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or was this woman with a stick?

(269 Posts)
VodIsGod Fri 30-Aug-13 14:45:21

Out with my 3 DSs today, aged 8, 5 and 3. All on scooters, they tend to scoot ahead and we have set places on our route where they stop and wait for me to catch up on foot. Part of the route is downhill and they pick up speed but all use their brakes as none of them are adrenaline junkies.

Towards the end of our journey, an elderly woman with a stick approaches me smiling but states that my children were out of control on an earlier section of our route, that they'd gone past too fast. I said that I was sorry if my sons gave her a scare but that I didn't think they were out of control and I was keeping an eye on them. She said they were unsupervised and that she has a friend who was knocked over by a 5yo on a scooter, broke both her legs and never walked again.

I again apologised if they scared her, she said they didn't scare her but were dangerous and that she had decided that if any child came within a foot of her on a scooter she was going to push them into the road with her stick.

I said that that was an extreme reaction and she said it wasn't extreme because her life was just as important as any child's.

I again apologised if the boys had scared her, turned and walked away. She was still talking at me but I couldn't hear her.

AIBU or was she? I keep going over and over it hmm

spongebob13 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:49:21

she was bu to say she'd push them over with a stick but considering what happened her friend she isn't over reacting. if an elderly person fell it could mean they are incapacitated for the rest of their years! plus you say they go ahead do you see them ALL the time? is it on a path they go with these scooters?

Forgetfulmog Fri 30-Aug-13 14:50:04

Hmmm tricky one, but the old lady does sound a bit batty tbh.

Are your DCs really as well behaved as you say though?

MurderOfGoths Fri 30-Aug-13 14:51:01

I'm not sure why she felt the need to add the bit about pushing them into the road! That's a bit unnecessary, especially after you had apologised.

MaxPepsi Fri 30-Aug-13 14:51:50

I'd say both of you were bu.

You have no way of knowing how fast they were going and they were unsupervised.

She is being a total loon to suggest she would push a child into the road.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 30-Aug-13 14:53:35

I wouldn't let the 3 and 5 year old scoot ahead. The most biddable children don't have enough control, physically or mentally at that age. You can see them. That doesn't mean they are in your control.

jacks365 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:53:47

If your dc are passing within a foot of her at speed then it's too close and they need to slow down or give more space, that distance is too close for comfort. She was out of order for the threat she made though.

DanicaJones Fri 30-Aug-13 14:54:20

She was unreasonable to say the bit about pushing them into the road with a stick, but not unreasonable to point out the potentially very serious consequences for an elderly person of being knocked over by someone.

BadgersNadgers Fri 30-Aug-13 14:54:23

I'm sorry but I would have laughed when she said her friend never walked again blush (bad badger) grin

Bowlersarm Fri 30-Aug-13 14:54:50

Clearly she was scared of the same thing happening to her that had happened to her friend.

Also clearly she shouldn't be pushing small children into the road. That's just lunacy.

Although three boys together scooting on a pavement can present a scary sight.

DuckToWater Fri 30-Aug-13 14:55:03

My response would be "Oh right, sorry!" and move on.

Just tell them to go steady on hills and always watch where they are going.

claraschu Fri 30-Aug-13 14:56:10

She sounds horrible, and possibly unhinged, but you should probably keep your kids a bit closer to you. Even very sensible and well behaved kids can be a bit of a menace on scooters, if there are three of them. A 3 year old can't judge how old ladies will walk, or look ahead to make sure someone isn't walking across his path etc-

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Fri 30-Aug-13 14:56:36

She was NBU to tell you they were going to fast and were dangerous. Being knocked over when you are elderly can have disastrous consequences. It's not like breaking a leg while you're relatively young.

She was, however, absolutely awful to threaten to push children into the road!

sparkle12mar08 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:57:19

I'd have handled it the same as you up until the point at which she said she'd push them into the road with her stick, when I'd probably have laughed first and then said deadly seriously "You do and I'll do the same to you" and walked off. Can't abide people of any age who think they can bully children.

CheeseOnTop Fri 30-Aug-13 14:58:05

I can see how three young boys riding at some speed on scooters would be scary for an elderly person. Maybe you should rethink letting them ride ahead on pavements, ensuring they go no faster than walking pace - that is if you are genuinely sorry they scared her?

spongebob13 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:58:37

you would have laughed badger?! jeez what a bitchy thing to say.

Lilicat1013 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:59:06

I agree that children should behave responsibly on a scooter and parents should ensure this. As I wasn't there I couldn't comment as to whether your children were or weren't behaving responsibly.

If one of my children used a scooter I would tell them to slow down near people and keep a safe distance.

If I encountered someone who threatened to push them in to the road I would also ensure to tell them if that were to dare lay on hand (or stick) on my child then I would be pushing them in to the fucking road.

The fact that her friend was injured by other child who may or may not have been behaving inappropriately on a scooter does not give her the right to threaten any other kids she sees on them.

spongebob13 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:59:13

was it a footpath? are scooters allowed on them?

MrsWilberforce Fri 30-Aug-13 15:00:40

I think your were BU to argue with her when she said they were out of control - she had obviously tried to be pleasant about it, you say she smiled as she apporached, and you've probably only confirmed her suspicions that people don't care about the elderly.

Her remark about the stick was nasty but wouldn't have happened if you'd been more sympathetic in the first place.

VodIsGod Fri 30-Aug-13 15:03:07

I suppose I just feel as if I calmly apologised 3 times and she just kept on and on.

I completely understood and acknowledged that they may have scared her.

How many people trot alongside children when they are scooting rather than let them go a 20 metres ahead?

DropYourSword Fri 30-Aug-13 15:03:42

She was being a completely unreasonable old bitch lady. You supervised them the whole time. If anyone says similar to me I would be tempted to respond in a similar vein. On what planet does some silly bint lady think it's at all acceptable to threaten to push children into a road.?

spongebob13 Fri 30-Aug-13 15:03:43

i'll ask again was it on a footpath?

MrsOakenshield Fri 30-Aug-13 15:03:51

she was U for saying she'd push them into the road, but you were more U by going on about them 'scaring' her, when she'd told you several times that they hadn't! I let DD scoot on ahead, but equally I can well imagine as an elderly person who has to use a stick to keep steady and who has had a friend seriously injured by a scooting child, her opinion was worth just listening too and accepting, rather than arguing the toss with her.

MrsOakenshield Fri 30-Aug-13 15:04:39

for god's sake! They didn't scare her, she said so - you said so yourself! Jeez, you don't listen, do you - not even to yourself!

spongebob13 Fri 30-Aug-13 15:05:15

"they tend to scoot ahead" implies they are not supervised the whole time even if in sight its not enough time to prevent a crash of some kind or impact with someone else. again, she was unreasonable to say that about poking them with a stick into the road but I see where she is coming from.

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