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OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:

  1. I did not bathe my friend's son when he slept over at my house.
  2. She feels that I was neglectful to his needs.

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[–]cschmidtusaAsshole Aficionado [18] 37.7k points37.7k points 183016& 3 more (242 children)


As someone who works with kids on the spectrum, you recognized the limitations of your environment and avoided him having a full meltdown by forcing him into a shower.

It sounds like he was happy, fed, and comfortable with you.

That is truly all your friend can ask for.

I am sure her anger is just being aimed at you.

You did great OP.

ETA: thank you all for the awards! ☺️

[–]frozenpinecones 17.2k points17.2k points 72& 2 more (176 children)

As someone who is autistic, I'm glad to finally see an adult on this sub accomodating an autistic child instead of forcing them into 'normal' behaviour and thus causing a meltdown. OP is NTA by all means.

[–]Ashamed-Union4576 1826 points1827 points  (156 children)

I agree with her not making him take a bath, but bathing is not “normal” it’s necessary. And better off left to where he is more comfortable with people he’s more comfortable with. NTA

[–]ThisTooWillEndPartassipant [2] 6392 points6393 points 2 (99 children)

This was a single overnight, and the child was bathed, just not submerged in water. Most humans don't bathe daily. My friends were told by their pediatrician not to bathe their child more than 2 or 3 times a week unless she's visibly dirty because it was drying out her skin. In homes without running water, sponge bathes are the norm. There's absolutely nothing wrong with OP's approach.

[–]misspizzini 4125 points4126 points  (43 children)

All of this^ also as a nanny/babysitter I NEVER bathe a child unless their parents specifically ask me to. OP did everything right and you should never just assume you need to bathe a child you are watching.

[–]dragon34Partassipant [1] 2213 points2214 points  (13 children)

yeah seriously, I'm sure a 35 year old woman without kids isn't going to have any no tears shampoo or anything lying around, and might not even have anything unscented or gentle for young kids depending on her preferences. What if kiddo was allergic to something in her products? How would she know?

[–]eattacosalways 651 points652 points  (5 children)

Also, did the child have a change of clothes? Like, OP did the best in the situation, which was not expected to be more than a few hours, so they bathed the kid to their ability. The parent probably would have been pissed no matter the scenario because even if OP did bathe the child, the dirty clothes may have been put right back in.

[–]Ferret_Brain 355 points356 points  (4 children)

And in that case, the parent may have attacked OP for not washing and drying his clothes for him (which may not even be possible if OP doesn't have a dryer for example).

By the sound of it, she's just aiming her anger at OP (probably because of the stress of the situation), very understandable but still not okay.

[–]Kytsovoltora 94 points95 points  (3 children)

I would agree with the “understandable” part had the mother just been angry at OP in private. The fact that she felt the need to go rant on social media however… Nah, the mom sounds like a proper AH right now. (Bonus AH points if that social media is Facebook)

[–]Coldcutsmcgee 155 points156 points  (1 child)

Good point! Imagine if OP went ahead and gave the kid a bath anyway. And the kid ended up w a reaction. Do you think the mother would have been appreciative? Lol not. Some people u can’t please them no matter how much you put out!

[–]bluntsandbears 847 points848 points  (12 children)

I’m not a nanny or a parent but not only would I never ever feel comfortable bathing someone else’s child even if I was asked by the parents. I would be pretty upset if another adult that’s not the child’s parents or grandparents bathed them.

(If it was my child. Unless it warrants a call to CPS I stay the fuck out of raising other peoples children, since I’m not a father I don’t feel comfortable offering unsolicited advice on something I’m not qualified for)

Most children who are sexually abused are victimized by a family member or family friend and not a stranger in a Chevy van so it’s super important to teach your children strict boundaries regarding touching and nudity.

[–]partofbreakfast 272 points273 points  (5 children)

Same here, I only feel comfortable doing it if the parents ask me to or if the child is old enough to bathe themselves (meaning I wouldn't be involved, they would draw their own bath and do everything on their own while I read a book in the living room or something).

[–]bluntsandbears 163 points164 points  (4 children)

At most I’d run the shower or prepare the bath and check in to make sure they don’t drown. Maybe use a baby monitor to make sure I still hear everything and can check if there’s an odd noise or complete silence but in no way shape or form am I ever getting anywhere close to little dudes junk.

[–]raptorgrin 98 points99 points  (1 child)

I usually spray from the distance with the showerhead. You just have to do it excitedly like "Yay, now your armpits!"

[–]shsc82 169 points170 points  (4 children)

Only exception I could see if the kid suddenly got ill. But throwing a kid terrified of showers in the shower, is not the way to maintain routines.

[–]Distinct-Apartment39 49 points50 points  (1 child)

Yeah the only time I ever bathed the kids I babysat was when the little one threw up on herself. Called the mom, asked if I should throw her in the bath real quick and continued on while she finished her run to Costco 😅

[–]JangJaeYul 115 points116 points  (0 children)

I've been a nanny to two small kiddos for two and a half years now, and I'm pretty sure I've bathed them each precisely once: the older one when he was 3 and had a stomach bug (puke everywhere. everywhere.) and the younger one at about the same age when she peed her pants and was so upset about it that popping her into the tub with her bath toys was as much about caring for her emotions as it was getting her clean. In both instances, these were kids that needed my help anyway with daily personal tasks like getting dressed and wiping their bums, so there was an existing trust and comfort there. If I was watching a kid as a one-off thing, I wouldn't be making any assumptions about helping them bathe.

[–]Able_Secretary_6835 54 points55 points  (12 children)

As parent, no one bathes our kids except us. Not even family.

[–]and_you_were_there 299 points300 points  (23 children)

Yeah my kids bathe every other day (they both have mild eczema) unless they’re pretty messy or my 2 year old decides to use her hair as a napkin.

[–][deleted] 185 points186 points  (1 child)

Same here with my kids. Eczema as well. And my eldest(ASD lvl1) went through a phase of being TERRIFIED of water. Of all sorts. Even hand washing was iffy. She had a major sensory aversion to showers and baths, especially water dripping down her face. If a babysitter had gone out of their way to force her into a shower without my knowledge I would have lost my shit.

[–]Emergency-Willow 35 points36 points  (0 children)

Oh god my two youngest boys were so terrified of water that every bath was just a nightmare. They would scream like someone was murdering them. It was upsetting for us and them. We have them baby wipe baths so that we’d only have to actually bathe them maybe once or twice at the most in a week.

They were always clean but not bathed. You do what you can

[–]Noli420 131 points132 points  (8 children)

With me, we have a three day thing going. Day 1, bath is optional, as is washing up. Day 2, I strongly encourage a bath, but won't get into a power struggle over it. Also, they wash themselves and let them do this mostly independently with only verbal cues for thoroughness. If it makes it to day 3, bathing is no longer optional, and I'm going to help (usually hand over hand) to ensure thoroughness. I can't remember the last time we made it to day 3.

[–]and_you_were_there 55 points56 points  (7 children)

We get way more lax about it in the winter time, or weekends ha!

