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To be concerned that ex thinks it's OK to leave DS (nearly 5) at home with walkie talkie, while he's at pub 150 yards away?

(68 Posts)
Scrumplet Tue 02-Jun-09 22:42:44

God, just typing it makes it sound ludicrous to me.

Ex and I clashed on this some time ago when we were together, when he was having a particularly 'exuberant', can-do phase, and bought the walkie talkies with a view to using them so we could have nights out aplenty in the nearby pub. I said no way - what if there was a fire, or a power cut? Our voices on the end of a walkie talkie [which DS might forget how to use] would be of little comfort.

This issue was buried, but came up again recently after XP used the walkie talkies in a fun game with DS. He mentioned the pub discussion again, and I was shocked to learn that he still thinks this would have been OK. I asked him to promise not to use the walkie talkies in this way when he has DS in his care. He looked at me as though I'm a control freak, but agreed, and said we simply have different views on this. hmm

Am I indeed going mad/being controlling, or is the idea of leaving a five-year-old at home alone, connected to his parent at the local pub via walkie talkie, absurd and utterly irresponsible? <bewildered emoticon>

Tambajam Tue 02-Jun-09 22:44:17

You are correct. It is ludicrous. You know you don't even have to ask.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Tue 02-Jun-09 22:45:15

I can see why he is your ex. Maybe use them for a two minute trip to the shop, but definately not a night in the pub. It would probably be against child protection laws also.

nametaken Tue 02-Jun-09 22:45:23

YANBU - your ex is a complete and utter knob. I'd put a stop to it, if it were me.

wrinklytum Tue 02-Jun-09 22:45:23

I would be very worried.He is being an arse.

TinyPawz Tue 02-Jun-09 22:46:21

sweet jesus!!! men can be such idiots sometimes.

Scrumplet Tue 02-Jun-09 22:47:39

As I typed the title, I thought, this sounds ridiculous.

The confusion lies with the fact that I was with DS's dad for a looong time, and he became steadily more unstable and emotionally abusive in our time together, and retains absolute self-assurance about some of the ideas he has, including this one. So I have learned to doubt myself, when really I shouldn't. I'm relearning to trust my instincts, in spite of him looking at me as though I've lost the plot. Comforting to know they're right.

TheCrackFox Tue 02-Jun-09 22:48:19

YANBU - your ex is dillusional. Would it really kill him to stay in on the nights that he has his own son staying?

tigana Tue 02-Jun-09 22:48:38


A walkie talkie is not going to stop him falling over or smashing something as children frequently do.
He's not going to go 'click' "Daaaaad. I want to play with these matches I've just found, is that ok?" is he....?hmm

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 02-Jun-09 22:49:15

Message withdrawn

spiderlight Tue 02-Jun-09 22:49:55

Two words: Medeleine McCann. How fast does he think he can sprint home if he hears something untoward happening?! YANBU and he is an idiot.

Scrumplet Tue 02-Jun-09 22:50:11

Yep. Thought it was a ludicrous idea. Can just imagine how distressed (co-sleeping) DS would be to wake up not only with a parent not in his bed, but not in the house - never mind all the explaining that might have gone on when he was awake and rational. Tried explaining this to ex and he rolled his eyes and said, "Yes, but I could be back literally in minutes." Not good enough, IMO.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 02-Jun-09 22:52:28

Message withdrawn

lilacclaire Tue 02-Jun-09 22:53:19

Im horrified, are you sure that he's not already doing it, I would stop the contact tbh.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 02-Jun-09 22:53:34

Message withdrawn

3littlefrogs Tue 02-Jun-09 22:53:37

He is stupid and selfish. Why would he want to go to the pub rather than spend time with his son?

Those walkie talkies are notoriously unreliable - they pick up anything in the area on the same frequency and are quite fiddly to use.

Why does he want access to his child if he wants to leave him alone to go to the pub?

Good grief.

Scrumplet Tue 02-Jun-09 22:54:34

shineon, I explained in an earlier post why I was doubting myself. It's to do with our relationship history. I would never do this. I don't like the idea of my ex doing it at all. But he has a way of talking to me as though it is me who is being ridiculous and unreasonable in challenging him, and I spent long enough with him to start believing him. I am unlearning this. Please be patient with me.

DesperateHousewifeToo Tue 02-Jun-09 22:58:11

I would pop one of the walkie talkies in your bag next time you are there. Drop it in a bin somewhere far away.

Then you know that he can't carry out his plan if he can't find one of them.

what a worry!

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 02-Jun-09 22:59:21

Message withdrawn

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Tue 02-Jun-09 23:03:36

Shineon, the shop we go to is on the same street as us, there are no roads to cross it is literally a minute there and a minute back.

I don't leave dd1 at home <she is also five> but I wouldn't judge anyone else who left a 5 year old alone to call into a shop a few doors up.

It was that sort of thing I meant. Not calling into the Supermarket.

Scrumplet Tue 02-Jun-09 23:04:52

The history is complicated. Ex has experienced unstable moods for the past three or so years. Can be fine - likeable, loveable, sensible dad - for a lot of the time. Depressed, too - no fun for DS, but low-risk. And very elevated in mood, which I'm sensing we could be headed towards again. It's when he's in the latter state that this kind of thing comes up. He has spent some time having some professional help, though nothing conclusive has come of this in terms of what's going on with ex, mentally. No diagnosis. All I know is he loves DS to bits, DS adores him, he sees him regularly and is enthusiastic about co-parenting, and is responsible most of the time - but he is prone to spells where the responsbility side of things seems to noticeably slip. When we first separated, I insisted he see DS with another family member present, for this reason (he'd been caught speeding, and was having a phase of using drugs, turning up to care for DS one day while still obviously under the influence). This made for very crappy relations between us, with the tension filtering to DS. He has little insight when his mood picks up, so it is down to me to decide if/when he can no longer see DS unsupervised, and that is a responsibility I don't relish. He isn't consistently an arse, IYSWIM - but of course DS's welfare comes first. shineon, from a professional perspective, what would you recommend in this situation?

Thanks for posts, BTW.

Scrumplet Tue 02-Jun-09 23:12:47

BTW, the emotional crap - the looking-at-me-as-though-I've-lost-the-plot - is an issue when ex is in an elevated mood. He gets quite full of himself; his way is the only way, however daft that may seem to me/others. It's a bit of a head-fuck to have to engage with him, TBH, since the person he is changes periodically, and he's sometimes lovely, and sometimes plain impossible.

Useful tip, shineon, about how to communicate with ex. I think, where he has become fairly volatile, mood-wise, I have to find more conviction in my parenting and trust my instincts, because one of us needs to be consistent in championing DS's wellbeing.

mumeeee Tue 02-Jun-09 23:16:47


dittany Tue 02-Jun-09 23:19:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Tue 02-Jun-09 23:23:56

I'd be thinking bipolar. Although I'm not a doc, let alone a psychiatrist.

Tricky thing is, as you are no longer together, you get shut out of any discussions with medical professionals, so you may never know.

But you can keep ds safe by being very alert for ex's mood when he is about to have unsupervised access, and not being afraid to step in and say no, you are not in a fit state to look after ds. Which will clearly not be easy.

Keep careful records, too, in case ex decides to challenge you legally.

And maybe seek some advice from the NSPCC?

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