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Toddler in my garden

(145 Posts)
Yabbers Fri 11-Jan-19 14:36:03

Our house has a public path running past it. Our front garden is separated by a wide strip of grass, then our drive, then our front garden. It’s obviously our garden and not public space.

Mother, granny and toddler outside, toddler running about kept running on to our drive, up the path hitting the door then back across the grass. I do get twitchy about kids going on our drive as our neighbour sometimes has visitors who race up it, but not a problem as I assume the mum is paying attention. But, it is still my front garden so I’m a bit hmm that’s a little rude. The mum and gran are watching him, smiling indulgently.

Then he starts taking the top off one of our garden lights. Puts it back and goes and does it to another. Giving it a good wobble as he does it. (They are those solar ones you push into the grass)

I opened the door and said to the mum “excuse me, do you mind?” Not shouting, just quite calm, he’s just a baby I didn’t want to scare him. She started saying sorry but then rolled her eyes and turned to granny and gave one of those smiles. I said, I didn’t mind him running in the garden, but not playing with those lamps as that’s a bit rude. She rolled her eyes and shook her head.

WIBU to ask her nicely to stop her son doing this?

BiddyPop Fri 11-Jan-19 14:38:02

I would go back out and TELL her that her child is not allowed to play with them, they are not toys, and they are not public property but are electrical fittings in your own garden.

Givinguponyou Fri 11-Jan-19 14:39:21

Not unreasonable of you at all

OnlyFoolsnMothers Fri 11-Jan-19 14:39:21

YANBU- What a stupid woman....with people like that best to say it and shame them "do you think whilst you roll your eyes you could simultaneously teach your child some basic manners about touching property that isnt theirs"

CrabbyPatty Fri 11-Jan-19 14:41:48

You're not being unreasonable. I would be mortified if I was the carer for the child. I understand children might not recognise boundaries but I'd quickie correct them and keep.them on the public space.

bookmum08 Fri 11-Jan-19 14:42:21

"No no no Sweetie. Those aren't toys. Mustn't touch. They are pretty to look at but No Touching"
To the child. Directly.

Yabbers Fri 11-Jan-19 14:43:56

do you think whilst you roll your eyes you could simultaneously teach your child some basic manners about touching property that isnt theirs

Oh I wish I had thought of that! There was a lady once who’s dog used to come and pee on my car. She rolled her eyes and I said “aye, don’t just roll your eyes, control your dog” Wasn’t my best line! I’m keeping this one for next time 👍

SushiMonster Fri 11-Jan-19 14:45:57

Well you did mind the kid in the garden so not sure why you said you didn't.

People who are acting like that are clearly unreasonable people, so no need to pussyfoot around.

Yabbers Fri 11-Jan-19 14:46:28


I did wonder about doing that, but since being on MN I’ve learned that one must simply never talk to another person’s child.😄😄

Aquamarine1029 Fri 11-Jan-19 14:48:40

Tell them to leave your property immediately. If the child were injured you could be held liable.

Bloomcounty Fri 11-Jan-19 14:49:25

I once looked up from the sofa in my living room to see a young mum holding her 5/6 year old child up so he could pee in my window box. Pants down, full frontal nudity and he was pissing on my geraniums whilst she held up 3 feet off the ground and kept his trousers dry.

I didn't shout. Somehow, I managed not to shout. But I did speak VERY loudly and VERY clearly to her about how disgusting she was to do that, and that she should be ASHAMED of herself for being so DISGUSTING and letting her child PISS IN MY WINDOW BOX.

Yabbers Fri 11-Jan-19 14:53:32


I think my actual words were “fair enough him being in my garden”. I’m not naturally a pussy footer, but I’m also not entirely sure I’m reasonable in being a little annoyed about that. It is all open and folk often don’t recall their dogs off our driveway, kids sometimes come flying over the grass and down it on their bikes. It is a private drive shared with the neighbour and obviously so (at least to me as it’s the same block paving as all the other drives round here) but I suppose the follow up AIBU is, would it be unreasonable to be annoyed he was just in the garden?

DoneLikeAKipper Fri 11-Jan-19 14:55:46

Oh I feel you. Every so often a mum and little boy will pass our house, she always lets him walk on our wall or even run through the upper gravelly bit (no drive, it’s a raised bit of front yard). It’s both infuriating and worrying, some of the slabs bordering the wall are loose, and I’m sure she’d been banging our door down if the poor lad fell off one of them. Unfortunately, with two little children of my own it’s near impossible to dart out and ask them to stop!

