The subreddit Am I The A**hole is always the place to go if you want to weigh in on different moral dilemmas or, alternatively, to feel better about yourself for not having to post on it.
This post, about a woman who saw a baby (toddler) sleeping in a car at a grocery store as the mom walked away, caused so much infighting and controversy that the moderators had to take it down. The tweet – and responses on Twitter – remain, though, and honestly, no one can agree.
The original poster (OP) saw a woman walking away from a car with a sleeping toddler in it, chased down the mother just in case she’d forgotten on accident, and was stunned to hear her say she was only going to be a minute.
— Am I the Asshole? (@AITA_reddit) November 22, 2019
OP argued that she shouldn’t leave the baby, even for a minute, but the mother dismissed her concerns as someone who couldn’t understand because she wasn’t yet a parent, and went inside anyway.
Then, OP hemmed and hawed for a few seconds before calling 911. The police arrived just as the mother returned from the store – she was gone less than 10 minutes – and went into hysterics at the thought she might lose her baby.
So, was she wrong to call the cops? Should she have ignored the situation? Watched the kid herself until the woman returned?
Twitter is split, honestly.
NTA. The fact she got annoyed at you for showing concern and still leaving the baby alone makes her TA. She had a chance to do the right thing and did not. She probably got a fine and was sent on her way. Doubt she’ll make the same mistake again.
— ⓩⓞⓔⓐⓝⓝⓔ (@Whoa_Zoe) November 22, 2019
Some people thinking you never, ever leave a kid that young alone in the car.
I also doubt it because if you’re leaving a baby in the car for ten minutes, you’re doing so hoping no one saw it or you and would get your baby once you knew you were seen.
Story as is though, NTA. I’m not leaving a kid who can’t get themselves out of their carseat
— Lean wit it, Smock wit it (@MoreOrLessAMess) November 22, 2019
And that makes sense, right?
NTA, thats super irresponsible parenting. Maybe no cops, but she left her baby unattended in a public place. Baby could wake up & have a huge freak out because where’s mommy? A bad stranger could be like “free baby.” Car could be hit in the lot. Dont leave babies in public spacss
— koala jane (@Kjane0696) November 22, 2019
Definitely NOT the asshole.
NTA. How could you prioritize 10 min of convenience over the safety of your baby? Being a parent is ridiculously hard, but you DO THE HARD THINGS, not the risky ones just because they are easier. The risk here was very low, but she still risked it at the expense of her child.
— 🤯 (@meghanz1300) November 22, 2019
Others thought maybe the mother was right, and the OP just didn’t get it.
I can see why you would be upset but it makes no sense to call the cops if you’re going to stand there anyway. Not that mom is going to have to deal with possibly getting her child taken away. YTA
— Je suis Fatty-Gay (@TimeIsNotGiven) November 22, 2019
But are they stretching a bit?
Let’s talk this thru. The poster’s comments say it wasn’t hot nor cold, and the mother took 8-10 min. The poster stayed for police questioning but REFUSED to offer support staying by the car even tho she “was concerned”. She’d rather the mother *be arrested* than offer to watch? pic.twitter.com/F46crH1yu6
— AYO! Arielle! (@AYOArielleGrace) November 22, 2019
I mean, should you ever just leave your kid unattended in public?
It’s really tempting to say NTA but considering OP acknowledges that it was 50F outside and the mom was gone for 5-7 minutes I’m gonna say YTA. If that child ends up in foster care you’ve done a lot more harm than good.
— paige 🎃 (@paigeofchalices) November 22, 2019
Most thought that her concern wasn’t misplaced…
I don’t think it would even occur to me to call the cops in this situation. YTA for sure – the legal system is a nightmare land where consequences hardly ever match actions. This lady could lose her kid or get deported. Don’t talk to cops unless there’s really no alternative.
— Matt Alfalfafield (@thealfalfafield) November 22, 2019
…but calling the police and potentially upending an entire family was out of line.
Suspect there’ll be a difference in response from parents/non-parents to this one.
Me before having kids: NTA.
Me as a parent: YabsolutelyTA.
— Rocko (@JohnSelf) November 22, 2019
She could have simply watched for 5-10 minutes and made sure the mother returned. No harm no foul.
YTA, I’ve been at CVS with a sick kid that I had to wake up and bring in the store to get their medicine, not because it would be unsafe but because some idiot might call the police.
— Aileen Mitchell (@aintist) November 22, 2019
I’m split, honestly – as a mother yes, I’ve been tempted to run in and grab ordered and paid for takeoff from a shelf and leave the kids belted and locked in the car, but I understand why someone would be concerned.
That said, the weather wasn’t hot, it wasn’t cold, and the mother said she’d be right back.
What do you think? Would you have waited? Told the mother you were going to call the cops? Done what OP did?
Tell us your reasons in the comments!