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is it normal to think of dumping your child with a stranger before preschool?

(35 Posts)
BarefootDancer Wed 21-Feb-07 11:53:56

Took my friend's ds (AKA 'Tom') 4y to preschool this morning. Waiting in the lobby for the 10 minutes before preschool opens, a woman turns up with her dd. I don't know them as I dont go there often and was only doing a favour for my friend. Tom doesn't give any sign of knowing them either.
The woman says to her dd, but clearly in my hearing 'you can wait with Tom's mummy (meaning me) coz I have to go to work'....
I say 'I'm not Tom's mummy, I'm a friend...'
She does not carry on the conversation (she must have realised I was not looking helpful..). If she had asked me directly to look after her child, I would have refused, as I don't know her or the child at all.
Weird, or do people normally do this kind of thing? What I find most weird is that she was telling her dd to wait with me instead of introducing herself and asking me.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 21-Feb-07 12:05:10

Strange when she didn't actually know you, or even familiar with you as you are not a regular face she would see. Perhaps you should have mentioned it to the teacher when they went in. At DD's primary school, no child could be left unsupervised until the bell went and they lined up in the playground to be taken inside. The fact that this is pre-school and the little girl would have been so young is really not on at all. Her mother was out of order.

Elasticwoman Wed 21-Feb-07 12:05:32

People don't normally do this. Did you tell the nursery staff that the woman had left the child unsupervised whilst making a feeble attempt to make you feel responsible?
They should deal with it.

BarefootDancer Wed 21-Feb-07 12:14:27

She did in fact stay in the end as I didn't jump to offer help. I didn't think of telling the staff. I would have told the woman my concern that she didn't know me from Adam had she directly asked me. Just thought it was weird to talk to the child like this and not to me. Also bit odd to suggest leaving the child with a stranger.
People have such different views of what is reasonable behaviour...

shonaspurtle Wed 21-Feb-07 12:15:45

Oh hell, I'm going to be so judged when my ds is older... tbh, I would have done this if I'd been in a rush to get somewhere and not thought twice about it. Let me stress though, I mean the leaving with someone for 10 mins - obv would have asked you, not said as a fait acomplis to the child but I would have assumed you'd have said yes .

When ds was 8wks I was in Mothercare and realised I'd left my purse in the car. Woman behind the counter said oh we'll keep an eye on him while you get it. Ok I said (was away for 2 mins). Told a friend about this, as in "how nice of the lady in Mothercare" and she was appalled that I would leave him with a stranger.

Maybe I'll get more cautious as ds gets older. I am realising from reading posts on here that my attitude to my child's safety with "strangers" is not normal .

ComeOVeneer Wed 21-Feb-07 12:18:02

You left your 8 week old baby with a total stranger in a shop

shonaspurtle Wed 21-Feb-07 12:19:42

Yes and it seriously didn't cross my mind that this was not on. I think in my mind I'm in the 1950s or something.

oranges Wed 21-Feb-07 12:20:09

shonaspurtle, i let 8 weekk old ds with thereceptionist as i went in or an eye test.

Jimjams2 Wed 21-Feb-07 12:26:37

I would have left my baby in mothercare with an employee. I've left ds2 in a buggy when I've had to chase ds1 (and my money keys etc).

I wouldn't have done what the woman did to Barefoot dancer though.

Jimjams2 Wed 21-Feb-07 12:27:19

Think I would have left ds3 with the milkman if it would have given me 2 minutes peace

Bozza Wed 21-Feb-07 12:28:47

agree with jimjams.

MrsGoranVisnjic Wed 21-Feb-07 12:29:05

I'd leave my kids with anyone who'd have them

Bozza Wed 21-Feb-07 12:29:19

Her first post, that is.

