dare he just think it was ok to say a simple and carefree "hello" like was just another random stranger passing in the street.

And I think you'd have been perfectly reasonable had that been what happened.

It's a horrible situation which has, understandably, left you a bit shaken. smile

Whothefuckfarted Tue 06-Aug-13 22:47:13

He didn't ignore her though, he looked several times, even 'longingly' as you say. he probably just did what he thought best in the small amount of time he had to process what to do.

edam Tue 06-Aug-13 22:49:12

That must have been very upsetting. But you did the right thing by dd - she wasn't upset, didn't even notice, wasn't plunged into the middle of a complex set of adult emotions and so on.

AnitaManeater Tue 06-Aug-13 23:01:11

I have experienced the same. DS1's father even goes as far as to cross the road to avoid us. He's not bothered re-establishing contact since he 'forgot' a contact session 11 yrs ago. At some points he has lived only 500yrds from us and was reguarly picking his stepson up from the same small local school. Awkward.

It sucks but I'm not sure I would have preferred he struck up a conversation either. I just have to remind myself that we are all just bundles of DNA and friends are the family you choose for yourself.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 06-Aug-13 23:41:10

He physically abused you and shook her when she was a baby?

Do you really want him involved in your lives?

inallmydays Tue 06-Aug-13 23:44:44

i think he did the right thing , imagine if he stopped to chat and it upset her or she wanted to start seeing him .

GiddyStars Tue 06-Aug-13 23:58:15

DC2 absent bio father would do exactly the same thing if he saw us on the street and he has never met DC2. He probably wouldn't even look longingly either as he is an unfeeling cunt.

YANBU for having these thoughts as it is only natural as you struggle to process how he can't want to be there for your DD but remind yourself he'd abusive and if he did want to be around you'd probably run a hundred miles in the other direction. He's a coward and pathetic and you can't imagine his perspective or put yourself in his shoes because, frankly, he is a loser and you're not. You'll be glad he didn't say anything tomorrow.

Also, hmm at the getting her name tattooed...WTAF?

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 07-Aug-13 00:42:19

Well, I couldn't walk past my baby (ok not baby, Ds 3.6)... I have this deep visceral connection to him, and walking past him even to the loo without acknowledging him with a hair ruffle or smile on the way past. The deep abiding love I have for him means id have that sense of unreality and shock if that same situation happened to me. I can empathize is what I'm trying to say!

I think it shows what a good, normal parent you are, and how he is utterly not ...

bragmatic Wed 07-Aug-13 02:23:34

I'd be glad of it. She's better off without him.

Gruntfuttock Wed 07-Aug-13 02:39:23

I'm another who thinks he did the right thing. I also think you are BU to say that because "random people are always saying hello to DD" he could/should have too. It's precisely because he isn't just some random person that the situation could have become something you wouldn't want at all. Be grateful that he knew what to do for the best.

Blueandwhitelover Wed 07-Aug-13 08:51:24

Exdh hasn't seen the three Blues since they were 3,4 and 5. They are now early to mid twenties.
Through some looking on fb I found out he has bought a hotel 50 miles away very recently, I'm so tempted to visit for lunch and see if he would even recognise them as adults. (disclaimer, I wouldn't actually do this but I do think about it)

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