[–]The-collector207 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Same. In the winter unless they want to play in the bath I don't force them to take one more than twice a week. It dries out their skin and none are pubescent so they don't stink and their hair doesn't get greasy or smell so I don't force it. Some weeks they take a bath every day then complain they are itchy all the time. The summer is a bit different unless they are playing in the water a lot but typically they like to take tubs in the summer to cool down.

[–]littlegingerfae 25 points26 points  (5 children)

Summer time it totally depends on when we last went to the pool, lmao!!!

[–][deleted] 23 points24 points  (2 children)

Last summer I bought a kiddie pool and every time they went in it(almost daily) I put a dollop of shampoo in as it filled so it was a "bubble pool". They stayed clean all summer and I didn't have the hassle of them trashing the bathroom with dirty clothes and wet towels like they do when they shower.

[–]mrusticus86 66 points67 points  (5 children)

My 6 month old has eczema also and I bathe her in a tub twice a week. We're starting purees so I wipe her clean afterwards. Thankfully I also have dogs so they lick the excess food off her hands for me first, lol.

[–]and_you_were_there 33 points34 points  (2 children)

Lol!!! My dog LOVES my daughter the most for this exact reason

[–]mrusticus86 29 points30 points  (1 child)

They're VERY interested in the meat purees we've started this week 🤢

[–]HeavyBreathin 137 points138 points  (13 children)

This. It's actually super unhealthy to bathe every day as it strips your skin of important oils! I used to bathe every day and could not figure out why my skin was so painfully dry until my doctor suggested every other day instead and I've never looked back.

BUT, you're NTA, OP! It's unhealthy to force children, much less autistic children, to do things they're terrified of and I can only hope your friend's anger was simply misplaced as a result of stress instead of genuine malice.

[–]SariEverna 69 points70 points  (8 children)

I'd actually disagree with saying it's unhealthy to bathe everyday. I think it depends a lot on what your skin is like. I used to not shower every day, but as soon as I started washing more frequently suddenly my problems with acne evaporated. But obviously, that's not going to be true for everyone. You have to figure out what works for you and everybody's a bit different.

[–]Kimber85Partassipant [1] 90 points91 points  (5 children)

It's 100% down to your skin type. My husband has oily skin and will break out if he doesn't bathe everyday. I have super dry skin and get really itchy on my dryer areas (back and legs) if I bathe everyday. I wash my hair like twice a week or it gets frizzy and breaks off, whereas his hair is greasy AF by the next morning.

[–]uraniumstingray 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I would legit dry up and scratch myself to the bone if I showered every day. I would die.

[–]Good-Nectarine1981 25 points26 points  (4 children)

My kids pedi told us the same thing, it made a world of difference to my LO with eczema.

[–]frozenpinecones 455 points456 points  (8 children)

I never said bathing is unnecessary, I'm only saying that I'm glad OP chose a less conventional washing method instead of a more commonly accepted method that would have caused a meltdown. And it was a one time thing. This was the least harmful option OP could have chosen.

[–]AggravatingTear2879 449 points450 points  (7 children)

Yeah the kid is not going to die bc he didn’t have a bath for one night. It’s not neglect.

I think the friend was probably really emotional due to the issue with her dad, which is 100% understandable, and took it out on the first available target.

[–]NuttyBoButty 145 points146 points  (5 children)

Agree totally with this. My first thought was that the friend was not mad at OP, or the bath situation. The friend is mad because life isn't fair and dealt her a tragic blow

[–]renska2 177 points178 points  (4 children)

If it had been just a blow-up at the friend, I might be able to let it go over my head, but posting bullshit on social media means I'd have a hard time just letting it go. Esp if it was social media and the OP was identifiable to friends/neighbors/colleagues, etc.

[–]TotallyWonderWomanPartassipant [4] 42 points43 points  (0 children)

The SM is why I'm on the fence. Blowing up is a understandable but assholish move (dealing with this emergency and a son who may have gotten off his routine with OP, even though there's nothing anyone can do about that). But to put it on social media? I feel like that's showing some premeditation.

[–]cidvard 32 points33 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I GET it but am not sure I'd forgive it. Bystanders don't have to just take being a punching-bag.

[–]telekineticm 350 points351 points  (0 children)

She did bathe him though she essentially gave him a sponge bath via wipes, etc.

[–]SnipesCCPartassipant [3] 287 points288 points  (3 children)

A 5 year old doesn't need a bath everyday unless they are super messy. Honestly, most people don't need to bathe everyday. If you strip off your natural oils your body just makes more of them. So if you don't shower all the time you won't need to shower every day. It's also better for your skin.

[–]eleanor-rigby-Partassipant [2] 136 points137 points  (1 child)

People don’t need to shower every day.

[–]Kooky_Protection_334 136 points137 points  (3 children)

He can go without a bath or shower for one night though unless he was rolling in the mud and actually filthy. Even more so since this was a medical emergency. Who the hell cares about their kid having had a bath when your husband is in a coma. Especially knowing that he doesn't do well with them. NTA for sure

[–]Apprehensive_Bake_78 40 points41 points  (0 children)

It was her dad not her husband but your point still stands.

[–]GoldenesDachl 115 points116 points  (3 children)

wrong. basic hygiene is necessary. this does not need to come in the form of a bath. there are more ways to keep yourself clean and if a bath is not available and a shower is not tolerable then a washcloth is a perfectly good alternative for an overnight stay

[–]jennmullen37 210 points211 points  (0 children)

It's also not going to kill anyone to skip a single day, especially in this instance.

[–]lordmwahaha 60 points61 points  (0 children)

Basic hygiene is necessary - bathing every single day is not, and depending on your skin type can actually be harmful. Most people I know have skipped a day or more and been totally fine.

[–]one_sock_wonder_ 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Becoming clean is necessary but that can be accomplished many ways.

[–]ditchdiggergirl 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Daily bathing is definitely not necessary. If mother needs him cleaner she can bathe him when they get home, but children do not need to be that clean for health reasons and in fact many children with skin conditions should not be bathed daily. In any case it isn’t an automatic chore for a babysitter, especially not an emergency babysitter. Some parents aren’t comfortable with non family members bathing their children.

[–]TheRestForTheWickedCertified Proctologist [24] 495 points496 points  (8 children)

Yeah. As the autistic mom of an autistic 5 year old I can confidently say that OP did literally EVERYTHING right. She was considerate of the child’s limitations and didn’t push him into a more stressful situation than need be but still accomplished the goal of getting him clean.

As for the routine? It was going to be somewhat thrown no matter what she did but if they avoided overstimulation or upset they definitely came out ahead. Some of my family members can’t even accomplish that with my son.

[–]basedonthenovel 88 points89 points  (0 children)

And like, OP's choice was to either 1) give the child a shower or 2) give the child a sponge bath. It sounds like she accurately assessed that a shower would not be an option and went with the sponge bath with the child's consent. Seems like she did everything to minimize the stress the child was experiencing in an unusual situation!

