Neighbors can sometimes ask for small favors — perhaps they need to borrow a tool, or are looking for help getting something big up the stairs, or have asked you to keep an eye on the house while they’re away on vacation. A recent Reddit thread showcased a much larger neighborly request, however, and it spiraled quickly. It ends after the woman locked the kid in her bathroom for hours, but the events leading up to that moment are objectively insane.
The original poster shared some background about the neighbor’s request, namely that the single mom sometimes dropped her eight-year-old son off at the neighbor’s house so she could hang out with him while the mom went out. The OP made clear that she was not a babysitter and merely hung out with the kid while he played video games.
One day, though, things took a turn and the boy put the OP’s cat in the freezer for unknown reasons. The OP confronted the child who denied doing anything wrong. The OP “locked him in the bathroom for the rest of his stay till his mother came to pick him up.” She later added that the boy was in the bathroom for “30mim or so.”
When the mother left with her son, she was very upset and threatened to press charges. The OP asked the Reddit community if she was an a**hole and had, in fact, gone too far or if it was the right call.
Reactions primarily sided with the OP. “Do not ‘babysit’ that kid again. The fact that Mom wasn’t the least bit bothered that her son tried to kill your cat…you’re not an a**hole, they are – the both of them,” said one.
“NTA (not the a**hole). That kid should see a psychiatrist. Animal cruelty at this stage is a bad sign. Mother should rather worry about educating her son. It’s not like the kid was hurt either right?,” said another.
However, some commenters noted that if you let a young child into your house, you have to keep them entertained and take responsibility for them.
“You don’t let an 8-year-old in your house and not take responsibility for him. If you’re going to have him there, you supervise. Locking a kid in a bathroom is not okay. It sounds like this kid needs help and you just made it worse,” another commenter said.
“The fact that so many people here aren’t acknowledging that the child is 8 is astounding. He’s a literal child! Yes, what he did was wrong and he needs to be spoken to about it and taught that this type of behavior is wrong,” said another. “I do not think OP needs to do that, but why can’t we treat people with a little compassion. This child sounds neglected on so many levels. Remember, this child will be an adult functioning in our society one day.”
What do you think? Is the OP an a**hole after she locked a kid in her bathroom for hours, only after he abused her cat?
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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