A baby mama
September 19, 2008 11:27 AM   Subscribe

So how does it work with going out with a girl who has a daughter? And she's just 24?

I recently met a girl, and we hit it off and have seen each other a few times. When we were quite drunk, she kinda slipped and said something like "My daughter...I mean, my sisters child who stays with me". Then later after some more drinks, she repeated the "My daughter" line without correcting it.

The next day on the phone, I asked her about it, and she told me that she had a 5 year old daughter. Initially she was very evasive to my question.

This is a type of fun loving girl, she likes laughing and having fun. Not really the type one would have to have a daughter.

Well, having a daughter doesn't really bother me very much in a woman, but my question is - is this not awkward? As in, if I were to have to go visit her, it would be a bit wierd to talk to a 5 year old girl. And how does this work logistically - she seems to only be free on weekend nights, and then pretty late and has to leave before daybreak. Like some type of vampire or something.

Is it possible to successfully get to know and interact with a person who has a 5 year old daughter, considering that I have no experience with children, and considering the time constraints? How does one make something like that work, considering that she really is not open about the daughter thing, doesn't want to talk about it at all, and I feel uncomfortable asking more questions.
posted by ChabonJabon to Human Relations (85 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's a child, not a Tyrannosaurus. It doesn't have to be awkward. Bring something small for the kid if you come over.
posted by limon at 11:33 AM on September 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


Just based on the way you phrase your question, I'm not sure that dating a woman with a child is the right choice for you.
posted by box at 11:35 AM on September 19, 2008 [23 favorites]


This is a type of fun loving girl, she likes laughing and having fun. Not really the type one would have to have a daughter.

God knows my wife is a dour shrew -- just the type to have a daughter. People with kids are just like people without kids, but they may have to work around some scheduling issues. No different from someone with a demanding job, or a serious hobby. If she wants to spend time with you, she can probably figure out a way to do it. She may be keeping it casual because that is what she wants from you right now.

Five-year-olds are pretty cool. Maybe invite this girl and her daughter to go apple picking or to a theme park or for a picnic? She may try and keep gentlemen callers from meeting the kid for a little while, to prevent them from getting attached too quickly, so you'll have to respect her wishes on that for a while.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:37 AM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


In Dave Eggers' autobiography 'A Heartbreaking Story of etc etc', he says (I think) that he would never bring home girlfriends with whom he was not having a longterm relationship... It would be too confusing for Toph to have someone hang around the house in their underwear for a while and then suddenly leave the picture forever. Eggers, however, did seem to have an active dating life - it's just that his trysts took place outside of the house.

Echoing what Rock Steady said above...

So, you may wish to go slow and take it easy with this relationship, if only to model good behaviour for the five-year-old. No sleepovers at their place if you are not convinced that you are going to have a longterm relationship with this woman. Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to be a part of the kid's life - no matter what happens - going forward, even if it means babysitting occasionally or sending a birthday card after the relationship has finished.

Kids are great, but they're also a big commitment.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:47 AM on September 19, 2008


"Is it possible to successfully get to know and interact with a person who has a 5 year old [child], considering that I have no experience with children...?"

Yes, it is possible. My mother was 24 when I was five and my brother was 1.5. She met a guy who had no kids, no experience with kids, and no previous desire to have kids who fell in love with her and married her.

He's been my "dad" for more than 20 years now. It can be done, but it takes a very special kind of person to do it. How does that line go? "Any man can have kids, but it takes a real man to be a father." Well it takes an even bigger man to be the father to someone else's kids.

If she's the right woman, then it's entirely possible. If she's not, or if you're not the right man, be honest about your feelings and move on.
posted by brandoniain at 11:48 AM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I recently met a girl, and we hit it off and have seen each other a few times. When we were quite drunk, she kinda slipped and said something like "My daughter...I mean, my sisters child who stays with me". Then later after some more drinks, she repeated the "My daughter" line without correcting it.

Is it possible to successfully get to know and interact with a person who has a 5 year old daughter...

You can certainly interact with this person, but you'll never "get to know" her-- you've just heard the first of many delightful lies that you're going to get to unravel like a thrift store sweater. Keep going and your life is going to change in ways you never imagined, and the only positive change is going to be dependable sex (for as long as that lasts).
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:49 AM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't race to meet the child. Many single mothers try to spare their children a flurry of temporary "uncles". Kids don't know that many adult dating relationships are short lived. When you meet the child, make sure you kneel down so that you can look her in the eye when you speak to her. Many children are a bit awkward when strangers are towering over them.

The only thing that seems off is that she lied and then evaded the question. Children aren't a source of shame. I wouldn't be at all attracted to someone who wasn't proud to be a parent or proud of their child.
posted by 26.2 at 11:51 AM on September 19, 2008


It may seem kind of strange that she tried to hide the fact that she has a daughter, but it is hard to be young and dating while you have a child. Many men are prejudiced towards women who have children, for one reason or another. On the other side of the coin, she may not want her kid to meet random men, for various reasons including privacy and attachment issues.

People with kids are just like people without kids, but they may have to work around some scheduling issues. No different from someone with a demanding job, or a serious hobby. If she wants to spend time with you, she can probably figure out a way to do it. She may be keeping it casual because that is what she wants from you right now.

This.
posted by muddgirl at 11:52 AM on September 19, 2008


Is it possible to successfully get to know and interact with a person who has a 5 year old daughter, considering that I have no experience with children, and considering the time constraints?

Yes, don't you work with people that have children? People are still people, regardless of whether or not they are parents. And while she may not have as much free time as a childless person might, there are babysitters and maybe one day some family-oriented activities. It sounds like she is worried that you will judge or not continue to go out with her. I think that's why she tried to cover up the fact that she has a daughter. And it sounds like judging or not going out with her is exactly what you want to do.

I mean, what kind of statements are these: ...going out with a girl who has a daughter? And she's just 24? and This is a type of fun loving girl, she likes laughing and having fun. Not really the type one would have to have a daughter.

If I was reading this and recognized myself, I wouldn't want to go out with you again. If you do want to continue seeing her and she doesn't read AskMe, give it a chance and don't be pushy. The kid won't bite (hopefully!) and you would treat her like you would any young child you interact with. Pretend she is a cousin or niece if that helps. I am betting you won't be introduced to her for a while anyway.
posted by ml98tu at 11:52 AM on September 19, 2008


box: I said I don't have any experience with children. I'm just a standard guy. The way I phrase my question does not mean that I am not willing to make a try.

