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DS not returned on school run, and other parent didn't contact us...

(69 Posts)
Weegle Thu 18-Nov-10 17:50:47

I am trying to be calm about this, but need to know what to do.

We share lifts to/from school with 2 other families. It’s just over a 10 minute drive (we’re rural). There are 3 children all aged 4, just started reception.

On a Thurs the 3 children, including DS, are collected by one of the dads T. They would normally be home by 3.35pm. Just before 4pm no DS. Go to my contact list, no mobile number for T (had not noticed this as there are loads of numbers on there for him and his wife, just not a mobile no for T). Ring other mum expecting her DD home. She’s not back either. She has T’s mobile which she tries, no reply repeatedly. I ring school – they were collected on time. At this point I got very very worried. Rang DH who left work to drive the area leaving me free to stay by the phone. DH in fact wanted me to call the police. Other mum who has no other kids jumped in the car and drove the school route. At 4.20pm (so at least 45 min ‘late’) other mum rings to say they’ve just arrived at her house, he’s safe etc. DS then home 5 min later. I just took DS in, didn’t really say anything to T as was completely shocked still.

Apparently he had to go and pick up his younger DD from nursery after collecting the children from school – this was a last minute change of plan because his wife was deployed on call at work (to put that in context she was being helicoptered about 400 miles away). He says he didn’t have any of our numbers in his phone. He regularly picks up the children on a Thurs so surely he should have our numbers in his phone? Or why didn’t he get the school to call me and other mum? Apparently when he spoke to his wife about change of plans he said he didn’t have numbers and she said she’d text if she got time – but he knows the nature of her job, and her being ‘on call’ so surely knew it was possible she wouldn’t have time?! He also said “this sort of thing happens sometimes in our lives” – well I can honestly say in 4.5 years of parenting I’ve never been so worried for the safety of my child.

The thing is T and his wife aren’t just school run acquaintances, they are actually friends. If this was just a convenience school run thing I would have hit the roof and pulled out of the arrangement. But our children are friends, we are family friends, our younger 3 children will all be at school together too. But aside from the fact I was worried sick (I really thought the police would be turning up to say there’d been an accident once I found out they had left school on time), DS missed his swimming lesson, and DH left work in a rush over an hour early. And T just didn’t seem to realise quite how irresponsible it was that he didn’t contact us somehow, through the school or something.

Other mum is also a friend of T and his wife, although I only know her through them, but getting to know her more, but only since Sept.

Anyway, what would you do from here? I can’t just leave it can I?

Sorry this is long, have tried to put everything relevant down.

nameymcnamechange Thu 18-Nov-10 17:52:56

Well, you didn't have his mobile number so perhaps you can forgive him for not having yours?

booyhoo Thu 18-Nov-10 17:55:28

erm, you don't have his number in your phone and i presume you collect his child on one of the days so i don't think you can hold that against him..

i can understand you being worried, it would have worried me too and i think you all should make a point of getting all each others contact numbers.

LadyViper Thu 18-Nov-10 17:55:30

you need to sit down with T and make sure he has your number so it doesn't happen again. IMO its up to YOU to make sure that people in charge of your children can contact you if there is a problem and that you can contact them!!

TheFallenMadonna Thu 18-Nov-10 17:55:54

You give him your home and mobile numbers, say you were really worried and if it happens again could he please let you know. I don't think you need to do anything more than that really.

Weegle Thu 18-Nov-10 17:56:12

But I don't need his mobile number? And anyway I thought I did have his mobile number - I have a sheet with 8 different numbers on for them, just none of them are his mobile.

suzikettles Thu 18-Nov-10 17:56:12

Not having your number doesn't excuse the fact he wasn't answering his phone though.

I don't know. These things do happen and no harm was done (except scaring you half to death - it must have felt awful). I do think you need to speak to him, not to have a row but to emphasise that you were thinking the worst and not being able to contact him was dreadful.

Maybe talk through the options if something like this was to happen again - eg getting the school to pass on a message - and agree that if the arangement is going to continue that you'll all make sure that you have each others' numbers in each of your phones and will make sure you communicate any changes in contact details.

thisisyesterday Thu 18-Nov-10 17:57:30

agree... you don't have his number in your phone, so you can't expect him to have yours.

I do think he could have tried harder to contact you though, either via the school or by asking his wife to text him the numbers if she had them

i think as they are friends of yours you need to let it go. it was a silly mistake not to inform you some other way, but your son is fine

littleducks Thu 18-Nov-10 17:57:54

I think you are overreacting.

The lesson to be learent is to have mobile numbers and call round, if kids are all 4 and have just started school its a learning process for parents too.

