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to be annoyed at kids alone in my house?

(23 Posts)
teaandakitkat Fri 12-May-17 13:37:19

NDN and I have 3 kids each, roughly the same ages. We've always had a good relationship, both happy for the kids to come and go between the houses, no problem.

This afternoon (we don't have school Friday afternoons) my 11 yr old was away out with his friends, my 10 yr old was at home playing playstation and my 5 yr old was next door.

I wanted to go to the post office so I went next door and asked was it ok for 5 yr old to stay with her for 15 minutes max while I went to the post office? I'm fine with my 10 yr old being home by himself.

She said that was fine, she wasn't going anywhere, and I said she could send them all round to me when I got back if she wanted some peace.

I got home less than 10 minutes later, the post office had been empty and I'd been able to park right outside, and all of the kids were in my house. Her youngest is only 3. So 5 kids aged from 10 down to 3 running around my house by themselves. Her youngest was standing on a rotating breakfast bar stool trying to reach some sweets from the kitchen cupboard. Luckily he didn't fall off and break a leg.

Our side door is always unlocked, the kids know that, so had just let themselves in (which is usually totally fine).

AIBU to be annoyed that I had asked her to look after my 5 yr old for 15 minutes, she had agreed, then she let all the kids come round to mine when I wasn't in? I specifically went round to let her know I was going out and check it was ok.

In her defence she might have assumed I was back, but the car was clearly still gone and she would have seen that if she'd looked out the window.

The kids might have slipped out without her noticing, but we have pretty small houses and you would notice if 4 not particularly quiet kids had suddenly left. But I don't know, maybe she genuinely didn't notice.

I really want to go round and tell her I'm not happy, but am I over-reacting? I don't want to spoil a relationship that's worked fine for years and usually suits us both and makes the kids happy.

Would you say anything? Or should I give her the benefit of the doubt and think she just didn't realise?

HallowedMimic Fri 12-May-17 13:40:53

I wouldn't say anything, only because when my 10 year old is home alone the doors are locked and they are not allowed to answer.

The neighbour probably assumed that if the children could get in, you were there.

RedSkyAtNight Fri 12-May-17 13:44:02

Sounds like they couldn't have been in your house for more than a couple of minutes though? Did you/she specifically tell the DC not to come round - if they are used to doing it all the time, they might well have literally just come over before she realized? I think in future occasions I would be locking the side door if I was going out ...

TheMaddHugger Fri 12-May-17 13:46:15

I'm sorry. but Fire can break out and engulf a house in minutes

Please don't leave Anyone home alone 😨

And lock the doors too. Anyone could break in at that moment, thinking house was empty. What if your DS happened across a burglar

RebootYourEngine Fri 12-May-17 13:50:53

I would habe to speak to the neighbour about this. What if the post office was busy? What if the young child had fallen off of the stool?

teaandakitkat Fri 12-May-17 13:57:05

I'm happy for my 10 yr old to be on his own for 15 minutes. I figure the chances of a fire or a burglar in that 15 minutes is pretty small, although I recognise there is a risk. I'm happy with that level of risk.

I should have locked the door, you're right, leaving it open all day is a bad habit. We pretty much open it first thing in the morning to let the cat out then leave it open till bedtime.

I just feel like if ndn had asked me to keep her young kid for 15 minutes I would have checked she was back before letting them come round, especially when one of the kids is only 3. She just had to look out the window and she would have realised the car wasn't there. I even told her I was going by car so I would be faster.

10 yr old, who is not particularly reliable I know, said they appeared just after I"d left, so they could have been there 10 minutes. And what if I"d been held up and been gone 20 minutes?

If the door had been locked they'd probably just have knocked on ds bedroom window and annoyed him till he opened the door, or stood there knocking till I got back. They knew he was in the house.

I wish she'd just taken 10 seconds to check the car was back before letting them out. Or said no when I asked if he could stay there. I'd have taken him with me.

Anyway, it's done now and no harm done. I won't say anything. But I'll make sure the door is locked when I go out next time.

Miniwookie Fri 12-May-17 14:01:31

TheMadd presumably the OP's 10yo knows to leave the house in the event of a fire. It's important for children to be given responsibility at an appropriate age. OP yanbu. I would've said something at the time, but would make a mental note not to trust the neighbour again.

requestingsunshine Fri 12-May-17 14:08:39

I wouldn't make an issue of it especially as they seem to play between the 2 houses anyway. Your 10 year old was there and I assume as you left him/her alone they are quite a responsible 10 year old.
Your house was unlocked, they had probably only just arrived there if you were gone only 10 minutes and nothing actually happened.

littleducks Fri 12-May-17 14:14:47

I'm sorry. but Fire can break out and engulf a house in minutes

Please don't leave Anyone home alone 😨

And lock the doors too. Anyone could break in at that moment, thinking house was empty. What if your DS happened across a burglar

Don't leave anyone at home....anyone? Ever? How can you live like that?