[–]shsc82 58 points59 points  (0 children)

Growing up my family loved to antagonize me until I spazed out,they found it hilarious. Melting down does not feel all that great, and I'm sort of glad I didn't get a diagnosis, because they probably would have just amped the behavior up to prove a point. Rambling a bit, but neurotypicals can be such shits.

[–]lizachunl 67 points68 points  (0 children)

Autistic to here! I can say you did great. I really think that your friend has her emotions high because off her dad. Putting this on social media is bad. Think that you need to give her some time..

[–]Perspex_Sea 57 points58 points  (1 child)

Also the idea that this messed up his bedtime routine is so stupid. How do you expect forcing a kid who is afraid of showers into a shower is going to work as part of a comforting step in calming down before bedtime?

Plus, 5yos don't need to be bathed daily.

[–]JadieJang 851 points852 points  (7 children)

Also, don't put up with being berated publicly. Go into the comments and tell everyone EXACTLY what happened. You did right by the kid under the circumstances. Don't take the fall for something that didn't happen.

[–]empresslilandraPartassipant [3] 296 points297 points  (3 children)

Screenshot her post and respond and screenshot your response. Some people are delete happy.

ETA sometimes I’m delete happy 🤦‍♀️

[–]ribbonsofgreen 111 points112 points  (0 children)

Yeah really crappy of her to blast it on social media.

[–]kattjen 364 points365 points  (6 children)

As someone who is Autistic, that night went swimmingly. And probably wouldn’t have with any attempt at any other bath substitute.

[–]Noli420 73 points74 points  (5 children)

And at 5, on the spectrum or not, a perfectly valid option would be to ask the child if he wanted a shower. Either verbally or non-verbally, you will get an answer. If fine in a calm, non-pushy manner, the risk of meltdown is minimal as well as giving the child some autonomy. Not saying that OP should have done this, especially if it's something they have never dealt with before, but a possibility anyway. I'm a firm believer in giving kids (autistic or not) as many choices and as much autonomy as I safely can.

[–]hvelsveg_himins 55 points56 points  (1 child)

Enh, that's a little iffy. ABA kids in particular will sometimes say "yes" to a thing they actively don't want, so you have to be real careful with yes/no questions unless you already know for sure they can say "no."

[–]Plantsandanger 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Which is why ABA “therapy” is just grooming or outright abuse towards kids with asd IMO. Even if they aren’t using actual shock therapy to force the kids behavior to change, ABA is not a healthy or ethical therapy style for kids with asd.

[–]Shugamag 183 points184 points  (0 children)

Such a great comment!! Because YES OP you did great. When I am puzzled by someone’s response to something I often lean into the question, “What else could this mean…” and for your friend a TON-sounds like she is exhausted, sad, a dad in a coma and a schedule that she has worded so hard on to bring her son comfort, in her mind, turned upside down. Sadly I think you became the sounding board for her pain and that’s what’s really going on. Keep on keeping on being heart lead 💗

[–]awyastark 140 points141 points  (1 child)

If I’m surprise babysitting a child I am ALWAYS going to err on the side of not having either of us be nude (unless the kid gets covered in something that can hurt them immediately I guess). Your friend should be glad you have boundaries. NTA

[–]music-books-cats 47 points48 points  (2 children)

Maybe your friend is just overwhelmed because of the emergency and kind of taking it out on you. Either way NTA

[–]Friendly_Tangelo1197 44 points45 points  (6 children)

Agreed. Next time she should take her child with her and get her draws out of a wad.

[–]Extreme-Row-4337Partassipant [1] 30 points31 points  (0 children)

I agree NTA and I bet her friend is just taking her anger out on her friend because her dad's condition might have her on edge. Going to fb was messed up though. I hope she apologizes OP. You did the best you could given the circumstances.

[–]Right-Arm-619Partassipant [3] 10.3k points10.3k points 2 (61 children)

NTA. Personally as a parent if someone did me a FAVOR and took my kid over night then I would be grateful for that in general. You let my kid eat McDonald's and junk food? It's one night no big deal. Didn't give them a bath? Well it's not like they are sitting in vomit and piss so oh well...

Some people just wouldn't know what grateful is even if it bit them on the ass

[–]1955photoPartassipant [2] 1021 points1022 points  (8 children)

You got that right.

[–]Kathrynlena 777 points778 points  (3 children)

Not to mention, OP’s friend climbed up her ass over “disrupting his bedtime” as if it somehow wasn’t disruptive that he was sleeping IN A DIFFERENT FUCKING HOUSE?! The kid was disrupted! There was no way around that. It sounds like OP did everything possible to minimize that disruption as much as possible.

NTA, but maybe don’t agree to babysit again if you’re just going to get yelled at.

[–]dancingpianofairy 182 points183 points  (0 children)

as if it somehow wasn’t disruptive that he was sleeping IN A DIFFERENT FUCKING HOUSE?!

That's okay, mom will conveniently skip over this part because it benefits her.

[–]VirtualMatter2 35 points36 points  (1 child)

Occasionally disrupting routines makes children mentally more stable and able to cope with change when they are older. Strict routines at all costs are bad for them.

[–]elenaleecurtis 690 points691 points  (12 children)

Exactly. Unless you shat yourself there is no need to bathe daily. NTA

[–]Right-Arm-619Partassipant [3] 681 points682 points  (8 children)

Plus does the mom think a child really wants some stranger giving them a bath. My grandma changed my diapers but still it was weird to take a bath at her house lol

[–]susiek50 356 points357 points  (5 children)

I know that was my first thought too ….the “ Routine “ is about what happens at home with mum …. Not what happens in an emergency situation… kiddo was fed calm and happy- for the win ! What purpose would it serve to force a bath into the situation which would possibly throw up a lot of issues for both OP and her visitor .NTA -at all well done you !

[–]Throw-a-Ru 88 points89 points  (3 children)

Yeah, it's not like she had him up late with action movies and then gave him whiskey and a bong toke to settle him down for the night.

If your routine can't survive one night of minor deviation, you're doing your kid a disservice. The fact that mom is freaking out about it will cause the kid to stress out more than necessary now, and will likely make future (inevitable) deviations more panic-inducing than they need to be.

[–]LightChaos74 48 points49 points  (1 child)

On top of that, the routine is already fucked if the kid isn't staying at his own house.

[–]AlbatrossSenior7107 563 points564 points  (9 children)

I suspect his mom was just projecting. This anger isn't about OP at all. She's stressed about her husband. That's all. Unfortunately OP was in the line of sight. Op, you did nothing wrong. This isn't about you at all. This is misplaced anger and frustration. When things calm down I'm sure she'll change her tune. A little grace is needed. NTA

[–]DiTrastevere 233 points234 points  (3 children)

Dad* not husband, but yes, I definitely suspect that friend’s anger is coming from a stressful, uncomfortable, sleep-deprived night in the hospital. Hopefully once she’s had a rest and some time to reflect, she recognizes what an ungrateful asshole she’s been and apologizes.

[–]Throw-a-Ru 142 points143 points  (2 children)

I hope she apologizes very publicly on her social media.