Mayor Curley: What do you mean? She'll lie?
posted by ChabonJabon at 11:54 AM on September 19, 2008


Respect the fact that the daughter is (or should be) the most important person in her life. And that every decision she makes needs to take that into account.

And five year olds are very cool. Most of them don't have the hangups we adults do, especially with meeting new people and making new friends. Arrange some childcentric activities and make an effort to interact with her and you'll do just fine.

In fact, I'd bet that you'll even enjoy it.
posted by cjets at 11:55 AM on September 19, 2008


A lot of it depends on what she wants out of the relationship and if you're willing to accept it. She may not have wanted to scare you away initially, she also may only be looking for a good time right now. If its the former, yeah, as things become more serious there will be complications that you will need to consider. I dated a girl with a 3 year old son for a while and there were some, "He's sleeping in the next room, what if he wakes up?" moments. A lot of that will depend on how she's raising her child - is she a single mom doing all the work or do her parents take some of the burden off of her? There may be restrictions on when you can get together for alone time. Being fine with kids, I had no problem with this, but it could get frustrating sometimes. But if you're into her enough it can be well worth the effort.

If she's just looking for a good time, and you're fine with that, there shouldn't be much of a problem except perhaps a few awkward moments. Mothers are allowed to enjoy life, too.
posted by cimbrog at 11:57 AM on September 19, 2008


ml98tu: If I did not want to go out with her, I'd just not call back. I'm not judging anyone, I'm of course curious as to who the father is, but I'm not thinking - oh, she got knocked up at 19...

I don't mind the child at all, but I'm just a year out of college, none of my direct friends has children, I can't even remember the last time I spoke to a young-un.

So it's just an unknown situation for me. And by my statement about 'fun loving', what I mean is that she goes to clubs, parties, drinks, smokes. The type of behaviour one expects from young unattached single girls, not really mums...
posted by ChabonJabon at 11:59 AM on September 19, 2008


Five year old daughter at 24 and isn't upfront with people about the child's identity? Walk away.

This is a type of fun loving girl, she likes laughing and having fun. Not really the type one would have to have a daughter.

If "fun loving" = irresponsible, then that's EXACTLY who I would expect to have a child at 19. For your own sake, go meet some women without the physical and emotional baggage. Not flaming here, but the risk far outweighs the benefit.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:00 PM on September 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


I have a friend who is a fun-love young twenty-something and also a single mother. She dates quite a bit but kind of keeps guys away from her kids if it's not serious.

However, given your history with women as described in previous questions, I would tread carefully. If you're still working through maintaining your interest in women you date, make sure you don't meet the kids for a while. It's not really fair to them to get to like you and then have you disappear.
posted by lunasol at 12:01 PM on September 19, 2008


Mayor Curley: What do you mean? She'll lie?

She already did. Character is fate. If she'll lie about being a parent, she'll lie about other things that she thinks will put you off. And if she'll do that, she'll lie about other stuff too.

I'm not trying to be cruel or maliciously dash your hopes about anything. You seem like a very earnest guy and I'm just telling you how it looks to shape up from a disinterested third party who's made some terrible dating decisions. You probably won't forgo this based on some Internet stranger's warning (and maybe you shouldn't), but I'll be happy if I've just given you a shred of outsider's perspective in dealing with the situation.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:01 PM on September 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is a type of fun loving girl, she likes laughing and having fun. Not really the type one would have to have a daughter.

You may want to challenge your assumptions here, since this is part and parcel to the social forces that cause this woman to be cagey about her daughter. I don't think it's that she's ashamed of her, I think it's that she knows that there is a stigma in dating about it. She doesn't want to scare you away, but is inadvertently making things worse by it.
posted by rhizome at 12:03 PM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I seem to be the only person on mefi who always says RUN under these circumstances since I think they are totally avoidable and generally end in tragedy, but with that in mind I will hold back some and simply give you this piece of advice: Avoid any lengthy time with the child unless the relationship gets serious. Like very, very serious. Because you don't want to let this kid get attached to you unless you're ready to be her dad. Stick to the weekend nights out when she's apparently got childcare already arranged. I know that's not difficult now but if you're still dating in three months, things are going to get tricky.
posted by fusinski at 12:05 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mayor Curley: What do you mean? She'll lie?

Seconding the Mayor. She has immediately shown herself to be rather untrustworthy at the very earliest stages of your relationship with this sort of casual lie. Be thankful you found out now and can GTFO before it's too late.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:06 PM on September 19, 2008


By the way, she's also a really crappy liar. Good liars pick something believable.

My sister's children DID live with me for a short time when I was in my early twenties. When I introduced them as my nieces people always assumed they were really mine - commenting that they looked so much like me that they "could be your daughter" wink wink.

Ask her why she lied about it.
posted by 26.2 at 12:11 PM on September 19, 2008


Are you guys saying that this reasonably understandable lie is reason enough? I somehow think that the others are right here, that it is understandable that one would not be open about the child from the start as it would scare most guys off.

26.2: Asking why she lied is a bit confrontational, is it not?
posted by ChabonJabon at 12:15 PM on September 19, 2008


by my statement about 'fun loving', what I mean is that she goes to clubs, parties, drinks, smokes. The type of behaviour one expects from young unattached single girls, not really mums...

Thank you for clarifying. I did not initially read "fun-loving" that way, I read it more as a light-hearted and happy person that enjoys being social with others.

Regardless, I think you have enough issues with women that you should just let this one pass. I think it will be more trouble for you and her than it is worth. Move on.
posted by ml98tu at 12:17 PM on September 19, 2008


Based on your previous question, I think you should spare this woman and her daughter a world of hurt because you are already on the path to finding her "flaws".
posted by spec80 at 12:17 PM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


One thing I love about my wife--married 25 years--is that she never sees any reason to concoct lies...a real straight shooter. Thus, when I read that the girl lied about what was at home, and not a very good lie at that, I wondered about how great a woman she could be. Why lie about a daughter? After all, if the woman is going to get serious with a guy, then the guy is going to visit and will find out one day so why deny from the onset?
posted by Postroad at 12:18 PM on September 19, 2008


Character is fate. If she'll lie about being a parent, she'll lie about other things that she thinks will put you off. And if she'll do that, she'll lie about other stuff too.

