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WIBU at the pool

(107 Posts)
Bellini81 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:45:41

My son has swimming lessons at our local pool.
The training pool is in half for the 2 different groups of learners. One side is a bit younger than his side. Say 5-6 years old.

They all finish at the same time & as my son climbed out to be wrapped in a towel one of the fathers of the younger group pushed his daughter to me and said 'you take her into ladies and shower her' I politely said I couldn't do that as 1: that was the first time I had even set eyes on this girl and her on me and 2: I was planning on just throwing my sons clothes on and get him into a bath at home which we often do after swimming.

He huffed and sighed and I left.

The next set of lessons swing by and the same dad did EXACTLY the same thing to me pushed his daughter to me and demand I shower her.

I said to him that again I didn't feel comfortable showering a girl I didn't know and he got a bit aggressive and said 'what the fuck am I supposed to do then?' I said 'well when my husband takes our daughter she showers and dresses in the men's room with him'

He got really angry and paced around so I got our bits and hurried into the changing room with my son.

About a minute later the same dad stormed into the women's changing room with his daughter and shoved her under the shower with lots of naked women going "oiii" so he pointed to me and said 'it's her fault as she wouldn't shower her'...
He left pretty quickly after that and got his daughter dressed by the pool as when I left there was a lifeguard there with the man and again he was gesturing at me saying 'fucking this, fucking that'.

I explained to the lifeguard that he was being really aggressive because I refused to shower a child I don't know and he just sort of nodded.

I mean was I being really really unreasonable?

My son prefers the men's changing room but I don't randomly ask men if they could take my son and shower him? Why was it any different for a woman to do it? Would you have just showered her to save the aggro I eventually got?

RussianBlu Fri 21-Feb-14 00:43:42

What an odd and horrible sounding man. I think the fact that he first went up to the op and said 'you take her into the ladies and shower her' suggests that he thinks the op is there to offer a free service to all parents who cant be bothered to get their own children sorted out after swimming. How very odd.

Sophia Ames, you sound just as odd, even if you do have a child with mental health issues, you cannot say that the op is a bad person for not doing as the man TOLD her to do. He sounds like he has anger management and major controlling issues. Actually, he sounds like he is part of the Mafia or something.

Why do weird things always happen in leisure centres during swimming lesson times???

I think I will try this out on a man next time I take my son swimming and see how he reacts.

starlight1234 Thu 20-Feb-14 23:59:11

YANBU..I would inform the manager particularly as this has happened 2 weeks in a row...

MiscellaneousAssortment Thu 20-Feb-14 23:40:37


Obviously smile

Yes I like kindness, generosity and the helpfulness of strangers. It should be encouraged. It helps everyone.

But not when that person is forcing you to do something you don't feel uncomfortable about and making his problem your problem - and swearing at the while. No. That kind of person get the cold shoulder at best.

We do not reward entitled bullshit behaviour as it reinforces it. smile

bruffin Thu 20-Feb-14 23:16:19

I have no idea why people think this is untrue.

I was on side watching my dd's lesson. There was a single lane for lessons and the rest public swim. A young couple were in the pool with a baby in a seat. The baby was left to float in the deep end way out of arms reach of either parent.
I then took dd in the female changing room to get changed to find both the man wandering around there. In those days they had a female, family and male changing room. There was no excuse for him to be in those changing rooms at all. They both looked at me fairly vacantly and shrugged their shoulders when i told them he shouldnt be in there and yes they were english speaking.

Pimpf Thu 20-Feb-14 22:41:04

Op, the dad was an arse. Don't care what his reasons were, he should not have gone into the woman's changing rooms.

You also don't demand that someone does something for you, whet hers it's your spouse, your parent or a complete stranger, that it not how you speak to someone.

I would complain to the management and want to know what they are going to do to ensure that this doesn't happen again (him going into the women's changing rooms).

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 20-Feb-14 22:34:39

And you can't start being very aggressive and swearing if you make a big demand of a complete stranger and the stranger says no.

BakerStreetSaxRift Thu 20-Feb-14 08:32:22

Yes Sofia, your own issues are clouding your judgement of what is reasonable.

