Author Topic: Not sure what I should have done  (Read 9842 times)

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LeveeWoman

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2014, 11:11:24 AM »
I'm having a hard time imagining an 18 month old not being in a pack-n-play or crib of some kind. OP, did you ever go into their room and see their sleeping arrangements?

My son was able to get out of either before he was 10 months old. I wouldn't be surprised if an 18-month-old child could do it.

m2kbug

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2014, 11:23:49 AM »
First of all, sleeping baby and the bonfire, this is something that I would do, along with the neighbor friends who had young children on the occasion we did a bonfire.  We would run to the house and check on them regularly, and typically at least one parent would retire early.  To each his own on what they feel is appropriate.  I'm not sure your anger levels should have gone over the top like that.  Except for the pool and an un-baby proofed house.  The pool is the biggest, major issue.  If I were the homeowner, I would have spoken up about keeping an eye on the baby and not leaving her alone, but who's watching the baby when everyone is sleeping?  Do the parents have to sleep in shifts?  In other words, why wasn't the door locked and secured shut?  Why was it left open for a second?  Why did people leave it open knowing there was a toddler in the house?  Were any steps taken at all to remove baby dangers, or was everything left as-is like medicines and cleaners?

I think hinting was not the best approach.  Someone should have spoken directly to them about leaving the baby alone, especially with the pool.  I think the homeowner was probably the one to do this, but I think I would have said something myself.

I don't think there's anything wrong with taking the baby to adult situations as long as the baby is well-behaved and the parents would remove her if she got fussy.  I don't understand why 8 adults planned children's activities the whole time or why it was necessary to stick together for all of it.  I think this one of those situations where you can do some of it together and then say, "We'll meet at noon for lunch" or something like that. 

It's hard when you're the one with a small child and everyone else's kids are grown.  It's nice to have something to do with your friends that are child-oriented for your kid, but I don't think the whole vacation should revolve around it.  The parents were probably thrilled to have extra eyes on their little one and could take a small break, but they took it much too far.  I can't imagine leaving the baby to run loose in a house with a pool that is not baby proofed with adults who have not had to think about things like this for nearly a decade.  Their vacation turned into babysitting.  No balance. 

esposita

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2014, 11:25:52 AM »
I'm having a hard time imagining an 18 month old not being in a pack-n-play or crib of some kind. OP, did you ever go into their room and see their sleeping arrangements?

My son was able to get out of either before he was 10 months old. I wouldn't be surprised if an 18-month-old child could do it.

Even so, none of my kids ever, but ever, attempted to get out of their pack-n-play or crib. So just because some kids can, it was not ever something I worried about. Once they were in there and asleep, I wasn't going to be hearing from them until their next feeding time or, at that age, til 6 the next morning.

TootsNYC

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2014, 11:31:28 AM »
First of all, sleeping baby and the bonfire, this is something that I would do, along with the neighbor friends who had young children on the occasion we did a bonfire.  We would run to the house and check on them regularly, and typically at least one parent would retire early.  To each his own on what they feel is appropriate.  I'm not sure your anger levels should have gone over the top like that.  Except for the pool and an un-baby proofed house.  The pool is the biggest, major issue.  If I were the homeowner, I would have spoken up about keeping an eye on the baby and not leaving her alone, but who's watching the baby when everyone is sleeping?  Do the parents have to sleep in shifts?  In other words, why wasn't the door locked and secured shut?  Why was it left open for a second?  Why did people leave it open knowing there was a toddler in the house?  Were any steps taken at all to remove baby dangers, or was everything left as-is like medicines and cleaners?

I think hinting was not the best approach.  Someone should have spoken directly to them about leaving the baby alone, especially with the pool.  I think the homeowner was probably the one to do this, but I think I would have said something myself.

I don't think there's anything wrong with taking the baby to adult situations as long as the baby is well-behaved and the parents would remove her if she got fussy.  I don't understand why 8 adults planned children's activities the whole time or why it was necessary to stick together for all of it.  I think this one of those situations where you can do some of it together and then say, "We'll meet at noon for lunch" or something like that. 

It's hard when you're the one with a small child and everyone else's kids are grown.  It's nice to have something to do with your friends that are child-oriented for your kid, but I don't think the whole vacation should revolve around it.  The parents were probably thrilled to have extra eyes on their little one and could take a small break, but they took it much too far.  I can't imagine leaving the baby to run loose in a house with a pool that is not baby proofed with adults who have not had to think about things like this for nearly a decade.  Their vacation turned into babysitting.  No balance.