Weegle Thu 18-Nov-10 17:58:10

Thank you suzikettles - he's a lovely bloke, I don't want to get angry (I wouldn't anyway, I'm not like that). I think he was just thoughtless and I want to work out how to get across how worried DH and I were without making him feel completely awful.

Fimbo Thu 18-Nov-10 17:59:12

I think I would kind of take the attitude that "all's well that ends well". My friend and I have a similar arrangement and she had to take the dc off to some other place and it was the very day I had left my mobile at home. These things do happen and whilst very worrying at the time, I do think you just need to let it lie now. Just make sure he has your number in his phone and vice versa.

EnnisDelMar Thu 18-Nov-10 17:59:46

' He says he didn’t have any of our numbers in his phone. He regularly picks up the children on a Thurs so surely he should have our numbers in his phone?'

Okay - so his wife has your numbers in her phone, but he hasn't thought to copy them to his yet?

That's an understandable if regrettable error.

I think you should all make sure you have each other's numbers in case of emergency situations if nothing else.

Learn from this - it's the sort of thing that does happen and can easily happen and the thing to remember is your children are safe.

Weegle Thu 18-Nov-10 18:00:33

So if your 4 year old was missing for 45 minutes knowing he had been picked up you wouldn't be worried he'd been involved in an accident.

I don't need T's mobile number in my phone - I don't do any of the lifts at all. And anyway I contacted the other mum who did have it and she couldn't get hold of him, repeatedly.

MinkyBorage Thu 18-Nov-10 18:01:18

there is no point over reactin to this and wrecking a friendship. He fucked up, but you didn't have his number either. Of course you should have his number. It is far more imp't that you have his than he has yours.

Leave it for a few days until you've calmed down, then make absolutely certain that you all have eachother's phone numbers, and tell him in a lighthearted/low key way that you were minuites away from calling the police and please could he let you know next time.

booyhoo Thu 18-Nov-10 18:01:39

if someone has responsibility for your child then i think you do need his number. how would you contact him if you couldn't be at home for some reason when he was due to drop ds off?

Fimbo Thu 18-Nov-10 18:02:56

Well tbh if it's 10 minutes drive and someone had already gone that way to check and there was no visible sign of any accident, then no I would assume that he had had to take them somewhere else.

GooseyLoosey Thu 18-Nov-10 18:03:09

If you are all friends, think I would just explain it scared the living daylights out of you and next time can he give you a ring, then give him your mobile. I would have been terrified too, but if you want the arrangement/friendship to continue, there is not a lot else that you can do.

lljkk Thu 18-Nov-10 18:03:12

I think that you are overreacting a bit too. If you trust him to collect your DS and return him, if you know the school will only release your DS into the hands of someone authorised (like this other fellow), then it was just a delay and nothing to worry about. 15 years ago this would have been a non-issue because almost few people had mobile phones; you would have thought "Oh they're running late, I wonder why?" not panicking about it.

Fimbo Thu 18-Nov-10 18:03:57

I think it is more important that YOU have the number of any person picking up your child.

Weegle Thu 18-Nov-10 18:04:30

I would have gone to the list thinking I had his number, discovered I didn't and rung the school, or a neighbour to be home, or his wife, or one of several options really.

I can hear you all saying I'm over-reacting. I can't see it at the moment - I haven't DONE anything, I was perfectly nice and polite when I saw him. But I was very worried and this was only just over an hour ago when I thought my DS must have been in an accident. But I hear what you're saying, so I'll take that on board.

goingroundthebend4 Thu 18-Nov-10 18:05:23

Just idea ge might not been able to answer phone as driving and having 4 young dc in car

zookeeper Thu 18-Nov-10 18:05:24

complete overreaction.

booyhoo Thu 18-Nov-10 18:06:33

well, just to make sure you have all bases covered in future, ring him and swap numbers. that way you both have each others.

EnnisDelMar Thu 18-Nov-10 18:06:37

Actually, the point about your friend trying to call his mobile kind of got missed (by me at any rate)!

He really should have answered his phone. Perhaps though he wanted to be as quick as possible and was driving the whole time.

I think you need to make sure he understands the importance of keeping everyone informed.

Maybe you could speak to his wife, and ask her to nag him about it.

Some men are like this - my father is one, he fails to see the big picture, and gets tied up in the details, so it's the kind of thing he would do without meaning any harm.

You are totally right to be upset, I would have been too - does the lift system have to remain in place or could you tell them you're thinking it might not be a great idea any more?

booyhoo Thu 18-Nov-10 18:07:06

agree going, possible no handsfree.

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