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To react this way?

(18 Posts)
kidks Sun 07-Jun-15 14:54:56

my DH was looking after my 3 yr old whilst I was drying my hair upstairs. He was looking after him much earlier in the garden whilst I was doing a bit of work and I mentioned a couple of times that I noticed DH kept doing some clearing up in another part of the garden and wasn't really watching him. DS is very active and has no sense of fear and .. Only 3!!

Before going upstairs I checked by saying "you are with him -you cannot leave him on his own". DH reassured me
I came down 10-15 mins later. Music was on loud and my DS was nowhere to be seen. I asked DH where he was and he replied "in the garden". I went outside and couldn't see him. I then started running around panicking and it's clear DH hadn't been watching him (or he would know where he was?). I ran down our long (and partly hidden from view) garden, around the side, my husband went out the front, I called over to the neighbour -nothing. I was then really worried so called into the house to my teenage DS to help look. By this time I was really upset.

We found him on the front porch semi-naked (no idea why he had no shorts or pants on but I guess a hot day!) and clearly DH did not see him when searching out the front. There is a lock on the side gate which DH says he must have undone!

I was really cross with DH. Yet again he failed to watch him properly and I told him so. However, I have been told the problem is more my "over reaction" at being so worried. Even my eldest DS agrees that I over reacted. Surely it's natural to worry??! And it's so frustrating that I cannot trust DH to watch him - he just doesn't seem to see the dangers I do.

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jun-15 15:03:55

You are not over reacting.

Is your dh your son's father? It's just you said 'my DH was looking after my 3 yr old' not 'our' 3 year old.

Either way your dh doesn't seem to take the 'job' of watching him seriously.

When you say 3 do yuo mean 3 and a month or 3 and 11 months, because there is a big difference. My son is 4 (almost 5) and he is quite capable of playing alone in the garden, but our garden it totally secure and he cannot get out. I would check your security gate was and also how safe the garden is (our garden has no pond etc, no dangerous shrubs and no high climbing stuff. I mean kids can still get hurt, I know as my friend's 3 year old toppled over and hit his head on concrete but that was while his parents were there!)

Hope you resolve this, as an aside I would say your teenage children's opinion is not really relevant here, teenagers are not necessarily very well known for being able to access danger IMHO!

sliceofsoup Sun 07-Jun-15 15:04:38

my DH was looking after my 3 yr old

Is the 3 yo your DHs?

I don't think we can control our reactions when we think our DC are missing, that heart stopping moment and the mind racing, I have been there. It is awful.

But it does sound a bit like earlier in the day you were maybe being over critical of DHs care of the 3 yo, which is now going to dilute your reaction to this quite serious incident. Does your front porch open onto a road? DS could have got further etc etc.

If DS is going to be in the garden, whether supervised or not, the garden needs to be child proofed. Even in your care, it only takes a split second for something to happen.

So no I don't think YABU, but I am curious about the dynamic in your household.

eggyface Sun 07-Jun-15 15:08:53

yanbu I would go apeshit. On the porch? Near the street where there are presumably cars? Undoing the side gate? Not good at all. Even if you're in a totally quiet country village there could have been a tragedy - cars, drowning, electric wires, whatever. What does DH think is different about him from the parents who've taken their eyes off kids for a second and been haunted by it forever?

Is your DH perhaps feeling guilty and trying to brush it off? Perhaps talk to him later calmly and try and get him to understand how serious it is and how unfair on you that you will not be able to leave your child even with him, the other parent, in future, unless he tells you what he is going to change about his behaviour.

Ignore teenage DS. What do teenagers know of the responsibility? He probably just heard you shouting and yelling and downgraded it to something unimportant. I'd be having a word with him about empathy, too, in due course.

eggyface Sun 07-Jun-15 15:10:52

I was assuming child is also dh's - tbh it makes no difference if he is married to you you should be able to trust him with your child just the same as with his child. I'd not let a 3 year old leave a garden no matter who he belonged to.

adiia Sun 07-Jun-15 15:11:51

YANBU,but you were earlier,does a 3 year old really need constant supervision in their own garden?

phoenixrose314 Sun 07-Jun-15 15:14:04


I'd go totally apes*&$ if that was me. But to be fair, I think DH would be beside himself with worry.

I'd throw a few "whats if"s at him to give him a better idea of what COULD have happened in that few minutes he hadn't been keeping an eye on him.

kidks Sun 07-Jun-15 15:19:40

DH Is father to DS. DS is 3 and 4 months and will explore... The side gate has a lock. Either that had not been locked or he was left for a while to break through.
Even DH has remarked before about how DS needs to be watched but then just doesn't seem to do so.

I agree older DS seems to have no empathy about how I might feel and worry in those moments and somehow the whole incident seems now to be my fault for being over the top about it...

