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To be a bit surprised by this

(35 Posts)
pigsDOfly Thu 10-Oct-13 00:28:45

In the park today with my dog, not my most regular park so don't know anyone there although people are generally friendly.

Sitting on a bench throwing a ball for my dog when a man and a small child came towards me. The man asked if his daughter could stroke my dog (we're very used to this as dog is smallish and fluffy).

After the little girl had stroked the dog for a while the father told her he was going to the loo (we were sitting near the cafe) and asked her if she wanted to go with him or stay and talk to my dog. She said she'd stay and we had a nice chat, during which I found out her name, her birthday, her age (2 years) and a few other bits and pieces; he wasn't gone long, but long enough to wee obviously.

When he came back we chatted a little bit more and off they went.

Now, I'm a respectable looking woman, I think, and it was about 4.30 in the afternoon in broad daylight in the middle of a public park. The town is generally friendly and safe and obviously the father felt his child would be fine to be left, so aibu to think it a bit odd to just walk off and leave your 2yo child, albeit a very grown up 2yo, with a complete stranger?

Lilacroses Thu 10-Oct-13 00:31:44

No I wouldn't have done that I agree it's odd. I do think visiting the loo as a dad out with a Dd must be a bit tricky though! Still it's not sensible to do what he did.

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 10-Oct-13 00:34:38

Very odd. I'd be wondering if she WAS his daughter. but I'm a panic person.

scurryfunge Thu 10-Oct-13 00:36:27

Bit unusual but not so odd. He obviously made a judgement that it was safe to do so.

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 00:45:26

My DSIS was taught to swim by a complete stranger because my short sighted grandpa asked him to keep an eye on her in the pool on holiday.

(To be fair DDad had been teaching her for years, but he made her nervous and it never quite clicked).

I guess the man wasn't comfortable taking the girl into the gents. I'm certain DH wouldn't have been, but he never took the DDs anywhere on his own until they were 8 or 9.

I'm not actually sure he's ever taken DD2(12) anywhere even now. DD1 yes, they share a hobby and vanish for the weekend occasionally, but DD2 no.

Not planned, just how things happen. He's looked after her lots, but generally so I can go out.

Caitlin17 Thu 10-Oct-13 00:57:58

I suppose if he really needed to go to the loo it was the best option. If he'd taken her with him she'd have to have stood outside the building as the gents would have been a urinal.

As mums this is a problem we never have. When they are very small we can take them into the cubicle with us, when they are too old for that but too young to be left we can still take them in to the ladies and they can wait for us outside the cubicle. No woman, I hope, is going to make a fuss if in a ladies loo a small boy is waiting for his mum but unless his daughter is very young a dad can't take his daughter into the gents.

3birthdaybunnies Thu 10-Oct-13 01:05:38

Of course young girls can go in the gents, especially at 2. They are going to come to far less harm if they happen to see their dad's penis than they might being left with random strangers (although am sure pigsDOfly is lovely). They are in there with their fathers, although obviously abuse does happen in the family that is no more likely to happen in a public loo.

Also a bit of a liberty asking the child not the adult first if she would mind looking after her. She might need to go somewhere.

pigsDOfly Thu 10-Oct-13 01:07:58

Yes it must be tricky if you're a man out with a small daughter (think she definitely was his daughter Jitney) but what I found most odd was that he didn't say anything to me along the lines of 'is it okay if I leave her with you for a minute' before he walked off. He just left it up to her to decide whether she was going to go with him or stay and stroke my dog.

She was incredibly articulate and mature though, so perhaps his approach is the right one.

pigsDOfly Thu 10-Oct-13 01:09:54

Thank you 3birthdaybunniessmile I hope I'm quite nice.

poppingin1 Thu 10-Oct-13 01:12:09


My DD is two and I would never do this and neither would her dad.

So negligent of the father sad

DontPanicMrMannering Thu 10-Oct-13 01:13:42

It's about time we had "family" or just individual toilets. There are plenty od dads that need to take in young DDs and mums who have boy's too young to go alone but old enough to fight going to the ladies!

DontPanicMrMannering Thu 10-Oct-13 01:16:56

Oh and op yanbu I have left dd2 as a baby with an old couple as a baby when I was struggling with dd1 but they offered and looked too old to get far plus a cafe fullof pensioner's witnessed so would rugby tackle potential baby theft!