Agreed. You don't want to go there.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:23 PM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I somehow think that the others are right here, that it is understandable that one would not be open about the child from the start as it would scare most guys off.

Is it. What if she was lying about herpes? Or problems with rage? Of course she was lying about the child, I understand why she did, but she started out with a lie. Why aren't you more concerned about that? If she'll about the child to keep you interested intially, she'll lie her way out of anything she thinks you'll disapprove of.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:27 PM on September 19, 2008


Instead of asking her why she lied, you should just tell her that you are ok with the fact that she has a daughter (if you are) and she'll probably tell you all about everything.
posted by lee at 12:28 PM on September 19, 2008


She has immediately shown herself to be rather untrustworthy at the very earliest stages of your relationship with this sort of casual lie.

I totally disagree with your interpretation. That is possibly one of the only lies that I would, without question, instantly forgive in the early stages of getting to know someone. There is a very high chance that she is sick to death of trying to get to know guys without watching them run for the hills the second they hear she has a kid. To a lot of men, it is just more hassle than they can do with, and I imagine she is now having the sort of dating lifestyle that she missed out on between the ages of 19 and 21 while the child was young. She is, to my eyes, merely keeping that bit of information back until she either decides you're worth telling about it, or she feels it is time for you to know. She's just trying to get to know someone properly before explaining that she is perhaps a more complicated relationship than others her age.

If she was completely upfront with guys about the child, I imagine she'd have a much reduced social life. Yes, smoking is a bad role model for the kid (although you have no idea if she smokes or drinks at home, so that is moot) but it may be she is allowing herself some wild fun at the weekends and being the sober, smoke free, responsible mother all week to make up for the time she couldn't raising a young child. Her parents may be fully supporting her in this (or other family) and looking after the child for her at weekends.

Too many people are seeing only bad in someone just being 24 years old and not considering that the reason she may only be around (out being sociable) so little is because she is protecting her child, not denying its existence.

There is nowhere near enough information here to tell her motives, nor is their enough information here to tell if the OP is capable of having a decent interration with her and her child. Get to know her. Decide if you want to be with her. IF you do, then the kid will be much less of an issue. One thing at a time. You are having a relationship with her
(potentially) not the child. The child is just a facet of her you have to understand and respect and part of who she is.
posted by Brockles at 12:28 PM on September 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Apart from arguing whether or not the lie just by being a lie is sufficient, look at the lie.

"My daughter...I mean, my sisters child who stays with me"


In my experience anyone telling this type of lie that just spits in the face of the truth - where the truth is already known or will shortly be known so the lie is pointless - has turned out to be a train wreck and I wish I had never met any of them. As in, my life would be better in small but significant ways if I never had - and I never went so far as having a serious relationship with any of them.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:29 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


this reasonably understandable lie

It's not reasonably understandable for a parent to hide the existence of her kid. If she's so desperate for male approval that she's going to lie about her own child, she is not dating material.
posted by desjardins at 12:29 PM on September 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


I hear what you guys are saying, but I just feel very strongly that everyone should have a chance. I like this girl, I think she likes me, just because she may have not wanted to immediately say she has a child does not mean I should go running. Not everyone can tell the truth all the time, I know I do my share of lying.

I just feel like I don't really know her, and I should first get to know her and the child before I know that it's not right for me.

It's a real person with real flaws, it's easy to understnad why she said she does not have a child initially. That part does not bother me.

It's more the akwardness of the child situation. Like what do children of that age even talk about? Certainly not Obama and certainly not Lisp. What do they even do? Just waddle around and watch TV or do they hang out with friends?

And can one leave such a child alone at home ever? Or only when asleep? It's a strange strange world to me, but I'm always up for something new....
posted by ChabonJabon at 12:29 PM on September 19, 2008


I don't mind the child at all, but I'm just a year out of college, none of my direct friends has children, I can't even remember the last time I spoke to a young-un.

Dude, you're 27 years old. If none of your friends have kids now, they will soon enough.
posted by amro at 12:30 PM on September 19, 2008


26.2: Asking why she lied is a bit confrontational, is it not?

Probably, but what do you have to lose by being straightforward with her. If she can't/won't give you an honest answer, then you know to walk away pronto.

Bullshit artists make terrible romantic partners.
posted by 26.2 at 12:31 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree with Brockles. I don't think it is irregular for a young girl with a kid to hold back that information. It happens a lot, because there are plenty of guys like me who take the subset of women with kids and put them immediately into the "do not date" pile. That doesn't make her a liar... she's frustrated that she can't keep a guy around for more than two dates.
posted by fusinski at 12:31 PM on September 19, 2008


I should first get to know her and the child before I know that it's not right for me.

but I'm always up for something new....

I agree with lunasol. Based on your last question related to losing interest in women after you sleep with them, I do not think it's best to get to know the child before you figure out how serious you are about the woman.
posted by Pax at 12:33 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think this woman would have to be utterly amazing for you to bother moving forward with her. When there's a child in the picture, that throws a lot of complication into the mix. The woman's available time for you (without her daughter, or even with her daughter) will be limited. The child may grow attached to you very quickly, which can be really dangerous especially if you don't really know how you feel about the woman.

For a brief time, I was seeing a guy with a three year old daughter. I stopped dating him for reasons that had more to do with us not having chemistry. If we had had chemistry, it still would have been difficult. Our time together sort of revolved around when he was able to get a free night or weekend day, with the daughter at the mother's place or at his parents' place. The few times I hung out with him and his daughter, I felt really uncomfortable, as she seemed to latch on to me right away.

It may be different for you. But it is sort of a red flag that she's already not been forthcoming, at least at first, that the child was hers.
posted by medeine at 12:35 PM on September 19, 2008


I just feel like I don't really know her, and I should first get to know her and the child before I know that it's not right for me.

Get to know her, first. If things are really screwed up with her, you'll get to know the child as things progress.

And can one leave such a child alone at home ever? Or only when asleep? It's a strange strange world to me, but I'm always up for something new....

