to let child indoors in these circumstances?

(99 Posts)
Knitwit101 Tue 04-May-21 15:34:10

We're in Scotland, no indoor home visits allowed, but you can sit indoors in a cafe.

I've been caring for a friend's child a lot recently, she's had some major health problems. I've looked after him for years, she looks after my boy, never a problem, I would do anything for her while she's sick. Her dh is completely unbending on the covid rules.

7 yr old boys, they've been really good about staying outside all winter and spring, through some pretty horrible weather. They've played under the car port thing outside our kitchen door when it's been raining.

Past few weeks the weather has been mostly okay and they've played outdoors no problem.

Yesterday and today, typical Scottish bank holiday, it hasn't stopped raining. They were outdoors in the car port for 4 hours yesterday, they were cold but they didn't complain.

I had him again this morning and it was forecast to rain on and off all morning. I asked if I could take them to a cafe for an hour but her dh said no, even though that's not against the rules. He wants them to stay outside.

It's been raining all morning and thanks to the wind direction the rain was blowing straight through the car port. They still played out for a good while, they did their best, playing on the trampoline between showers and hiding out in the one corner that was sort of sheltered from the rain when it was really wet.

After nearly 2 hours friend's son came to the door and asked if he could go home because he was cold.

I texted my friend and asked if he could be picked up in the next half hour as he was too cold, said I would give them a hot chocolate while they waited. So they went back to their corner with their hot choc and a blanket each to wait for friend's dh (who works from home) to come and collect him.

45 minutes later no sign, kids are cold and wet and miserable. Even their blankets are wet. They were properly shivering. And this is 2 kids who have been outside every day since whenever we were last allowed indoors so they're pretty hardy I would say. It's just been non-stop wet the past 48 hours, the kind of wet that gets right in your bones.

I brought them inside and let friend sit on a kitchen stool just inside the door, left the door wide open, but at least he was out of the rain and wind, and texted friend to say he was now indoors, he was too cold, could they collect him asap or could I bring him home in the car, also against the rules but max 3 minutes door to door.

She phoned me minutes later to say her dh was coming for him right now and he was to go back outside and wait.

I told him he had to go back out so all 3 of us went and stood in the one tiny dry-ish corner under the car port while it took his dad 20 minutes to drive 3 minutes to collect him.

So was IBU to let him inside when I knew his dad wanted him to be outside? When I had told them he was cold and needed to be collected and it took them an hour from when I first asked them to come for him?

If a friend of mine had left my kid standing outside soaked through in the rain I would have been pretty pissed off and questioned their judgement. But I did go against his dad's wishes so maybe I am wrong.

There are exemptions for emergency childcare, my friend would happily use them in her current circumstances but her dh says no way. Her dh works from home so theoretically their ds could have stayed at home, both his parents were in the house, although my friend would probably have been asleep and her dh would have been working.

She's messaged me now to apologise for her dh and to thank me for having ds for her again. So I've obviously caused problems there between her and her dh too, when she's already unwell and stressed.

Thank goodness they're back at school tomorrow, we can meet indoors soo, hopefully the weather will improve, and friend's health is improving, so hopefully we won't have a repeat of this shitty day.

OP’s posts: |
SpringtimeSummertime Tue 04-May-21 15:36:33

You did the right thing. Poor child.

UrAWizHarry Tue 04-May-21 15:37:52

Absolutely you did the right thing. My kids went indoors to visit grandparents yesterday, we've all had 2x vaccine shots and rates are about as low as they are going to get. The May 17 deadline is completely arbitary.

FilthyforFirth Tue 04-May-21 15:38:28

I'd have done the same.

hennybeans Tue 04-May-21 15:42:02

Her DH is totally unreasonable. I feel for both boys outside suffering in the cold. In your position, as much as I liked my friend, I would say no more having her son over unless it was good weather. Your son is suffering too! It's just ridiculous. I bet friend's DH is cosy warm inside all day.

dalmatianmad Tue 04-May-21 15:43:36

I would have had them indoors well before then!

halcyondays Tue 04-May-21 15:43:50

Yanbu. But if friend’s dh is going to be so strict on the rules, why doesn’t he just keep him at home?

OwlBeThere Tue 04-May-21 15:46:51

Is he scared his wife will get covid? Without meaning to pry if her illness makes her more vulnerable that might be why he’s so strict about it. My mother has leukaemia and my sister was strict to the point of hysteria at the start because she was scared about my mother catching it.
It doesn’t make his behaviour ok, but it could explain it.