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jun-15 18:26:45

How could the incident (your child escaping the garden and possibly being in danger) be your fault? I am guessing you mean your son was upset and that was felt to be your fault?

In your shoes I would divide and conquer.

Speak to your young son and explain how dangerous it could be to be out by the street. In your shoes I would put a #consequence* in place. Maybe removal of a special toy (not a beloved teddy!) maybe racing car or train track for a day or week, something he will miss!

Speak to any teenage children separately to explain it is not their place at all to make you feel small (as this is how it sounds) for worrying about their little brother.

Could I ask, you can ignore, do the family normally assume you worry too much? Is this a second marriage (e.g. is he their brother or half brother, this should not make any difference at all but maybe they are less attached to him - I don;t think this is the case, I just think they are less aware of dangers as teenagers!

Speak to DH when kids are in bed, explain it is both worrying he let this happen and worrying he has not backed you up in your concerns.

Maybe he feels guilty?

Maybe he is he just not aware of dangers?

If necessary find a few stories on line....

This is very old, 2002, but it does chill me somewhat "A three-year-old girl who wandered out of a play school yesterday drowned minutes later after falling into a nearby pond."

Just as an aside I would also get the gate set up so it really is impenetrable and check out plants etc so your garden is mega safe.

But you are nto wrong to be fearful of a young child getting out of their garden and do not allow your family to make you think this is your fault.

Hey, lots of questions in my post, ignore them, they are more to think through the 'issues' and I do not need answers for me. I am very sorry you have had this happen and hope all will be calm now (and the newspaper article will not upset you, that is not my intention!).

lagirafe Sun 07-Jun-15 18:32:26

YANBU my DC need to be constantly watched at this age too. Some DC don't, some do. Your DH needs to learn that yours does ASAP!

kidks Sun 07-Jun-15 19:28:43

Thanks Italiangreyhound. I probably won't read the story - the title is grim enough! I may pass on to DH to "scare him". Although not sure how he will take that. He just doesn't seem to see it as a big thing. A bit too relaxed with his parenting and I look like I am super anxious in comparison.

I think it may have been a scare for everyone earlier and teenage DS was responding to that. Not great though when I cannot rely on another to keep a careful eye.

Will read the article about plants and get some sort of padlock tomorrow. smile

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jun-15 19:52:06

Good luck. Sorry if my question about half brother sounded cruel. It was just a question because actually half brothers could be as close as any of brothers as distant! I sometimes think SOME teenagers are in a bit of a bubble but if anything really happened they would be devastated. My friend's kids argued lot but when anyone else was mean to littleie the big one waded in to defend. It sounds like your family all take after dh and you are the lone voice of caution!

Signlake Sun 07-Jun-15 20:06:31

Not an overreaction at all. I'd have been furious in your shoes, anything could have happened

littlejohnnydory Sun 07-Jun-15 20:51:58

I let my three year old play in the garden. I also let her be in a different room from me. I let her be downstairs while I have a shower upstairs. She is 3 years 2 months and in no way exceptional for her age but I do know she won't leave the garden etc - had a friend whose little boy used to run off outdoors, was a climber etc and there's no way I would have left him. So it's hard to know whether you're being overprotective or whether your particular three year old does need to be in sight at all times. Him opening the gate suggests you might be right!

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jun-15 20:54:23

kidks feel I've got to qualify my question re the brother 'status' for fear it makes me sound very unreasonable.

My son is adopted and came to us at 3, he is 4 now. My birth dd is 10 so had 9 years as an 'only' child before he came. She absolutely loves him but the fact she was an only for so long means she was used to our undivided attention. If you son is 13 or whatever and is the only boy before your 3 year old came he may feel some of the jealousy that my dd feels, and might feel 'why all the fuss over little one'? Certainly my dd has been less than charitable over the last year, at times! So it is not about half brother necessarily but could be the big age gap r feelings of jealousy for other reasons. That is why I mentioned it. Could also be, as I say, the kids take after your laid back husband!

kidks Sun 07-Jun-15 21:26:18

Littlejohnnydory - our DS is a runner, climber, explorer etc and DH knows it! I agree there may be some 3 year olds that you don't need to keep your eye on so much but he isn't one of them!! The other day he climbed on to the window sill in our bedroom and tried to pull him self up to the top small window which was open... Don't worry all big windows firmly locked and key removed from sight but still. He likes adventure and is independent!

kidks Sun 07-Jun-15 21:29:12

Italiangreyhound - no worries. I know what you mean. I think my older DS (because he is much older?) just doesn't realise what the fuss is about. They are still saying I am over reacting. I think DH may be deflecting somehow hmm

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jun-15 22:50:26

Am mad on your behalf OP!!

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