No, the child cannot be left alone. That's why I mentioned finding out how she cares for the child. Does she have baby-sitters, use a daycare or is she maybe not even taking care of the child herself? If she goes out and parties, someone had better be watching her child.
posted by cimbrog at 12:39 PM on September 19, 2008


If things aren't really screwed up with her, I meant.
posted by cimbrog at 12:40 PM on September 19, 2008


Seconding the Mayor. She has immediately shown herself to be rather untrustworthy at the very earliest stages of your relationship with this sort of casual lie.

You were both pretty drunk, presumably at a bar or club, and thinking of bumping uglies; and she wasn't completely up front about her five year old child. Personally I have to disagree with Mayor Curley and TheOnlyCoolTim; I don't think her actions prove untrustworthiness is endemic to her character.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:42 PM on September 19, 2008


The spooky thing is, she lied. I can understand having a child and being young and not necessarily wanting your daughter to meet every guy you date (I'd imagine that would be confusing as heck for the kid) but they lying-about-it thing is creepy and weird. Personally I'd say it brands her as probably not a great parent and probably not a great person overall.
posted by Neofelis at 12:42 PM on September 19, 2008


I've met her in the night in the past, let's say from 11pm till 3am, where the child is clearly asleep. Is it okay to leave a child alone when asleep? As a single mum, how does one deal with such situations?
posted by ChabonJabon at 12:43 PM on September 19, 2008


You mean, alone in the home? Um, no. Does she do that?
posted by amro at 12:45 PM on September 19, 2008


I totally disagree with your interpretation. That is possibly one of the only lies that I would, without question, instantly forgive in the early stages of getting to know someone.

I don't think it is irregular for a young girl with a kid to hold back that information. It happens a lot, because there are plenty of guys like me who take the subset of women with kids and put them immediately into the "do not date" pile.


I disagree with this line of thought for two reasons. The first is that I think you should not lie about the things in your life that are or should be important. Lie about about my ugly sweater, lie about liking pickles if you don't, but don't lie about your marital status, your children, your religious beliefs, or any of the other core issues. It betrays a lack of self-value- why should impressing some random guy you just met be more important than your relationship to your child? I would not be interested in dating someone who thinks that lying to please people is OK, it's such a slippery slope. This segues into the second reason, which is that if you're going to lie to me, you better be really good at it, or I will quickly assume that you are an idiot. This woman couldn't keep her story straight for one night. And in this context, "being drunk" is not really a great excuse.

On preview, no, you can't leave a child alone when it's sleeping, and if you tell me you still want to date this women even though you know she leaves her child alone to go out and party (please tell me I'm misunderstanding you), I will be speechless, which is really saying something.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:47 PM on September 19, 2008 [7 favorites]


I've met her in the night in the past, let's say from 11pm till 3am, where the child is clearly asleep. Is it okay to leave a child alone when asleep? As a single mum, how does one deal with such situations?

No, it is not okay to be leaving the child of that age alone, even if she's sleeping. (I am assuming you meant that you met her someplace other than her home where her daughter would be sleeping. Watching movies or something while the child sleeps in the other room is fine.) Once again, see if she is leaving her daughter with someone else - the girl I dated left her son with her parents once a week so she could get out. If she's leaving the child alone to go party... consider calling child services, or at least confront her about it.
posted by cimbrog at 12:49 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


if you wish to continue to see her, do make sure to offer to pay/subsidize for a sitter when you're going to go out. and no, it's not okay to leave a child at home alone, esp. at that age.
posted by elle.jeezy at 12:54 PM on September 19, 2008


why should impressing some random guy you just met be more important than your relationship to your child?

I really don't think it is that sort of play off at all - she's not denying her relationship with her child in any way. She's just holding back that bit of her life in order to increase the chances of actually meeting someone, I think. (in this instance, she got drunk and blurted it out early and tried to cover). I suspect it entirely revolves around bad experiences of people running, and she feels that hiding the fact she has a child increases the chances of getting to know a guy well enough that she can safely reveal that part without fear of him high-tailing it out of there again.

However, much as I think the lie is self-preservation/pre-empting being looked down on, if she leaves the child alone AT ALL at 5 years old, then she certainly IS someone I'd never go anywhere near. I assumed someone was looking after the kid while she was out. Leaving a 5 year old alone is totally unacceptable. Walk away for that reason alone, as her judgement is severely askew.
posted by Brockles at 12:58 PM on September 19, 2008


Is it okay to leave a child alone when asleep?
No. Why would that be OK?

If she's responsible, she's got a baby-sitter, or the kid is with her parents.
posted by Airhen at 12:59 PM on September 19, 2008


Like what do children of that age even talk about? Certainly not Obama and certainly not Lisp. What do they even do? Just waddle around and watch TV or do they hang out with friends?

You really don't know kids. I talk to my 4.5 year old boy about Obama, McCain and Bush. In fact, we had a spirited debate on who was worse, Bush or Emperor Palpatine.

I think I won this time.

And they don't waddle. They run, catch, throw and play Wii.

And can one leave such a child alone at home ever?

Never. It's inexcusable. If she is doing this, then DTMFA before you end up testifying at a CPS hearing.
posted by cjets at 1:01 PM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've met her in the night in the past, let's say from 11pm till 3am, where the child is clearly asleep. Is it okay to leave a child alone when asleep? As a single mum, how does one deal with such situations?

Are you talking about her going out, leaving the child at home without another adult there? If so, no, this is NOT alright. This is something a person could have her kids taken away for, or even go to jail if it happens regularly enough and it got found out.

I'm sorry this is going to sound harsh but I think it's important for you to know that this is something that most humans know without having to ask. This is the kind of thing that box probably meant when he said he didn't think this was right for you. Her lie is irrelevant--you're not ready.
posted by lampoil at 1:02 PM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've met her in the night in the past, let's say from 11pm till 3am, where the child is clearly asleep. Is it okay to leave a child alone when asleep? As a single mum, how does one deal with such situations?

She gets a sitter, or a family member, or the baby daddy, to stay at home while the kid sleeps. It's pretty uncharitable to assume that she's leaving the kid at home alone.
posted by muddgirl at 1:06 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay, I don't know if she leaves the child alone. I didn't ask. I just know she always wanted to come late, so I ASSUMED the child was in bed asleep, but it could be that the child was somewhere else. No idea.

So what are you guys saying? That NOBODY should ever date this girl? That she is unfit to be dated by anyone, including me? What's the plan here? She should somehow magically discover the right path, get everything in order, and then she is prepared to meet people?

