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to interfere and ring this mum's HV?

(80 Posts)
smokinaces Thu 08-Oct-09 14:36:52

Was in supermarket this morning. Took the boys on the 50p ride ons, and as we were finishing another boy came over with his mum telling him he couldnt go on.

We were trying to get the kids in the trolley, as she was trying to get her son to come with her. The ride ons are in a lobby bit at the back of the shop, leading onto the pedestrain access.

Anyway, she stormed off, shouting at her son that if he didnt come now, he could stay there on his own. Fair enough, I have done that a few times myself.

We followed her round, thinking she'd be waiting for him to chase after her, round at the newspaper bit (round a bend, my kids get freaked by the time I get there and catch me up)

But she didnt stop.

She stormed through the supermarket, to the other entrance/exit. She left the shop and stormed off to the other end of the car park to her car. Without really a backward glance.

I didnt see anyone else with her or the son - when we left him he was most definately on his own on the rides, and didnt see another adult (though they could have been at the cigarette counter)

He definately didnt follow us out of the shop.

Now, I know of this mum through a friend of a friend, so know she's a single mum and had a real hard time of it - but I cant stop thinking I need to do something. I wish I had gone back into the shop to make sure he was ok and she came back. I wish I had stopped her and asked if she was ok.

I know who her health visitor is - and know them quite well. Do you think its interfering too much to ring them? I just think she might need help - we've all threatened to leave our kids, but she went too far IMO.

so AIBU to ring her health visitor and mention this?

sagan Thu 08-Oct-09 14:39:28

I think yabu, which will probably be a minority opinion admittedly. It sounds like she was having a terrible day and was at the end of her rag.If you were that concerned you would have waited with the boy surely?

smokinaces Thu 08-Oct-09 14:43:43

I agree sagan, she probably was having a bad day - but even on the worst day is it right to leave your 2 year old DS at the other end of a supermarket and go across a car park to your car?

I kept thinking as we were walking he'd catch us/his mum up - but he didnt. And by this time I had my 2 DS's shouting and demanding as I was trying to get to the car. I kept thinking of going back when we were putting the shopping in the boot, but didnt and now regret that.

sagan Thu 08-Oct-09 14:46:45

I didn't see that he was 2. In that case it's a bit different. I wouldn't go to the HV in the first instance- if your friend is her friend have a word with her and maybe ask her to pop round for a cuppa and make sure she is alright? I am a single parent and have had terrible days with PND but I have never left my dc anywhere! She would probably appreciate the company and chance to offload

MmeGoblindt Thu 08-Oct-09 14:47:04

I was going to say YABU and to stay out of it, until I read that the boy is only 2yo.

That is worrying. Even if she was just "having a bad day" there is no excuse for leaving a 2yo on his own.

pjmama Thu 08-Oct-09 14:51:29

He was 2 years old?! Something is seriously wrong there... no sane person leaves a child that small on their own in a supermarket no matter how bad your day has been. Are you sure there wasn't another adult with him? If so, I think I'd be inclined to say something.

smokinaces Thu 08-Oct-09 14:52:32

sorry, should have mentioned he was only 2 in the original post.

I'm not sure friend is still friends with her IYSWIM? we know each other by name (see each other every now and then at the boys nursery) but dont think she even recognised me today.

see thats what troubles me - I have had some horrendous days lately with my kids (marriage breakdown, depression etc) but would never leave them that far - threaten and hide round a corner yes, but to actually go that distance has unnerved me.

I know the HV to just chat to - might ring and ask their advice without giving names and see what they think.

smokinaces Thu 08-Oct-09 14:54:33

pjmama I didnt see another adult anywhere. in this lobby bit there was literally just us, and I didnt see anyone at the nearby counter with them IYSWIM? I could be wrong of course, and it was just someone I didnt see - but she very clearly told him to come with her or stay there on his own. (not with grandma or anything)

reikizen Thu 08-Oct-09 14:56:06

yes, do that. I don't think you can do nothing can you?

claw3 Thu 08-Oct-09 15:08:21

Do you know how it ended, did she go back for him?