You do need to go to the pool, or any other activity, being able to cope with your DC yourself, or bring help with you. You cannot just palm one of them off on a stranger, for oh so many reasons, one of which is that it is nobody else's responsibility (another being child protection, another that you don't know what issues other people are silently dealing with).


SofiaAmes Thu 20-Feb-14 03:06:47

Actually Bellini, I am the parent of a mentally ill child and desperately trying to keep all the pieces together. I can imagine doing slightly odd things in the fog of trying to make life normal for my dd while trying to keep my ds alive. I only wish I had the time to volunteer with mentally ill patients, but am too busy just trying to keep my children safe and alive and figure out how to pay my bills and keep a job in between never ending doctor and hospital visits. I am normally an extremely organized and reasonable person, but have more than once set off for a swimming lesson with one of my dc's without having adequately thought out how I would get them showered and dressed afterwards because I was so overwhelmed with the extra needs my ds had because of his undiagnosed illnesses (he finally got diagnosed at age 11 1/2). Maybe my suffering has made me a little too understanding of the possibility that not everyone acts poorly out of evil intent.

NoodleOodle Wed 19-Feb-14 11:01:16

What horrible behaviour from that man, I really feel for his poor daughter. I doubt I would take responsibility for someone else's child at a swimming pool. What if they slipped on a wet patch and broke their neck, would I be responsible? What if they panicked and wanted their parent, ran off and drowned in the pool by accident, would I be responsible? What if they were in a phase of telling tall stories and made up that I'd smacked them or something? All sorts of reasons why I wouldn't do it, and I don't think it's normal for someone to ask or expect another parent to take responsibility for a stranger's child.


tobiasfunke Wed 19-Feb-14 11:00:10

YANBU. We have the same set up at our swimming lessons. DS is 5 and I take him into the ladies changing rooms and change him there- he gets showered at home. When DH takes him they go into the mens. There are lots of Dads that take their wee girls into the men's changing rooms.

divisionbyzero Wed 19-Feb-14 10:54:30

sorry, that should say (while naked?) as I have no idea, but in any case, the changing rooms - that is when you feel extremely vulnerable and this behaviour is totally not on.

divisionbyzero Wed 19-Feb-14 10:52:25

Complain, as a customer, to the pool.

Tell them you were accosted and sworn at by another customer and made to feel unsafe with your children, that you were shouted at by this stranger actually in the women's changing room (while naked), and want to know what they are going to do about it, to ensure the environment stays and feels safe for women and young children in the face of this behaviour which obviously threatens that. I wouldn't complain about a lifeguard, a lifeguard is not necessarily trained or equipped to deal with difficult social situations or aggro men.

In all seriousness, a grown man who swears at women and children in anything approaching a family session, and who goes into the women's changing rooms and shouts at the women in there, is one of those rare instances of pretty much cruising for a permanent ban at any leisure centre or gym, YADNBU. Get it sorted out before people start feeling generally unsafe there.

feelingvunerable Wed 19-Feb-14 10:29:41

Report to the manager and make a complaint about this rude man.

Why is it any different for a mother to have to get her son ready than it is for a father to get his daughter ready?


Bellini81 Wed 19-Feb-14 09:52:55

Oh I am chuckling now. I am an awful awful person because I don't stop to help every person who approaches me who may or may not have a mental health illness? Please!

I guess you do lots of volunteering with mental health patients then in your 'not London area' and if not why not? Are you giving up your personal time like I should have at my sons swimming lessons?

I don't have to spend time with anyone calming them down when I have my son with me and even when he isn't. Go and have a cup of tea and calm down.

The incident happened in about 4 minutes flat, from me entering the changing room to him storming in with his daughter then leaving to go by the pool to get her dressed. My son shoved on his top & bottoms and trainers and we left the changing rooms to see him outside with the lifeguard.

I quickly spoke to the lifeguard then we left to get home as I really didn't fancy hanging around to see him outside the building while completely alone. So if that makes me an awful person them so be it. I can live with that.