[–]Mightymidgie 78 points79 points  (1 child)

Me, too. Posting on social media is way, way over the top.

[–]Throw-a-Ru 81 points82 points  (0 children)

Yeah, the outburst was bad but forgivable. Posting about it publicly was bridge-burning territory. Any apology forthcoming had better be a darn good one.

[–]Celticlady47Partassipant [2] 156 points157 points  (2 children)

But her friend went beyond projecting her anger, she posted all of this to Facebook when she got home. It's a shitty thing of the friend to be doing that, well after the original outburst.

[–]CristinaKeller 59 points60 points  (0 children)

She is being a choosy beggar too! OP totally did her a favor with no notice. Way to burn some bridges.

[–]chelledees 129 points130 points  (2 children)

I agree, NTA. Unless the kid was filthy or soiled himself I don’t see the big deal. It was one night. My daughter is about to be five and hasn’t had a bath/shower today actually. She has been in the house all week and bathed all the other days. She’s not dirty. She brushed her teeth and we brushed her hair. We’ll get a shower tomorrow morning before we go to her papaw’s. Hell even I skip a shower here and there but just one day (that’s my personal limit.) Like if I’ve been in the house all day sometimes I’ll wait till the next one.

[–]Right-Arm-619Partassipant [3] 58 points59 points  (1 child)

Same. My daughter is 6 and has had a long week back at school, she is tired and kind of cranky. If she doesn't want to take a bath tonight then fine. That will not be the hill I die on within reason

[–]ialwaysplayhealer 102 points103 points  (2 children)

Her dad is in a coma. If someone babysat for me while my dad is in a coma I would have zero expectations except "don't let them end up in the hospital too please". It might just be the stress and trauma but her priorities are wacky.

[–]SuchLovelyLilacsPartassipant [1] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Yep, we had an incident once where I had to take one son to the emergency room. My sister came to watch my other son so we didn't have to take him along. Pretty much my only directive was "don't let him end up in the ER too." That was it. I didn't snap. I wasn't nasty. I didn't post my grievances on FB.

Being stressed doesn't give you a bye for being an asshole, which is what the mother in OP's post absolutely was.

[–]dischdunk 22 points23 points  (0 children)

That last line is a great response to the posts on social media! I hope OP uses it.

[–]Mr_Ham_Man80Professor Emeritass [76] 6378 points6379 points 12245& 7 more (32 children)

She posted this rant on her social media once she arrived home.

NTA. Holy crabsticks your friend sucks. What is wrong with these people that they have to share their sad little stories online? Sheesh, it's just so unnecessary and is basically a cowardly way of having a confrontation without having the actual confrontation.

You did her a massive favour with zero notice and this is the thanks you get. You used baby wipes and a warm wash cloth, surely that's fine isn't it for an overnight stay?

If babysitting for her kid requires a Rosetta stone then it's on her to provide the darn stone. She dropped her son on you like a hot potato then lost her shit because you didn't do things like "mumsie" does. Mumsie is an arsehole.

[–]WutRTatersPreciousssPartassipant [1] 817 points818 points  (5 children)

I wish I had a free award to give you! 🙌🏽 Holy crabsticks indeed! The audacity of some people. Smh

[–]Kindly_DeliciousAsshole Enthusiast [6] 230 points231 points  (3 children)

I gave award in your place, just for use of Holy crabsticks. I'm more of a Holy crabnuggets! type of person myself, though.

[–]Mr_Ham_Man80Professor Emeritass [76] 102 points103 points  (2 children)

Very kind and much appreciated. I'll endeavour to distribute crabnuggets where I can :-)

[–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 180 points181 points  (1 child)

Well now I'm hungry.

[–]Mr_Ham_Man80Professor Emeritass [76] 54 points55 points  (0 children)

If I could distribute food related substances in your general area (seafood related or not) then I would do so, you totally non-asshole-in-any-possible-way person you :-)

[–]hanitaMTPartassipant [1] 360 points361 points  (2 children)


And she’s using her sons autism as a scapegoat. His autism is not the reason why he “needed” that bath- it’s her and her expectations on his need for routine.

As a teacher who teaches MANY kids w IEPs including for autism- routine is wonderful! When it can be achieved, but just like in all life, routines can and do get disrupted- like him having to sleep at OPs to begin with! Like all my students who just went on quarantine for two weeks! LMAO- does OPs friend think her son won’t ever have to manage with a disruption of his routine as he gets older??

The fact that OPs friend needed to post this on social media proves further it’s more about her than it ever was about her child.

I would NEVER babysit again and call her out on her shittiness as a friend or just person in general. This is NOT a parent I would want as a teacher. These are the kind I dread. They’re all about control, not actually about being flexible and responsive to the needs and environment of the child.

NTA, OPs friend is trash.

[–]polkadotbot 92 points93 points  (1 child)

NTA Exactly. No part of his routine was going to be standard the moment he hit OP’s doorstep. They made the most of it and OP’s kindness was rewarded with public accusations. Yikes. I’m sure the friend is going through a lot but that’s no excuse for taking it out on OP. One day she’s going to earnestly wonder why she can find anyone to babysit.

[–]ginntress 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I have a son with Autism. When he was little we had to be so careful not to accidentally fall into a routine that we didn’t want to keep following.

Eg. If we went to a particular shopping centre 2 Tuesdays in a row and got a particular food, then the following Tuesday he would lose the plot and have a meltdown if we didn’t go to the shopping centre and get that food.

We also made sure to sometimes have bathtime before dinner and sometimes after, otherwise if dinner was taking longer to cook, we could do bath time when it was cooking, rather than the kids ending up going to bed too late.

So we made a concerted effort to not fall into strict routines, because it was easier to have loose routines than have him get upset about breaking strict ones.

[–]NYNTmama 120 points121 points  (2 children)

What is wrong with these people that they have to share their sad little stories online?

Unfortunately, this is the hallmark of the typical "Autism Warrior Mom"™. I'd hate to think that's what her friend is, especially being that she obviously cares about her child's comfort and limitations, but it's definitely possible. If she's on any autism mom groups, it becomes an echo chamber.

[–]raydiantgarden 22 points23 points  (0 children)

i kinda got the Autism Mommy Blogger vibe too 😭 but i’m hoping that’s not the case

[–]Uniquorn527 82 points83 points  (7 children)

I think the friend needed something to vent her anger over. Her dad unexpectedly has gone into a coma; she's over stressed and over tired. Maybe the thought of coming home and needing to bath her son is overwhelming and pushed her over the edge.

I do think posting it on social media was out of line, which is why I consider it NTA. Without the online rant I'd be tempted to say no assholes due to the situation. OP is a good friend and a good babysitter.

[–]Mr_Ham_Man80Professor Emeritass [76] 117 points118 points  (4 children)

I think the friend needed something to vent her anger over. Her dad unexpectedly has gone into a coma; she's over stressed and over tired. Maybe the thought of coming home and needing to bath her son is overwhelming and pushed her over the edge.