The fact that she only wants to meet me at weekends probably implies that gets someone to take care of the kid. Actually, now that I think about it, a couple of weekends back, I called her out. She was coming, but she was waiting for her 'brother' to come pick her up. He never came, and so she cancelled.

So this 'brother' could be the person who takes care of the child. I don't know. But I really don't think she is a bad parent.
posted by ChabonJabon at 1:07 PM on September 19, 2008


lampoil: I don't think it's fair towards me to say I'm not ready just because I've never been around little children. I don't even know how big a 5 year old child is. Where would I see this stuff, nobody around me has anything to do with children. I don't know from what age a child can be left alone, and very frankly, I think this is culturally specific.
posted by ChabonJabon at 1:11 PM on September 19, 2008


I know a woman like that with a young child. They both live with her mother, who watches the child when the child's mother goes out. Anyway, it's probable that the child is not left alone at home. It is not acceptable to leave a 5-year-old at home alone. The fact that it is the first thing that occurs to you is pretty odd.

To answer your other question, kids, especially at that age, are not blobs that waddle around. They are likely in kindergarten and are real people, only smaller. You can have conversations with them about school, friends, sports, music and movies and more. The same stuff you would talk to your friends about perhaps, except maybe the specific movies and music would be a little different.

With all due respect, at nearly 30 years old, you should not be this ignorant about children. Even if your friends don't have kids, surely you frequent places where children exist. Reading this is like they're an alien species when really, they're not.
posted by ml98tu at 1:14 PM on September 19, 2008


I hear what you guys are saying, but I just feel very strongly that everyone should have a chance. I like this girl, I think she likes me, just because she may have not wanted to immediately say she has a child does not mean I should go running. Not everyone can tell the truth all the time, I know I do my share of lying.

Highlighting the fact that you came in here to seek validation, not advice. You're making excuses to cover up her bad behavior to people on the internet - I think that sums up all the possible reasons anyone here could add to tell you that dating her is a bad idea. She's a liar, comes across as a bad parent whether she is or not, and is pretty clearly irresponsible. If you can look past that, fine, but don't shoot down advice that incorporates it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:15 PM on September 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


So what are you guys saying? That NOBODY should ever date this girl?

You asked if she leaves the child home alone. That's a major red flag. If that's not the case, and the only issue is that she lied about the kid, I would let it go.
posted by cjets at 1:16 PM on September 19, 2008


I just looked at your previous question again. I'm shocked that you would consider "having a smile that exposes too much of the upper gums" and "getting fat" to be breakupworthy flaws, but NOT lying about the existence of a child or leaving this child alone at night to go get drunk.

Assuming the child is left alone, asleep, when the mom goes out, does the child even know she's being left alone? What if she has nightmares or pukes on her pajamas?

Is it possible to successfully get to know and interact with a person who has a 5 year old daughter ...yes, yes it is, easily. However this situation has all sorts of warning flags all over it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:17 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps you could clarify your culture for us? I think most of us are assuming U.S. (or Western at least) urban culture. Your profile doesn't list a location.

From that perspective... well, the only person you can really ask these questions of is her. How does she want you to interact with the kid? How often? Does she not want you around her at all for a while, or ever? I dated a single mom briefly, and she was perfectly comfortable discussing her expectations and requirements when it came to her 8-year-old. If this girl isn't yet (and it sounds like she probably isn't) she's going to have to learn how to be, so go ahead and ask her.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:18 PM on September 19, 2008


So what are you guys saying? That NOBODY should ever date this girl? That she is unfit to be dated by anyone, including me? What's the plan here? She should somehow magically discover the right path, get everything in order, and then she is prepared to meet people?

Only if she was actually abandoning her child to go out at night - I doubted she was, but as you can see the outrage over that even being a possibility should tell if its okay to leave the child alone. So please ignore all that noise and proceed with the rest of the advice (mine being to go ahead and give it a shot with all the usual dating caveats.) It sounds like you still don't know a lot about her situation and we're all going to just fill in the blanks with our own experiences.
posted by cimbrog at 1:18 PM on September 19, 2008


I hear what you guys are saying, but I just feel very strongly that everyone should have a chance. I like this girl, I think she likes me, just because she may have not wanted to immediately say she has a child does not mean I should go running. Not everyone can tell the truth all the time, I know I do my share of lying.

I just feel like I don't really know her, and I should first get to know her and the child before I know that it's not right for me.

It's a real person with real flaws, it's easy to understnad why she said she does not have a child initially. That part does not bother me.

It's more the akwardness of the child situation. Like what do children of that age even talk about? Certainly not Obama and certainly not Lisp. What do they even do? Just waddle around and watch TV or do they hang out with friends?

And can one leave such a child alone at home ever? Or only when asleep? It's a strange strange world to me, but I'm always up for something new....
posted by ChabonJabon at 12:29 PM on September 19 [+] [!]


OK, then. How to talk to a 5 : Be yourself, talk about ANY age-appropriate (by that I mean not frightening or sinful (as defined by the mom) or scandalous or mean-spirited) topic you like, even Obama or LISP. Tell her all about LISP and how you make computers do neat stuff. In due course she'll ask a good question and maybe change the subject and the conversation will be on! I wish I still had a 5 (he's 13 now).
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:22 PM on September 19, 2008


No, a 5-year-old is NEVER left alone at home.
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:24 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metroid Baby: I can't explain it either, but to me it makes sense. A child is not a flaw in any way, it's just a child. Lying is not a flaw either, it's just a choice. If you like art, you will understand what I mean.

ml98tu: I'm not ignorant about the world, but I think you may not be too aware of how lots of young men live. There is very little interaction with the young peoples world. I live alone without family in a big city. My friends are other guys and some gals. There is not some family thing going on here where people would introduce me to children, and I'm not going to go to the park and start talking to 5 year old girls.

Inspector.Gadget: I'm not seeking validation, I already thought about this and I decided to go ahead. My question was not on if I should go ahead, but on _how_ I should go ahead. My sense of fairness is such that I strongly believe that everyone has to have a chance at everything, and I see no reason not to allow her her chance. And I dig the chick.