I'm w/ you, m2kbug.

I also am bemused by the idea that a winery is "no place for children." Other than the fact that it's not specifically *for* children, it's not as though this is some horribly unsafe place where people are doing unsavory things that children's eyes shouldn't see. Ditto breweries.

Bars, well, maybe, depending on the bar. But if it's really just a restaurant with a big emphasis on the alcohol they serve, I just don't get why this is such a !gasp! horrible place to take a child.


Annoying for grownups who don't want to deal with children, OK, but that's on them, really. Or, on the parents who let their kids get bored and whiny/disruptive.

And I also don't understand why all the rest of you couldn't have said, "This morning, we're going to do something in a smaller group." Kids or no kids, I'd chafe at having to spend the entire vacation with the larger group always.

The "not closing the door the pool" and "not closing the door to the room" are the things that matter to me. My 18-mo-old could perhaps have gotten out of the pack-and-play, but she didn't. I think I'd be entitled to plan my time based on what was most likely.
   But I sure as heck would have been closing the door to the pool!

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2014, 11:40:59 AM »
I'm having a hard time imagining an 18 month old not being in a pack-n-play or crib of some kind. OP, did you ever go into their room and see their sleeping arrangements?

From the OP's second post:
To be honest, I had such a shock when I saw that pool door open. I ran out to to pool, then back to the bed room to check she was there (she was there, fast asleep and snoring, the little darling)

OP, I probably would have done the same as you, and I'd be furious at the parents for putting us all in such a position and putting their child at risk in such a way.  I don't think I'd be willing to go on holiday with them again unless I knew their child wasn't going or was old enough to be okay.

As for the homeowner, I don't blame him for deciding to fence off the pool.  I wouldn't blame him either if he dumped these two as friends.

Yvaine

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2014, 11:43:09 AM »
I also am bemused by the idea that a winery is "no place for children." Other than the fact that it's not specifically *for* children, it's not as though this is some horribly unsafe place where people are doing unsavory things that children's eyes shouldn't see. Ditto breweries.

Bars, well, maybe, depending on the bar. But if it's really just a restaurant with a big emphasis on the alcohol they serve, I just don't get why this is such a !gasp! horrible place to take a child.

Agree with this. There are just-for-drinking bars, and then there are bars that are more like restaurants-with-alcohol. And my experience with wineries is that they're a great place to have a picnic lunch in beautiful scenery and you don't even have to drink.

doodlemor

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2014, 11:58:32 AM »
An 18 month old should not be left alone in a house, pool or no pool. There's plenty of other dangers for an unattended toddler. Not to mention just waking up and being scared alone in a strange place.

The parents need to be told that she can't be left alone in the house. Either a parent stays in, or child comes out with them. (I used to take my son to all sorts of things, he'd sleep through it all, wrapped up well in a blanket, where we could keep an eye on him). If they don't agree, then they can't come at all.

But it's down to the house owners, not you.

I like the way that English has put this.  Safety trumps etiquette, though, and I think that it would have been OK for any of the other guests to call them out on leaving the baby alone.  You were very kind, OP, to give up the fun of the bonfire for the little girl's safety.

I don't think that these are nice people at all, and that they acted very entitled and negligent to their child.  I wouldn't want anything more to do with them.  If they asked why, I would tell them in as mild a way as I could manage.

bah12

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2014, 12:01:27 PM »
I'm going to assume that the child was invited to come and the owners/hosts were ok with this.  And I'm not sure that it's reasonable to think that in the case of the child being included on the guest list that the parents wouldn't also bring the child to all the adult activities.  Would you expect one of them to constantly stay behind to babysit the kid in the house?  If that were the case, then one parent should have just stayed home that week completely.  I see nothing wrong with taking the baby to wineries, restaurants, or even bars that allow children as long as the child is behaving and the parents are appropriately supervising and removing when necessary.

As for not interacting and entertaining her.  I can see where this is annoying (although I suspect she would have made noise regardless).  But, unfortunately I think this is a parenting style and not one that you can rightly question them on or tell them what to do.  If they weren't supervising her while they were on the phone, I do think you can say something like "I just found your baby playing with scissors.  She cut have hurt herself.  Please watch her." Other than that, if you don't want to entertain her, don't. If others are doing it, I think it's up to them to say they don't want to.

