Author Topic: Not sure what I should have done  (Read 9699 times)

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sammycat

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #60 on: April 26, 2014, 06:40:59 PM »
All the wineries I've been to have signage and policies explicitly banning people under 18 years old (legal drinking age here).

sammycat

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #61 on: April 26, 2014, 06:48:00 PM »
Goodness, have these people never heard of Madeline McCann? I'm totally not the fearmongering type (or the maternal type, come to think of it), but that story still made my skin crawl, StarFaerie.

Firstly I think as John was the person who could have been held liable had anything happened to Jane, he should have been the one to speak up and say something and he should have made it clear in no uncertain terms that one of them was to supervise their child. Although perhaps he didn't know the pool gate was open until you got back to the house, I don't know.

They would never be getting another invite to my home either.

Madeline McCann was one of the first things that popped into my head when I read the OP. The chances of it happening in this particular remote setting are probably very slim, but there's still the chance. Drowning,  or being injured in a non baby proof house are more likely. I was climbing out of my cot and going outside at 11 months old, despite the many precautions my parents took. Knowing this, there's no way they'd have left me unsupervised in an unknown house, especially one with a pool.

Roe

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #62 on: April 26, 2014, 07:05:52 PM »
Just as a note: a popular winery in the area has a kids menu and a section for adults only and another one for adults with kids. :)

StarFaerie

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #63 on: April 26, 2014, 07:19:57 PM »
OP here again

I think this will differ very greatly on region and culture.

I'm Aussie, so seeing kids in wineries, breweries, bars, pubs, hotels and so on is normal. Many will have kids menus (where they have restaurants, many wineries and breweries are tasting only as they are so small). Kids don't drink the alcohol (drinking age is 18) but they are there. She was certainly not the only young child we saw around. I only put it down as adult on the basis that it was more adult oriented than the specific kid oriented activities of the morning such as zoos, playgrounds and the lagoon.

(Edited to remove something that sounded a little ranty. I don't want this to become a rant. This has been a huge amount of help for me and I can see where I should have stood up for myself before I got upset and what I will try to do next time and where I'm going to offer help to my friends. Thank you everyone)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 07:49:13 PM by StarFaerie »

artk2002

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #64 on: April 26, 2014, 08:14:35 PM »
All the wineries I've been to have signage and policies explicitly banning people under 18 years old (legal drinking age here).

Interesting. I haven't seen that and I've been in quite a few wineries in California.
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spaceheatersusan

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #65 on: April 26, 2014, 08:29:14 PM »
Goodness, have these people never heard of Madeline McCann? I'm totally not the fearmongering type (or the maternal type, come to think of it), but that story still made my skin crawl, StarFaerie.

That was exactly the case that came to my mind as soon as I read the post.
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #66 on: April 27, 2014, 12:19:47 AM »
OP, you sound like a caring person and a good friend. To answer your title question, I can think of a few more things you could have done, without having to sacrifice your own fun at being part of the bonfire.

1. When Barry + Sue, and the other couple, arrived at the bonfire, you could have asked them "Did you close the pool door before you left?" If they said "No," or "Can't remember", then you could have pointed out that Jane might wake up, wander about, and fall in.

2. You could have gone back, closed the pool door (and locked it, if there was a lock) and returned to the bonfire.

3. You could have closed Jane's bedroom door (and locked it, if there was a lock, or put a chair underneath the doorknob so she couldn't escape) and returned to the bonfire.

4. You could have stayed with Jane in the house, rang your boyfriend on his mobile and explained the situation, and requested that either Barry or Sue return to the house to watch Jane. If no one showed up, I would have rung boyfriend again, insisting that one of them "relieve" me from babysitting.

If none of these steps worked, I would have probably kept on watching Jane. BUT - when Barry and Sue returned, I would have made it very clear to them that I did not appreciate being left as the default babysitter, thus missing the fun of the bonfire. If Barry and Sue were to say "Oh you're just overreacting; she was fine on her own!" I would not hesitate to point out to them all the unsafe aspects of the house.

Elfmama

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #67 on: April 27, 2014, 01:19:58 AM »
Goodness, have these people never heard of Madeline McCann? I'm totally not the fearmongering type (or the maternal type, come to think of it), but that story still made my skin crawl, StarFaerie.

That was exactly the case that came to my mind as soon as I read the post.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #68 on: April 27, 2014, 04:41:08 AM »
Another way of describing that distance is that it's about a three-minute brisk walk.  Longer over uneven terrain.

I generally tend to trust parents to know when it's OK to leave their particular sleeping kid in a particular place while they socialize nearby, but these circumstances are far beyond my personal range of OK.  I probably would have told the parents I wasn't comfortable and directly asked that one of them go back to the house.

Maybe for you, but there's no way I could do 100 yards in 3 minutes at anything resembling a walk, brisk or otherwise.

I feel that if the parents can't hear the kid screaming (ie, waking up from a nightmare), then it's too far. If they can't get to the child quickly (based on terrain, distance, and their own abilities), that too is too far.
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YummyMummy66

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #69 on: April 27, 2014, 10:34:57 AM »
I do want to add that after reading your update, my original post probably sounded crass or very hard.

Yes, like you, I probably would have doted on Jane some of the time or most of the time, since the parents clearly were not.

The few things that I would have done is, yes, John is the owner of the property.  As for the bon fire and child being in the house along a good distance from parents, since he would be the one held liable, he should have spoken up to Jane's parents and stated that someone needed to be with Jane or in an area closest to Jane where if the child arose, she would have a parent close by in a strange, not child proofed home.  (And I would not child proof my home for the future.  That is not my responsibility.  I might do some things, but I would not go all out in my home.)