Many thanks for all your comments, ideas and advice. I do really appreciate you taking your time.

brettgirl2 Wed 19-Feb-14 07:42:41

lol I love these aibu threads where the op meets a nutter and starts to doubt their own sanity. Y A N B U grin

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 19-Feb-14 07:39:42

Ya sooo nbu!!

What a nasty rude man. He should do what everyone else does and take his child into the changing room appropriate to his gender until she is able to go by herself.

Presumably it's just men showering and not a live sex show. Is a 5/6 year old really going to be traumatised by a brief glimpse of a penis more than a pair of breasts? It's not as if swimwear leaves much to the imagination anyway.

Perhaps it's the dad who has the problem with accidently witnessing a naked man?

saintlyjimjams Wed 19-Feb-14 07:20:00

Eh Sofia? The OP isn't responsible for someone's mental health. She doesn't have to tolerate someone shouting aggressively at her - whatever the reason. And I don't live in London.

He should take her into the men's. I took ds1 (severely autistic) into the ladies for as long as I could (can't now, he looks like a man, we just can't swim unless there's family changing or a specialist disabled session with mixed changing rooms). If he can't cope with lack of access to family rooms he needs to change swimming venue.

DrDre Wed 19-Feb-14 07:10:01

What! She's his daughter, his responsibility. If she is only 5 / 6 he should shower her in the blokes.
Bang out of order.

MsLT Wed 19-Feb-14 06:57:44

YA obviously NBU but I think you knew that before you posted OP.
I'm also wondering if it happened exactly the way OP described it. If so, the man has obviously got a screw loose. Also, if other women complained, he was spoken to, you were spoken to and there was general uproar - don't you think the manager will be involved already?

BikeRunSki Wed 19-Feb-14 06:48:46

This is something that concerns me. We joined a gym especially for lovely pools and DS (5) has his lessons there. He is not meant to go in the ladies changing room once he is 6; there no family changing and there is no way I am letting him go in the men's alone (ds would never get it together to get himself changed and colkect up all his clothes; all sorts of child safety issues; the men's is on a different floor to the pool and the lady's) but the only way to tge pool is through the changing rooms. All toilets are also in the changing rooms. I have no idea what we'll do when ds is 6. He is very tall and gets enough dodgy looks in the ladies now as it is.

lunar1 Wed 19-Feb-14 06:42:33

I would say to the manager that I expected them to be there during the lesson next week and to intervene if he approaches you again.

It is not at all appropriate for you to take a random child to the shower. He also needs a warning from the manager regarding his behaviour.

Lifeisaboxofchocs Wed 19-Feb-14 06:31:02

Sofia.... A passionate but daft response.
In a small paragraph, you managed to turn the issue into something about having money (fee paying?) And being a Londoner.

Your intentions are probably decent enough, but sadly you actually completely undermine your point by resorting to sweeping and ridiculous generalisations.

ProudAS Wed 19-Feb-14 06:30:31

It can work both ways Sofia - what about the mentally ill person asked to do something they're not comfortable with and getting very stressed about it?

SofiaAmes Wed 19-Feb-14 06:07:16

I feel sorry for anyone with mental health issues who makes the mistake of thinking you are a kind person. You actually sound like a pretty awful person. Do you think that people with mental health issues are that way on purpose. And make a point of picking friendly faces to attack. Do you have a little space in your fee-paying-makes-you-superior-mind that perhaps some people may not have the same fortune in life as you and that they may just possibly have the bad luck to be born with the wrong genes and end up with mental illness. Life is hard enough with every day burdens. Just try tackling it with a brain that you can't control. I am so glad I no longer live in London because it was full of people like you.

Livvylongpants Wed 19-Feb-14 06:00:02

I don't see why he couldn't just take her to the men's. my 2/12 year old daughter goes in the men's every Saturday as her dad takes her swimming.

He said when theirs been naked men in shower they often cover up upon seeing a young girl in there. I'm not to worried its just a body and she's with her father so no harm will come to her. He said on a busy Saturday morning there is normally quite a few young girls in there with their dads.

She goes in the men's loo too!

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