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Four-Year-Old Asks Dad’s Best Friend To Go Trick-Or-Treating With Them Instead Of His Mom

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Anyone who knows anything about parenting understands that parenting is not one-size-fits-all.

But they also understand that each parenting decision comes with certain rewards or consequences, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

After his four-year-old son requested it, Redditor Similar_Chef_8085 decided to create matching costumes for him, his best friend, and his son.

But when his son said he didn’t want to include his mom, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t entirely sure how to proceed.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for taking our son trick-or-treating without my wife?”

The OP planned to create costumes for Halloween. 

“My (29 Male) wife (30 Female) and I have a four-year-old son. As Halloween approached this year, my son let me know that he wanted to dress up as characters from his favorite show at the moment.”

“These aren’t costumes that are readily available to buy, so I was going to have to do some crafting magic and make them.”

The OP and his wife had different parenting styles.

“I’m a stay-at-home dad (SAHD) and my wife is something of a workaholic. She could cut down on her hours if she wished, but she’s always been a very work driven/focused person. She’s not very maternal.”

“Because of this, my son has never been very attached to her. They have time together at dinner, but even during times when my wife is off work (like during bath time and bedtime), it’s always just me.”

“This isn’t me complaining; I signed on for the SAHD life and I enjoy every minute of it. I just wish, for his sake, that she would be more involved.” 

While working on the costumes, the OP’s son requested another costume.

“About a month before Halloween, my son asked if my best friend (35 Male) could dress up with us. He had already assigned himself and me a specific character and I had started work on the costumes, so I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to add one more.”

“He ADORES my Best Friend. They have such a sweet bond and have since my son was born. I asked my Best Friend if he wanted to join us trick-or-treating, and he immediately agreed.”

“During dinner the night following this, I asked him what character he wanted his mom to be.”

“My son said he only wanted to go trick-or-treating with Daddy and Best Friend.”

“Over the course of the next month, I would casually bring it up again to my son and he continually gave the same answer.”

“My wife was clearly hurt but would always brush it off.”

It backfired on Halloween night.

“Fast forward to Halloween night. I had spent weeks working on these little costumes for all of us.”

“As we were getting ready, my wife and I got into a big argument over the fact that she didn’t have a costume.”

“I pointed out that if she had wanted me to make her one, she could have requested I do so, or she could have gotten one for herself.”

“She said it was ridiculous that the three of us were doing a matching theme and leaving her out of it, and that she wasn’t even going.”

“In the end, my Best Friend and I took him trick-or-treating alone and my wife still isn’t speaking to me because she ‘can’t believe I actually went without her.'”


After reading a few comments, the OP tried to clarify his stance with an update.

“To clarify, I do not let my son ‘call the shots,’ or allow him to make decisions that would harm him. I absolutely WILL step in when he could possibly get hurt. This was not one of those times.”

“I practice gentle parenting as much as possible and in my mind, it wouldn’t have been beneficial to Mom and son’s bond to force him to choose a costume and include her in the matching outfits when he had expressed multiple times that he didn’t want that.”

“I think that bonding needs to happen in situations where my son is not only a willing participant but an enthusiastic one.”

“At dinner, there are times when he attempts to interact with her and it seems like she just zones out or doesn’t bother engaging with him in a meaningful way. That is where I think their bonding needs to start: from the ground up. Not forced via a matching costume that my son has not been receptive to.”

“Another thing I wanted to address: I’ve seen many comments saying ‘Mom not coming should have never been presented as an option to him, you should have asked him ‘what character should mom be?’ instead,’ which I did.”

“With that being said, I will fully admit that I should have done more to include her. But on the other hand, I didn’t think a lack of costume (we’ve gone trick-or-treating in the past without costumes, as most adults with children have) would cause her to not go at all. This is why I felt that if she saw it as such a big deal, she should have brought it up herself.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some hope that the wife would learn from this and be more present in her son’s life.

“I mean, when a mother is so absent, without the need to be, and chooses to be, a child will bond with those willing and choosing to be there in the child’s life. A kid doesn’t see platonic, romantic, etc. Etc. They see who shows up. The wife doesn’t.”

“So yeah, it’s totally possible this kid has bonded with the best friend, what do people expect? For a parent to stay solely at home? Only be friends with people that have kids? The truth is you lose people when you have a kid. And the people that stick around are the ones worth keeping. (Unless they show romantic interest, kick them to the curb.)”