Loyaultemelie Tue 04-May-21 15:47:10

I don't allow anyone in our house and won't even when the rules allow as I have underlying health conditions, am quite unwell at the minute and we are self employed with no family to have our DC if anything happens to us. I agree with the DH on that, however he should have collected his DC when the weather was so bad when his views are so strong not kept them waiting so long to founder when he's so close by.

paralysedbyinertia Tue 04-May-21 15:49:20

I think you know that you weren't being unreasonable. The child was clearly freezing, and the father should have picked him up straight away. It wasn't fair to his child, but it also wasn't fair to you or your child either.

It sounds like your friend is in a very difficult position, but I don't think I'd be willing to offer childcare again under the circumstances. His father needs to make alternative arrangements, or else trust you to use your common sense re covid.

I say this as someone who is very careful about following the rules. I don't take unnecessary risks, but if someone was doing me a favour, then I would accept the need to be flexible.

Is his wife more vulnerable to covid due to her health issues? I wonder if this might be fuelling his anxiety?

Gladioli23 Tue 04-May-21 15:49:29

I would definitely have had them inside before then and I think as it's childcare they should be allowed in regularly. Rates are very low, children are at a low risk and there's an exemption for childcare bubbles. All seems quite sensible to allow them inside to me.

Knitwit101 Tue 04-May-21 15:55:04

My friend's illness doesn't affect her immune system and she's had 2 vaccines. I think her Dh is just a real stickler for the rules, always has been, but obviously it's more noticeable now, I've never really come up against it before.

I am going to be charitable and say that maybe he didn't realise (from the comfort of his warm, sheltered home office) quite how horrid the weather was. But when I told him it still took an hour for them to collect him.

Friend and I trust each others judgement, it feels like her dh clearly doesn't trust mine. Pre-covid he'd always been at work so it didn't matter.

Next time if it's the sort of weather I don't want my own son having to stay out all morning in I'm just going to say no. I hate letting my friend down but I'm not having this situation again.

OP’s posts: |
Allwokedup Tue 04-May-21 15:56:21

I’d be pissed off he was left outside for so long and then only allowed inside with the door open. Poor child. You tried your best op, you sound like a good friend.

Knitwit101 Tue 04-May-21 15:56:38

And typically, now they've gone home it's dried up and there's even a bit of sunshine.

OP’s posts: |
halcyondays Tue 04-May-21 15:57:40

Given that the DH was working from home, he would have been better to keep him at home on such a horrible day and he shouldn’t have taken so long to come and get him.

Knitwit101 Tue 04-May-21 15:59:01

I guess I just feel a bit like maybe I've done the wrong thing by going against his parent's explicit rule. Even though I was doing what I would have wanted them to do for my child in the circumstances

OP’s posts: |
Scottishskifun Tue 04-May-21 16:00:12

The DH needs a head wobble bloody ridiculous!

AllTheCakes Tue 04-May-21 16:05:14

Of course you did the right thing.

ElphabaTWitch Tue 04-May-21 16:08:03

Rules don’t apply to kids under 12 in Scotland. His dad is being totally unreasonable. How the duck would he like to sit outside in the Scottish summer with a fuckin wet blanket for company? What an arse.

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 04-May-21 16:13:38

If they're shivering, and they're still outside in the wind and rain, then they're on their way to hypothermia. So that trumps any parental diktat.

Fundays12 Tue 04-May-21 16:13:58

That's ridiculous it's freezing cold. Under those circumstances I would be honest with my friend and say I can't care for them as it's a safeguarding risk having them out in freezing weather all day. You are allowed childcare and your friend needs help as she is sick. Her dh needs to help more or let you take them in.

Knitwit101 Tue 04-May-21 16:14:33

Rules don’t apply to kids under 12 in Scotland
Really? I thought the not going indoors rule still applied, no? Just goes to show how random the rules are at this point.

Anyway, thanks for being nice to me. I thought I'd get my arse handed to me on a plate for going against the specific rules a parent had given about their child

OP’s posts: |
Scottishskifun Tue 04-May-21 16:15:08

I would send your friend this link for her ridiculous husband

www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-3/

We are level 3 which means informal childcare is allowed! Ergo you were providing childcare and her son is allowed in your house!

AMillionMilesAway Tue 04-May-21 16:16:13

Poor child.
I wouldn't have him again unless he's allowed inside. It's unfair on your own child as well as your friends child.

SunshineCake Tue 04-May-21 16:18:34

Child before an adult in this situation.

Words would have been had with this prick.

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