No two parents raise their children exactly the same way; even couples share their differences from time to time, no matter how minor.
Parents who have extremely different views from other parents, however, can have a very difficult time coexisting with the parents of their kids’ peers, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor mama-of-4-232 was shocked when her sons’ friend’s mom demanded that she punish one of her sons after he accidentally walked into the bathroom on the mom.
But when the mother took matters into her own hands and punished him by excluding him, the Original Poster (OP) felt that a conversation needed to be had.
She asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I be the a**hole) if I called a little girl’s mother to ask why my son wasn’t invited to her birthday?”
The OP believed that she had two well-behaved little boys.
“I (28 Female) have twin five-year-old boys named Jude and Jonah.”
“They go to a private Jewish kindergarten where it’s very customary to invite the whole class to birthday parties. It might even be a school rule, but I don’t think I’m going to take this to the school.”
“Jude and Jonah are very well-mannered and reserved. Obviously, I’m biased, but they’ve always gotten along with all of their peers and have never gotten into any drama.”
The OP believed her son walking in on someone in the bathroom was an accident.
“Jude is a slow reader, and we’ve gotten him a tutor, but it’s still been very hard for him.”
“At our synagogue (the Synagogue and School are two separate places, but there’s a lot of overlap with the people), the bathroom signs just say men and women with no little picture, and they are single bathrooms.”
“Two weekends ago, Jude walked into the women’s by accident, and I guess the door wasn’t locked correctly because he walked in on this woman named Jess, who is the mother of a little girl in his class.”
“He says he just saw her on the toilet and ran out, closed the door, and said sorry.”
“Jude immediately came up to me and told me, and he was very embarrassed.”
“I told him it wasn’t a big deal and he should just remember to knock next time, and the longer word says women.”
“He said he would and that he thought it would be a stalled bathroom like most public bathrooms, and that’s fair, so I left it there.”
But Jess did not see things that way.
“Jess came up to talk to me afterward and told me that he needed to be punished. She said it was extremely inappropriate.”
“I assured her he didn’t know and wouldn’t do it again.”
“She said there was ‘no way he can’t read men and women,’ and that her daughter could, and told me I had to nip this behavior in the bud.”
“I often feel talked down to because of my age by other parents at the school, so I just said I would take care of it and left it there.”
Jess appeared to take the punishment into her own hands.
“On Friday, her daughter was handing out birthday invites and gave one to Jonah, not Jude.”
“They both asked her why, and she said her mom said not to give him one and wouldn’t tell her why.”
“Jude cried the whole rest of the day and wouldn’t tell anyone why because he didn’t want to be a tattle-tale.”
“I asked Jude if anything else had happened between the two of them, and he promised me it didn’t and said they’d even been playing together at recess this whole last week. And her daughter was trying to cheer him up by suggesting ways to sneak him in.”
The OP wasn’t sure how to handle this.
“I’m honestly livid; I wouldn’t care if she had given neither of them an invite, but giving one twin and not the other is incredibly rude and passive-aggressive.”
“I’m considering calling her and talking about it because I think it’s ridiculous to hold this much of a grudge against a five-year-old.”
“Would that make me an AH? Should I just decline Jonah’s invite? I think the birthday rule is silly, and it’s her choice who she invites, but this is just ridiculous.”
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 thought the other mom had a problem, not the OP.
“She might be the kind of person who automatically decides if a boy makes an error anyone could have made (opening an unlocked door, not paying attention, or not reading the sign), that’s a signal they are predatory.”
“Or she’s a petty power-playing mean mom out to show OP who’s the boss.”
“OP, just decline, and I would definitely discuss this with your rabbi. It’s nonsense the other moms are acting like the mean girls club. How lame.”
“NTA, of course.” – Helena__Handbasket
“It could have been any adult walking into the bathroom since she didn’t lock the door. I’ve done that plenty of times and did exactly what the five-year-old did: apologize, shut the door, and wait my turn. Most people would forget about that interaction within minutes, and she’s holding a grudge against a kid for her mistake. Insane behavior.” – LittleWhiteGirl
“I think the friend’s mom is being overly dramatic and petty about the whole situation. I think that all the factors (like no picture, he’s five years old, etc) are enough to show that the bathroom incident was a simple mistake that could have happened to any kid in similar circumstances.”
“The initial conversation with the mom where she said you have to punish your son seemed weird to me.”
“Had the girl only been friends with one of your sons, maybe the party invite would have been more understandable. But here, it seems the girl is friends with both of your sons, and the party invite was just the mom being ultra petty about the bathroom incident.” – Nervous_Routine_870
“Imagine what she’s like behind closed doors with her own kids!”
“I’m heartbroken for Jude, poor little kid! OP, give him a big hug from us Reddit aunties. That’s seriously unacceptable behavior from a grown-up woman.”
“Fancy holding a grudge against a five-year-old! I’m a petty person, but hot d**n, that’s a level that even I couldn’t stoop to!” – MorphineKiss
“She’s making an accident by a five-year-old into something perverted and sexual, and that makes her the gross one.”
“This is why I believe OP should bring this up at the school and the synagogue. That woman is already stigmatizing the child over nothing, and she is probably telling that nonsense to other people.”
“She left the door open. It could be said she wanted to be seen by any woman or little girl who came in and was disappointed to see a boy.”
“This kind of thing can really mess up a person’s life. Op needs her version of the story to be known. Every child already knows the kid was not invited to the party.” – PowerToThePixie
Others agreed and felt the other mom was making something out of nothing.
“They’re five. They’re just beginning to read. It was an honest mistake and wasn’t intentional.” – BookDragonHoarder
“The fact the woman thinks a kid should be punished for what pretty clearly was an accident says a lot.” – Lrrr81
“I, an adult, have done this by accident and without fault before, and I’m sure, even with best intentions, I may again. Yes, learning and remembering to knock is essential, but it just happens. Sometimes locks break, and a person takes a risk. Sometimes, people wrongly assume things like this poor kid: this is a room with many stalls; I haven’t seen anyone go into the bathroom; basic absent-mindedness.”
“A five-year-old wasn’t coming in to leer at or harass her. He apologized and ran away. She wants to shame this poor kid for an innocent, innocuous mistake. Shame him publicly to his peers.”
“Birthday girl’s mom is not a mature adult.” – einseteinGo
“I realized a few weeks ago that I have been using the men’s bathroom at the laundromat for like a year.,. I am a woman. It’s a single stall, with no urinal, and the doors are always open so I guess I assumed they were both public and non-gendered. I wish I could have seen my own face when my partner pointed it out.” – Tatebos99
“I still burn with embarrassment every time I go to the dealership to get my oil changed, and I approach their bathrooms because two years ago, my dumb @ss accidentally went to the women’s and started to open it. And then I hear, ‘Sir! Hey sir! That’s the women’s restroom!'”
“I did a double-take at the door, and my face turned red, lol (laughing out loud). It still rings in my ear every time I go there. Grown-a** adults definitely make the same mistake, and I can’t even claim ignorance of what the words say!” – ForTheHordeKT
The subReddit was left shaking their heads over the minor incident the daughter’s mom had turned into a legitimate problem.
Because the daughter was trying to think of ways to sneak her snubbed friend in, it was clear the only one here with a problem was her mother, who was holding a grudge about a bathroom incident that could have happened with any five-year-old, even her own.