But in this instance without even asking you very odd.

MiniMonty Thu 10-Oct-13 03:13:55

OUCH - I am a father of three children and would NEVER have done that (don't care how nice you look sound or feel). I'm sure you're lovely but...

Leave my two year old with a stranger?
No fu**ing way.

If I'm going to strut around saying I'm the Alpha Male then then the first and most basic qualification for that is "I protect my offspring".

PeggyCarter Thu 10-Oct-13 03:23:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

3birthdaybunnies Thu 10-Oct-13 07:20:39

Phew, for a while in the middle of the night I feared that MN had completely broken and I had entered a parallel universe where posters thought girls will self destruct if they see a penisso the obvious solution is to trust a stranger. Glad to see it fixed itself!

SpiritOfTheBuskersCat Thu 10-Oct-13 07:50:45

I took dd into the gents when the queue for the ladies was too big, there is no way I'd leave a 2yo with a stranger

JustBecauseICan Thu 10-Oct-13 07:58:23

Folk can't win can they?

How many threads do we have saying that we tell our children to look for the nearest mummy-style lady if they get lost?

FredFredGeorge Thu 10-Oct-13 08:03:41

Caitlin17 WTF? Why would a 2 year old have to stand outside the gents because there's a urinal ? That is completely and utterly bonkers, 2 year old girls (and older!) go into the gents when out with their dads and one of them needs a pee. They even often point in the urinal and say "pee!", other men don't bat eyelids, it's very common.

It's not funny to teach them to point and laugh at other men though, or say things like "what's that, it's very small!"...

The main odd thing was the lack of asking pigsdofly about it, as that makes it rude and presumptuous. The general point of disappearing out of sight and trusting strangers for a minute or two I'm much less bothered with.

5madthings Thu 10-Oct-13 08:05:19

actually although i think it is odd and not ok that he didnt ask you op, hsd he asked you to watch her for a minute then i think its ok.

but its perfectly fine for a young girl to the gents with her dad.

Smoorikins Thu 10-Oct-13 08:06:11

ICame, why would you worry that she isn't his daughter? If she was kidnapped, the last thing that someone would do is leave her with a stranger, obviously she would say something.

Would I do it? Probably not. Would I worry if someone else did it? No. But then I don't live in an anonymous area. I live in a small community, in a very low crime area. That probably colours my view. I certainly wouldn't do it in most places in the UK.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Thu 10-Oct-13 08:06:30

In all honesty it's strange but I wouldn't have minded watching the girl. Gents loos can be revolting and I wouldn't wanna take a child into them.

He should have asked though and not assumed. I think what's more strange though is a few years back this wouldn't have been such a major thing to do. Sign of the times I guess sad

TheCrumpetQueen Thu 10-Oct-13 08:09:02

I'm sure it's because you're a woman he felt it was safe to leave the child with you, which is stupid of him tbh.

jammiedonut Thu 10-Oct-13 08:09:39

I'm sure there was a thread not that long ago about a woman leaving her baby with a lady whilst she used the loo in a coffee shop. I'm not sure how this is different? I've asked people to hold ds whilst I get buggy and shopping off the bus, this could take at least five minutes. Yes there is a tiny tiny minority of people who would abduct a child, but luckily most people are normal, law abiding citizens who can be trusted. I'm sure this father is as perfectly capable as I am to decide that you are someone who can keep an eye on his child for a couple of minutes whilst he uses the loo. I'm guessing as he gave her the choice he wouldn't have a problem with her going in whilst he uses the loo, but might actually prefer to stay and stroke a dog! It is rude of him not to ask your permission, would you have declined if he had?

CloverkissSparklecheeks Thu 10-Oct-13 09:23:34

I would not have been happy for DH to do this at all. Also why couldn't a 2 YO go into the toilet with her dad? You would take a 2 YO DS into the ladies?

If the dog ran off or something you may have had to go after it and leave her on her own. I know that may sound a bit daft but she wasn't actually in your care.

KissesBreakingWave Thu 10-Oct-13 10:21:20

People who would harm a child are, thankfully, vanishingly rare. Pick a random stranger in public and the odds are thousands to one on that a littlun would be safe with to them. Leave a child in public and wait for someone to approach the child? The odds are different for that, to be sure. Which is why you tell your kids to pick someone and go to them, rather than waiting for someone to intervene.

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