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Anxious Mom Refuses To Let Husband Take Toddler To Remote Cabin After Her Rabies Scare

man in rustic cabin
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Happy childhood memories made with family are something parents naturally want to pass once they grow up and have their own children.

But what if their happy memory is a nightmare for their spouse?

A couple with a toddler disagreed on what is appropriate for their family vacation and now they’re each making demands about their son.

Mom decided to seek feedback on her position from the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

LilRedCaliRose asked:

“AITA for not letting my husband take our toddler to a remote island cabin?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My husband (41 male) wants to take our toddler son (2.5 years, male) to his remote Canadian cottage without me.”

“This cottage is in another country (it’s in Canada, we are from the US), so on top of it being a 4.5 hour flight away, it requires a 3 hour drive and then a 30+ minute ferry ride, as the cottage is located on an island that is ONLY accessible by boat.”

“Last time we stayed at the cottage, there was no hot shower water for the entire 5 days. Before that, I was exposed to bats in the sleeping room and had to drive to New York to get vaccinated for rabies.”

“Before that trip, we lost power and had no hot water and I had food poisoning (the water is unfiltered from the lake).”

“It’s always something going wrong and I’m just so, so, sick of it.”

“I told him I’d stay for 2-3 nights next year, but I don’t want to stay 5 nights again. It’s also very difficult with a toddler who never sleeps through the night.

“This cottage means a lot to my husband (he has fond memories of being there with his family and friends when growing up), but it has always been a source of intense anxiety and discomfort for me.”

“From the bugs, to the bats, to the lack of basic amenities (we often lose power or hot water), I just always get stressed and dread being there.”

“Every single year I dread it.”

“My husband knows this and has been working on ‘fixing up’ the cottage, but it’s just very uncomfortable for me and he knows this. I have put up with it for years, but I’m tired and want to limit how long I will stay there in the future.”

“Now he is threatening to take our 2.5-year-old son there for a week+ without me, which I find unacceptable. I have never threatened to take our son anywhere without his consent, much less to another country.”

“Our son is afraid of flies (screams and cries whenever they get near) and doesn’t sleep through the night. I don’t think he will enjoy this trip that he’s too young to consent to, especially with his mom gone.”

“I told my husband that I will not allow him to take our toddler son to a remote island cottage without me. He said I’m an a**hole for blocking him from traveling with his son.”

“I think he’s an a**hole for demanding to take our son, without me, to a dangerous place. He thinks he has the right to take him anywhere he wants, but I think that makes him the a**hole.”

“AITA for telling my husband that I won’t allow him to take my son to a different country without my consent?”

Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided Mom was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. This isn’t about different likes and dislikes. This is about safety issues. Bats that bite you in the night require that you drive to New York for rabies shots (yikes!). Untreated water that causes food poisoning.”

“This is not a safe place for a 2.5-year-old. Period.”

“If your husband wants to make this the family getaway every year, then HE needs to get off his butt and put some energy into fixing the place up FIRST.

“So he needs to fix the water situation, and if the water that comes into the house can’t be made safe, then he needs to ensure there is enough bottled water for everyone to use.”

“He needs to get the cabin completely sealed up so that no bats can get in. If he says, ‘that’s impossible,’ then he can go there on his own and be a wild grizzly mountain man, but it’s not a safe place for a wife and toddler. Sorry, dude. Wtf?”

“I would make a list of what needs fixing at the cottage and ask him to make the repairs or pay someone to make the repairs, and once the cabin is safe for human habitation, then you and your son will go spend time there, not before.” ~ Redditor

For most Redditors, it all came down to safety.

“With a cabin in that poor of shape, it should be treated like camping. Bring in everything you need food, water, (if not bottled water then good quality filters designed for camping/hiking), tents, and so forth.”

“And guess what sucks when you are camping? A toddler. I would not want to go camping with a child that young. At age 4, sure, if they sleep well, maybe 3. But a toddler, especially with only one parent present, no.” ~ GTS_84

“My family has a cabin where it isn’t safe to drink the water since it comes from the lake. We bring our own water. We’ve also had issues with bats, but there are nets you can buy so that they can leave but not return to their nests.”

“This seems unsafe for adults, let alone a toddler. To be trapped on an island where things are consistently going wrong is not safe. Their little bodies cannot handle things as well as an adult.”

“I’m also fairly confident that he cannot take the toddler out of the country without mom’s permission. I remember the whole song and dance we had to do when my mom took me to Canada for a day trip.” ~ Popular_Emu1723

“The most pressing issue is the ferry ride to medical assistance. Small children are far more vulnerable to injury and disease.”

“As for supplies—you can’t fly with propane or fresh food (generally), so picking up supplies locally makes this much easier (bring the stroller!).”

“Over all, someone threatening me when the health and safety of my child is at stake does not fly—ever.”

“Let him take the kid at 5+ years, and you stay home for a nice break. NTA.” ~ mmebookworm

“NTA. If there is a legitimate health concern (unfiltered water, no heat without sufficent other heat sources, rabies, etc.) then it would be very irresponsible to take a child younger than 5 there for an extended period, especially without both parents.”

“Additionally, threatening to take a child somewhere against the wishes of the other parent is a dickish thing to do without extreme extenuating circumstances. ‘I wanted to’ is not extreme extenuating circumstances.”

“That being said, if he really wants to go, and you would be willing to for a short period, I would advise treating it more like a camping trip (bringing extra heaters, sleeping bags, backup power/propane stove/etc) and possibly staying in a hotel with the kiddo for a day or two/flying out later so he can get there and clean out any pest creatures first.”

“This is clearly important to him, so it’s a good idea to be flexible, but make it clear that if he tries to take your child out of the country, you’re GOING to have an issue with that.” ~ Icy-Consideration47

Some felt the father was being unrealistic in his expectations.

“Add to the fact that he wants to take a 2.5-year-old on a 4.5-hour flight, THEN rent a vehicle and load it with all the luggage/supplies he’s taking, THEN a 3-hour drive, and THEN a ferry ride, just to get to the island.”

“How is he going to wrangle a toddler (and keep him from being hysterical the whole way) plus the luggage and supplies he’ll need by himself?”

“This would be a logistical nightmare with a half dozen adults trying to do it. It sounds ridiculous for one person to attempt by themselves.” ~ DisneyBuckeye

“I have a feeling that her husband is one of those fun dads who doesn’t have any idea how to keep a toddler for a full day. If he isn’t, then he wouldn’t be suggesting such nonsense excursions.” ~ ComprehensiveFail761

“Then why not let him go?”

“Sounds like a wonderful way for them to bond over the day and a half. They’ll actually stay at the cabin until he realizes how much of a bad idea it is, and they come home early.” ~ FilthyDaemon

“If it wasn’t risking the health and safety of the toddler, I’d be so tempted to be like, ‘you want to try to wrangle the 2.5-year-old for a week at the cabin? Have fun. I’ll be sitting here in peace and quiet with my running water and electricity.” ~ PrincessConsuela52

However, some understood why the husband’s perspective was skewed.

“I feel like he is only thinking about recreating his childhood memories—forgetting that it was so great because his parents took care of safe food and water etc., plus he had cousins and extended family there to spend time with.” ~ Anxious_Lavishness24

Some offered a potential solution for future visits.

“Let him go alone. Spend the week working to fix the place up. Once it’s actually inhabitable, then you can consider it.” ~ Redditor

“Exactly my thought. He promised to fix the place up. Going there for a week alone is the perfect way to do this.” ~ MissionCreeper

While wanting to share happy memories with your child is understandable, it sounds like this couple needs to have a discussion about safety before heading back to the cabin.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.