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I just got punched. in front of my three and four year old.

(290 Posts)
Faultysingledad Sun 07-Dec-14 15:24:11

I'll start at the beginning. I popped to the supermarket to buy some bits and bobs for a meal that me and my boys are preparing for some family visitors tonight. I had my boys with me as I'm a single dad. We went in and got the boys and bobs that we needed. My lads are good, but we're starting to get a little bit fractious towards the end, as it was pre Christmas busy. We went back to the car and loaded up. No issues. As I was driving out, I realised that I'd forgotten the cream for making my potato gratin. No big deal, we spun round parked up again and I started to get the lads out. They didn't want to go in again. No problem. They are good lads and obedient, and understand the meaning of a promise. I asked them if they would like to stay in the car whilst I ran in to the shop. They eagerly agreed. I told them that they must stay in their seats, and that they could read their books or play with their toys. They are both sticklers for rules, so I had every confidence that this is what would happen for the couple of minutes that I would be out of sight. So car alarm internal sensors deactivated, doors deadlocked and kids happy, that's what happened. And when I returned 2-3 minutes later, that's exactly how I found them, happily reading books to each other. Everything was fine, until some bloke came and angrily pulled open my door and started yelling at me. Now I KNOW that this is a controversial subject, and that lots of people would have condemned my actions as neglectful, but respectfully, that's their opinion, which isn't born out by facts or law. I'm a fairly thoughtful bloke, but I've got some quite strong opinions about this nanny state, risk averse society that is increasingly prevalent. I've already considered this whole issue, and I'm very aware that this is an issue that has been done to death on mumsnet, and I'm also aware that my opinion is against the majority opinion these days. Anyway, I digress. The bloke that opened my car door was aggressive and shouty. I didn't get a chance to put my thoughts about risks vs benefits, or the fact that more kids get run over and killed in busy car parks than get abducted from cars, or that it was my parenting decision and none of his business, I just told him to go away. He said he was going to call the police, I said be my guest, I'd done nothing illegal. I told him to go away again, he punched me. My kids were screaming in fear at this point. It was all a bit of a blur to be honest. Shortly afterwards I managed to get my door shut and drive away.

My problem is, I don't know what to do now. Normally it would obviously be to report it to the police, but to be honest, I can't be doing with all the hand wringing and questions asked about my parenting. I should imagine that there's quite a risk that the police would report me to social services at the very least, and I don't need the stree, even though I would wholeheartedly defend my decision making process. Plus, I have no idea of this blokes identity.

Should I just chalk it up to experience and try to forget about it? That's my current plan, but I'm always inclined to bury my head in the sand about stuff anyway, and it's not always the best course of action. The most distressing thing about the whole thing is that it's obviously deeply upset my boys, who keep asking about the 'horrible man.'


Faultysingledad Sun 07-Dec-14 15:27:34

Apologies if this is in the wrong thread. I should have said AIBU to think I shouldn't get punched in front of my boys...

BrucieTheShark Sun 07-Dec-14 15:28:31

I'd call the police and report it. His car reg might be decipherable on CCTV. Would be handy if the incident was also caught on CCTV, you never know.

Have you any marks on you that it would be worth photographing?

What a thug. Go easy on yourself as you're probably a little in shock.

SmashleyHop Sun 07-Dec-14 15:29:31

You've been assaulted- I would have called the cops then and there.

BrucieTheShark Sun 07-Dec-14 15:30:26

Course you shouldn't get punched.

As for leaving kids in car for 3 minutes - blimey, I've done that many a time. Yes you'll get people on here saying they never have and never would, but social services would NOT be remotely interested if everything you've said is accurate.

woodychip Sun 07-Dec-14 15:30:58

I'm wondering if the shop was pre Christmas busy, how you managed to get in, get the cream, queue up and pay in "2-3" minutes. I doubt that was the time. Plus you don't say how old your dc are.

Saying that, I have been known to pop in a corner shop, not a supermarket, leaving kids in the car when I know I really will be only 2 mins. With the car locked. No one should be punching you though.

LittleRedRidingHoodie Sun 07-Dec-14 15:33:06

Woodychip - maybe read the title of the thread?

MrsBertMacklin Sun 07-Dec-14 15:33:34

Thug with misplaced sense of self-righteousness. What does he think is worse for your children, being left in the car for ten minutes, or seeing their dad punched?

Chances are there is CCTV in the car park / shop that could be used to identify the man and if he's that unstable, chances also are that he's got form.

