Parenting is filled with unsolicited advice, but when a child or parent is differently-abled… well, the comments will just keep rolling in.
A mother dealt with this recently on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit after receiving criticism from a total stranger.
Redditor WarningOutrageous872 went to Walmart expecting to do some shopping and wound up having a ridiculous conversation about her parenting instead.
But because of how she reacted, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was in the wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for letting my 4YO (4-year-old) walk around a store without her legs on?”
The OP has made various arrangements for her 4-year-old daughter.
“So I (33 [Female]) have a daughter (4 [Female]) who was born without both of her legs up to her knee. She has 2 kinds of prosthetic legs, walking legs and running blades. She usually prefers the running blades.”
“Well, neither have knees because her prosthetist said it was best at her age/size so we’re waiting until she’s a bit older to get her legs with knees.”
“But she can also walk fine on her residual limbs. Although she is a bit shorter when she does.”
“She recently is getting very fussy about wearing prosthetics, most likely because it’s hot where we live so the socket bothers her. I don’t make a big deal if she chooses not to wear it as they are her legs. But I usually carry her on put her in a stroller when she doesn’t.”
Recently, the OP ran into someone who had strong opinions about her parenting.
“Yesterday I needed to go to Walmart to get a few things, I brought her and my other daughter (7 [Female]) with me. She didn’t want to put on her legs so I didn’t make her and we left.”
“I had her in the cart for a little while but she wanted to get out and walk with my 7YO (7-year-old) so I let her as long as she stayed by me. Also, she had a onesie on so it was pretty clear that she was missing legs and not just short.”
“Well then a woman came into the aisle we were in and was just staring at my 4YO. Most people do so I didn’t think much of it.”
“Then she turned to me and said ‘Is that your kid?’ (Prob because she looks nothing like me.) I said yes.”
“Then she said “Why doesn’t she have legs” and I told her she was born without them.”
“Then she asked me if she has ‘Fake legs’ and I explained she does but doesn’t like wearing them when it’s hot.”
“She started getting more annoyed and saying things like ‘Well you’re her parent, you need to make her listen to you’.
“She then asked me why I can’t just put her in the cart. I told her I did but she wanted to get out.”
“She then started yelling at me about how my kids are gonna grow up never knowing the word no and I need to be more authoritative.”
“I was kinda confused why she was getting so mad and I said ‘I’m sorry but can I ask why it concerns you?’ and she said her daughter was in the other isle and she didn’t want her seeing that.”
“I started questioning her like ‘Why is my daughter such a bad thing to see?’ and she started backtracking and saying she was just concerned about her legs on the dirty floor, which I guess makes more sense but still none of her business. I just took my girls and left the aisle.”
The OP later wondered if she handled the situation poorly.
“My girls didn’t really understand the argument and they weren’t really listening during it, so they kept asking me after, and I didn’t really know what to say.”
“I mean, I didn’t cuss or say anything I don’t stand behind but I also don’t want to have to explain this kinda thing to my 4YO.”
“Also when we were in line I saw the woman with her daughter who looked to be like 11 or 12.”
“But I do kinda feel like an AH for I guess letting her walk around without legs and not keeping her in the cart.”