MrsGoranVisnjic Wed 21-Feb-07 12:30:19

woman was rude though

mummy2aaron Wed 21-Feb-07 12:30:56

Lol at Jimjams, I know that feeling well.

sunnyjim Wed 21-Feb-07 12:32:34

It is a bit outside the norm. I'd do it if I knew the mum in a heartbeat. However I have asked compelte strangers to watch DS in emergancies - ie DS ball rolls into the road out of the playground - turn and say to the nice mum and dad with a toddler the same age who has been 'playing' along side DS and say 'very sorry but would you mind keeping an eye on my lad for five minutes while I go rescue his ball safely'
Best friend also had to do it when out with her 7yr old and 2 yr old and heavily preggers with number 3 'can you possibly watch my kids I'm afraid I have to go throw up' (in a kiddies playzone)

I would ask directly

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 21-Feb-07 12:37:36

Yes, it's one thing when the parent isn't going far and will be back (i.e emergency scenario) but to leave the child at the school gates and head off for however many hours, just assuming that she went inside OK and without asking the adult she wanted to leave her with is irresponsible. Lest we forget, this is a pre-school age child, not a 9 or 10 year-old who can take some responsibility for themselves for 10 minutes

BarefootDancer Wed 21-Feb-07 12:50:16

Thinking about it, yes I would have looked after the child, no problem, had I known the mum or child at all.
As I was there dropping off a friend's son I did not know many people there and would have felt uncomfortable about it. Not because I think she was taking a risk with her child (it was obvious I was just dropping off a child too), but that I would then be responsible for this unknown child who might have become upset at her mum leaving her with someone she didn't know at all.
The way she just mentioned it to the girl rather than me was odd and rude, and obviously made me avoid offering help at all.

I have left my own dc with various strangers - depends on what the situation is whether you think it a risk. It is a responsibility for the person you leave them with though.

ComeOVeneer Wed 21-Feb-07 12:58:16

I guess I am ovely cautious then. However a few years ago a friend of mine had here child abducted by a employee in Boots (fortunately they were caught by the security in the shopping centre a coiple of yards outside the shop). Apparently (it was discovered) this woman had given birth to a stillborn child many years before, and obviously had problems. So I'm afraid I don't trust anyone I don't know pretty well.

hertsnessex Wed 21-Feb-07 13:03:32

When i take ds1 and ds2 swimming if ds1 needs a wee, then i ask mrs xxx with her kids to watch ds2, there are cameras, toilets you can see door from pool and its a members only club, so pretty secure. its easier than getting them both out of the pool, waiting for ds2 etc etc.....

but agree no where is 'safe' but you have to trust sometimes


chipmonkey Wed 21-Feb-07 13:12:56

I'd have done what shona did, tbh. Also, as an optometrist, it is far easier to carry out an eye exam with the baby out with the receptionist than trying to do it with mum and I both getting distracted by screams.

ComeOVeneer Wed 21-Feb-07 20:04:02

Chipmonkey, as a dentist I agree that professionally it is easier to do your job if there isn't a screaming child there, but I am still very careful aboutwho I hand my children over to.

sunnysideup Wed 21-Feb-07 20:16:39

Totally agree with Comeoveneer.

And yes this woman's action in attempting to leave her child with you WAS seriously odd. Really odd.

I would certainly let the staff know that she tried to do this. Her set of priorities are odd if getting to work 5 mins sooner is more important than settling her son into pre-school, or at the very least ensuring that he is left in the hands of someone who is not a total stranger to the mother and child!

Of course I see the emergency scenario bit; but leaving my child with shop staff while I went to get my purse; that would give me nightmares forever. What's the hassle in taking the child with you to get the purse that outweighs their safety?

WideWebWitch Wed 21-Feb-07 20:18:04

Not normal imo. Agree that a baby with eg Mothercare employee is ok while you go for your purse but pre schooler with complete stranger in lobby is odd and not on imo.

FrannyandZooey Wed 21-Feb-07 20:21:56

Blimey, I've just remembered - when ds was little, I had to leave him with the receptionist at the doctor's several times while I had an appointment

can't remember why??? maybe I was having my stitches checked, I had loads of problems with them

anyway one time I came back and he was in his pram crying out in the hallway with loads of strangers standing around, right next to the front door

"oh sorry" she said "he was making a bit of noise and it was very busy"

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