SmashleyHop Sun 07-Dec-14 15:34:15

Woodychip- The ages of the kids are in the title of the thread. 3 and 4.

Regardless of my own personal views on leaving young kids in cars alone no one should have been punching anyone over it. If you are concerned you let management at the supermarket know or phone the police with the reg number.

RJnomore Sun 07-Dec-14 15:34:55

Ok regardless of the child/car issue that shouldn't have happened EVER. What a twat - if he was genuinely concerned about the kids what the hell type of effect does he think seeing their dad being assaulted in front if them would have!

Please contact the police ASAP.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 07-Dec-14 15:35:13

Yes definitely Police. My dad used to leave me in the car for a few mins while he got petrol or paper, I'm fine smile

wasitsomethingisaid Sun 07-Dec-14 15:35:21

How is punching you going to make your children any better off? confused

Fairenuff Sun 07-Dec-14 15:35:40

You have been assaulted, you should report this to the police. Otherwise people like that think they can get away with it.

scarletforya Sun 07-Dec-14 15:35:56

What age are the boys?

You should definitely report it btw, and seek cctv footage asap.

BumWad Sun 07-Dec-14 15:36:05

Report it. I think what you did was fine!

ilovesooty Sun 07-Dec-14 15:36:15

It says quite clearly in the thread title how old the children are. And I don't see how picking holes in the story is helpful.

OP I'd report it, yes. Hope you are recovering.

EBearhug Sun 07-Dec-14 15:36:49

Thug with misplaced sense of self-righteousness. What does he think is worse for your children, being left in the car for ten minutes, or seeing their dad punched?


I'd report it and hope there was some CCTV evidence, which is likely in a supermarket carpark.

(I also think if you're getting one item, know where it is, and go through the self-service tills, it is possible to do it all in about 5 minutes.)

anothernumberone Sun 07-Dec-14 15:37:03

Fwiw depending on the ages of the kids I agree with you about how hyper vigilant we are becoming. Very small kids though are more at risk of what they might do themselves in a car like pull the hand brake or getting in a tangle in a seatbelt than being abducted IMHO.

The man committed an assault if you have the details I would report this to the police. If your kids are very young though you might find yourself accused of neglect. If they are older I would give the police the full story here minus your views on a nanny state. Sorry this happened.

IsItMeOr Sun 07-Dec-14 15:37:14

woody DC are 3 and 4 - says in title.

No, of course you shouldn't have been punched.

ChunkyPickle Sun 07-Dec-14 15:37:30

Call the police - he assaulted you

What kind of nutter thinks it's bad to leave two happy kids in the car for a couple of minutes, but that it's OK to yell at their dad and punch him in front of them!

Johnogroats Sun 07-Dec-14 15:37:41

Poor you OP. and poor DCs.

I would report it to police, but would quite understand if you couldn't be bothered to. I think the bloke behaved outrageously. And for the record, you know your children and the time you left them....I do not think you were unreasonable at all.

anothernumberone Sun 07-Dec-14 15:39:36

Sorry I just saw the kids ages in the title I missed them I personally think they wrote too young to be left alone in the car tbh. I still think the other guy was an a$$hole who did far more damage than you were ever likely to do in the given situation reading the ages though I would leave it be.

bobbyjoe Sun 07-Dec-14 15:39:52

He does say how old his kids are - 3 and 4 - too young in my view sorry. Going to pay for petrol while they're in sight, fine. Going back into a supermarket on a Sunday a few weeks before Xmas, no, as if spotted like you were you take the risk plonkers like that man will be spoiling for a fight. It didn't take 2-3 minutes. Probably more like 10. I actually think that's fine if they'd been a bit older, but age 3 and 4 no. I wouldn't do it as I'd be more worried some idiot would come along and either wind the kids up through the window or do what this guy did to you, which you obviously didn't expect. Rightly or wrongly you do something that is borderline risky parenting wise someone these days will speak up.

You know if you do go to the police you're parenting will be questioned so not worth the risk.

saiyme09 Sun 07-Dec-14 15:39:57

I'm confused? Why would a random person just hit you? It's a really really extreme reaction to something. You dont say how old your kids are either witch does somewhat make the situation a bit harder to decipher!
However you've been assaulted so you should definitely report to the police so if this person is a serial attacker or whatever and it happens they may be able to apprehend the person.
I do hope you and your boys are ok !

DixieNormas Sun 07-Dec-14 15:40:33

You should phone the police and report it

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