They say no good deed goes unpunished.
That may be truest for the parents of young children attempting to navigate those confusing, often unpredictable waters.
It seems that no matter what a parent does, somebody disagrees with the approach.
A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit showed what one parent encountered during a recent birthday celebration.
The Original Poster (OP), known as IndicationGood752, led with a loaded title.
“AITA for throwing my daughter a second birthday party after the special needs girl I asked her to invite ruined her first party?”
OP explained how things started off harmless enough.
“My daughter turned 12 a few weeks ago, and for her birthday party, she wanted pizza, a double feature movie at the drive in and ending the night with a sleepover and game night.”
“I told her she could invite 4 friends.”
OP did offer up one idea.
“I suggested she invite ‘Molly,’ a girl who just moved to the area and is in my daughter’s class. I even admitted Molly’s mom had told me Molly was having a hard time making friends since the move.”
“Molly has cerebral palsy and some developmental and intellectual delays, but overall seemed very sweet. My daughter agreed to invite Molly, but I think it was only because I asked.”
But OP was surprised how things turned out.
“While Molly seemed to be a a very sweet kid, she was absolutely awful at the party. She cried when we we didn’t get a pizza with her favorite toppings, and then stole the first slice of cake meant for my daughter.”
“Things got worse at the movie. The first movie (Cruella) was too scary for Molly and she started freaking out and crying multiple times throughout the movie.”
OP was forced to intervene.
“I tried to calm her down, suggesting we take a walk to the snack bar during the scary parts or close her eyes, but she was inconsolable.”
“I tried calling Molly’s mom a few times to pick her up, but I didn’t get an answer. Eventually we ended up having to leave before the second movie (Black Widow), which was the movie my daughter really wanted to see.”
But wait, there was more.
“That night at our house things still got worse.”
“Molly threw a wii remote after she lost at just dance, and didn’t want to play any of the games the other girls did.”
A conversation with Molly’s mom brought more surprises.
“The next morning I called Molly’s parents to pick her up early.”
“Her mom apologized for Molly’s behavior admitting she is prone to outburst when she gets overstimulated, but she had been doing so much better lately in her the therapy.”
“A few days later though, Molly’s mom told me that she can’t stop talking about the party and how much fun she had.”
OP then had another idea.
“That evening, after all the other girls had left, my daughter was clearly upset about having her birthday ruined.”
“I felt bad for asking her to invite Molly, so I told her the next weekend, I would take her and her friends out for pizza and to see Black Widow in the theater to make it up to her, but my partner thinks this is a real jerk move.”
That led to some debate.
“He pointed out that sometimes life isn’t fair and things get ruined.”
“He also doesn’t think it’s a good idea to show our daughter it’s ok to exclude people who are different. Any way, I’m a little torn here.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And once a few responses came in, OP took a second to clear one detail up with an edit to the original post.
“Edit: People are accusing Molly’s mother of being out of contact on purpose- I don’t think that was the case. I had to leave this detail out to meet character limits, but We called Molly’s mom twice around 11:30pm, but got no answer.”
“Molly’s mom actually called me back around 3 am and apologized greatly for missing my call and offered to come get Molly. Since the girls were already asleep, I told Molly’s mom I would call her back first thing once they were awake.”
By and large, Redditors assured OP their plan was okay.
Some felt the need to straighten out a false comparison.
“NTA. You’re not “re-doing” the birthday to exclude Molly. You’re taking your daughter and friends out for pizza, and to see a movie they really want to see but Molly doesn’t.” — Lumpy_Branch_552
“Nta. You’re not throwing a second party, you’re just taking your daughter and friends out for pizza and a movie. You don’t need to invite everyone along for that.” — Relevant-Economy-927
“NTA – it sucks when someone out of your control makes your birthday party miserable at 12. The only suggestion that I would make isn’t to call this ‘another birthday party.’ “
“Just invite the girls over for another sleepover, order pizza and go to the movies. Don’t make it out to be that she needs another party because it didn’t go right, make it to be just a night of fun.” — Boomgtd_
Others emphasized how OP did all they could.
“Nta Your daughters birthday was ruined because a girl was rude not because she was different. Just make sure your daughter knows the difference.” — thickasatheif
“NTA You and your daughter were very good to try and include Molly.”
“Your BF is wrong. If you exclude Molly in the future it won’t be because she is different, but because her behavior needs normalization. It sounds like the evening was just too much for her to deal with.” — Swedishpunsch
A few, however, had something to say about OP’s partner.
“NTA. I don’t see how anyone thinks this is complicated. Your daughter was nice enough to agree to invite a kid she barely knew who was having trouble making friends because you asked her to. That kid ruined your daughter’s birthday party.”
“You are giving her a do-over because she deserves a better birthday than she had and, let’s face it, Molly wouldn’t have been there in the first place had you not made her feel sympathetic towards her.”
“Your partner is an a**hole. Why are you with someone who thinks it’s ok for your daughter’s birthday to be ruined like that?” — cara180455
“NTA and wtf is wrong with your partner? Your kid is 12!” — chicharrones_yum
If Reddit has any sway at all, it looks like OP’s daughter can expect a Black Widow viewing before long.