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AIBU in thinking this was unacceptable?

(17 Posts)
Tobyturtle Tue 20-Sep-16 18:30:06

My DS is 3 and has just started nursery. I picked him up from nursery today with my DH and DD and walked him home. On the way home we stopped at the local shop and my DH and DS went in when I waited outside with my DD in her pram as the shop is quite small.

When I was waiting one of the Grandads came with his GD who is 3 as she is in my sons nursery class and her 10 month old brother in his pushchair. I def know that they are the ages of the kids as I've spoken to the mum and her children are both born the same months as mine are. He parked the pushchair outside the shop and told his GD to look after her brother and he wouldn't be a minute and he would pop in and get her the sweets she had asked for. He then went in the shop and left the two children outside.

Now the shop was quite busy and so I knew he would be a little while and you can not see through the window in the shop as it is covered by promotions and so there is absolutely no visibility. He didn't ask me to watch them (although he doesn't know me anyway) and during the time I was waiting for my DH and DS he didn't pop his head out once which must have been a good 5 minutes.

When my DH and DS came out we hung around for a couple of minutes until he came back to ensure the children were ok which they were!

AIBU in thinking they should not be left on their own for this length of time completely unsupervised and by a road? They were around 5 metres away from the road (which gets quite busy during school pick up times). I don't know if I'm being a little precious but I wouldn't dream of leaving my children in that situation. I do understand that the shop gets busy and is very small however and so it is a hassle taking a big buggy in there although you can do so if need be. I don't think I should say anything to the mum as I only met her a couple of weeks ago when they started school and although she seems lovely I don't know whether she deems this acceptable?!

Just for full clarity the mum and dad were working today and I am assuming it was their grandad from his age and the fact I know he lives local although I have never seen him previously.

george1020 Tue 20-Sep-16 18:37:56

It doesn't sound ideal (I fact very far from ideal) but you really cannot say anything to the mother! It might be her father rather than her FIL and she might take it as an insult to her family or something, TBH he managed to bring up either her or her DH as they are alive and able to sire offspring so must be fairly unscathed by his parenting.

EweAreHere Tue 20-Sep-16 18:42:07


I agree they should not have been left outside on their own under the circumstances you describe. Anything could cause a 3 year old to suddenly make the decision to wander off or wander into a street ... ball, balloon, spots an animal, friend across the road, etc.

But I do understand the difficulty in deciding if you should say something and who you should say it to!

Perhaps the nursery manager? They could feed back to the mum that this was spotted by concerned parents and they wanted to make sure that all was ok?

ConvincingLiar Tue 20-Sep-16 18:47:57

I'd be more worried about the 3 year old than a baby strapped in a buggy, but not acceptable to leave either of them I don't think. I'd tell the mum or nursery if you can't speak to her.

Seeyouontheotherside Tue 20-Sep-16 19:01:45

Tell the nursery and let them inform the parents if you don't want to tell the mother yourself but it's essential they know!

Yorkieheaven Tue 20-Sep-16 19:05:49

Oh dear yes difficult. Grandad could be of the era that left babies outside shops. My small famously left me and went home. That was 1965.

Yes tell the nursery manager and they can use the 'concerned parent' line to the mum.

manyathingyouknow Tue 20-Sep-16 19:06:05

It sounds like something that older people would have done years ago.

I wouldn't get that upset over it. He didn't mean any harm by it. He's thinking it's the good old days. I wouldn't have done it myself but I wouldn't judge

Yorkieheaven Tue 20-Sep-16 19:06:45

My mother not small. Well she is actually but correcting typos.

Lovelongweekends Tue 20-Sep-16 19:09:02

YANBU at all but I imagine it's a generational thing. My parents would have thought nothing of leaving me outside the village shop in my pram as would all the other parents.
However if I found out they were doing this with my dd I would be furious

Tobyturtle Tue 20-Sep-16 19:10:38

Thanks for the replies. I know I was more concerned about the 3 year old, they get distracted so easily. I think I'm going to walk past the shop for the next couple of weeks on the way home and if I see him doing it again I will mention it to the nursery staff so that they can talk to the mum.

I really don't want to be seen as interfering but at the same time I was quite worried about it. Also if he does it regularly then it won't be as obvious it was me who has flagged it as I was the only one outside the shop today! Glad other people thought it was unreasonable, he did it so confidently that I did wonder if I was being a little OTT!!

Yorkieheaven Tue 20-Sep-16 19:14:37

Sounds like a good plan op.

Birdsgottafly Tue 20-Sep-16 19:14:54

I wouldn't do it now, but I left my first and second outside a shop many a time, that's just what you did. The Prams were bigger and shops smaller, though.

I do often wonder why I can't park the pram, with my GC in, in a empty supermarket isle and move away from it, without my DD going into shock.

It depends on the three year old, my middle DD was always very sensible.

Willow2016 Tue 20-Sep-16 19:36:43

Its a generational thing. It was perfectly normal up until pretty recently, especially in close communities. It wouldnt cross anyones mind to take a pram/buggy into a shop!

I doubt he has given it a thought that the roads are much busier now and a 3 yr old may get distracted. (although he has maybe been doing it for a while and she likes the 'responsibility' of looking after her brother)

I hope kids mum realises this and isnt hard on him, he is doing her a favour after all and just doing what he and countless other parents did.

StealthPolarBear Tue 20-Sep-16 19:40:37

My almost secondary aged child's grandad is in his early 60s and is perfectly able to know what is an ad isn't appropriate in 2016, the year in which he lives. So let's not aasume this man did his parenting during "the war" as seems so popular on here smile
and a favour isn't a favour if it puts your dc in danger!

glamorousgrandmother Tue 20-Sep-16 19:45:59

I'm 61 and would never have left my pram outside a shop, although some people did back then. I certainly wouldn't do it now.

Tobyturtle Tue 20-Sep-16 19:53:17

He was in his early 60's I would say? He really didn't hesitate, I didn't get the impression it had crossed his mind that it was dangerous. I really wasn't judging him and I think it's lovely that he's looking after his grandchildren (and buying them sweets!) but at the same time as someone said the roads are busier now and 3 is quite young to be left in charge, as much as she might relish the responsibility. I did think it was probably generational!

Willow2016 Tue 20-Sep-16 23:16:33

Stealth : "So let's not aasume this man did his parenting during "the war"

Neither did my parents but it was perfectly normal to do that when I was growing up. Shops were smaller and prams were big, in a close community there was no problem, even in the local town it was the norm.

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