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Dad Sleeps Through Son’s Medical Emergency Because He Insists On Locking Door While Napping

Man sleeping soundly in bedroom
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We’ve all had a phase where we’ve forgotten what’s most important in our lives, and we had to sort of reset our thinking.

But some people make a whole lifestyle out of forgetting what’s most important, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor throwawaydoorlock977 was furious with her husband when he prioritized his sleep and gaming schedule over their son’s medical emergency.

When he refused to listen to her concerns, the Original Poster (OP) decided enough was enough.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for removing the bedroom lock after my husband ignored a family emergency?”

The OP was becoming concerned about her husband’s gaming habits.

“Background about my (33 Female) husband (37 Male): He stays up late at night and has to wake up early to go to work. So when he gets home at 5 PM, he has to get his two-hour nap so he could both make up for lack of sleep and also be ready to stay up late to play with his console.”

“The kids barely interact with him. My 14-year-old has her own stuff to be busy with but my 3-year-old misses spending time with his dad and wakes up early to see him since it’s the only time of day he gets to see him.”

“Honestly, I don’t know what it is anymore, he seems to be jumping from one addiction to another. First, it was YouTube, and now it’s video games. I mean, yes, he works long hours, but in my opinion, he’s becoming too obsessed with this gaming thing.”

But she found his private naps to be more troubling.

“He values his sleep and has one rule in the house that he enforces strictly, which is to not be interrupted while sleeping.”

“He literally put a sign on the bedroom door saying, ‘DO. NOT. WAKE. ME. UP.'”

“Under any circumstances, just no, unless someone’s hurt or dead; though, in this case, he said he still wouldn’t be of much help anyway.”

“The kids and I would sometimes wake him up, but only for serious reasons.”

“He got mad and started locking the door.”

“I get no access to the room for two hours but that’s not the main problem.”

“I also don’t have access to his console because he hid it after we had a fight over him leaving the dogs out the entire night while playing games. This was in December in cold weather.”

“Now he keeps it locked in a storage box and carries the key in his Keychain along with his car key.”

An accident happened during the latest nap.

“This past Tuesday, my three-year-old son had hot oil spill on his hand while his 14-year-old sister was cooking. I heard him scream and saw that the oil was covering his hand and half of his arm.”

“I brought the First Aid kit, but he was in so much pain and his skin looked really bad.”

“I rushed to wake my husband up. I kept knocking but got no response, so I tried to open it, but it was locked.”

“I spent a while between knocking on the door (he had his phone turned off) and getting dressed after my daughter asked the neighbor to drive us to the hospital. I cannot drive due to medical reasons.”

“I couldn’t waste any more time because my son was crying. The neighbor took us to the hospital and I couldn’t help but feel livid the whole time.”

The OP’s husband was not apologetic.

“We got home and my husband was pacing around, asking where we were and why I didn’t answer his texts.”

“I blew up on him after I showed him our son’s injury and told him that I pounded on the door to wake him up.”

“He said had his earbuds on and didn’t hear a thing.”

“I called him reckless and neglectful for ignoring a family emergency.”

“He said I could say the same thing about myself for leaving our son unsupervised and causing him to get a burn.”

The OP decided enough was enough.

“I stopped arguing and went to remove the bedroom door lock. He started yelling at me, saying I had no right.”

“I refused to respond. I just walked off to calm down.”

“He didn’t stop complaining, calling me bossy, and saying that by removing the lock, I’ve destroyed his peace and quiet and caused him sleep deprivation.”

“He’s insisting I put it back but I refused.”

“I could be wrong for what I’ve done but I was frustrated and mad.”

“AITA?”

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 were disgusted and doubted that the husband did not hear the OP knocking.

“NTA. Accidents happen, no matter how much you stay alert. But I don’t believe your husband didn’t hear you calling, he chose to ignore you.” – ToastedMarshmeowllow

“Unless the husband has a medical issue not mentioned, he heard those knocking and screaming and chose to ignore them.”

“Sorry but this is a valid reason to seriously consider why you’re still with this person, OP.” – Cybermagetx

“Noise-canceling earbuds would not block that out! I can hear my dogs barking with mine in and the volume up.”

“You’re making excuses for him. You need to think about yourself and your children.” – Icy-Rub-8803

“NTA. I highly recommend consulting a lawyer and getting a divorce.”

“Your child burned themself with hot oil. Your husband did not seem concerned about this when he found out but was more than concerned about a lock being removed from the bedroom door.”

“He’s clearly showing his priorities: himself.”

“As other people have pointed out, why does he have to nap right after work so he can stay up late to game?”

“It really does sound like he’s avoiding you and your children.”

“Do what is best for you and your children.”