Yes, there are warning flags, but I just think that sometimes one has to ignore the flags and just try. If I don't try, I may end up like that dude on Taxi Drive, all lonesome and asking myself "What If..."
posted by ChabonJabon at 1:30 PM on September 19, 2008


Okay, you must know SOMEONE who has (or had) a 5-year-old kid. Your parents, for example. There's no shame in asking them, "hey, I'm dating a girl with a young kid, and I know nothing about kids. Care to give me a brief primer?" Or something along those lines. People love talking about their children.

I understand why this woman wouldn't tell you she had a kid, a lie about it. Based on what you've said, I think it's too soon to make a judgment on what the actually means. If you decide you want to get to know her better, you'll soon learn if she's a "real" liar or not.

To repeat what's been said, don't try too hard, too fast, to get attached to her kid. Many single mothers discourage that.
posted by girlmightlive at 1:30 PM on September 19, 2008


I don't think it's fair towards me to say I'm not ready just because I've never been around little children.

That's not what I was saying at all. I was saying that even people who don't spend time around children would know not to leave one that young alone in a house. Even if you haven't seen a 5-year-old since you yourself were 5. Don't get me wrong--if you didn't know, it's good that you asked. And I don't think she's leaving her child alone, either. I just think that if I were her, I wouldn't want to date someone seriously who didn't know the very, very basics of how to care for a child. Staying in the same house with them is pretty much rule #1. You don't have to have been around children to know that. You just know. IF however we're not talking about seriously dating,just hooking-up, then that's another story, I guess. In that situation I don't see why you'd need to meet the child at all.

If you insist on dismissing my answer because of cultural specificity, there's not much I can do about it. Since I don't know what your culture is, I can't say for sure whether my answer would be as correct there as it is here. But I suspect it would be.
posted by lampoil at 1:33 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


agreeing with those who pointed out that based on your last question, you are the one who isn't fit to be with anyone else right now until you get your issues regarding women resolved. if you pick a woman apart for too much upper gum or whatever other petty reason, you're eventually gonna come to look at her child as a flaw.

ps: even if you didn't have your own set of issues, the fact that she goes to clubs, parties, drinks, smokes and leaves her child alone to do so, lies (terribly) about having a child and then becomes evasive when asked about it, should be sending up some red flags. why would it surprise you that someone like that ended up with a child at 19?
posted by violetk at 1:36 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you remember being 5? Do you remember kindergarten, what you liked, what you were doing with your friends, what you wanted to talk about?

I work with kids and I've found the easiest ways to talk to them/relate to them are to remember what it was like to BE that age. Five is when you're starting to really get attached to your friends, you're in formal school for the first time, learning how to read - all that stuff. I remember learning to tie my shoes when I was five. I even remember what the shoes looked like. Little stuff like that helps me keep perspective when talking to kids.

Just don't talk down to her. Ask her questions like "What's your favorite color?" or "Who's your favorite Disney character?" Listen. Respond. But the quickest way to lose a kid's respect is to be that condescending grown-up. Talk to her on her level - both physically and mentally. You don't have to dumb yourself down, but don't use words that she can't understand and explain everything clearly. Five year olds have pretty big vocabularies, but still, stick to simple, easy to understand sentences.

(I realize that "don't talk down to her" and "stick to simple sentences" sound contradictory, but really, a kid can tell if you're intentionally dumbing yourself down and that really is going to lose you a lot of points in kid-land.)

And oh, being silly always helps. F'rinstance: with the five year old that I nanny, when I want her to stop and wait for me at the corner when we're walking home from school together, so I can check for cars before she runs down the alley behind her house, I ask her stop so I can "see if there are any bears coming." She laughs every time.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:41 PM on September 19, 2008


Hi there, I was once your girlfriend. When I was 24 I had a five year old daughter and I dated and went out to clubs and drank and smoked and laughed and generally had a lot of fun. I went to art school. I went to shows. I had lots of musician and artist friends and threw parties and went out late after the shows. I lived, in fact, like most 24 year olds - kind of the way that my daughter who is now herself 25, lives. So no, people who have kids young are not terrible freaks of nature - they're just people.

However, I didn't lie about the existence of my kid, although I can actually understand the motivation. There were times where I didn't mention my daughter for a while too. Now that I am old I am way tempted to lie about her and pretend she is my sister but unfortunately I've never been able to lie convincingly or really lie at all without blushing and getting all confused and laughing and then giving it up. Pity. Once I got to know people better, I usually just quietly mentioned her in a sentence in the conversation and let it go at that. Most guys were fairly cool about it - if they weren't, if they were either totally freaked out or if they were all oooh I want to be a daddy, which is just creepy, IMHO, until you get to know the family - then I split. So mentioning my kid was something of a litmus test, it is true. The real litmus test came when they actually met and some failed then and I walked away. Some passed. FWIW, it would never have occurred to me to leave her home alone asleep - I lived in houses with roommates and made sure they were going to be home before I went out at night.

If she wants you to meet her kid, she'll let you know. In the meantime, if she's not inviting you to hang around, that means she's not ready for that yet. Don't worry about interacting with the kid. Her kid is just a short person, you know and, actually, you were once one yourself. Really. Anyway, 5 year olds are awesome. Just be yourself and be friendly and you may like her a lot. You also may not, in which case it would behoove you as a gentleman to exit stage left before things get any more serious.

In the meantime, I suggest you just relax and see what happens. Yeah, she has a kid. But she's still a person.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:41 PM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


So what are you guys saying? That NOBODY should ever date this girl? That she is unfit to be dated by anyone, including me? What's the plan here? She should somehow magically discover the right path, get everything in order, and then she is prepared to meet people?

No. It's just somewhat obvious that you're very uncomfortable with the idea of going out with a girl with a child, and forgive me, but you're coming off as pretty judgmental about the type of girls who would do this or that or have a kid. It's moot, though, as she seems to consider her child to be none of your business.

This isn't terribly unusual -- the child IS none of the business of those with whom mom has a very casual relationship. Single parents don't usually go so far as to pretend their kid is their niece, but it's commonplace to not involve a child unless the relationship is serious. And with someone who's okay with dating someone with a child. (And by okay, I mean "not utterly freaked out by the idea of speaking to a 5-yr old.")
posted by desuetude at 1:43 PM on September 19, 2008


I'm not ignorant about the world, but I think you may not be too aware of how lots of young men live

So by "culture" you meant "typical mid-20s male cluelessness" - gotcha. I think we're all aware of that, and everyone here is telling you to find yourself a clue bat, take aim at your own skull, and get a few good swings in.

