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What should I have done?

(52 Posts)
kittylester Fri 25-May-18 07:41:04

Walking through our nearest big city the other day I saw a young man with a baby asleep in a buggy. The man was sitting slumped over the handle of the buggy and kept jetting 'awake' but then slumping again.

I looked around for a police officer or a security guard to talk to about it but couldn't see any one so, as I was in a hurry, I just went on my way.

Having had loads of safeguarding training - in voluntary situations where the instruction is pass it to your line manager - I know I should have done something - but what?

I have felt guilty ever since.

What should I have done? What would you have done?

OldMeg Fri 25-May-18 07:50:31

I really don’t know kitty that’s a tough one. It might have been that the poor lad had been up all night looking after baby or been working a night shift. There again perhaps he was under the influence of something or other.

I’d like to think that I’d have asked him if he was OK and needed help. But would I? 🤔

Panache Fri 25-May-18 08:33:44

Indeed I think its the sort of situation where you need it to be happening there in front of * your * eyes...........and then you might make that quick response,or,yes,Old Meg as you said...........would I?

I think on reflection it should have been attended too......but how many of us are simply only wise after the event?

Luckygirl Fri 25-May-18 08:35:46

I suspect I might have done this after sleepless nights with a baby!

Mapleleaf Fri 25-May-18 08:56:10

It’s hard to know what we would do when actually faced with something, isn’t it? Kitty looked out for a security guard or police officer but couldn’t find one, but I understand her apprehension about approaching the young man in question alone. Who knows how he might have responded? Sadly, because of the horrible things we hear about when people step in to help, I well understand Kitty’s hesitance. I understand why she now feels guilty, but she shouldn’t.

Maggiemaybe Fri 25-May-18 09:14:54

You know, kitty, I wouldn’t worry about it. The likelihood is that he was just shattered from lack of sleep (who hasn’t given a young parent, or themselves, a nudge when they’ve settled on the sofa with a newborn and just can’t keep their eyes open?). I’m sure the baby would have woken him up when it needed him! If there was anything amiss, that’s when it would have become apparent.

kittylester Fri 25-May-18 09:24:06

I am fairly sure he was under the influence of something which is why I felt I should have done something and why I didn't approach him.

A while ago there was a lot of talk of people taking some responsibility for what is going on around them. That seems right to me - but I didn't act on it.

Teetime Fri 25-May-18 09:30:04

I think I would have said in a loud voice 'You OK there'? and then you would have a bit more information even if it was only 'Be about your business' or words to that effect.

Grannybags Fri 25-May-18 09:34:33

This is a difficult one. I like to think I'd have approached him and said something but I know I would have acted exactly as you did kitty

NfkDumpling Fri 25-May-18 09:41:14

If it was in a crowded area I would probably have asked him if all was well, but NOT if he looked as if he was under the influence of drink or drugs. I think you did right. There was no one around who could have helped and you may well have put yourself into a vulnerable position and made things worse if you had spoken to him.

Rocknroll5me Fri 25-May-18 10:10:10

I agree with MaggieMay.

Hildagard Fri 25-May-18 10:10:39

I have just asked my husband what you should have done, he is a retired policeman. Shouted from a safe distance, asking if all was ok, he wouldn’t of run off leaving the baby. Or called 101 and reported it.

sodapop Fri 25-May-18 10:13:19

I think the safety of the child would be paramount. I understand your concerns
Kittylester but maybe the adult was unwell not necessarily on drugs or drunk.
I agree its easy to be wise after the event though.

wildswan16 Fri 25-May-18 10:14:38

I probably would have done just as you did. On hindsight, maybe I would have "accidentally" joggled the pram, and then been able to apologise to the man and make a judgement on his lack of sleep/sobriety.

luluaugust Fri 25-May-18 10:15:25

I would almost certainly have acted the same as you. If a policeman had been about I might have mentioned it but I am afraid I wouldn't approach anyone now as I would be unable to defend myself should things go awry. Don't feel guilty.

FlorenceFlower Fri 25-May-18 10:24:37

I was looking after my youngest granddaughter the other day and while she was sleeping I inadvertently dozed off on the sofa. The moment she woke, I also woke.

Perhaps, as others have said, dad had been on night duty or whatever. The baby was asleep, so perhaps his doze in the sunshine was inevitable, Perhaps, if you see the same again, you might call over from a safe distance. But PLEASE do stop worrying about it. 🌺

HannahLoisLuke Fri 25-May-18 10:24:40

I think I'd have walked off a safe distance and called 101
Easy to say though when you're not in that situation.
Hopefully he either woke up after a quick snooze or somebody else took action.

Skweek1 Fri 25-May-18 10:37:04

Sorry - I honestly feel it's none of your business. He could be a single father struggling to cope, maybe working shifts to make ends meet to care for the baby. Surely better that than those women who ignore their kids while they talk non-stop on their phones.

ReadyMeals Fri 25-May-18 10:44:56

I think the fact he kept "jetting awake" is a sign he was able to wake instantly if the baby needed him and was not in a drug sleep. His subconcious was waking him at intervals to check on the baby. It seems to me this was maybe a baby who was only settling to sleep while being walked in the buggy and this was the only time the man could catch 40 winks. To have taken the advice of some people here and "joggled the pram" and therefore woken the baby might have actually sealed the baby's fate as his father would have been even more short of sleep and may have made a mistake later. The ultimately helpful thing would maybe have been to ask him if he'd like you to go home with him and watch the baby while he goes to bed for a while - but then who has time for that level of involvement?

Nanabilly Fri 25-May-18 10:56:05

He could have been a having a diabetic attack . My friends husband took ill with his diabetes while in the city centre and he was completely ignored because they thought he was under the influence of drink or drugs. He ended up really ill in hospital. Saying that , nowadays you just cannot approach people or you could be at risk of allsorts . If no police around as in this instance I think I would have either made a phone call or gone in a shop and asked assistant to call police to investigate or just gone and sat at the side of the man with the baby and tried to find out the seriousness of it by watching and waiting.

mabon1 Fri 25-May-18 11:08:43

Too late to worry, you just walked by as many others would probably have done. Some time ago I challenged a woman who was abusing her child and all I got was a load of abuse and a hit on the face!!!! Learned my lesson.

GabriellaG Fri 25-May-18 11:19:41

I CAN'T accept that ReadyMeals seriously meant the remark about suggesting that the OP could have offered to go home with him and mind the baby whilst he went to bed.
I find that totally incredible.

driverann Fri 25-May-18 11:20:17

Last year whilst walking in our local park I noticed a woman who was bent over looking at the grass as if she was trying to find something, as I become level with where she was bending I noticed a man behind her partly standing in the bushes ....they were having sex.🤪

As for the man you saw Kitty he may well have been awake all night. When I look after our grandchildren when they are playing I have nodded off momentarily, mind you that is on the sofa at home not in the street.

Grannybags Fri 25-May-18 11:24:13

I agree GabriellaG!

Mauriherb Fri 25-May-18 11:25:48

We will never know the circumstances but my initial thought was that maybe he had taken the baby out so that the mum could get some sleep, and then been overcome with tiredness . Difficult to know what to do