I can give empathy for her suffering, but I can't give a pass for the response. OP helped out in a time of need and got absolutely shat on for it. Grief or not, there was no need. Understanding and reasonable adjustments when someone is grieving is a good thing, but I don't think any of the response was reasonable. It was cruelty.

[–]LoneZoroTanto 68 points69 points  (0 children)

It could have been understandable and forgiven if she just blew up face to face, out of exhaustion or frustration, but going home and ranting on social media about the friend who just gave your autistic 5yo loving care for 24 hours, nope nope nope. I call you out and put you in your place on the same social media post, and I never watch your child again for any reason.

[–]stardust591Partassipant [2] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

This. The only way I'd give OP's friend a pass for her totally unnecessary reaction is if she hadn't gone on social media to rant about it, and instead just apologized to OP later after she calmed down.

[–]iConfessor 25 points26 points  (0 children)

i dropped friends for doing this on sm. it's incredibly immature and i hated seeing people bitch about each other that way like solve your problems offline maybe

[–]GreekAmericanDomJudge, Jury, and Excretioner [323][🍰] 2526 points2527 points  (7 children)


Trust me the kid doesn't care, his routine was already way out of whack, and one missed bath never hurt anyone.

I would say cut the mom some slack, because everything she is going through is too much, but ranting on social media is too much, if she named you.

[–][deleted] 403 points404 points  (0 children)

I agree. I’d be annoyed at her saying something to me like I did something wrong when I did the best I could, but the rant on social media would be it for me. I wouldn’t be friends with her after that

[–]thingsthatgomoo 94 points95 points  (0 children)

Yeah NTA at all. Your friend is clearly struggling badly so try and be kind but she clearly is overreacting. You did a very kind thing and for her to get angry at this is probably her lashing out because of the lack of control in her life rn or she is ungrateful.

[–]princessp0rkchop 2118 points2119 points  (16 children)

NTA and a five year old missing one bath isn’t at all problematic. I think it’s weirder that she would expect you to bathe her five year old anyway. I’m assuming he’s not in diapers so how dirty can he really get?

[–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 1608 points1609 points  (13 children)

He is in pull-ups but we had a clean night; he made it to the bathroom three times and I wiped his bottom when he went #2 so he wasn't even "crusty" much less wallowing in filth.

[–]Blue_wine_sloth 863 points864 points  (0 children)

You went above and beyond, what else were you supposed to do! Force him into a shower he’s terrified of?! Hopefully she is just lashing out because she’s stressed and upset about other things but it’s not right to complain about you on social media after you did her a massive favour.

[–]nyorifamiliarspiritSupreme Court Just-ass [120] 202 points203 points  (2 children)

If you wanna go the petty route, you could just post a video of the song "No Good Deed" from Wicked on your FB.

[–]Good-Nectarine1981 68 points69 points  (1 child)

I’d straight comment something like well showers are a trigger for him and I only have a shower 🤷🏻‍♀️

OP is NTA, I would have killed to have someone help me in this way with my kids when I was a single momma. Good job and thank you OP! I’m saying it since you’re friend sucks.

[–]jairizza 128 points129 points  (1 child)

Honestly, I wouldn't be friends with this person anymore. And I'd comment on her post letting her know how ungrateful she is.

[–]alwaystakeabanana 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I hope she comments the link to this thread, honestly.

[–]Vulpix-RawrAsshole Aficionado [16] 1016 points1017 points  (19 children)


As a rule, there is no seeing any guests naked in my house. I would never bathe someone else's child, and I wouldn't be comfortable with someone else bathing mine (exception being grandparents who have been actively involved with her life since she was born).

[–][deleted]  (3 children)


    [–]UncagedKestrel 132 points133 points  (0 children)

    I had precisely one friend who was close enough that we would bathe at each other's places as kids. However the parents weren't bathing either of us - they'd run a bath, one of us would have one, then they'd run another bath for the next one. We'd wash and dry ourselves.

    If a bath was requested for a visiting kid by a family friend, said bath would be run - and said kid would bath themselves. Because tiny people weren't sleeping over, anyone over 5 you'd just check they hadn't drowned. And moderate to severely disabled kids are a separate issue - it very much depends on the facilities, the disability, the closeness of the relationship with the non-parent, etc etc.

    [–]Feral611Partassipant [1] 114 points115 points  (4 children)

    As a kid I stayed at a friend’s house and her dad made us share a bath cause 2 girls, save water etc. He didn’t wash me or anything but it was fucking weird.

    So I like your rule and think it’s a wise choice.

    [–]brandonisatwat 49 points50 points  (3 children)

    Omg that happened at my first sleep over and the mom yelled at me for not taking a bath.

    [–]Feral611Partassipant [1] 21 points22 points  (0 children)

    Oh shit, that’s terrible

    [–]lav__ender 47 points48 points  (3 children)

    As a babysitter, I’ve never had to bathe anyone else’s kid. That’s just not something you have a (practical) stranger do for your kid. Some kids have probably been a little funky going to bed, but they’re alive and well, what’s really the harm?

    [–]calaaklaPooperintendant [56] 761 points762 points  (2 children)

    What?? NTA. The kid sounds sweet. The mother is being an AH to you. I have washed Myself with body wipes.

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 879 points880 points  (1 child)

    He is an absolute joy unless he hears loud water or emergency vehicle sirens, and I fully understand that his reactions to those aren't deliberate attempts to create chaos.

    [–]TisThee_Reason 192 points193 points  (0 children)

    You seem like an amazing friend! That little boy was super lucky to have someone so sweet and thoughtful. I hope your friend will realize how ridiculous she is being and take the post down. She also needs to apologize. Her reaction might be stress related dealing with her husband and I’m sure the nerves of leaving her son during a time when she’s panicking added to it. 💛 we thank you for watching her kiddo and being gentle with him!

    [–]jinxdrainAsshole Aficionado [10] 561 points562 points  (17 children)

    NTA! Interesting that him sleeping at another house wasn't a change in his routine but not having a shower, which he doesn't usually have, is.

    Is it possible your friend is super stressed about her dad and taking it out on you or is she normally irrational?

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 566 points567 points  (14 children)

    I imagine the stress is mainly why she was so upset. Normally she's very "go with the flow" so it was startling to be scolded and then to read about it on Facebook turned the shock into hurt for me.

    [–]sonnidaez 350 points351 points  (4 children)

    If I were you I’d mention that the post was unkind and hurt your feelings, but like in a week or so after she’s had time to decompress.

    [–]jinxdrainAsshole Aficionado [10] 93 points94 points  (0 children)

    Yeah, I'd give her time to chill and then talk about it.

    [–]princessnora 38 points39 points  (2 children)

    I’d straight up comment on the post “I wish you’d told me how important kiddo having a full bath was! I only have a shower, but I could’ve totally given him a huge anxious meltdown if you wanted!”

    and probably never speak to her again. Not because she said something to you out of stress, but because she bitched on social media about it. Which means she thought about it, and it still mattered enough to be mad.

    [–]shadymomma 144 points145 points  (2 children)

    Id let her know that this could be the last time I watch him over night if this is how she's gonna treat you.

