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Or is this an odd thing to do in Mcdonalds ?

(83 Posts)
OhDearNigel Wed 25-Sep-13 19:09:12

My Dd is not yet 4 so i don't know whether the following is odd or normal

Took DD today and she ran to sit with a girl who was on her own. So i sat with her, assuming that the woman standing behind the girl was her mum. It then became clear she wasn't. The girl was chatting away and as time went by i thought "she doesn't seem to be with anyone". So nudged the conversation in the direction of her school, how old she was etc. she was 7, thinking that i may end up having to do something. We had been there about 35 minutes with no sign of an adult when a suitable opportunity to ask "are you waiting to be picked up" arose.

To which she pointed at a man with a baby and said "my dad's over there". blush he was right over the other side of the restaurant with his back towards us, separated by a partition. He had not realised she was talking to me until she went over and he came to apologise for her bothering me. She wasn't with any friends when we went in where, just sitting sadly on her own in the middle of the restaurant.

Is it just me or is this a very odd thing to do with a 7 year old child ?

WilsonFrickett Thu 26-Sep-13 10:42:46

I can totally imagine my DS8 wanting to do something like this - although in his case he'd be popping back every 5 minutes to say 'look mummy, I'm sitting on my own!' grin

OP you did nothing wrong. If parents don't want their children to observe the social conventions - and chatting with a stranger in a communal seating area is perfectly conventional - then they shouldn't let their kids sit by themselves.

That said, you don't know the dad hadn't clocked you, no?

DownstairsMixUp Thu 26-Sep-13 10:44:20

Er yanbu and why are people shocked at 35 mins? My ds takes forever eating to as he is in a real chatty mode stage. he is also four. he would take a good half hour eating a happy meal to.

OhDearNigel Thu 26-Sep-13 10:46:20

Would you all like to know my thought processes ?

1) Oh, DD has sat down with that little girl. Better go and sit with her then, don't want to look rude or odd by removing DD to sit somewhere else. Oh bother, that table I was going to sit at has gone. There's nowhere else to sit anyway.
2) This little girl is very friendly to DD, how sweet. Where is her Mum ? Ah, I think that must be her. [time passes]
3) Oh, that is not her Mum then. Who is looking after this child ? [idle chat occurs between self and child about black widow spiders, DD then tells her "we live at ###". Child then says to me "guess which number I live at". So we play a guessing game
4) While playing this game I am thinking "where is this child's family ? Has she come here straight from school and is being picked up from here ? There seems no evidence of any adult anywhere. She doesn't seem to be with any friends. What am I going to do in these circumstances that does not look like a hysterical overreaction ? I'm not sure that leaving a 7 year old alone in a restaurant waiting to be picked up is appropriate. Or is it ? Is that normal, she seems quite grown up ? I think I will guide the conversation to the topic of whether she is being picked up"
5) I then asked her if someone was coming to pick her up, which is when she said her Dad was over there.

Buswanker Thu 26-Sep-13 10:56:55

Sometimes when I/we take the children to Maccers we sit on one table with the younger ones and the older ones sit really far away from us.
They feel grown up and we don't have to listen to arguments over who ate the last packet of ketchup and who needs to get more.
They only come over to us when they ask for one of those tiny ice creams.
I won't win any awards for best parent or best cook this month smile

OhDearNigel Thu 26-Sep-13 11:35:13

You and me both eh wink

redskyatnight Thu 26-Sep-13 12:47:45

OP, giving you possible dad's thought process
1) Ah good we've found a table, let's get the baby sorted
2) Oh 7 year old wants to sit on the high chairs, I'll let her go and finish sorting the baby.
3) Oh 7 year old is chatting to another little girl and her mum. She seems fine - she probably knows them. Even if she doesn't she'll come back if she 's not happy. I'll keep an eye on her and feed the baby.
4) (15 minutes later) Oh 7 year old is still chatting. Well she seems fine. I'm sure the people she is with would send her away if she was bothering them. I'll just sit her for a bit and have some piece and quiet. I'll glance over and check she's ok every so often.
5 (35 minutes later) DD is now pointing at me and the adult is looking. I'd better go over and get her and apologise to the adult if DD was bothering her.

I have a 7 year old. I don't think of the above is particularly odd.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Thu 26-Sep-13 15:28:16

Or there's this:

AIBU to think he should have been watching DD?

DP took DD7 and the baby out to McDonalds today to give me a break. When DD got back she told me she'd made friends with a lady. On quizzing DP I found out he'd let her wander off on her own and spend over half an hour pestering some complete stranger on the other end of the room! I asked him if he'd kept his eye on her and he said yes, he was "aware" of her, but was sitting with his back to her and mainly trying to keep the baby happy. I mean FFS. I don't think anyone can supervise a child properly in those circumstances. He's not going to be looking over his shoulder literally every 30 seconds is he, realistically? All someone would have to do is get DD to point out her dad, then take the opportunity when he wasn't looking. She's a very trusting and friendly child and this has really unnerved me. Should I LTB?

Wow, there are some unashamed snobs on this thread. OP it sounds like the child in question enjoyed her little grown up chat with your dd. Maybe the dad didn't want to disturb her enjoyment? My kids are similar to the little girl in wanting to appear grown up and independent. When we go elsewhere im usually 50 or so paces behind them. To other parents it may seem at first that they're alone. Its only after 20 minutes or so that they come to me for a cuddle or asking for drinks etc. In my experience lost children usually make it clear they are lost. I've had 3 children over the years come to me for help in finding parents.

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