What would you do?
Bec Judd has been slammed online after throwing her daughter a LOL Dolls themed party. So was it excessive or should the haters back off?
A mother has hit Mumsnet to ask whether she was right to have police called to her child's birthday party recently when another mum went AWOL and failed to return when the party was over.
The woman said she was hosting a party for her four-year-old at a play centre, with 12 children invited. Those coming were free to bring their siblings, but the siblings had to pay for their entry and were required to stay in the general play area, not in the party room.
"The eldest of one of the mum's from nursery (her younger sibling was invited) came running over to me crying about 20 mins into the party and tells me her mum told her to come to me if she needed anything," the woman wrote.
The child told her that her mum had gone to the shops. Thinking she'd popped out for something urgent, the woman wrote she wasn't concerned at that point.
"Half an hour later she still wasn't back and the invited kids were going into the party room for food," the mum wrote.
"Her eldest DD was crying because she couldn't come in and she was now being left in the play area unsupervised. I let the staff know the situation at this point. I found the mum's RSVP text and tried calling her (not friendly with her other than to say hello to at nursery) and there was no answer. I tried on and off for the next hour!"
Schedule daily special time. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. There's no better way for you to show your love.
But it was when the party finished that things really got awkward.
"The party came to an end and she still wasn't back and still wasn't returning my call," the woman wrote.
"The staff said they could keep the kids but would have to call the police. I thought this was the best scenario as I obviously couldn't take them with me, and god forbid if anything had happened to their mum then at least the police would find out."
About half an hour after she arrived home, the woman said she received a phone call from the mum, who was shouting and crying.
"She couldn't believe I overreacted so much and just left her kids as she'd only gone to get her hair done," she wrote.
Apparently, I should've known she would be back. She was livid the police had been called and they gave her a talking to about leaving the kids without telling anyone and she was lucky social services hadn't been called. But again, apparently I should've known she'd be back and I could've at least taken the kids home with me instead of "showing her up" like that.
"She said she thought others would also leave their kids, as if I was a bloody babysitter! She hung up on me when I tried to tell her that how could I possibly know she'd have been back when I didn't even know she'd gone until her kid told me.
Show your child how to become a responsible citizen. Find ways to help others all year. Kids gain a sense of self-worth by volunteering in the community.
"What if something happened to her? Or the kids while she was gone? What if she just never came back? She told me I was batshit and hung up."
Commenters agreed the absent mother's behaviour was out of order, but many also said they disagreed with the woman's decision to leave the children at the play centre.
"I can’t believe she left them, but I can’t believe you did either," wrote one.
"She never should have left her kids without telling you," said another. "BUT I would have brought them home with me or waited. You tried to teach mum a lesson but it’s actually the kids that were hurt the most. I never would have left them alone. Poor children must have been so distressed, then to make matters worse the police were involved."
"The mother was wrong, totally wrong but you were nearly as bad," said a third. "You can’t leave child out of the party room, you tell the staff she’s coming in or you arrange another parent to watch her. And to leave the children with the police, words fail me."
The original poster defended her actions, saying all the other parents left as soon as the party finished, and nobody offered to help her look after the children. She had no idea where the mum had gone, or whether there had been an accident.
"What’s a good investment? Go home from work early and spend the afternoon throwing a ball around with your son." - Ben Stein on CNN
"I think you did the right thing," replied another mum. "If you had stayed she wouldn’t have realised just how unacceptable it was."