IMoveTheStarsForNoOne Thu 08-Oct-09 15:14:39

I think YABU for not staying with him, personally. Sorry, but there is no way I'd be able to watch this and not interfere (but I am an interfering busy body )

You can't call the HV though.

gladders Thu 08-Oct-09 16:09:55

you don't know the full story. you have no idea what happened next. it does sound awful but it didn't seem awful enough to you at the time that you thought to take him to customer services or similar....

the hv wouldn't discuss it with you anyway becauise of patient confidentiality.

if you really care about this woman and child, why not try and include them in the meet ups you have with your mutual friend? she sounds like she needs friendly support not like she need reporting to the authorities

wannaBe Thu 08-Oct-09 16:21:42

yes yabu.

Why didn't you stay with him if you were so concerned?

HKT Thu 08-Oct-09 16:22:54

The HV would discuss it, but be cautious of going down this route, as it could cause more trouble than it's worth - I have been down this route before - long story that I'm not going to go into - and all the HV did was contact the mother in question, tel her that there had been a complaint against her, and told her that the situation had to be monitored. The mother in question didn't in any way feel supported (which was my intention) but felt, understandably, threatened by this action.
If you were so concerned, why didn't you stay with this little boy?
Talk to the friend who knows her and mention that she may need some help, try to find a way to give her support without her feeling hounded by officials, which is unfortunately what happens when you do the right thing.

Sassybeast Thu 08-Oct-09 16:29:52

So you left him as well ? I don't think that you can really be in a position to get on your high horse.

MillyMollyMoo Thu 08-Oct-09 16:34:47

Blimey, if you want to be a friend rather than a sticky beak maybe mention it to this woman's friend and see if there's more you can do, since when did it become a professional matter rather than a community matter if some poor woman is struggling.

lilyjen Thu 08-Oct-09 16:35:28

I'm going to be even harsher-in that instance it was YOU that let that 2 yr old down. You saw something that's made you so uncomfortable you want to call his hv yet you left him there despite knowing that his mum had left! We all have a responsibility to children and in the absence of his mum and no-one else around it was up to you to do something about it. I wouldn't call his hv but I wd try and find out what happened and how she is.

bangandthedirtisgone Thu 08-Oct-09 16:36:33

Is anyone else now worried about what happened next? Do we know he did find his Mum?

MillyMollyMoo Thu 08-Oct-09 16:40:27

I doubt he's still in Tesco's if she left the shop no doubt his grandma met them half way round and took him for an ice cream.
Nobody would walk out and go home, you'd look a right prat when the police kncked the door.

bangandthedirtisgone Thu 08-Oct-09 16:42:28

"no doubt his grandma met them half way round and took him for an ice cream"

eh? Why no doubt his grandma took him for an ice cream?

MillyMollyMoo Thu 08-Oct-09 16:44:32

Why not ?? Do you prefer the he was stolen by a gang of pedo's version ?

bangandthedirtisgone Thu 08-Oct-09 16:46:07

Sorry, I thought this was grounded in the reality of the OP which suggested that the child was alone. So I'm not sure how you knew that his grandma was there and that she tool him for a frozen dairy treat afterwards?

aircraftannie Thu 08-Oct-09 16:46:24

I agree with lilyjen

AtheneNoctua Thu 08-Oct-09 16:48:06

YABU. She was of course unreasonable to walk away from the boy (if she did - we don't actually know that there wasn't another party looking after him). But, if you feel you need to say something you ned to say it to her and not her HV. And if you haven't got the vnerve to do that then it's probably because you know you shouldn't be meddling.

Running to HV (who will notify SS) behind her back will be doing her or her young son any favours. What if you are wrong about no one else there looking after him and they take that boy into custody because of your phone call? And let's face it, that would not be out of character for SS.

AtheneNoctua Thu 08-Oct-09 16:50:38

Sorry, meant to say:

"Running to HV (who will notify SS) behind her back won't be doing her or her young son any favours."

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