"My Wife Has A Horrible Habit That I Discovered 2 Months Ago..." — This Dad Pretended His Son Went Missing As A Lesson. Is What He Did Wrong?
"She told me she’s been doing it since he was born and it’s always been fine..."
u/linpa_qnzia recently asked fellow Reddit users if he was an asshole for pretending his son was missing to teach his wife a lesson. Here's why he did it...
"My wife has a horrible habit that I discovered two months ago. We were ordering lunch and I told her to pick the location that has a drive-thru that way we don’t have to go inside and take the baby out of the car just to clip him back in a few minutes later. She told me it’s not a big deal to leave the baby in the car to run in and pick it up really fast. I had no idea she ever did this. I told her I was not comfortable with her leaving him in the car alone — even for a minute," he explained in the Reddit thread.
His wife went on to tell him that she has been leaving their son alone in the car since he was born and "it's always been fine." He continued saying, "She told me she does it to pick up food, run into the post office or pharmacy, etc. I was floored. We don’t live in a horrible area but it’s also not super safe either. I told her to not ever do this again."
His wife then admitted she had never thought about the potential dangers of leaving their kid alone in the car, so she said she would stop. HOWEVER...
Shortly after that convo, the man spotted his wife's car at a gas station near their home. (The car was in a stall and not at a pump, so he figured she was inside getting some snacks.) He decided to go in and say hi, but when he pulled up next to her, he saw his son alone in the car...AND IT WAS UNLOCKED.
"I don’t know what came over me, but in that moment I decided to take my son and put him into my car. I then drove to the other side of the gas station parking lot and waited for my wife to come out. It took SIX MINUTES for her to appear. When she saw that he was gone, she looked stunned for a second and then started to frantically look around and cry. I didn’t let it go on long, after this I saw her pull her phone out, presumably to call 911, and that’s when I pulled my car around to her. I parked, got out and walked around to my son's door, and opened it to show him to her," he said.
At first, his wife was relieved, but her relief quickly turned to anger toward her husband. "I told her she needed to learn her lesson and she promised to stop leaving him in the car, and that she was extremely irresponsible. It was so easy for me to pull up and take him. No one else at the gas station even noticed! So if he really was taken there would’ve been no help and it would’ve been 100% her fault."
His wife proceeded to call him "cruel" and "psychotic" and tried taking their son out of his car and into hers. "I said no and that I would be driving him home, and I left. She came home not much later but ignored me the rest of the day."
"She acknowledged me today saying she wanted an apology and I said absolutely not and she’s the one who should be saying sorry. She’s been guilt-tripping me the rest of the day saying no mother should experience the fear I put her through. Did I go too far? AITA?"
Here's what other Reddit users had to say:
The top comment came from user u/annrkea who said that the wife is actually the one who should be apologizing, not the husband.
"Normally I’m fully against game-playing, but this is your child’s life. I support your actions. Your wife is being hugely neglectful. Not to mention it’ll be warm soon and being left in a hot car even for a few minutes can be deadly. Not the asshole and I wouldn’t let her take him anywhere until she apologizes," they said (and over 28,500 people upvoted their comment, agreeing).
Many people also rushed to the comment section to share their horror stories about children being left alone in cars.
"I have a dear friend whose kid, when she was six, decided she wanted to go see grandma so she told her mom. Her mom said they could go later, but the kiddo wanted to go right away so she headed outside (on a really hot day) and got in the family minivan without telling anyone. She curled up on the back seat and fell asleep. Five minutes later the family was panicked looking for her, and 15 minutes later she was being rushed to a hospital and she's never been the same. She has major physical and cognitive deficits that will never heal. She's in physical and occupational therapy years later and — to this day — uses a power chair to move around.
On top of all that, there was a police investigation and a CPS investigation to determine if there was negligence on behalf of the parents. They had to deal with the threat of their other kids being taken away while they were trying to stay in the hospital with their little one.
Leaving kids or pets in a car, no matter what temperature it is outside, even for just a few minutes, it's no joke."
"I got an amber alert for this exact situation recently. Dad got out of the car for a second, left his toddler in the car seat, keys in the ignition. Guy stole the car and apparently didn’t even realize the kid was in there until it was too late to stop. Luckily he returned the child safely but that could go so wrong."
People also pointed out that if something happened to the mother while she was inside somewhere, no one would even know their was a baby alone in the car.
"Or if something happened to her? No one would know she has a baby in the car.
NTA, OP, and I would not let her take him again until she acknowledges the seriousness of the situation."
In conclusion, everyone felt that the husband was NOT an asshole and the wife deserved what the husband did to her — even though it was traumatic.
"Your wife is right. No mother should have to experience that fear, and she opens herself up to it constantly. She deserves what she got."
"She was asking for it and she got mad when it happened...and I'm not sure if she is only lashing out because of the trauma she experienced or she is just pissed because she was proven irresponsible."