“This is a solid case of a mum not putting her best foot forward, and no parent is capable of that, we’re all learning. But you need to show up. Or that kid won’t even recognize you.” – Traditional_Reply_48

“Here’s what I am getting from this post. Not so much that the best friend is there inappropriately but just is being one of the adults that show up for the child.”

“His mother was mad she was left out but short of ruining her son’s Halloween, that wasn’t the time to have a conversation about it. Nor is pouting like her toddler afterward.”

“They need to have some hard conversations with each other for the child’s sake and soon.” – Southernpalegirl

“ESH! This honestly sounds like a problem between the mom and the child. I am a teacher, there are so many students who are closer to me than their own parents because they spend more time with me. If the dad is a SAH parent and the mom is a work-a-holic, it makes sense that the kid spends more time with ‘Uncle BFF.'”

“But this is HER CHILD. Why couldn’t she have a conversation with HER CHILD? And then she wanted to ruin Halloween for the kid instead of addressing the issue beforehand? Like, she was mad they actually went but refused to go? So the kid was supposed to just miss Halloween because he didn’t want to go trick-or-treating with his mom?”

“Why DOESN’T he want to go with his mom? That is MY QUESTION.”

“It’s one thing if they are not super close, but this kid chiefly says that they don’t want mom to go.”

“MOM needs to have a heart-to-heart with HER SON. I’m tired of parents who expect other people to raise their kids for them. And yeah, I am a total work-a-holic as well, but I am ‘technically’ child-free. There isn’t a tiny human craving more of my attention when I get home. Being the breadwinner doesn’t exclude you from parenting your child.” – curiously_aquarius

“My kids wanted to be a two-part duo for Halloween and have their dad be the villain. There were a ton of less well-known options for me to pick as a costume, but in the end, my daughter helped me pick out a fun outfit that wasn’t a costume, but was ‘Halloweeny.'”

“We had a blast. I would never be hurt by their costume choice and whether it included me or not. It’s their day and regardless, I’d never miss that. The wife needs to reassess her priorities and work on balance. I say this as a working mother with a stay-at-home partner.”

“NTA, OP, and keep up the good work! It sounds like you’re doing amazingly well at the SAHP life and it’s the hardest job out there!” – thebimmerbabe

But others weren’t convinced by the sentiments of the OP’s update.

“Why did OP ask the kid if he wanted Mommy to come? He’s four. You just tell him Mommy’s coming, so she needs a costume.”

“If he says he doesn’t want Mommy to come, and there’s no real reason beyond ‘Mommy works a lot and is tired after work, but maybe that’s something we can work on,’ tell him that isn’t very nice, and you guys should try to include his mom.”

“Sing some Daniel Tiger, about ‘sharing is caring’ and ‘grown-ups come back,’ and tell him his mommy loves him very much.”

“It sounds like DAD didn’t want Mommy to come. YTA, OP.” – UnicornBoned

“A four-year-old doesn’t get to make that decision. The response when the kid said he didn’t want mom to come should have been, ‘That’s not very nice. Of course Mom is going to be coming, we are a family. Now, what character do you think would be best for her?'”

“And if the kid says again he didn’t want her to come, just repeat, ‘Well, she is coming. If you don’t pick out a character, then I guess we’ll just let mommy decide what she wants to be.'”

“You don’t let a four-year-old unilaterally decide not to include a parent in family events.” – T_Money

“There are so many ways he could be trying to include Mommy in all of these activities by mentioning her. ‘We’re making a costume for mommy to go trick-or-treating with us, who should she be?’ OR, ‘Mommy is going to be X character, can you help Daddy make her costume?'”

“OP, YTA, as much as you think your wife isn’t understanding what you do as a SAHD, you don’t seem to understand how she feels and what she does as the sole breadwinner. Both aspects are stressful and extremely important.”

“And the fact you actively made a costume for your best friend and not your wife when it sounds like there are 4 or more characters (Paw Patrol or something similar), you’re especially the a**hole. You’re supposed to be her partner in all of this and this did not help support her within your family or with your child.” – Unique-Way-2497



“You are the adult in charge and you should have made sure to include your wife. With a costume. That matched.”

“Your entire post comes across as judgemental and whiney. You seem to want to prove that you’re the better parent. What’s that about?”

“If you’re unhappy, talk to your wife, don’t use your son to punish her. Do better by your wife and your son.” – BlueNote01

The subReddit was divided on this situation, with some seeing this as a learning opportunity for the mother to actively include herself in her son’s life, while others felt the father was already actively encouraging his son to exclude his mom.

Clearly, some conversations needed to be had, and they’d likely be harder than trying to sort the Halloween candy.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.