Talk to your parents, if that's possible. Talk to older coworkers or acquaintances- I've met very few parents that don't love to wax nostalgic about their kids when they were little. And dammit, talk to the girl herself.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:44 PM on September 19, 2008


Weren't you a kid at one point? Surely you can remember bits of your childhood. What did you like to do as a kid? Coloring? Playing catch? Start there.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 1:44 PM on September 19, 2008


Speaking as a newly single mother who also had her first child at 19:

1) I would not date you. I can forgive inexperience with kids, but the way you speak about it does not strike me as respectful to this woman or her child. You don't seem all that interested in learning about them, and the "fun loving girl..." thing is just ridiculous.

2) Frankly, I wouldn't date her either. Who lies about the existence of their child?

3) Wow, there are a lot of really judgmental people on this site. Having a child when young does not automatically make one irresponsible or a bad parent for life, even if one occasionally gets a babysitter and goes out. Jeez.
posted by streetdreams at 1:47 PM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow, there are a lot of really judgmental people on this site. Having a child when young does not automatically make one irresponsible or a bad parent for life, even if one occasionally gets a babysitter and goes out. Jeez.

streetdreams, i don't think anyone is being judgmental about having a child at a young age, but that in conjunction with the normal early 20s behaviour (partying, smoking, drinking), then lying about said child, then becoming evasive when asked about it, then leaving her home alone to do said normal early 20s things is what is sending up ppl's red flags.
posted by violetk at 2:11 PM on September 19, 2008


Who actually said she was leaving the kid alone at home? You mention that she seems to be only free weekend nights - surely it's plausible that she's leaving her kid at her parent's place?

I agree, it's weird that she would lie about something like that, a lie that would be found out really easily.

How about you just get to know her better first, instead of relying on a bunch of internet strangers to weigh in with their opinion?
posted by minus zero at 2:37 PM on September 19, 2008


She was drunk and she's 24. Can we give her a break? I know I've said things completely sober and even as the words are coming out of my mouth my brain is saying "wait, what?"

Her actions just seem immature and she is that, but skank is pretty harsh.
posted by spec80 at 3:11 PM on September 19, 2008


ml98tu: I'm not ignorant about the world, but I think you may not be too aware of how lots of young men live. There is very little interaction with the young peoples world. I live alone without family in a big city. My friends are other guys and some gals. There is not some family thing going on here where people would introduce me to children, and I'm not going to go to the park and start talking to 5 year old girls.

Not buying it. Sorry. I live with a 27-year-old guy in New York City. Neither of us have family here. His friends are other guys and some gals. There is not some family thing going on where people would introduce him to children, and he doesn't go to the park and start talking to 5 year old girls. My brother is in his mid 20's in another major city living the same lifestyle you speak of. Both of them are aware of children and have even been known to be able to carry on a conversation with one should there be an encounter.

We see kids everywhere. They are on the subway. They are on the street. They are in the coffee shop. They are in the grocery store. They are in the bookstore. They are in the park, even if we don't talk to them. They are in the restaurants that we eat in, and we aren't exactly frequenting Chucky Cheese's. They come into work with their parents some days during the summer and on school holidays. Hell, we can't avoid them, much as I'd like to sometimes.

I am entrenched in that culture, and I know how it lives. I live with, am related to, am friends with and work with guys in that culture. You are ignorant about children, more so than your peers. That's all.

It doesn't matter anyway, because you will discover her flaws within the next week to three months. Perhaps giving everyone a chance is part of your problem, because you are dismissing things that you are concerned about in the quest for fairness and "chances for all". Five women that are a good fit are better than 50 that "deserve a chance." You are unsure about the kid thing and do not appear to have respect for this woman. You don't have to give her a chance if you aren't up for being with her and everything that might entail. You acknowledge that you are willing to ignore items that are a red flag to you. Go out with her a few more times if you want, but I would cut your losses and move on. This will not end well.

I concur that you are just looking for validation. AskMe is not the right venue.
posted by ml98tu at 3:18 PM on September 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Are you sure this woman wants to have a relationship with you? Has she said she wants you to meet her daughter? Maybe you are someone she doesn't feel particularly emotionally attached to you and she enjoys doing adult stuff like drinking and smoking in bars with you. That would be a reason for not wanting to discuss her daughter in the first place.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:46 PM on September 19, 2008


*maybe you are someone she doesn't etc*
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:49 PM on September 19, 2008



So what are you guys saying? That NOBODY should ever date this girl? That she is unfit to be dated by anyone, including me? What's the plan here? She should somehow magically discover the right path, get everything in order, and then she is prepared to meet people?


There's a huge world of folks out there, some of whom you'll hate, some of whom you'll love, and most of whom you'll never meet. You're not attached to this person yet, not in any significant way, and so the important thing to keep in mind from your perspective is that you need to be looking out for you right now, not looking out for her or her child. At the same time, as individuals we should always try to do things that don't hurt other people, especially children.

To that end, it doesn't matter if she's unfit or fit for anyone, or whether she might be in the future or not; what matters right now is if she's a good fit for you, and also make sure that if you pursue this relationship that you behave in ways that won't hurt her child.

The fact of her daughter is something that will not change, ever. Suppose you end up having a serious relationship, then getting married, and becoming this child's father -- does that sit well with you to think about right now? You don't have experience with kids, and you're not sure how to act around them; is becoming a stepfather (or "uncle foo") seem like the kind of role you want to play in this child's life?

And as for her, she's shown that she's more concerned with attracting guys (or at least you) than she is at being proud of and showing off her child, who by all rights should be a primary focus of her life (at least, if what's best for the child is of significant importance to her.) She knows that anyone hooking up with her seriously will need to deal with her daughter -- so why hide it up front? Perhaps it's easier for her to hope you'll get attached to her (as you seem to be doing) so that you won't run away when you find out about her daughter later...but she shouldn't be trying to attact a guy who would run away in the first place if she cares about her daughter's welfare.

The best course of action for her right now would be to date guys who are cool with her having a daughter, who are understanding about what that means, and who she can be up-front about such things to. She's not at that place right now.

