A frustrated woman took to Reddit after an argument erupted between herself and her 16-year-old stepson. The post has since gone viral, amassing 10,000 upvotes and over 1,000 comments. Now, readers are weighing in on the aftermath of the incident, which implicates not just the Redditor and her stepson, but also the potential health and wellbeing of the woman’s infant daughter.
The anonymous 37-year-old, known only as u/Some-Issues3765, explained in her post that she’s been married to her husband for three years. Her husband has a teenage son, Thomas, from a prior relationship, and he and the Redditor share a six-month-old baby. She added that Thomas can be “stubborn and moody sometimes” and that because her husband often travels for work, she “[handles] everything around the house.”
The incident began when Thomas recently asked his stepmom if he could host a party at their home. She added in her post that he planned on inviting upwards of 16 people.
“I discussed this with his dad and we said no because we have a newborn in the house and having 16+ people all at once wasn’t [safe],” wrote the Redditor. However, the stepson didn’t take their decision very well.
“Thomas threw a tantrum and kept insisting saying he already sent out invitations but I told him it was his fault for doing that before consulting us,” she said. “He stayed upset and stopped eating for [two] days.”
Soon, things escalated. “Yesterday morning I noticed my daughter’s formula was missing,” explained u/Some-Issues3765. “I looked everywhere but once I entered the bathroom there were traces of it on the floor. I was dumbfounded.”
“I asked Thomas about what happened and he and with a straight face said that he flushed it all down the toilet to get back at me and only me for banning him from having the party,” she wrote.
Baby formula is coveted, and its loss can create a stressful situation. On top of depriving the newborn of food for a period of time, the act has financial repercussions that may be difficult to manage. According to the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General, per Parents, the cost of baby formula for a child’s first year ranges between $1,200 and $1,500 in the U.S. Prices can add up quickly, with the most expensive formula brands costing as much as $1 per ounce.
The Redditor said she tried to explain to her stepson that the decision was jointly made by both her and his father, but regardless, he accused her of “[influencing] his dad to say no.” At that point, u/Some-Issues3765 said she “lost [her] temper.”
“I told him he should have never touched anything related to his sister and that her food, comfort, [and] health is where the line is drawn,” said the Redditor. “He tried to argue he wasn’t looking to hurt her but hurt me through her. I told him I had enough of his irresponsible attitude and told him to pack and get ready to go to his mom’s.”
When she and her stepson arrived at his mother’s house, even more drama ensued. She was not interested in punishing her son for the act and “begged” the Redditor to keep the incident a secret from Thomas’ dad. Meanwhile, the woman, of course, wanted to tell her husband about what happened.
Readers were quick to weigh in on the situation and voice their support for the Redditor. “You are NTA. [He’s] clearly learned how to play his parents against one another, and it’s utter bulls**t that his mom says you can’t discipline him because you’re not his parent,” commented u/1800TurdFerguson.
“NTA! Tell his dad! He needs to learn that harming the baby to hurt you is f**ked, he needs to realize that his actions aren’t limited to just the effect he wants and have consequences,” echoed u/drezetvcxfvfa.
Others expressed concern that the stepson’s actions suggest a worrisome pattern that could escalate in the future. “Next time he may hurt the baby directly,” wrote u/chi_lawyer. “I would question if he should be allowed around the baby at all, meaning he may have to stay with mom indefinitely.”
Newsweek reached out to u/Some-Issues3765 for comment.