Reddit dad asks if he’s wrong for sticking to his daughter’s potty training routine on vacation

Toddler on potty

Potty training can be a tough time for families. One dad, who went on a family vacation to his parents’ timeshare in the middle of potty training his two-year-old daughter, Anna, wrote a now-viral Reddit post about the family argument it caused — and now he wants the internet to weigh in about who’s in the wrong.

“We arrived in Hawaii two days ago, and she had quite a few accidents – I suspect because she’s dealing with an unfamiliar place and new people. Right before dinner, Anna had an accident on the pullout sofa, which necessitated a call to housekeeping to swap out sheets and cushions. My dad wasn’t happy,” the dad wrote on Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole” forum.

He continued, “When all 7 of us sat down shortly afterward for dinner, my dad sat down and the first thing out of his mouth was, ‘Anna is out of control, isn’t she.’ Bear in mind Anna was sitting right across from him at the table. I let it slide and continued eating, and my wife said something to try to brush it off. Then, my dad suggested that we put Anna back in diapers and that she not be allowed on the bed or the couch. I responded by saying that I didn’t want to do that and that potty-training is a process that has highs and lows. My dad then remarked that it would be problematic if she had an accident on the carpet because it’d be hard to clean up. In my mind, I thought to myself, ‘So you don’t want her on the bed, couch, or carpet—where is she supposed to hang out the whole time, the bathroom??’ At that point, I was frustrated and said something to the extent of, ‘If Anna’s accidents are too big of a problem, we can always find another place to stay at.'”

Anna’s dad wrote, “That’s when my dad blew up. He accused me of threatening him and of being disrespectful. It seemed that he took my suggestion as a threat of leaving, and he made very clear that he felt offended. He also said that I needed to ‘be careful with what I say and show respect to your parents.’ I responded by repeatedly telling him that I didn’t threaten him nor intend for him to be threatened. He responded that ‘it doesn’t matter what your intent was, because I feel threatened.’ At this point I was really upset, so I said something I probably shouldn’t have, remarking that he was ‘too easily threatened.'”

The argument escalated and continued throughout the night.

“It seemed that the whole blowup happened in response to my remark that we could stay elsewhere if my dad couldn’t tolerate Anna’s potty training accidents,” Anna’s dad wrote. “[Am I the a**hole] for saying that?”

Oof. Well, the people in the comments seem to be pretty decisive that there are wrongs on both sides here, and what this family really needs is to communicate a little better.

“Potty training at someone else’s vacation home and having them deal with your daughters accidents is the rude gesture here. You’re holding everyone else hostage of having to live with your daughter’s messes. You should put her back in diapers and potty train her when you’re back at your house. Why should The grandparents have to put up with having to sit on dirty wet smelly couches because your daughters have an accidents,” the top comment, which included a verdict of “everyone sucks here,” reads. “Yes, you’re threatening to leave and the response for your father was overboard but you wouldn’t change the routine for the vacation is pretty entitled on your part.”

Many commenters pointed out that while parents tend to build up a certain level of immunity to their own kids’ bodily functions and fluids, other people (like grandparents) don’t — and it isn’t really fair to expect them not to be grossed out by potty training accidents just because parents learn to accept them as part of life. Which, yeah, fair.

On the other hand, as many commenters also pointed out, two-year-olds don’t exactly have a reputation for being pristine. If these grandparents expected their timeshare to stay spotless, inviting a toddler to vacation there might not have been the move.

So yeah, it does seem like better communication might have helped, and that mistakes were made all around.

Another highly rated comment reads, “Come on, you could keep her in pull-ups during the trip.

Why refuse to avoid accidents when you aren’t in your own home? Soft YTA (you’re the a**hole) for imposing your child’s accidents on your father’s furniture, etc. when there is a simple solution. Your father calling your daughter ‘out of control’ is total AH (a**hole), though. LOL Such drama.”