So, the sleeping, bonfire, pool thing.  Like others, I don't really have a problem with them coming out to the bonfire while the baby was sleeping.  And I think that leaving the bonfire in huff because they did this is a bit of an overreaction.  That being said, you did discover a safety issue.  The baby wasn't secure or safe from the pool.  And this is a problem.  So, what I think would have been the best course of action was to text or call someone at the bonfire to alert the parents that the pool door was open and ask that one of them come back in the house to secure the baby and the environment so that she would be safe.  Close/lock doors.  Put her to sleep in an area that if she did get up (my DD never got up at night, thankfully) that she would be safe.  And I think it's ok to say something about this.

"When I came inside and saw the pool door open and the baby just feet away, I had a heartattack.  She could easily have gotten up and fallen in the pool and there is no one close enough to help her.  I'd hate for something awful like this to happen.  Maybe you didn't notice, so that's why I feel so compelled to call you in here and say something."

As for them ever being invited again.  It's up the homeowner and I think that if you can't be comfortable around them and the baby, then it would be best not to socialize with them when their baby is around.  (And I'm not ciriticizing your discomfort...I just think that there are different tolerance levels when it comes to the non-safety related parenting issues).

JenJay

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2014, 12:08:11 PM »
First of all, sleeping baby and the bonfire, this is something that I would do, along with the neighbor friends who had young children on the occasion we did a bonfire.

I would too but only if I was at my own house, so knew it was toddler-proofed, and/or had a baby monitor so I could hear if the kiddo got up and started to roam around. My concern with the OP's scenario isn't so much that she was left alone in the house as the likelihood that the house wasn't set up to be as safe as possible for unattended toddlers and they had no way of knowing if she got scared or hurt, since they couldn't see her or hear her. I do realize that my perception is skewed by the fact that my kids are now all over 10yo and I still get uncomfortable if I'm completely out of contact with them. Ahh the blessing/curse of cell phones, eh?

I just wanted to clarify that since I was one of the people who said they'd also be alarmed. I don't want it to sound like I think anyone who goes outside with a sleeping child inside is being neglectful.  :)

TootsNYC

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2014, 12:13:08 PM »
I think any of the grownups could have raised concerns: "Aren't you worried to be so far away from her? I know she's asleep, but if she woke up, would she be OK? Can she climb out? Is the door closed? What if she got out to the pool?"

And even, "I'll confess, it makes me nervous to have her so far away from any grownups who could help her if she got into trouble. Kids can be unpredictable, especially at her age."

And then you'd hear the answers to your worries. And you'd send the message of what your idea of appropriate care is. I don't think it's bad to send that sort of message to the people in your circle.

esposita

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2014, 12:16:07 PM »
I'm going to assume that the child was invited to come and the owners/hosts were ok with this.  And I'm not sure that it's reasonable to think that in the case of the child being included on the guest list that the parents wouldn't also bring the child to all the adult activities.  Would you expect one of them to constantly stay behind to babysit the kid in the house?  If that were the case, then one parent should have just stayed home that week completely.  I see nothing wrong with taking the baby to wineries, restaurants, or even bars that allow children as long as the child is behaving and the parents are appropriately supervising and removing when necessary.

As for not interacting and entertaining her.  I can see where this is annoying (although I suspect she would have made noise regardless).  But, unfortunately I think this is a parenting style and not one that you can rightly question them on or tell them what to do.  If they weren't supervising her while they were on the phone, I do think you can say something like "I just found your baby playing with scissors.  She cut have hurt herself.  Please watch her." Other than that, if you don't want to entertain her, don't. If others are doing it, I think it's up to them to say they don't want to.

So, the sleeping, bonfire, pool thing.  Like others, I don't really have a problem with them coming out to the bonfire while the baby was sleeping.  And I think that leaving the bonfire in huff because they did this is a bit of an overreaction.  That being said, you did discover a safety issue.  The baby wasn't secure or safe from the pool.  And this is a problem.  So, what I think would have been the best course of action was to text or call someone at the bonfire to alert the parents that the pool door was open and ask that one of them come back in the house to secure the baby and the environment so that she would be safe.  Close/lock doors.  Put her to sleep in an area that if she did get up (my DD never got up at night, thankfully) that she would be safe.  And I think it's ok to say something about this.

