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Mom Livid After Brother Didn’t Force Her Son To Shower Or Change Once During 4-Day Road Trip

A man and boy settle into the front seats of a car
Sladic/Getty Images

Trusting your child with another person during the times you’re not around is no easy task.

The stress is normally alleviated when the people with your kids are loved ones and family.

One assumes the adult in charge will follow the guidelines set by parents.

But even with close friends or family, assuming may not always be the best idea.

Case in point…

Redditor Formal-Chef-4916 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my brother he can’t see my son after a road trip that he took him on?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My 9-year-old son Cameron spent his spring break on a road trip with my brother Jackson.”

“My son came back home today, and all the clothes that I packed for him were untouched.”

“He was wearing today what he was wearing on Monday.”

“I asked my son when was the last time he showered, and he said on Monday when he and his Uncle took a shower at a pool.”

“I asked why he didn’t shower the other days, and he just shrugged.”

“I had to bathe him and wash his clothes twice.”

“I asked my brother what was up with my son not showering for four days.”

“He said my son just didn’t shower, but he made sure that he did brush his teeth and wash his feet.”

“I told him that he was irresponsible and I can’t trust him with my son anymore.”

“Therefore, he can’t see him unless I or his mom is there.”

“My brother told me I was way overreacting and just let him be a boy.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole. 

“Eh, there are worse things than a nine y[ear] o[ld] not showering for a few days, I think.”

“But… does your brother have children of his own?”

“How old is your brother?”

“He might need a bit more instructions on the do’s and don’t’s of traveling with a nine yo, including making sure that they shower regularly and wear clean clothes.” ~ MauserGirl

“I mean, I didn’t start showering daily until I was 12.”

“My cousins are 10 and 11 and don’t have B[ody] O[dor] yet. They stay for the weekend, and sometimes I forget to remind them to wash, and they don’t suggest washing because… well, they’re 10 and 11.”

“I don’t have kids, so it’s not something I regularly think about. I can understand why the uncle wouldn’t, even if four days is kinda pushing it.” ~ LoudComplex0692

“My son went to summer camp for one week when he was around 11/12.”

“I noticed when he got home that all of his clothes in his bag were clean.”

“And after looking at some pics that were taken while he was there, he was wearing the same clothes as everyone.”

“It happens. He lived, and he is now grown and showers daily.”  ~ bamagurl06

“I do have kids and would gave been annoyed, but this is a huge overreaction.”

“Just tell brother and kid to be more mindful of hygiene next time.”

“It’s not like he hadn’t eaten in days.”

“Son got a fun adventure for a week and made memories/grew closer to his uncle.”

“If the price is that he was a bit smelly when he got home, I’d pay that.”

“If you think uncle is incompetent, so is OP for not giving kids reminders about hygiene when they called to check in during the trip. YTA OP.”  ~ starchy2ber

“Not taking a shower every day is one thing, but not changing his CLOTHES?! Disguising.” ~ JunkMail0604

“I’m so confused by these comments.”

“Like y’all are comfortable and justifying that a child hasn’t taken a shower for days is okay.”

“That’s concerning, and he was in the care of his uncle.”

“The uncle should’ve made sure he was taking care of his nephew’s hygiene.”

“To say he’s just being a boy is feeding him the wrong thing and breeds the behavior of having poor hygiene is good.”  ~ MewMixDNA

“I mean, it’s not okay in the long term.”

“And he should know not to do this continually, but not taking a shower in 4 days, especially for a 9-year-old kid who presumably hasn’t started puberty and thus gotten the bad smells that come with it; I don’t think it’s a really big deal.”  ~ RecommendsMalazan

“Road trip implies a certain amount of ‘roughing it’ and not showering for four days is not going to harm the kid by any means.”

“I’ve done camping trips this length with my kids, and we all didn’t have a real shower during that time.”

“Having a 4-day spot of not bathing in an otherwise normal bathing routing is completely harmless.”

“Banning his brother from ever being alone with his kid forever is a massive overreaction for something so harmless.”

