They say that it takes a village to raise a child but when is the village allowed to say no to a child? That’s the question at the core of a current Reddit thread blowing up on the popular board called ‘Am I The A**hole?’ In a post that has quickly attracted hundreds of comments and thousands of votes, a woman tells a story of how she firmly told a toddler no and the mum flips out.
“In my lobby, there’s an area where you first walk in, then 4 stairs and ramp, up to where the elevators are. There’s really nowhere to go from the elevator front, it’s a small boxed in area,” the post written by Reddit user @crochetfairy begins. “I was in my building lobby waiting for an elevator with my 70-lb Shepherd-Rotti mix, who isn’t particularly kid-friendly and about face-to-face height with a toddler.”
The mum, according to the post, had her back turned toward the woman and dog as she was busy looking at her phone. The toddler, a boy around the age of two or three suddenly became very excited about the dog and started screaming, “puppy!” as he ran toward it. And that’s when things got really intense.
“My dog’s hackles went up, she’s not used to small kids, and doesn’t particularly like them. Although, she’s never reacted so negatively before. I glanced at the mum, still absorbed in her phone. Worried about the kid’s safety, I put my hand up flat, and sternly said “no” with some volume, to be heard over his screeching.”
This got the child’s attention but it also grabbed the mom’s attention.
“He stopped in his tracks, I had my dog go in ‘place’ behind my legs,” the post continues. “Right then, his mum came up the stairs yelling at me “b****! Don’t tell my son nothing!” And some other cursing and shouting, until the elevator arrived and I just got on, ignoring her.”
As a mother of a toddler and also a dog owner, I am 100 percent on the dog owner’s side on this one. Sure, the mum was “absorbed” in her phone but for all we know she was waiting for someone, looking up directions, or otherwise dealing with something that she considered serious. She may not have noticed the dog or she may not have thought the dog looked dangerous. And honestly, having had my children get curious and want to run around, I could totally see her thinking that an enclosed doorway in an apartment building was probably a safe place to let herself and her child be distracted for a minute while she dealt with whatever was happening on her phone.
To yell at the dog owner for telling her child no? And not only did this woman yell at the dog owner, she allegedly hurled expletives at her too. The commenters on the Reddit thread appear to be the same camp as me and have overwhelmingly decided that this dog owner is not the a**hole in this situation.
If we’re going to want that village to help support us in motherhood then we all need to be ok when a stranger has the nerve to say something as offensive as *gasp* ‘no’.