Any parent will tell you that it’s difficult to find good quality daycare, let alone quality daycare that sticks around.
Surprisingly, family members often do not make the cut, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Though she hadn’t always had the best relationship with her sister, Redditor No_Razzmatazz_6436 was pleased to see her sister wanted to work on her relationship with her and her niece.
But when she realized what kind of babysitter her sister turned out to be, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if growing their relationship was the right choice.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my sister she is too heavy and lazy to watch my kid?”
The OP found her daughter to be an easy child to take care of.
“I have a daughter named Rebecca. She is five years old now and can be quite a handful at times.”
“When she was two, she’d sometimes run ahead of me if she was excited about something, but she hasn’t done something like that in years.”
“I have never had any problems catching up to her if she were to run off, but she doesn’t really run off anywhere in the first place. She prefers to just sit in one area and play with toys.”
The OP’s sister recently offered to babysit Rebecca.
“My sister is heavier, probably around 250 pounds, and growing up we didn’t have the best relationship.”
“She was 10 years older and she usually saw me as the annoying kid. We started to slowly reconnect this year, and she got to get to know my kid. Overall, I thought it was going great.”
“This week, we organized a sleepover for Rebecca at her auntie’s house so they could bond more. It was my sister’s idea.”
The OP was appalled when she discovered how the sleepover went.
“I came and picked up Rebecca today, and she was on a child leash. I was shocked.”
“She was on a leash basically since an hour after we left yesterday at her house.”
“I confronted my sister about it, and she told me Rebecca was too fast to keep up with and that this was the easiest solution.”
“This started an argument and resulted in me telling her that she is too heavy and lazy to watch my child. That can’t keep up with a kid that likes to sit and play with toys so you put her on a leash.”
“She started defending herself more and called me an a**hole.”
“I told her she will never be alone with and will not probably see Rebecca for a good long time.”
“My mom called after she heard about it, and she is on my sister’s side.”
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 understood why the OP was upset about her sister’s use of a child leash.
“Child leashes were once known as leading strings and kept youngsters from racing under horses’ legs back in the day. I have seen them for crazy active toddlers that scampered away rocket fast and thought it was smart.”
“For a five-year-old girl in a home?”
“I am going with nope…” – 2dogslife
“My sister and I occasionally had a leash. It was a rainbow stretchy belt with a big heart buckle. We didn’t use them much. Sometimes people would give my mom looks or say something. She would tell them, while your child is crying from being in a stroller for too long, mine move around.”
“If used right, a leash can benefit the child. This was not the case. This hurt the child and was all for the adult. NTA.” – bunbunbunny1925
“We used one on mountain trails for our 1.5-year-old. It’s not that we where afraid she’d scamper away. We where just afraid she’d fall off a ledge and this way we could prevent her from getting close to the edge.”
“She did amazing and didn’t seem to mind. And when she got tired, we carried her in our baby carrier backpack.”
“But if we go on forest walks, she gets to roam free.”
“Leashes are fine if used on the right occasion. At home is not one of those occasions.” – life1sart
“I know it sounds mean to pick on someone’s weight, but I felt so angry reading this post. If someone did this to a child of mine, I would be so disturbed.”
“My nephew is nearly five and I could never imagine this happening to him. It seems really abusive. Can you imagine picking your kid up and they are tied up?!” – Disastrous-Square662
“Sister has shown herself to have extremely poor judgment. It’s not that she’s ‘too fat and lazy to see her again,’ it’s that ‘this person had such low standards of care for my child that I don’t think she should be around her at all,’ and I think that’s entirely valid.”
“This wasn’t a two- or three-year-old who was leashed indoors. This was a five-year-old who very likely felt some confusing sense of humiliation.”
“At five, this child very likely felt confused and a little… humiliated. That’s what gets me. The confusion and emotional impact.”
“I can’t believe the people being like, ‘How could you keep her away from your child!’ This act speaks to how sister sees children and it ain’t good.” – Ladyughsalot1
“I was a leash kid, and usually I’m the first to defend it because it allows the kid to walk around while also giving the parent a very small amount more leeway and a bit of a safety net.”
“A three-year-old isn’t going, ‘I can’t believe this disrespect and humiliation, treating me like a dog! The injustice of it all, the indignation I cannot stand it!'”
“Like, kids mostly don’t care that much. They start to run and then are like oh guess I can’t do that.”
“But inside the house? And all night? For a FIVE-year-old? I don’t get it at all.” – claygal2023
“I am very pro-child-leash since my little sibling would bolt at any given opportunity. Didn’t matter where, they would just up and run with their tiny fat toddler legs in whichever direction they happened to be facing.”
“A leash prevented them from careening off the third-floor mall balcony, dissolving into a bustling sidewalk, or faceplanting into some nice family’s dinner at Applebees.”
“I’m very pro-leash.”
“I’m very anti-foisting-a-leash-upon-a-well-behaved-child-who-isn’t-yours.” – Silverwisp7
But others did not appreciate the OP’s harsh critiques of her sister.
“I may be wrong, but I also think OP’s response is somewhat over the top. Sister obviously should never, ever be left in charge of OP’s kid again and is an AH for her behavior.”
“I think going from ‘sister never watches my kid’ to ‘sister will never be around my kid’ is kind of an AH move on OP’s part. Sister is not a threat to kid when OP is around, so this is vindictive.”
“It’s also kind of an AH move to bring sister’s weight into it, especially as plenty of 250+ pound people make perfectly fine parents.”
“OP saying, ‘A leash is not appropriate and I will not feel comfortable leaving daughter in your care going forward,’ is perfectly fine. OP saying, ‘You’re too fat and lazy to ever see my daughter again,’ is not.”
“ESH.” – PerturbedHamster
“ESH. YTA for saying what you did, yeah. She’s the a**hole for putting your child on a child leash without permission.”
“If someone put my kid on a leash without asking me, they’d never be watching my kid again, but the resulting argument shouldn’t dissolve to a point of calling your sister too heavy and lazy to take care of your kid.”
“That seems more like an emotionally-fueled personal attack instead of a point made in an argument.” – gyokuro8882
“ESH. She shouldn’t have put your child on a leash, but the way you handled it by insulting and fat shaming her was horrible.” – Ajstross
“ESH. Putting a leash on a child, especially without discussing it with the parent(s), is horrible. It also sounds like she was on the leash for quite a while, and being restricted like that for so long can’t be good for an energetic, active kid.”
“All that is awful and I definitely don’t blame you for being angry, or for not letting her see/babysit your daughter anymore.”
“However, there was no call for fat-shaming. Her weight is not the reason your kid ended up on a leash. It’s not even the reason she couldn’t keep up with the kid.”
“Plenty of fat people have kids/work in childcare and don’t put kids on leashes. When you imply that her weight is the problem, you’re effectively putting down all fat and overweight people.” – Werepunkk
“ESH. Your sister is definitely an AH to put a child leash on your daughter without your consent, more so if it was inside her house (Who the f**k does that?).”
“But you didn’t have to bring the topic of her weight like that.” – rnunezs12
The subReddit could understand why the OP was upset with her sister for making a major decision about babysitting without addressing the OP first, but they were more divided on the OP’s reaction.
Her being angry, and even questioning her sister as a babysitter, was fine, but when she brought her weight into it, for many, she went over a line.