“And I absolutely do not believe that ‘he didn’t hear you.’ There’s no way he couldn’t have. You would have been knocking so hard that it would have sounded like you were trying to break down the door!” – mdthomas

“The hinges on a storage box can be removed with a screwdriver or opened by a locksmith (keys go missing all the time).”

“Remove the console, bring it to a game store, and sell it to pay for your son’s medical expenses.”

“None of this would’ve happened if he was present and helping you parent the children, instead of expecting you and your daughter to do everything.” – MulticolourMonster

Others agreed and urged the OP to leave this relationship immediately.

“Have you been lured slowly into finding this normal? If so, you need to snap out of it, because this is way way way past normal.”

“He’s neglecting everyone around him, to the point that he’s a danger even to the dogs, let alone you and your kids. Why do you want to live with this? He’s incapable of being there for anyone.” – Astarkraven

“It’s not the most important issue, but it really bothered me that the husband blamed OP for not watching the three-year-old while the 14-year-old cooked.”

“14 should be given props for cooking! That’s a great age to start building that skill.”

“That’s around the age I started getting interested in cooking, and I volunteered to make dinner for my family occasionally just because it was fun to learn.”

“If my mom would have been hovering over my shoulder the entire time, I would have lost interest immediately.”

“I burned myself every now and then. And I was always yelling at my siblings to get out of the kitchen. But I didn’t expect my mom to lead them around on a leash so they didn’t touch the stove.”

“This is the definition of an accident, and the husband is so opposed to interacting with his family that he’d rather his wife and kids lock themselves away 24/7 and only order microwave meals.”

“Maybe a padded room for them would make the poor husband more comfortable?” – butt_butt_butt_butt

“What the f**k did I just read? Your husband takes an early evening nap so he can stay up late to play video games?”

“Do your kids have any relationship with him because it sounds like he never sees them awake? Obviously NTA.” – OneSuspect1

“Your husband has an addiction to gaming (and maybe p*rn? Since he’s being so secretive about it? Just a guess sometimes those things go hand in hand). I’m so sorry.”

“He may need professional help. I think given how serious this was that it’s time he sees a therapist for this unhealthy, dysfunctional behavior. Hobbies are fine but not at the expense of your son’s and your animals’ well-being. It’s disgustingly selfish.” – ScoobyCute

“OP, he knows he’s in the wrong. He’s putting his gaming ahead of his partner and children. Is that how you want to live?”

“More importantly, your children are being shown that they are less important than daddy’s games. Is that how you want them to live?” – Psychological_Fish42

“The fact that you’re questioning yourself demonstrates how bamboozled you’ve become. He’s a horrible husband and a horrible father, both.”

“If you don’t see that after all these comments, please seek therapy. Your story here is simply not normal, and not acceptable.”

“Now, please listen to me carefully, because I share a few things in common with your husband: I’m a man with two grown children (24 Female and 20 Male) and married to the same wonderful woman for 28 years. I’m a natural night owl (currently I have a 2 AM bedtime), and I am a big gamer.”

“And never once did I prioritize my staying up late or playing games over my wife, kids, or family in general. Never did I come home from work and claim to need a nap so I could stay up late even though I knew I had to get up for work the next morning.”

“And in fact, because I did work some weird hours and have non-traditional sleeping preferences, I made it a point to prioritize my KIDS’ waking time with my availability so that I could be around them as much as I could. If I had a day job, I’d come home and spend all my time with them up to their bedtime, and then stay up an hour or two more for myself. If I had a night job, I’d come right home and get my sleep, and be up for when they got home from school.”

“My personal scheduling always revolved around this question: ‘How can I juggle my time so that I see and interact with my wife and kids as much as possible?’ I squeezed in ‘me time’ where I could (and that time is very important to me; I’m also a natural introvert), but it always came last on the list after spending time with my family.”

“So, to read your story and to read how your husband handles basically the same system simply enrages me.”

“Your husband is a poor excuse for a partner, and that’s exactly what he’s supposed to be: a partner. You would literally be better off as a single mom and receiving child support from him.”

“It’s very sad to hear that your three-year-old gets up early just to see him, because he wouldn’t see him otherwise. And your 14-year-old probably barely knows him. Sad.”

“Make him read this thread and see if it opens his eyes. Otherwise, I really and truly hope for your sake and for your kids’ sake that you divorce this miserable excuse of a father. Good luck to you, I’m very sorry about your situation, and I hope things improve for you.” – karma_1969

Not only was the subReddit concerned about what happened to the OP’s son, but they were furious about the husband’s lack of concern and prioritization of his door lock and gaming schedule.

It hardly seemed to the sub like the husband was contributing anything to this household at all, except maybe additional headaches.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.