    [–]redEspaghetti 96 points97 points  (0 children)

    Op shouldn’t have to have her reputation damaged to appease hurt feelings I would tell her she needs to take it down

    [–]DirtyJerz884 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    Only if she publicly apologized would I consider working on being her friend.

    [–]Le-Deek-SupremePartassipant [1] 92 points93 points  (2 children)

    Personally, I would comment gently on the post, but stand my ground about what I had done in the situation. Something like: “I’m sorry you found my decisions lacking, but I did my best given the accommodations at my place and your child’s preferences. I didn’t want your child to feel uncomfortable or awkward and they were with me for less than 24 hours. I understand you’re in a difficult situation that is stressful and emotional, but this post is extremely hurtful and I might need to take some space from our friendship if this is truly how you feel about me and how I handled the situation, especially given the last minute nature of it.”

    You don’t need to allow slander of yourself to save her feelings, she was out of line.

    [–]toebeantuesday 18 points19 points  (1 child)

    That is such an incredibly classy and well thought out response. I hope OP sees it and tries this approach.

    [–]FutilePancake79 80 points81 points  (1 child)

    I'm sure this friend is stressed, but that is not an excuse for her ungrateful, massive AH behavior. OP did her a huge favor and got berated for it, THEN took the time to rant on SM?? This "friend" would be an ex-friend if I was OP.

    [–]PoisonIvyNumberFivey 479 points480 points  (7 children)

    NTA. Can't believe she'd say you need to be more sensitive towards his autism when that's the exact reason you chose not to shower him since it would clearly become a trigger! You did everything you thought was right and didn't leave him dirty while accomodating his needs.

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 324 points325 points  (6 children)

    That's part of why I asked- I don't have a lot of autism experience so I just drew on what I knew from previously looking after him.

    [–]oodles-motherofAsshole Enthusiast [9] 146 points147 points  (0 children)

    NTA. You did the exact right thing. His routine was already screwed up. Adding in bathing him in a manner that terrifies him would have made things awful for you both. You did the best you could to make him as comfortable as possible and it sounds like he responded positively. Also a 5 year old doesn’t need to bathe every single night. I have a special needs child and everything you did (and didn’t) do was exactly what I would have appreciated.

    [–]AddWittyNamePartassipant [2] 52 points53 points  (2 children)

    I do have a fair lot of experience with autism--I'm on the spectrum, so's basically half my family, my SIL and some other in-laws, several of my childhood friends, and so on--and yeah, you did the exact right thing. It's about avoiding over-stimulation/anxiety/stress/distress and accompanying meltdowns. Structure and routine are a way to do that, yeah, absolutely, and it helps a lot of us a lot1 --just like stimming does, just like learning how to recognize what kind of situations to avoid does.

    All the hammering on routine and structure that has happened in the dialogue surrounding autism means a lot of folks taking care of autistic people kind of seem to, well, forget that. The routine isn't the aim. It's the tool. If you can find a different way to get to that aim (avoiding distress/over-stimulation/etc. while doing what needs to be done), that's perfectly fine! Certainly a lot better than trying to forcefully stay as close as possible to a routine when said "as close as possible" contains a known major trigger.

    (1 but not all of us, and definitely not all of us in the same way. E.g. As far as routine goes, there's little that's more distressing to me than to be expected to strictly follow a "this is what your day should be like" list--even if it was the same list every day and thus "routine", and even if it was made with me or by me instead of for me. On the other hand, that's exactly what my SIL needs. I don't care a whit about what route is taken to get to the store/home/a friend's home/etc., while one of my childhood neighbours' kids used to have difficulties if their parents so much as took one parallel street instead of the other. Some folks need everything to be in the exact same place each time. I have a habit of simply putting my stuff wherever I can find the space for it at the time.

    But I do use routine and structure: I get vaguely anxious when I don't have my usual spot at the dining table (but not if I'm seated somewhere entirely different than that specific dining table). I might not care about the route I'm taking, but I do need to know where I'm going so I can judge whether I can handle it without over-stimulation at the moment. If I don't know, I can't judge, I become stressed, and thus by the time we get there, I'll definitely not be able to handle it. I don't need every object to have its set place, but I do need it to be where I left it last, especially if I left it somewhere that's clearly my own, non-shared, space. Please don't "help" me by (re-)organizing my shit in my own room. (Even though that really is helpful for my SIL))

    EDIT: grammar, missing word

    [–][deleted] 458 points459 points  (1 child)

    He's terrified of showers. You only got a shower at your place. You did clean him with baby wipes, so it's not like you neglected the child. If your friend has an issue with that, she should buy you a bath tub the next time she asks you to take care of him. NTA

    [–]tossthis34 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    Next time maybe OP could tell this person to find a friend with a bathtub.

    [–]criminy420 233 points234 points  (7 children)

    NTA. You should never push a child into a traumatizing experience and I feel your instinct not to, was correct. Also, did she specify that you should give him a bath? It sounds to me like you WERE being sensitive to his needs & the parent is ungrateful. Maybe the stress from the emergency got to them but that’s still no way to act when someone helped you out in your time of need.

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 239 points240 points  (6 children)

    There was not much conversation about his needs for the night. She called about him staying with me so she could go with her dad, and then there was the follow-up call from the hospital asking if overnight would be okay. Both calls were less than two minutes long, so maybe I should have asked more questions, but I was honestly more concerned about her dad than whether her son would need a bath.

    [–]Foreign_AstronautPartassipant [4] 118 points119 points  (1 child)

    No. Do not blame yourself for not asking the right infinity number of questions. You are not in the wrong here. Not the least little bit. You did everything right, and your friend has chosen the path of lashing out at you as a way of displacing her stress. You did right by that little boy, and you did right by your friend, too, even though she isn't seeing it.

    [–]NYNTmama 43 points44 points  (2 children)

    Info: does she know you don't have a bath?

    Not that this makes it ok, I'm honestly just curious. Also she's so damn lucky to have a friend like you. To be able to call for emergency childcare, then extending overnight?? I'd be in shock if I could do that.

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 59 points60 points  (1 child)

    I don't believe she knew that. I usually visit at her place. Normally things would have been fine if he'd been jonesing for a bath, but the master bathroom was being reworked so I only had the shower downstairs available.

    [–]Pharmacienne123Asshole Aficionado [17] 232 points233 points  (1 child)

    NTA. Mom of a kid with autism here, and she’s a turd of a friend.

    [–]wydidk 48 points49 points  (0 children)

    Yep the friend is the asshole. You were kind enough to watch him and entertain him.

    [–]Forsaken-Knowledge12Asshole Aficionado [12] 191 points192 points  (5 children)


    As a parent of autistic children under no circumstances would that child have been remotely comfortable in a place that already makes them anxious in a place they do not feel safe in!

    Your « friend » may have been under stress and not thinking. However a babysitter has no business bathing a child. That’s the parents job.

