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Aibu to be in a state of anxiety about what happened yesterday?

93 replies

whatisittoday · 18/06/2017 08:02

My ds is nearly 11. Yesterday he came in saying he had been asked to stay at his friends house over night - let's call friend Bob.

So I just said yes sure! I know bob , bob has been here loads ds has been there loads. He lives right over the road from and I know his parents.

I was in the middle of wallpapering and I just waved him off and thought no more tbh.

Next morning bob comes to call to ask if ds wants to play out - turns out he's not at this bobs he has gone off with some other random child from his old school who also happens to be called bob.

No one knows where bob2 lives . No one knows his parents. I don't immediately panic thinking the others boys parents would send him home soon. Lunch rolls round no sign of ds, then 3pm.

Dh, mil and I start going round asking if anyone knows bob2. A couple of hours later we finally track down bob2 to a block of flats half a mile away. We search around and finally find the right flat. The dad opens the door, and it just stinks, theres bags of rubbish in the hallwY and looking though the door it's just terrible and bizarrely the bed seemed to be covered in huge piles of cornflakes. The dad said oh bob wants him to stay a while Confused

I politely made excuses grabbed my ds and left.

When we got home ds says the dad apparently hadn't fed any of the kids (the youngest looked about 2) and food the night before or breakfast. The next afternoon they had gone to some church where they were given food - apparently there was no actual food event there or handout. They just went and asked and the people at the church found them food .

The dad apparently couldn't see properly that day because of migraines. And while I don't dispute the possibility - the smell of the flat makes me think it's more likely something he smoked rather than migraines .

I have been having kittens about this. And going from anger at ds, anger at the dad to a deep self loathing that I allowed him to go there.

I should explain here I am in the midst of a massive depression/anxiety episode anyway. I have spent all night having panic attacks and fighting the urge to self harm because I now hate myself for failing to look after ds.

Dh doesn't see the problem and says ds is in trouble but the other dads probably a nice guy.

I don't want ds going anywhere near bob2s house again.dh thinks that's ovdrrscting.

Am I being stupidly over anxious here because with the anxiety I have learned to doubt my own feelings. I never know when I'm right to be worried.

OP posts:
AgentProvocateur · 18/06/2017 10:55

So if they happen to be at mine at lunchtime I feed them all or same the other way. Maybe it's way too relaxed I see now.

OP, don't doubt yourself. This isn't too relaxed - it's healthy and normal.

You've had a fright, but nothing bad happened. Your son has had his eyes opened to the way other people live, but he's fine. I'd have a word with the school, and I'd also invite Bob2 round for dinner more often (if he's basically a nice kid).

LIZS · 18/06/2017 11:06

You should report it. It may even help your anxiety to do something positive. At very least the family need support and are probably already on ss radar, if not high priority.

MrsOverTheRoad · 18/06/2017 11:11

I think calling SS is overstretching it a bit really. OP didn't know where her son was through her own actions...a smelly flat isn't enough to call SS over.

I sometimes don't offer my DC regular meals...shoot me now but my 12 year old cooks her own sometimes!

rightwhine · 18/06/2017 11:12

We've all had parenting "oh shit" moments. Anyone who is so perfect has probably wrapped their kids in cotton wool which is a parenting fail in its own right.

MrsOverTheRoad · 18/06/2017 11:13 the church/food thing...OP are Bob's family Afro Carribean? I ask because my friend is and her church is VERY community's a second home of sorts for her children and they would think nothing of going into the church and asking Aunty Whoever to make them a sandwich.

LIZS · 18/06/2017 11:14

But it doesn't sound as if bob2 was even able to find food to offer others, except perhaps stale cornflakes. At 11 he shouldn't be responsible for a toddler's welfare and effectively foraging for food since presumably there was no money to go to a shop.

sticklebrix · 18/06/2017 11:37

OP please don't beat yourself up. Your DS is 11 not 5 and you had every reason to assume he meant bob1 and not micromanage the sleepover. This situation could definitely arise in our neighbourhood, where kids are in and out of each others houses and sleepover in different houses very regularly. I wouldn't necessarily check for an 11 year old staying at a trusted friend's house, either.

sticklebrix · 18/06/2017 11:37

I would be concerned about bob2 thought and might try to talk to the father or a teacher at his school.

MrsOverTheRoad · 18/06/2017 11:44

LIZS where does it say Bob had to look after the toddler?

Giddyaunt18 · 18/06/2017 11:55

OP A word of advice. If you suffer with anxiety then MN may not be the best place to seek advice on parenting skills. Listen to your own instincts and learn from mistakes, it's all we can do.

ADishBestEatenCold · 18/06/2017 12:13

I agree with Crumbs1 and I find it very strange that so many parents on this thread seem to think that it is fine for 10 year olds to make their own overnight social arrangements, without any contact between the parents concerned ... not even a phone call to say something like "YourDS has invited DS for a sleepover, are you sure that's okay, you're not to busy?".


emmyrose2000 · 18/06/2017 12:40

with bob1 they are right over the road the kids play at each other's houses virtually every day- tbh with them and one other family a few doors down we pretty much just have each other's kids at random. There's no picking up, since is right near us and the kids are nearly secondary age. That's why I just waved him it's just a normal everyday thing. It's just a few houses in the street with kids playing in an out of and having food etc ! I never thought it was a bad thing before

We used to live in a very small cul de sac and this type of arrangement was pretty standard there too. Ditto your later comment about the kids eating lunch at whomever's house they were in at the time. It's quite nice really.

The Bob1 / Bob2 thing sounds like breakdown in communication more than anything else. Going forward, I'd implement a new rule that any sleepover (and playdate outside of your street) has to include both the first and last name of the host child, and maybe even say "you know, mum - BobOne across the road" just for extra clarification. That way if some random kid from school invites DS over for the night you can follow the necessary precautions of getting the address, contacting the parents etc.

As for Bob2, I agree with contacting someone. The school might be a better first step as they may be able to provide more immediate practical help such as free meals, and they'll also be able to contact SS (or whomever) as well.

If you feel up to, it might be a kindness to Bob2 to invite him over every now and then, so at least he can have a decent meal. Maybe even send a little treat home that he can share with his siblings?

WorraLiberty · 18/06/2017 12:49

I know it's only a one year difference, but the OP's son is 10, not 11.

Ds doesn't have a phone yet. We were thinking of one for his 11th birthday

Sorry for being pedantic, but it's annoying me Blush Blush

whatisittoday · 18/06/2017 13:01

He's 11 in a few weeks

OP posts:
LIZS · 18/06/2017 13:09

The dad may have been present but it doesn't seem as if he was there in a responsible capacity. If the parent wasn't feeding the toddler surely it was left up to the other children to fend for themselves and feed him/her by default. By heading straight for the church it seems it is probably a regular thing. Sad Were there older siblings or is bob2 the eldest?

Whatthefudger · 18/06/2017 13:09

my son is 11 in a few weeks and I already refer to him as 11 years old

TestTubeTeen · 18/06/2017 13:26

OP, I agree with GiddyAunt below. AIBU is not a good place on MN for anyone with depression and anxiety.

If you are still feeling so bad about this incident, OP, do seek help from your GP or hcp.

To those judging from atop your high horses, did you actually read that the OP is so upset that she is self hating and has felt like self harming over it? Or does the urge to put the boot in blur your vision?

ArtemisiaGentilleschi · 18/06/2017 13:26

You say Bob2 was in your son's old school. Do you know which school he is at now to speak to them? Or was it your child who changed schools?

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