My eldest spent all of December wanting to go into people’s gardens and play with Christmas decorations. He often got upset at no, but there is no excuse for letting your kids do as they please on other people’s property.

GhostsInSnow Fri 11-Jan-19 15:00:03

I feel you OP. We have tradesmen rock up in our garden for lunch. They sit, eat their sandwiches and then leave.

Laiste Fri 11-Jan-19 15:01:08

There are certain weeks every month where i would have flung the front door open and shouted, banshee style ''THIS IS MY FRONT GARDEN NOT A BLOODY PLAY PARK!!''.

However ... it's more reasonable to do as you did OP and explain it politely. Some people have no manners and it's no good trying to teach them. To be honest i'd have to put a low looped chain up with little posts or something to clearly denote the boundary.

Yabbers Fri 11-Jan-19 15:01:12

play with Christmas decorations.

We had a few of these. When I saw them standing on the path I would go out and asked if they wanted to come for a closer look. Spoke to quite a few of my neighbours that way!

frenchchick9 Fri 11-Jan-19 15:01:46

'This is private property. It's my gvarden. Get your child off it, and get him to stop touching my lights. He could get hurt. How would you like it if I came and walked around in your garden?'

YANBU. Entitled bat.

cuppycakey Fri 11-Jan-19 15:02:28

I used to live in a house with a similar set up and once day DD who was about 8 at the time said "Mummy, there are people having a picnic in our garden" I thought she was being silly, but this couple had actually sat down on my doorstep and were looking out across the garden, away from my house, admiring the sea views and eating their cheese sarnies.

I couldn't quite believe the cheeky fuckery of them. I went to get dressed before confronting them and they had gone by the time I got back sad

PoisonousSmurf Fri 11-Jan-19 15:03:50

Not toddler related, but teenagers. Years ago, a family down the street had a massive amount of kids (7) and of course they all grew up and we had a few years of trouble with them hanging around and sitting on our wall.
One evening, the older teenage girl was sitting there with her boyfriend and she started to pull leaves off my ivy and shred them up and throw them on the drive.
I could have gone out and told them off, but they would have been the type to put a brick through the window if you dared tell them off!
So I waited until night time and gathered up all the leaves and then chucked them on their drive!
Felt good!

Juells Fri 11-Jan-19 15:04:49

Must admit it would never occur to me that anyone would care about a dog pissing on a car tyre - I'm guessing that's where the dog was pissing? Seems to be the popular location.

ThePants999 Fri 11-Jan-19 15:05:55

How would you like it if I came and walked around in your garden?

The issue with that wording is that she probably WOULDN'T mind.

Pk37 Fri 11-Jan-19 15:06:51

A garden hose aimed at all involved grin

Yabbers Fri 11-Jan-19 15:06:58

That’s the thing, there is a playpark literally a seconds up the path. Mum and gran were standing just in front of it!

To be honest i'd have to put a low looped chain up with little posts or something to clearly denote the boundary.
I’d love to do this. But we can’t put it along the far side of the drive as the grass belongs to the developer/management company. The drive is narrow too and this would make it difficult for us to park. If we put it round our grass, it makes it difficult for DD with her walking frame, or at the other end for our neighbours to park their car. We are going to be doing some re-designing of the front so will work something out to form a barrier.

kaytee87 Fri 11-Jan-19 15:07:16

Yanbu. When my 2yo makes a beeline for someone's drive or garden I stop him and tell him it's not our garden so he's not allowed in. He tends to throw a quick wobbler (although less often now that he's been told a few times) then I distract him and we move on.
I tend to pick my battles tbh but I'd never think to let him run around on someone's driveway hitting the door and touching lights. Lazy parenting at its best (worst?).

DoneLikeAKipper Fri 11-Jan-19 15:09:44

I feel you OP. We have tradesmen rock up in our garden for lunch. They sit, eat their sandwiches and then leave.

I once caught a small group of school/college girls doing the same. Full blown picnic/fag time. Luckily I managed to go out that time and gave my best ‘what the fuck are you doing’ look. To be fair, the left straight away and haven’t seen them/similar since.

Spoke to quite a few of my neighbours that way!

One house we went past did kindly let him have a (supervised) look, it was very kind. No one is obligated to though, your home is your personal space, that doesn’t always start at the front door!

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