"When I came inside and saw the pool door open and the baby just feet away, I had a heartattack.  She could easily have gotten up and fallen in the pool and there is no one close enough to help her.  I'd hate for something awful like this to happen.  Maybe you didn't notice, so that's why I feel so compelled to call you in here and say something."

As for them ever being invited again.  It's up the homeowner and I think that if you can't be comfortable around them and the baby, then it would be best not to socialize with them when their baby is around.  (And I'm not ciriticizing your discomfort...I just think that there are different tolerance levels when it comes to the non-safety related parenting issues).

Pod, very well said.

I was going to say something, too, about the entertaining issue... I have had people feel like they were doing me this huge favor by entertaining my child, who had been happily playing by himself (or with siblings). Then they have given me a hard time for not being grateful for their help, which actually ended up making things worse because my normally content child would freak out if I walked away for five minutes to load the dishwasher. If the baby in this situation was just sitting around, bored, but not in danger, I don't think everyone needed to feel obligated to entertain her.

bloo

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2014, 12:50:31 PM »
First of all, sleeping baby and the bonfire, this is something that I would do, along with the neighbor friends who had young children on the occasion we did a bonfire.

I would too but only if I was at my own house, so knew it was toddler-proofed, and/or had a baby monitor so I could hear if the kiddo got up and started to roam around. My concern with the OP's scenario isn't so much that she was left alone in the house as the likelihood that the house wasn't set up to be as safe as possible for unattended toddlers and they had no way of knowing if she got scared or hurt, since they couldn't see her or hear her. I do realize that my perception is skewed by the fact that my kids are now all over 10yo and I still get uncomfortable if I'm completely out of contact with them. Ahh the blessing/curse of cell phones, eh?

I just wanted to clarify that since I was one of the people who said they'd also be alarmed. I don't want it to sound like I think anyone who goes outside with a sleeping child inside is being neglectful.  :)

I agree. What I glean from the OP is that Barry and Sue are uninterested in parenting their kid. It's like they know that they kinda have to give an appearance of it (after all, they did say they would check on Jane) but according to the OP, they never did. From the OP:

Quote
Mornings were kids stuff (and Barry and Sue insisted we all stay together for it) and afternoons Jane was brought to wineries, breweries and bars. In the evenings we all then went back to the house. Barry and Sue seem not to want to change their lifestyle at all now that they are parents.


Honestly, I just think that not socializing with them until they start to parent or until they're done parenting...or until they're willing to have a babysitter would be my options.

I do know of lazy parents who 'check out' and expect other people to parent their kids. My one frenemy, Ursula, is like this. She's very into certain things about parenting: Pretty dresses and photoshoots and constant updates of such to Facebook and Instagram, themeparks and parties for minor milestones. But if you involve yourself into her recreation, you will be taking care of her kids.

Posted previously but I think it may be lost in the purge as I can't find it under 'search':
Ursula decided to have a pool party with no one under 16 invited. Her kids were 2 and 4, IIRC. Mine were 14 & 12. So, I figured we'd pass since our kids would probably have had more fun than we would have and we decided to do something with our own kids. No problems there.

But I also suspected that Ursula's kids would be at that party and I didn't want to leave my kids at home only to get stuck watching hers since I noticed a pattern of this with her (the pattern being that I was always watching her kids so they wouldn't: drown, stake themselves, eat or drink something they really shouldn't, etc).

When she invited me, I asked who was watching her kids and when she told me who (relative in extremely poor health) I figured 90% chance her kids would be there.

Well one close friend, Tara, told me she was going and leaving her own little ones at home. She brought up how irritated she'd be if Ursula's kids were there. I told her, "plan on it. You know Ursula." She rolled her eyes and went anyway.

Later on she mentioned that she went to the party only a half hour early and ended up being co-opted into babysitting Ursula's kids (surprise - the babysitter fell through) so that Ursula could prepare food and Ursula's DH could ride on his ATV. When the party was in full swing, no one noticed the 2 yo drowning and so Tara hauled him out of the pool and he threw up a huge amount of food all over the pool deck. No one watching him eat or swim, apparently. So a mere hour after the party started, Tara informed Ursula she'd need to watch her kids as she was going home to her own kids.

Tara ended the recount with, "and that's the last time I go to another party hosted by Ursula that's 'no kids'".

We ended up backing way off from Ursula and her DH as they have a pattern of ignoring big dangers and focusing on non-essentials - even for the teenage crowd.

