Friday’s Rant from the Soap Box in My Living Room!

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Welcome to my Friday’s Rants from the Soap Box in my Living Room. A small space in the week where I can have a chunter about things that have made me twitch with annoyance or made me question if the world has gone mad or not….
I also  linked up with MummyBarrow for her Ranty Friday. You can find her blog and link up here if you’d like to join in. A good rant can be therapeutic.

I am on public transport a lot. I don’t drive, and we use the local buses regularly. My children are seasoned commuters.

I have ranted about the buses before, but this one, I think takes some beating, or maybe I am wrong.

I am going to rant about someone else’s parenting, which is rare for me, because as a parent myself, I have learned that we are mostly all trying to do the right thing by our kids, parenting is a tough job, and we don’t always get everything spot on, we make mistakes. Also my parenting choices may not be someone else’s choices and that’s ok, what I choose to do, works for us and may not work for someone else. Fine by me. It turns out in this case, the person in charge of the child wasn’t even the child’s parent or a member of their family, so I don’t feel too bad about ranting about it!

However, when someone puts achild’s basic safety at risk, in public, in front of me, I AM going to judge and I AM going to say something to the parent (or adult in charge of the child at the time)

I am NOT a helicopter parent, my children have a lot of freedoms that some others don’t. I don’t worry about dirt,  nor am I paranoid that they will be kidnapped etc.

However, when I was on the bus, the other day, a typical double-decker bus, you see in London and the suburbs, I did see something that shocked me. It took me a day or two to get over it. Maybe I overreacted, but hey, I’d like to think that someone would have done the same for me!

I was minding my own business when a woman with a pushchair got on the bus. Because I was alone (the children were with LSH) I didn’t really have to do anything, I wasn’t taking up space that she needed. She parked her pushchair, which contained a sleeping baby of approximately 9-10mths old, then went upstairs to the top-level of the bus. Basically she left her child alone, on the bottom level of the bus, in its buggy, surrounded by strangers, and went up to the top of the bus. Not only that, but she had her headphones in, so she probably couldn’t hear much through them. I was a bit phased, and the lady next to me, was also a bit concerned. I wasnt going far on the bus but I figured I’d keep an eye on the baby. The bus stopped at a stop, and another pushchair got on, and had to move the unattended pushchair to get into the space. The baby woke up, and started to cry. I at this point, decided this was a bit ridiculous, and went upstairs and tapped the mother of the child on the shoulder, and informed her that not only was it unsafe to leave her child unattended on a bus full of strangers where she couldn’t see them, but that the child was now awake, crying and needed her attention. Her response. “Oh, she’s not mine, Im her au-pair”.  She did come down, stuff a dummy in the baby’s mouth, and then SHE WENT BACK UPSTAIRS!! I was furious at this point, but had to get off the bus. The lady next to me, however was travelling to the buses end point, and before I got off the bus  she went to the bus driver, told him what was going on, and he made an announcement over the loudspeaker, asking the woman to come back down and stay with her child. I think that was the end of the matter, for the time being, at least the child was attended. In reality, maybe I should have got the au-pairs name and details, although I doubt she would have given them, and to be honest I would have contacted her employers.

People? Am I wrong to be cross? This au-pair clearly didn’t give two hoots about the child in her care, and I have to wonder whether the parents of the child knew how unsafe a situation the child was in. Anyone could have taken her off the bus, the au-pair wouldn’t have noticed, she was on the other level, with her headphones in! I was a nanny for more than 6 years, I would never have dreamed of leaving a child unattended like that?

I am still angry, when I think about it, and it happened the last week.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one? Did we overreact?

That’s my rant for this week, next week, the blog may be down for a day or two, as I go self hosting off WordPress, so my Friday Rants will be back in two weeks unless the transition goes smoothly and all is up and working!

Have a good weekend!

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15 comments on “Friday’s Rant from the Soap Box in My Living Room!
  1. Woah that it AWFUL!!!! Truly awful. And no doubt the parents would be appalled. I would have given her a mouthful I am afraid. I admire your restraint.

    • I know, I was horrified at the time and am still chuntering about it, a week later. I think the bus driver was giving her a piece of his mind as he drove off. Hopefully she won’t do it again. Maybe she comes from somewhere where leaving a child unattended on a bus wouldn’t be a problem, or isn’t used to busy London buses! Who knows? 🙁

  2. Dee says:

    As someone with no children, but who has babysat and had friends kids stay on many occassions – if anything I’m over protective because they are not mine. I think this babys parents would be horrified if they knew. The only thing protecting that child was other passengers (including you) who would have known if someone else took the baby off the bus. Scary.

  3. that is sooooo bang out of order!! I would have been furious and would have been itching to say something to her. Like you I am not paranoid about my kids getting kidnapped but leaving the baby in a buggy on the botton deck is just unacceptable!

    Amandax

  4. Terrifying to think an Au Pair could be doing this whilst you have no control!

  5. I have no words…. This is beyond shocking!

  6. Jaime Oliver says:

    i am sat here quite gobsmacked to be honest so i can only imagine how you felt actually being there!

    Shocking!

    Hope the transition goes well 🙂

  7. oh my goodness!! I’d have done the same in your situation though and not have gone up til baby cried, because then quite frankly somebody had to!! But my goodness I cannot believe that woman! And she is being PAID to look after that child. And she isn’t. She’s endangering it. Being reckless with a HUMAN BEING! What else could you do indeed though. She wasn’t gonna fess up her work details… no wonder you’re so ranty! RIGHTLY SO! 🙁

  8. Amanda says:

    What the hell! What an absolute cow of a woman. You handled the situation well, it would serve her right if the police had been called over an abandoned baby, I hope the childs parents find out what type of person they are entrusting their child with and do something about it.
    Shocking, just beyond me that this happened.

  9. Angry, annoyed and I would have asked for her details, she is paid to keep this child safe, happy and secure and look after it like we do own the most precious thing around, would she leave her iPod upstairs whilst she went downstairs…. I think not xxx

    • I am hoping after being yelled at by me, being harassed for her details by the other lady and being told off by the bus driver taught her a lesson! I really think she truly didn’t understand why it was a problem, if she comes from somewhere where they don’t have such a busy bus system, and doesn’t realise how unsafe her actions were?

  10. Katy Hill says:

    And THATS why I’d never have an au pair. I’d barely let a teenage girl babysit, let alone watch my kids. What are people thinking? Shame you couldn’t have got details – but then how could you? I reported a woman once for leaving 4 kids in a car in a supermarket carpark for 30 minutes! My head was about to spin off when she came back! And yes… She was made aware of how I felt! 😉 x

    • motherofmadcatsandbabies says:

      I know, I am hoping she learned her lesson. I have challenged parents who have left their kids or animals in cars before, as well.

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