At the end of the day, then, you can plunge further into this...or you can walk away from the relationship, be a good and supportive friend to her instead, and let her find a guy whose response to the daughter thing would be "really? that's fantastic, I have a huge family, and I babysit my sister's kid all the time." Meanwhile you go find a girl who is more compatible with you on every level, including whether or not she has children. It's best for everyone.
posted by davejay at 4:04 PM on September 19, 2008


It sounds like this woman won't be ready to introduce you to her daughter for quite a while, if ever, so you probably have some time to get used to the idea of conversing with a five-year-old. In the meantime, spend some more time getting to know each other. Sound interested in the little girl if her mother brings up the subject, but don't pry for information that she isn't ready to give (such as who the father is).

Regardless, I totally understand your discomfort. I don't have younger siblings, I didn't babysit when I was a teenager, and none of my friends/relatives have young children... so I haven't had much meaningful interaction with elementary-school kids since I was that age myself. But when I have had to spend time with children, I've found that they're remarkably easy to talk to. They're really willing to give anyone a chance. There's no particular subject you should talk to them about... just talk to them basically the same way you'd talk to an adult. Ask them about school and their hobbies. You don't need to baby-talk to kids that age, and in fact, a lot of them probably appreciate being treated like a "grown-up".
posted by arianell at 4:17 PM on September 19, 2008


I would go out on a limb here and actually suggest that you don't meet the child until and unless you decide you are serious about the mother. It just isn't fair to the child to have one more "mommy's special friend" come through her life.

If the time ever comes when you are sure a relationship with this woman is what you want, you will be meeting this child as you would any other person in her life that she cares deeply for, and it probably won't be so scary. Also, by then you'll likely have heard lots of anecdotes about her and will have a fairly good ideas about subjects that she'd be interested in.
posted by agentwills at 4:20 PM on September 19, 2008


but she shouldn't be trying to attact a guy who would run away in the first place if she cares about her daughter's welfare.

That's a ridiculous thing to say. If people could accurately predict people's reactions to that degree, there'd be no failed relationships in this world at all. Plenty of guy's 'freak out' when the idea of that sort of responsibility is brought up, but may look on it very differently when it changes from "this girl I want to scuttle has a kid" to "I really like this girl, and she has a child.".

It would be impossible to meet someone and accurately predict how they'd react to that. The only issue is that once the subject is brought up, those that may initially freak but may come around to the idea when they have developed a genuine attraction are already long gone. She may just want people to see her for herself, not as "a single mother in a bar".
posted by Brockles at 4:31 PM on September 19, 2008


For what it's worth, ChabonJabon, i like you a lot, and i've got no time for most of the judgemental comments in this thread. I admire the fact you're honest and open enough to admit you've got questions you need answering... and you ask them.

Having said that, I think you should give this girl a chance. Firstly, she clearly doesn't leave this kid home alone, despite the earlier outrage.

Secondly, a lot of young women with children don't readily admit to the fact they are mothers, mainly from bitter experience... most men run a mile when they discover a girl they're getting on well with has a child. She is probably very lonely.

And thirdly, you obviously like her. Chill out, enjoy it, i'm sure it will work out for the best. Remember, you only live once!!
posted by derbs at 6:05 PM on September 19, 2008


As someone who dated a single mother with a child around age five, it is absolutely ok to go down that path. I would greatly recommend not doing things involving the child for a while, until things have progressed with her and it has been discussed between the two of you. You absolutely do not want to present yourself or be presented as a father figure to a child in that situation. And that's tough to do when there are two adults out together with a child. It isn't fair to the child to act like "Dad" after a couple weeks of dating and then just disappear into the night a few weeks later if things don't work out.

That being said, that woman is now my wife, I love her dearly, and that five year old is now my son in absolutely every sense of the word.
posted by shinynewnick at 7:09 PM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Are you sure this woman wants to have a relationship with you? Has she said she wants you to meet her daughter? Maybe she doesn't feel particularly emotionally attached to you and she enjoys doing adult stuff like drinking and smoking in bars with you. That would be a reason for not wanting to discuss her daughter in the first place.

I was thinking the same thing -- it's entirely possible that the girl doesn't even want to enter into a serious thing with you. She could be hiding her daughter not because she really wants to get to know you and is afraid of scaring you off, but because she just wants to have fun dating and hanging out, and you have no long-term potential for her.
posted by LionIndex at 10:16 PM on September 19, 2008


From the POV of the kid:

Meet the woman only when the kid isn't home or when the two of you can get together outside of the home (I hope to everything sacred and green she's the responsible sort who gets a babysitter and doesn't just leave the kid at home alone like mine sometimes did), at least until you know more about this person who seems to still be in party/stay child-like mode and does not want to admit to being a mother in case it dashes her chances.

Sorry if I'm projecting...that just always gets my goat. If one gets pregnant and decides to accept the resulting human into one's life, one then gets to accept the other consequences, like acknowledging the child's existence without lying. To do otherwise shows a lack of maturity/character/acceptance of their chosen role as a parent.

Personally, I'd think twice before getting involved, but I'm not you and I'm certainly in no position to set myself up as the morality police.
posted by batmonkey at 11:43 PM on September 19, 2008


...she kinda slipped and said something like "My daughter...I mean, my sisters child who stays with me". Then later after some more drinks, she repeated the "My daughter" line ...she told me that she had a 5 year old daughter. Initially she was very evasive to my question.

What if it was something like Phoebe out of friends who gave birth to her brother's triplets? What about this guy I knew who provided sperm for a lesbian couple, who unfortunately later died in car crash? What about the time I was drunk and called myself a partny animal? Some people say shit, and some people mishear shit. I wouldn't worry about it until I actually had more details.

So, you both were drunk, there may or may not have been loud music. You don't know who has the child or takes care of her, or her genetics or anything like that. All you know is that you're intimidated with the possibility of having to interact with a child AND a woman who (shock horror) may or may not have been pregnant at 19 (which is really not huge - LOTS of people are pregnant at 19).

What was the question?

Is it possible to successfully get to know and interact with a person who has a 5 year old daughter, considering that I have no experience with children, and considering the time constraints?
Yep, two of my brothers (both not parents at the time) fell in love with women who were single mothers.

So how does it work with going out with a girl who has a daughter?

Well, that depends on her, I'm sure she'll let you know her constraints.
posted by b33j at 4:28 AM on September 20, 2008


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