And OP, backing off from Barry and Sue may be your best option. 

m2kbug

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2014, 01:08:34 PM »
First of all, sleeping baby and the bonfire, this is something that I would do, along with the neighbor friends who had young children on the occasion we did a bonfire.

I would too but only if I was at my own house, so knew it was toddler-proofed, and/or had a baby monitor so I could hear if the kiddo got up and started to roam around. My concern with the OP's scenario isn't so much that she was left alone in the house as the likelihood that the house wasn't set up to be as safe as possible for unattended toddlers and they had no way of knowing if she got scared or hurt, since they couldn't see her or hear her. I do realize that my perception is skewed by the fact that my kids are now all over 10yo and I still get uncomfortable if I'm completely out of contact with them. Ahh the blessing/curse of cell phones, eh?

I just wanted to clarify that since I was one of the people who said they'd also be alarmed. I don't want it to sound like I think anyone who goes outside with a sleeping child inside is being neglectful.  :)

This is true.  Even in a strange house, I wouldn't have a problem leaving mine sound asleep, but this house has too many dangers, including the negligence of the other adults.  I don't understand how everyone felt the parents were neglectful and had to monitor and entertain the baby, yet left the door wide open.  Not to toss fault at the other adults, since they are not the parents and don't have to deal with these things anymore (if ever), and things like this just fall out of habit.  I wouldn't have relied on the other adults to remember the door in this scenario and probably would have stayed in with the baby or tag-teamed with dad and do the bonfire in shifts.  If it's typical that the parents drop the ball and leave childcare to other people, I would think twice about vacationing with them in the future, at least until the baby is older.  Mine are teens now and while you hate to see them grow up, it's nice that you can hang out with friends and family and not have to monitor their every move.  I wouldn't want to take on that role every time the Jones' are around. 

YummyMummy66

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2014, 01:24:54 PM »
First of all, what the host should have done was informed his guests that this was an adult/child free weekend. 

Second, all of the adults there should not have let Jane's parents dictate their weekend. 

Child activities in the am that you are told you must go to?  Um, I don't think so.  You all have fun, we will be doing X,Y,Z.

Adult activities with child along?  Ok, not much you can do about that, but I probably would not have interacted with this family as much at that time.  Or I would have found other adult activities to attend than what they were doing.  And if questioned, I would have stated, that you thought this was a child free weekend.  Your child was taken care, you intend to enjoy your child free weekend.

Third, - all adults should not have taken over as babysitters.  There are many ways this situation could have been handled.   Just say, NO.   Call parents out on it...Hey, Jane's mom and dad, YOUR kid needs attention.  Or leave the area they are in.   

As for the night time incident, John, the host, should have stepped up and told them in no uncertain terms that one of them must be with their child.    This is a big property, your child is mobile and can wander.   This is your home and you are not up for that responsibility and will not take the chance of something happening to their child.  If they falter, then they should be asked to leave or take care of their own child.

For the future, someone or all of you will have to develop a spine when it comes to this couple.  Otherwise, you will be taking care of Jane on your vacation while the parents enjoy their vacation.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2014, 01:27:24 PM »
Thanks Leveewoman. I think it may be a while before they do after this. John's now decided to get the pool fenced separately, so it will be at least until after that. It'll ruin the look but he never wants a shock like that again.

Thanks bloo. I always feel a bit odd with other parents. I know it's hard. I had to make sure she was safe. I couldn't live with myself otherwise.

I think, in a case like this, less hinting and a more direct approach could have been taken. The parents should have been told in no uncertain terms to get back to the house and look after their child.

Thank you. You are so right. I don't know why we all seemed so loathe to approach this directly. Now that I look back, I wish we had.

Do you think I should have as soon as they came up when we asked if Gina was back? Was that the best opening? What about when they insisted Jane was OK? How far did we have the right to push this?

To be honest, I had such a shock when I saw that pool door open. I ran out to to pool, then back to the bed room to check she was there (she was there, fast asleep and snoring, the little darling) and then ran back to the pool door to close it. All I could see in my minds eye when I first saw the open door was the thought of a baby floating in a pool. Thank deity she was OK. But I'm still shaken up by it.

I don't think Gina even enters into the equation. She is not the parent of Jane.  When the parents insisted Jane was ok, the host of the property had every right to tell them, that no, she is not ok on her own in a big home near an open pool.  One of you needs to go to the home and keep an eye on your child now.