Theresnonamesleft Fri 12-May-17 14:18:31

She probably heard blah blah blah send them round.
Personally I would have left the house, knocked on the door and said"hi I'm back. Thanks for that. When your ready send them in"

PollytheDolly Fri 12-May-17 14:22:03


I wouldn't leave your door open. I left my sons upstairs bedroom window open as I was doing the 10/15 minute school run. Some bastard climbed the roof, broke in and burgled us and was out again before I got back.

allowlsthinkalot Fri 12-May-17 14:36:25

I leave my ten year old in the house for short periods of time but would never lock him in shock ... he wouldn't be able to escape if there was a fire!

allowlsthinkalot Fri 12-May-17 14:37:59

YANBU, OP, I'd have to mention it to the neighbour, I'd just say "didn't you realise I wasn't back yet when the kids came over?"

allowlsthinkalot Fri 12-May-17 14:40:37

DON'T lock your child in the house OP, what you did is fine.

FanDabbyFloozy Fri 12-May-17 14:41:08

I would let it go on this occasion. She may have been on the phone, stepped into the shower, whatever.

Not worth falling out over but at the same time, I'd be wary in future.

Jupitar Fri 12-May-17 14:49:15

I'd just mention it to her in the form of did you realise all the kids went to my house whilst I was at the post office, and then see what she says. I leave my 12 year old and 15 year old home alone, but I've also had regular conversations about what would you do if there was a fire? How would you get out if you couldn't get down the stairs etc, and I never leave electrical appliances, not even the dishwasher on when I'm out.

teaandakitkat Fri 12-May-17 14:54:01

The kids play together all the time but it's rare for me to actually ask her to look after mine. I'm hardly ever out in the day.

I feel like I specifically asked her if it was ok for her to look after my youngest while I went out and she agreed.

She then either didn't notice he'd left her house, or just let him go without looking out the window to see if I was back.

I feel like she agreed to look after him then didn't really bother.

I'm not going to make a fuss about it, no harm done this time and it's not worth damaging neighbour relations over, but I'm not sure I'd leave him there again in these sorts of circumstances.

And I'll make sure I lock the door when I go out next time.

TheMaddHugger Fri 12-May-17 15:30:18

littleducks Fri 12-May-17 14:14:47
I'm sorry. but Fire can break out and engulf a house in minutes

Please don't leave Anyone home alone 😨

And lock the doors too. Anyone could break in at that moment, thinking house was empty. What if your DS happened across a burglar

Don't leave anyone at home....anyone? Ever? How can you live like that?
I am talking about Children. Whom do not react how parents think they will in a crisis.

ex firefighter who knows too much

HallowedMimic Fri 12-May-17 15:38:11

Jesus Christ.

I would have thought it obvious that when I, and others, mentioned locking the door, we meant locking people out, not the child in. hmm

And as for not leaving a 10 year old alone, ever.. Do you expect them to magically develop common sense at 16?

Most ten year olds should be fine left at home.

Theresnonamesleft Fri 12-May-17 16:06:26

So never leave someone under the age of 18 home alone?

FrenchMartiniTime Fri 12-May-17 16:22:25

Fires? Burglars?

Well we may as well not leave the house at all, you could get hit by a car, or kidnapped!

Cotton wool generation or what?

OP yes that would annoy me too, but like you say she might have assumed it was ok as your 10 year old was home too. Or they might have legged it when she wasn't looking grin

I wouldn't mention anything.

milliemolliemou Fri 12-May-17 16:22:47

I'd go round and have a gentle word. Thanks for looking after mine, but I was really concerned to find all of them in my house without me being around to make sure they were all safe - especially the 3 year old. I'd have felt devastated if anything had happened.

VerySadInside Fri 12-May-17 16:52:00

Maybe she just thought you were letting her know but sees your house and hers as the same area. So if kids go upstairs in her house and she can't see them to her its the same as them being over in your house? But she knows she's in charge?? IFSWIM? Does that make sense?
Like kids who have outbuildings and play in them, parents would stay in house, she might consider your house more like that.

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