Dad Wants to Know If He's Wrong for Not Going With His Wife and 16-Month-Old to the ER
Their 16-month-old had a fever and a cough that wasn't going away. Mom thought it was enough for an emergency room visit, but dad disagreed, so he stayed home.
Parenting isn't easy. No matter how much you've talked through every potential issue, you and your partner will disagree about how to handle certain situations that arise. That's what happened in this story a dad posted to Reddit's "Am I the A-hole?" He and his wife disagreed about how to handle their daughter's fever and cough, and it led to a big fight.
Dad explains that their 16-month-old daughter had been running a fever of 101-ish degrees for a little over a day. Her voice was raspy and she was coughing, "but still happy as a clam and eating and sleeping normally." They were keeping her on Tylenol for her fever, and it seemed to him to be working.
Throughout the night, his wife kept going into their daughter's room every 20 minutes or so to listen to her breathing. Eventually, she camped out in there with a blanket and pillows. Dad wrote that his daughter sounded OK to him, "no worse than any of the other colds she's had."
Around midnight, he wrote, "my wife starts packing the baby bag and says she's going to the ER. I tell her that I don't think it's that bad and she's overreacting and if she's any worse in the morning we can head to the doctor. She decides to go anyways."
Now, read this with a grain of salt. This is how it happened...from Dad's perspective. To him, his wife seemed nonchalantly like, "I'm going to take our daughter to the ER. That's what I think is best, so that's what I'm going to do. You can join or not join, but that's what's happening."
In reality, what his wife was most likely saying was, "I think it's time to take our daughter to the ER. Let's go." That's not what dad heard, though, so he stayed behind. About an hour-and-a-half later, they return from the hospital. The doctor said their daughter had a mild case of croup cough and she also had a linked ear infection. They received some antibiotics, and their daughter will be just fine.
But mom was so mad, she slept on the couch. She obviously expected her husband to go with them to the ER, and when he decided not to, she got mad. I think this is very understandable. Even if he didn't agree that it was needed, you still go to the hospital with your family in the middle of the night. Period. Right?
Most people agreed the dad was wrong here. "While you might not have been as concerned as your wife, once your wife decided she needed to go to the ER you could have supported her, and your daughter, and gone with them. God knows the hospital is a miserable place to be, not even counting trying to maneuver a car seat, and parking, and a fussy toddler," one commenter wrote.
"Your wife was worried and went to the ER alone — that's a very tough experience for her. You showed her that, when you don't agree with her, you're not there to back her up. It's fine to disagree on things, but in the end of the day, you have to get on one line with parenting, especially if it's resulting in a hospital visit," another person wrote.
This is so true. When it comes down to it, you're a partnership. A team. Especially when it comes to the health of your kid, be there for your family.
In an edit to his original post, Dad write, "When our daughter was six months, we did go to the ER for a much more severe case. It ended up being pneumonia and she was put on oxygen and monitored for two days. I completely agreed that we should go based on the symptoms I saw at the time. This time was nowhere close to that."
He seemed to write this to defend his point, but I think it actually does the opposite! It makes way more sense now why Mom would be as worried as she was. I can't imagine how terrifying it would be to have your 6-month-old baby in the hospital for multiple days. It makes total sense that she wanted to book it to the ER this time around to make sure, if it was something serious, that they caught it early.
In a second update to the post, Dad admitted he could have handled the situation better. He still doesn't think he was wrong, and that's fine! But he understands he should have been more supportive anyway. He said that they talked it out and he apologized and they are all good now. Most importantly, "Kiddo is doing great, no discomfort from ear infection, cough is no worse... Doctor said should clear up in a few days."