I don't mind Jane so much in the adult activities, as long as she was being tended by "her" parents.  Sorry, but they decided to bring their child along, I am here to enjoy my outing, they can take care of otheir own child at this time.

And, I would have not let Jane's parents dictate how I will spend my vacation.   Sorry, I don't plan to do child activities. My child is home.  I might have done one activity or more, if I so wanted to do so.  But, for them to demand that everyone participate, I don't think so. 

It seems to me that Jane's parents did not want the responsibility of their own child.  I understand that sometimes as a mother myself.  Hey, we all need a break.  But, I am sorry, on my vacation, I am not your babysitter for the whole week.  I don't mind some time here and there, because that is the way I am, but not all the time. 




Drunken Housewife

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #70 on: April 27, 2014, 12:51:46 PM »
I feel so sorry for Jane.  Poor little girl, with such careless, disengaged parents.  It was completely age-inappropriate for them to expect her to amuse herself at 18 months. 

I have briefly left the house with a sleeping toddler, but not to go so far as these parents and not for so long, and it was in my own home.  I would not leave a sleeping toddler alone in an unbabyproofed house.  These parents went too far away and for far too long.

Someone needs to talk to the parents about this.  They are in some state of denial.  In general it's not appropriate to question someone's parenting, but this rises to the level of putting the child at risk. 

As far as wineries go:  I live in California and have done a lot of wine tasting in Napa, Sonoma, and other wine regions.  I have never seen a sign barring children.  To the contrary I see plenty of children.   I never had an issue with kids when I was childless and going tasting a few times a year.  I've taken my own kids to a number of wineries, and they generally stayed outside (wineries here tend to have outside tables and chairs and nice areas to walk around).  There's usually something I can buy for them, like cheese and crackers or drinks.
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LETitbe

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #71 on: April 27, 2014, 12:58:51 PM »
I'll be honest, I'm a much more "free range mom" than many other parents I've met (helicopter parenting is very popular these days ;) ), so, at first, I was reading your post as a bit judgmental. In my area, breweries and wineries are family establishments. In fact, my son begs to go to the brewery for the popcorn. There is often live music, and generally the musician's kids as well as other local kids stand up at the front and dance while we stand behind. I know some family members judge me for taking my kid to a "grown up place", but that's just not the case. I also would have no issue letting my kid sleep in a friend's house while we hung out just outside. I don't see how that would be negligent, I'd get to him nearly as fast as if I were in the house. And, if one of my friends retired for the night, especially if she seemed to have indicated that she was worried about my child's safety, I'd assume she'd holler if something were amiss, so I might not check as often as usual.
I also tend to be pretty hands out with my son when we're visiting friends. He likes playing in a new house, often other people are entertaining him, etc. I don't ignore him, but it's not all about him all the time, that's just life.
ALL THAT SAID, none of this really seems like the case with your friends. I think the taking a kid to a brewery/winery is really not an issue here, but everything else seems very negligent. It sounds like they were very far from the house, with an unlocked pool and dogs who aren't acclimated to kids. This would freak me out! I do think getting salty about it probably came off as petty instead of encouraging them to step up, but I don't really know if I would have been able to act differently. It seems like people have tried to generally hint to them that they need to stop being so flakey, and they don't seem to get it.
I agree with other posters, that the homeowner really should have put his foot down. It actually sounds like this should have been an adult only thing, particularly with the dogs and the exposed pool.

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2014, 11:23:49 PM »
The saints and angels must have been watching over my sister, since she lived to grow up!  A couple of things she did at around 18 months:

Climbed up somehow, and got the baby aspirin off the top shelf of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, ate the whole bottle, and had to have her stomach pumped. (That was long before "child-proof" bottle caps - but she would have gotten past most of them, too.)

At our summer place, got the screen off the bedroom window (on the second story), and climbed out, falling to the ground, where she miraculously landed between the 2 huge granite boulders, on a pile of pine needles, and was totally unhurt!
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Alias

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2014, 07:43:59 AM »
 I was in a situation very similar to this once, about 8 years ago, and I still regret not saying anything. Nothing happened, the kids were fine, but I didn't say anything. 

This was when visiting some friends in Europe. We were staying for the night, and they'd suggested we go out for dinner nearby once the kids (about 1 and 3) were in bed.  A friend of theirs who lived upstairs had come down, and I presumed he was staying with the kids. Until we left, and the friend followed us out of the apartment!  We went about a block away for dinner, and they called from cell/mobile A to cell B, left the line open with one phone in the bedroom with the kids (free calls within the network after business hours) and listened to the phone from time to time (even on speaker you wouldn't hear them over the busy restaurant, you had to pick it up and put it to your ear).  I didn't have kids at the time, and really felt uncomfortable with the situation, but also uncomfortable criticising their parenting, which was otherwise very good.

As I said, I still feel awful about this and wish I'd said something.  Lots of things could have happened that we wouldn't have heard, especially when only listening occasionally to the phone.  When we left I said to my boyfriend (now husband) 'that's not ok when/if we have kids'. 

Now, as a parent, I'd often sit in back the garden with the kids asleep safely upstairs. But I'd have a baby monitor and a stair gate in place.  I might pop in next door for 5 minutes to borrow something, again with the monitor.  But I wouldn't ever leave my kids in the situation described in the OP.  It definitely sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

LadyL

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Re: Not sure what I should have done
« Reply #74 on: May 08, 2014, 01:34:43 PM »
My husband comes from a family that is extremely "free range" in their parenting. He was allowed to play with his brother in the woods behind their home, far out of view of any adults, for extended periods of time when he was just old enough to walk (probably age 3-4). Even in his family, there is a rule now that the kids always have to be within sight/hearing distance of an adult.