There are certain aspects of parenting that people who aren’t parents just don’t think about.
One great example is potty training.
We all understand that parents have to teach their children how to use the restroom, but we may not know all the nitty gritty details, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Valuable-Leg-95 knew that her friend’s son still needed assistance in the restroom, which she didn’t agree with, given his age.
When her friend went so far as to suggest that she should help his son, the Original Poster (OP) could only side-eye him.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not cleaning and helping a child wipe [poop off their butt]?”
The OP’s friend and son were recently visiting her at home.
“My friend (30 Male) was visiting me (30 Female) with his son, who we will call ‘Jacob.'”
“We were hanging out and decided to play some Mario Kart in the living room while his son was playing a game on his iPad.”
“His son then wanted to use the bathroom. He’s been here before and knows where to go.”
“I don’t have children, but I feel like children around the ages of five or six should be able to wipe themselves. However, my friend and his wife still clean him up and wipe him.”
The OP was shocked at a request her friend made.
“While he was going, we stopped playing and were talking when we heard Jacob call out that he was done (meaning that he was waiting for someone to help him wipe).”
“My friend groaned and didn’t get up. He asked me if I could go clean up Jacob.”
“I looked at him with a blank stare, which p**sed him off.”
“He scoffed and got up to go see Jacob. After 10 minutes, they both emerged from the bathroom.”
The visit ended with an argument.
“My friend looked livid and said that he had s**t on his shirt because of me (I don’t even want to know HOW he ended up with s**t on his shirt) and that I should have done it for him.”
“He said he hates doing it and feels like it’s his wife’s job.”
“I told him well thankfully I’m not his wife, and I’ll never clean up his son.”
“He ended up cutting his visit short and left.”
Even the friend’s wife criticized the OP.
“I don’t think I was the a**hole, but his wife texted me later, berating me for not doing this because my friend was having a very rough time. He lost his job and was depressed (I didn’t know that) and visited me to clear his head.”
“I felt bad because maybe I should have noticed that his demand was out of the ordinary and done it, now that I know how he felt.”
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 found the friend to be sexist and reassured the OP she had done nothing wrong.
“YTA for your ‘friend,’ not you.”
“If he is uncomfortable cleaning the a** of HIS kid, he needs to discuss this with HIS wife.”
“I agree with you that a child this age should be able to clean himself if they are not suffering from any condition that affects their mobility.”
“By the way, his wife is also a massive a**hole.”
“I’m glad you didn’t clean the kid. In my opinion, you’ll need to consider if you want to be surrounded by such people.”
“For you, absolutely NTA.” – corgi_crazy
“The only scenario where YTA is when there are no other adults around and you leave the kid hanging.”
“I cringed so hard when I saw the dad asked you to do it. The cringe just set deeper and deeper into my face until the story ended.”
“Definitely NTA. The father is delusional, and the mother is deluded to his delusions.” – Ljammer4
“NTA. What sort of entitled a**hat thinks someone else should wipe their five-year-old child’s bottom when they are there and able?”
“They also need to teach their kid to wipe his own bottom because this will become a HUGE social and schooling problem.” – msfinch87
“Why is it the woman’s job to wipe a poopy bum? That’s the parents’ job. And then the guy does this weird thing where he blames you for him getting s**t on his own shirt?”
“Unreal. He and his wife are major AHs.” – CZ1988_
“If you were male, would you have been expected to help his child? I doubt it.”
“I’m guessing butt-wiping is somehow ‘women’s work’ to your friend and his wife. Probably why he did such a s**t job of it and had the audacity to blame you.”
“If your friend is too depressed to take care of his kid, he shouldn’t be out with him unsupervised.”
“NTA. Not even close.” – WhizzoButterBoy
“My whole issue with this is who asks someone who is not a parent or close relative to wipe your children? I know I would not allow ANYONE who I did not consider family in the bathroom with my child. Like what the f**k?!”
“NTA and it’s so weird that your friend would ask you to do that in the first place. His incompetence is not your responsibility.” – Jazzlike-Solution584
“My oldest is five-and-a-half years old and is learning to wipe himself. Many of his peers are also just learning, so it is quite normal to not be able to wipe at that age.”
“It is, however, not normal to be a parent and not be able to wipe your own kid’s butt and even stranger to demand that someone else do it. NTA.” – Marshmallowloverx
“Former teacher, babysitter, and current mom here. At five or six, they can wipe themselves… technically speaking. But you’re gonna have some hard-core road rash on those undies.”
“It’s good for kids to try so they learn, but many times an adult comes and helps them ‘finish the job,’ so to speak.”
“Many kids won’t poop at school because they are very conscious of this fact and/or they are poop shy.”
“That being said, OP is NTA because it is not her job to wipe a butthole in training.”
“But my response to all the people with no experience with kids saying five- or six-year-olds can/should wipe themselves is the same as most others on this thread who do have experience with kids, ‘Well yes, but also no.'” – fairywings789
Others agreed but decided to joke with the OP about the situation.
“NTA. An uncommunicative and lazy friend is uncommunicative and lazy. If your friend was busy doing something important and asked while you were free, maybe YTA, BUTT not so.” – foxydevil14
“NTA. He wasn’t enough ‘depressed’ to play video games, but he was too depressed to wipe his six-year-old’s a**. Rightttttt.” – imalreadydead123
“YTA obviously. I’m 22 years old, and my friends help me wipe my butt, and I help them wipe theirs. I would expect nothing less of them.”
“And sometimes people slip and you get s**t on your shirt. It happens.”
“I grew up in a family where we all wipe each other butts, and if you’re not accepting of this completely normal and natural behavior, then YOU’RE the problem.”
“Especially if your friend is depressed. I mean, he has a kid, so how could he not be depressed? He probably got fired because he didn’t wipe his coworkers well enough. And now he’s struggling in this particular area of his life with his own son, and you refuse to help? How cold.”
“(All sarcasm, obviously NTA.)” – skarkywarky47
“ESH, because you with your womanly knowingness failed to tell your friend not to use his shirt to wipe his kid’s a**, and he with his adultness and assumed previous experience with toilet paper should have known better.” – tonic_slaughter
“Clearly, it was your job, because you were born with a vagina. Never mind the fact it’s HIS kid. (sarcastic comment)”
“NTA obviously.” – gnothro
“I’m sorry your friend lost his job and is depressed, but how does that make you TA? How does that make it your responsibility to take care of his child? The wife seems irrational too!”
“Well, d**n it. I have a headache, don’t feel like it, and am angry about not getting a pony at age three, please take my child to school, pay for their daycare, buy them lunch, and wipe their a**.”
“NTA, OP.” – Mamamamymysherona
After receiving the feedback, the OP shared a thoughtful update and additional clarifications.
“Holy s**t (no pun intended). I didn’t expect this amount of comments! I’m a bit overwhelmed but I’ll try to read most comments.”
“This situation is just so mind-boggling and bizarre that it kind of still feels surreal to me. Thank you for all the comments. I’ll try to answer some questions I saw.”
“Jacob is not disabled. His mother is really overbearing and just decides to do everything for him, my friend follows suit. Jacob will start school in September (he was homeschooled before).”
“My friend has made sexist jokes before, but he did apologize profusely when it made me and his wife uncomfortable.”
“This situation makes me believe that he was always inherently sexist.”
While some tried to educate the OP about a child’s needs in the restroom, pointing out that it’s normal for kids to still need assistance at this age, they otherwise were side-eyeing the father for trying to pin this responsibility on the OP.
Though his child might still need help cleaning up, that is a parental responsibility, not a friend’s, even when a parent is experiencing depression.