“I’m honestly surprised there are so many people supporting OP.”  ~ ThisIsTheNewSleeve

“People here are trying to justify why it’s ok that a 35-year-old man left his nephew in dirty clothes with no shower for four days because ‘not everything is common sense.'”

“He had clothes packed with him!”

“Of course OP is NTA.”

“If his uncle can overlook this basic level of hygiene while taking care of his nephew, what else is he overlooking?”

“And the fact that he still thinks this isn’t a big deal is also a red flag.”

“It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have kids!”

“The level of unacceptable behavior that full-grown adult men are able to get away with is astonishing.”

“Especially when it comes to taking care of children!”

“Because, if it were his aunt taking care of him, she would be crucified in the comments.”  ~ Street_Passage_1151

“I wouldn’t say it’s ok for a kid to frequently go without bathing, but when my kiddos were nine, there were definitely periods where they went a few days without a bath/shower.”

“She says four days, which assuming he was freshly showered when they left (sounds like mom would have made sure of that), then it was really only three days.”

“Hell, I often go two days between showers depending on what my days look like.”

“Three or four for a nine-year-old on a fun road trip with their uncle just doesn’t faze me in the least.” ~ evrydayimbrusselin

“NAH. Is regular showering, which I support, really worth losing an uncle who is willing to take kiddo for four days?”

“Really don’t think uncle would abide by a daily shower rule?”

“Not telling you how to feel, just pointing out a family member who is willing/able to do a 4-day road trip is a rarity.”

“Guess, the question is kinda where would they shower?”

“Cause this really feels like an old-school road trip if the only shower was at the pool.”  ~ pottersquash

“I agree with this.”

“Seems like Uncle overlooked paying attention to things like daily showers during the trip, which is gross as heck. I’m not minimizing that at all.”

“But I think kids need close relationships with other adults besides parents, and this isn’t bad enough to throw that away.”

“I’d have a serious talk with him about it and make sure your kid also knows that he needs to take a shower daily, even on a trip like that.”

“Sounds like a learning moment if anything.” ~ qualitylamps

“This is the best post I’ve seen on this post.”

“This is the key.”

“Yea ok, he made a mistake.”

“Is this the first time he screwed up?”

“Is she bad with the kid any other time he is around?”

“Did the kid have a good time outside of the shower issue?”

“Did he beat him?”

“Was he hurt?”

“Was there anything wrong with son outside of the showering issue?”

“The fact that people advise others it’s good to force cut contact with people over stuff like this is crazy.”

“If he is habitual in his lack of attention to this stuff, may prevent long trips again, but to tell your bother he can’t be around your son because he didn’t have him shower for a week is crazy.”

“I would never cut my family out that fast over a mistake.”

“Was he wrong?”

“Yes, and he should have known better.”

“Telling your brother he can’t be around your son without supervision is way overboard here.” ~ TheDarkHelmet1985

“I mean, ‘a**hole’ is too strong of a word, but I do think you’re overreacting. NAH.”

“Being a boy has nothing to do with it.”

“When you go on some trips, bathing isn’t really the highest priority (especially for someone who hasn’t hit puberty yet and isn’t a sweaty stank ball of hormones).”

“My family camped a lot when I was his age, and I would go several days without showering.”

“Besides, a lot of adults don’t shower every day and only address the ‘important’ stuff like brushing their teeth.”

“If the only thing you have to worry about is the kid coming back smelling like a Florida swamp in the summer, I’d call that a win.” ~ echoCashMeOusside

“This. A few days will cause no harm unless it turns into a long-term occurrence.”

“I do, however, think the brother may need to talk about what’s appropriate for trips.”

“Maybe just a simple thing like changing ur clothes if you have some.”

“But honestly, don’t think it’s that big a deal considering the kid hasn’t been hurt, and odds are he was just getting carried away with the trip. NAH.” ~ its_osh

Well, OP, sounds like most of Reddit agrees with you.

Though he came home to you in one piece, your issues are understandable.

Your kid, your rules.

Maybe y’all can have a big chat about it when everyone isn’t so irritated.