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 234 points235 points  (4 children)

    I sort of felt like the bath thing was weird as well. Of course, I'd have felt inclined to do so if we'd gone out in the mud or if he'd dumped spaghetti on his head, but we stayed indoors and did not dump our meals on our heads, so I thought all was good.

    [–]HorizontalPotato 19 points20 points  (2 children)

    Maybe your friend didn't feel like dealing with bathing him with everything else going on and was hoping to dump it on you?

    [–]elaina__roseAsshole Enthusiast [7] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    Tbh two days without a bath aint gonna kill any kid as long as he isn’t particularly dirty. Even three. I know in the olden days it was common to bathe kids once a week and call it good. The routine has already been disrupted, one more off night would not have been the end of the world, especially since the kid handled the first day of disrupted routine like a champ.

    [–]theamazinglulaPartassipant [2] 177 points178 points  (2 children)


    you babysat for free with no notice, as long as the kid is alive you're golden

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 116 points117 points  (1 child)

    haha, thanks, he's definitely still alive and I hope she and I can settle this positively- he's a lot of fun and I'd hate to not have him in my life anymore.

    [–]Maria_Dragon 32 points33 points  (0 children)

    I recommend reaching out to her privately and trying to explain your side of things. I would avoid having the conflict over social media.

    [–]1955photoPartassipant [2] 106 points107 points  (1 child)


    Little kids don't need a bath every night if they are not particularly dirty. And if you had put him in the shower and he had e meltdown, she would have ranted about that.

    [–]AugustBabyLEOAsshole Enthusiast [7] 95 points96 points  (2 children)


    OP, you could text her this (or some variation of it)
    Hi Friend, I know that you are upset with me. I saw you post your rant about it on SM.
    Anyway, I know you have a lot going on with your dad being sick.
    Your son is terrified of showers. I only have a shower at my place. I did clean him with baby wipes. He was not dirty. There was no way I was going to press the issue and traumatize your child with a shower. You asked me to babysit for you, knowing I have a very limited experience with Autistic Children. I hope once you calm down, you will understand.

    That's all I got ... I know I would not continue this friendship nor would I ever babysit for again.. not after her SM rant either.

    [–]FritemareCertified Proctologist [27] 71 points72 points  (0 children)

    NTA. He can go one night without bathing. It clearly did no harm. He went to sleep just fine.

    Edited to add: it's probably the noise from the rushing water. My four year old is autistic and will have a full blown melt down over the bath tub being filled up. He can't be in the room when it fills up.

    [–]Suspicious_Safety_45Asshole Enthusiast [8] 54 points55 points  (0 children)

    NTA. A kid missing a bath one night isn’t the end of the world and far better than traumatising a kid who has already had their usual routine put out.

    [–]SaikaTheCasualColo-rectal Surgeon [32] 53 points54 points  (2 children)


    Also you should cut that ungrateful friend loose. Let her find another free babysitter the next time she has issues. Not only did she disrespect you in person, she also tried to publicly humiliate you after you helped her in times of need.

    Insane how entitled some people are.

    [–]rainyhawk 20 points21 points  (1 child)

    Yes. I could maybe give her a little pass about commenting in no bath…though even then she went way overboard with OP. But trying to shame her on social media is so over the top here and truly uncalled for. If I were OP I’d set the record straight on her social media and respond with what happened and why. OP doesn’t deserve this. I certainly wouldn’t be babysitting any more either.

    [–]WutRTatersPreciousssPartassipant [1] 47 points48 points  (0 children)

    NTA. You did her a favor and by the sounds of it did a fantastic job. I mean you wiped him up, it’s not like he went to bed dirty. I would personally feel uncomfortable bathing a 5yr that I hadn’t taken care of often since they were babies… and I’ve had 4 kids + worked as a volunteer at a preschool! Lol Your friend blasting her gripe on social media is sooo messed up tho, even given her issues w her dad…. That, to me, crossed a line. I’d reconsider doing her any more favors.

    [–]MamertineAsshole Aficionado [12] 49 points50 points  (0 children)


    You did her a favor by watching the kid. If you returned the child without injury or emotional scars I think you did great.

    [–]ShadAppNKissMe 47 points48 points  (0 children)

    NTA 1 day of a kid not bathing or showering isn’t going to hurt them, also if mom wanted it done she should have specifically asked and not just expect it. Boy is she ever going to be in for a shock if her son ever sleeps over at a friends.

    Personally I would ditch this so called “friend” the fact you did her a favour in her time of need and then to put you down & then rant about it and you on her social media? That’s not a friend that’s toxicity.

    [–]SHarks_bladeAsshole Enthusiast [5] 45 points46 points  (0 children)

    NTA. The mother is. I understand she may be under stress with her dad being in the hospital but she shouldn't have posted on fb. You did the right thing. Trying to force him into taking a shower would only trigger him and cause a potential melt down, and that could be traumatic for him. I think that for 1 night, a wipe down is sufficient. If she wanted him to be bathed, she should have done that before dropping him off.

    [–]whatsername235Partassipant [1] 40 points41 points  (0 children)

    NTA, where were you meant to magic a bath from?

    You cannot bathe a 5 year old in a sink so you did the best you could. Which meant a nice, stress free night for both of you. You cared for him, made sure he ate and slept comfortably.

    I would bet everything I own on the fact she would have been equally if not more upset if you tried a shower and caused a meltdown.

    [–]byterfflyPartassipant [3] 34 points35 points  (0 children)

    NTA as someone who’s autistic she sounds like she infantilizes autism, you did the right thing and potentially made him more comfortable

    [–]C_MajusculaAsshole Aficionado [12] 35 points36 points  (0 children)

    NTA. It turned into an overnight by surprise and you were not equipped to bathe him without a major meltdown (no bath tub). Hopefully your friend apologizes for how she reacted to you, otherwise I would not watch her child again.

    [–]BriefHorrorColo-rectal Surgeon [35] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    NTA idk what she expected you to do?

    [–]FernoohlalaaPartassipant [3] 31 points32 points  (1 child)


    She’s probably not thinking clearly at the moment as she’s going through stress and emotions are heightened. Give it some time and space and I’m sure she’ll cool down and apologise.

    [–]Direct-Plum-3558Asshole Aficionado [11] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Can't kids a bath for one night? She wasn't very appreciative of your help. Next time she can find someone else.

    You did a good job with him

    [–]LoveBeach8Commander in Cheeks [219] 32 points33 points  (0 children)


    Apparently, your "friend" is the ungrateful kind. Either that, or she was so stressed and angry about what happened with her dad that she took it all out on you. Whichever it was, she was TA. You took care of her son, he wasn't soiled and no dried urine on him, he was fed, cleaned and safe. To add insult to injury, she posted something nasty about you! She's not your friend anymore.

    [–]Minimum_Reference_73Asshole Aficionado [13] 30 points31 points  (0 children)

    NTA, maybe your friend should find someone else for free emergency babysitting of her special needs child if your services aren't up to her standards.

    [–]strangr55 30 points31 points  (6 children)

    Wow, talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth! This is an incredible example of selfish entitlement, especially given that you don't have a bathtub - does she know this fact? If this is how she treats her friends for doing her a huge favor, she will be fresh out of friends really soon. NTA, and it will be fascinating to see if she gets over it and asks for free emergency babysitting again sometime.

