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Old 11-18-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
bailsmom
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Helped a little girl tonight, feel bad that I did it...Not feeling so bad anymore :)
So DH and I are out walking our dog tonight as we do every night and we have a system that DH runs around the block one way and I go the opposite and we meet in the middle and walk the rest of the way home. We usually meet up at this certain street and head home, only tonight he didn't go the usual way he goes so we ended up meeting a block sooner than normal. Now we sometimes take this block but only once in a blue moon. So he meets up with us and we head down the street.

We almost get the end of the block when we hear this little voice calling for her dad to let her in the house. Odd, quite odd. So, being a woman, I of course stop and listen again. She's banging on the door and calling for her dad to open up the door. Now we can't see her as the house is a 3 family and the back porches are enclosed. She keeps banging and we keep waiting for the door to open, it doesn't. So we sit and wait for about a minute and a half and then my 'instincts' kick in and I start to wonder if she's got a coat on. She didn't.

So I hand the dog off to my DH and head up the steps, calling out to her if she was okay and needed any help. She was up on the 2nd floor and I start walking up the stairs and she peeks down and tells me she's okay but her dad doesn't hear her. So I get up to her, she's not even 7 years old, it's 30 degrees out, wind blowing and she's standing there banging on the door in her sock-footed feet and just a bath robe on over her jammies.

Oy, my goodness I almost took my coat off and wrapped her in it. So I ask her again if she's okay and she says yes, that her Dad was in another room on the computer. So I open the screen door and bang quite hard on the storm, which opens immediately as it wasn't closed to begin with. She just couldn't open the screen door. I think height was an issue. So the door opens and I scoot her inside and the dog greets me with a tail wag and I panic thinking it's going to bite me, then.....her Dad walks into the kitchen.

He looks at me like I'm a criminal. So I quickly explain that we were walking our dog and we heard her calling for him to open the door and waited and that's why I'm standing there on his porch. He doesn't believe me. I explain again and he looks at his daughter and says "Kayla, are you serious"? He was in shock which I totally understand. So I say my goodbye's and we continue on our walk.

Here's where I feel bad, I feel like I did something wrong. I keep telling myself that I did the right thing, but at the same time there's this nagging feeling that I shouldn't have done it. But we couldn't just walk away and let a little girl cry for her Dad in the cold. I knew he knew I wasn't lying when he looked at her face when he asked if she was really on the porch. That's why I left. I get the whole "OMG there's a total stranger in my open doorway claiming my daughter was out on the porch in the dark", but if I were a 'bad person' would I have knocked as loudly as I did? He was there in like 3 seconds.

Did I do the right thing? If DH hadn't changed his route we never would have gone down that street. I hate that I feel this way. I did something good and I feel bad. Did I do the right thing?
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:15 AM   #2
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You 100% did the right thing. Just think of how much time might have actually passed had you not heard that poor thing, and, what could have happened. I'm sure it was a shock to him, but possibly more so because, it seems, he had no idea the little girl was even out of the house!

All that matters is you know your intentions, and, that girl is safe in her home. I'm sure her father talked to her more about what happened and the girl told him exactly what happened. He should be grateful you happened to hear her!
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:28 AM   #3
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Inserting oneself into other's affairs is very uncomfortable for some. Perhaps that's why you feel bad. Perhaps you just were outside your comfort zone. You assisted a child in need. You did right. Good job.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:32 AM   #4
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TOTALLY, TOTALLY, TOTALLY!!!!!

You did the right thing! Any time you take care of a child's needs, you do the right thing. She would have stood there forever knocking, unable to let herself in, with her dad not hearing! YOU DID THE RIGHT THING.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:59 AM   #5
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Being a protective mom I can understand the dad's point of view, however you did do the right thing! I would go over another time during the day and speak to him. Acknowledge his fears and then tell him that being a mom you were concerned when you heard a child crying out for a parent so you went to see if she was okay and that you just wanted to help. He may still be weird, but in the light of day and a few days thought he should be okay and feel good that there are good people in the world.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:00 AM   #6
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Based upon where I live, after ascertaining that the child was young and no coat...I would have dialed 911 and let the police handle the 2nd part. I would have waited on the sidewalk until the police arrived.

Let the Dad explain himself to the cops.

The cops may or may not turn the case over to Social Services who are trained to handle family crisis or just bad parenting. The family may have a record with Social Services. You may not be the first Good Samaritan to report the Dad or parents.

And if nothing is wrong with the whole situation, simply being a thing that can happen to anyone...then the Dad is still "on notice" regarding his child.

And, let me not get shot by a nutty, maybe drugged-out, or drunk, irate Dad.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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I think you did the right thing.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:06 AM   #8
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You did the right thing!!
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:21 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your reasurrances, it means a lot. Really, it does. I still feel a little off about the whole situation, but knowing you all would have done the same makes it a lot less confusing for me.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gertie View Post
Inserting oneself into other's affairs is very uncomfortable for some. Perhaps that's why you feel bad. Perhaps you just were outside your comfort zone. You assisted a child in need. You did right. Good job.
I think Gertie said it exactly right. You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing. As a parent, I would initially be pretty surprised by the situation, too. That's natural. But it doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It's just the way of things. Perhaps the dad is an introvert and not good at talking to strangers- especially unexpectedly like that. He was probably also feeling bad about his little girl being stuck outside in the cold. I think you did fine, though. I think these days, people are surprised when a stranger offers help.
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