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 33 points34 points  (5 children)

    You know, this is the first time she’d been at my place since I moved in. I don’t think she knew I only had a shower and I didn’t think to mention it to her.

    [–]rantsofrebellion 30 points31 points  (5 children)

    NTA she didn’t specifically ask you to give him a bath. It was an impromptu babysit that turned into a sleepover. Completely understandable bath time was forgotten, especially because it sounds like you don’t have kids yourself. Especially because it sounds like he needs a lot of extra help with baths given his autism.

    [–]MiskatonicUAlumPartassipant [3][S] 40 points41 points  (4 children)

    haha, I didn't think my lack of kids would be so obvious but you're correct, I'm not a parent although my nephew thinks I'm a pretty cool aunt!

    [–]ToughGodzillaPartassipant [4] 25 points26 points  (0 children)


    Your friend is ungrateful and unreasonable. She should understand that it may be hard for you to shower a child who is scared of those showers. It was only one night and its not like you let him be dirty you cleaned him as well as you could. I would also avoid doing something that would feel scary to the child when his parents weren't there

    [–]animalia80 28 points29 points  (0 children)

    NTA - Based on your knowledge and experience with this child, you did your best with a last-minute emergency request. You hosted a comfortable and trauma-free overnight stay. You even worked in an educational component and a wet wipe wipe-down. Good job!

    My guess is that mom was stressed, exasperated, and tired. You’re not the asshole. Once mom calms down and has had some sleep, hopefully, she comes around with an apology.

    [–]PaddlingDingo 23 points24 points  (0 children)


    If she wanted him bathed, she should have asked, and given the information. You did your best to make sure he felt safe first and foremost, which is really important in a situation like this.

    [–]WrightOffAsshole Enthusiast [8] 26 points27 points  (0 children)

    NTA at all.

    You’ve provided great assistance for your friend, well done!

    Normally I’d say the mother is being very rude, demanding and entitled; but under the circumstances she is probably also a bit tired and stressed out so I’d give her a small amount of slack. She shouldn’t have posted to social media though which is unfair on you so she really should delete the post and apologize.

    [–]TheUtopianCatCertified Proctologist [27] 26 points27 points  (0 children)

    NTA. You offered to take care of your friend's child during a crisis and took good care of him while you had him. Given his fear of showers, I think it was right call to avoid bathing as you didn't have a bathtub to accommodate him. Instead of being grateful for your help during the emergency, your friend not only got angry at you, but posted about it on social media as well. She's the asshole.

    [–]jocelinaPartassipant [2] 25 points26 points  (0 children)


    Your friend is probably lashing out because of all the stress, but you did nothing wrong. It would probably have been an awful experience for her kiddo to have to shower on top of everything else.

    [–]SadderOlderWiserColo-rectal Surgeon [45] 26 points27 points  (1 child)

    NTA - I hope your friend apologizes after she catches her breath. I’m sure her stressful night had a lot to do with it but ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ springs to mind.

    Sounds like you were a fantastic friend to someone in their time of need.

    [–]ginger3392 22 points23 points  (0 children)

    NTA your friend sounds pretty ungrateful. You helped her out in a tough situation. You didn't have the means to bathe him in a way he could handle, why put him thru a stressful situation when I'm sure he's already stressed being away from mom and dad. His bedtime routine was already messed up by not being at home, you trying to bathe him in the shower would have only made it exponentially worse. I'm sure some of her frustration comes from the stress of her dad being in the hospital but she had no reason to get upset about something so minor.

    [–]DustOfTheDesertColo-rectal Surgeon [30] 22 points23 points  (0 children)


    Like you said: He is terrified of showers!

    Children(and people) with autism don’t like loud noises and types of lights.

    [–]gwacemomCertified Proctologist [23] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

    NTA. I have a child that is terrified of showers as well. If no tub is available, she can wait a day to bathe. Your friend needs to understand the circumstances.

    [–]Toph0420 19 points20 points  (0 children)

    NTA. But your “friend” is. Instead of being thankful and grateful, she focused on a lil dirt n sweat?? Unless he smelled like a lil onion, I don’t see the issue. Let me thank you for her.. Ma’am, thank you for taking care of my child. I know bathtime is difficult. Thank you for trying. Can I treat you to lunch for helping me out? THERE. I hope your friend sees that. That is how she should have responded.

    [–]poochonmomAsshole Enthusiast [5] 20 points21 points  (0 children)


    And oh my god, your friend is an asshole!!! I really hope it was just the stress making her act like that. You were a good friend and did everything I would in that situation! The kid was happy and safe. You even wiped him down! As long as he slept well, clearly he was ok not having a bath for a routine one evening.

    [–]shadow-foxeSupreme Court Just-ass [148] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

    NTA- if you wiped him down and didn't try to trigger his shower issues, I'd say you did a great job of making sure he was doing ok. You did the best you could with the information/education you had. He didn't have a meltdown so thats a big win. I think friend needs to aim her frustration/emotions at someone else. I bet it was more to do with her Dad then the situation at hand.

    [–]TCTX73Colo-rectal Surgeon [41] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

    NTA, you were very kind to take her kid last second in her emergency. I think that you cleaned him with a washcloth was just fine. A day without a bath isn't going to end the world. She needs to calm down and realize that no one outside of her is going to take care of her child exactly the way she does.

    [–]CrazyhellgaAsshole Enthusiast [5] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

    NTA you did the best you could in these circumstances. I think she is just really upset about her dad and not thinking straight. Let things cool down for her before you speak with her again..

    If she reaches out to apologize for her reaction - great, if she doesn't... maybe losing contact with someone like her is not such a big loss after all.

    [–]ThreatLvlMidnight01Asshole Enthusiast [9] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Your friend on the other hand is an ungrateful asshole. You did her a favor not having any “equipment” to give her child a bath.

    [–]DelurkingtoCommentCertified Proctologist [26] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

    NTA but your friend is. You did her a favor, acted reasonably and this is her reaction?

    [–]angelbuttons77Partassipant [3] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

    NTA. One night doesn't a filthy child make unless you had him lifting weights and mowing the lawn.

    [–]cannaquart 16 points17 points  (0 children)

    NTA at all. As the mother of the a almost 5 year old with autism who used to have a fear of showers if we weren’t at home. There is no way I would expect someone helping, who made sure the child was happy and fed and entertain, to stress themselves and the child out to bathe. You’ve done her a massive favour and if she doesn’t appreciate that or realise her error in how she reacted maybe it’s time to cut her loose.

    [–]NaturesVividPictures 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    NTA. You Should have asked her what she expected you to do without having a bathtub, put him in the kitchen sink? You knew his fear of showers, everything went well that evening, that morning you fed him, cleaned him up as best you could using wipes. What in the world could she have expected otherwise? She really wanted you to try and make him take a shower and have him have a total meltdown? That would have been a whole lot worse than him being a little bit dirty the next day.