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Mom won't let son visit without showering because of daughter's severe allergy; AITA?

Mom won't let son visit without showering because of daughter's severe allergy; AITA?


Remember when they used to serve packets of peanuts on planes full of recycled air and now kids aren't allow to bring PB&J to school without eating it from inside a bubble in a sanitized isolation room?

So, when a conflicted mother of a daughter with a severe allergy decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about her teen son's showering routine, people were ready to deem a verdict.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for making my son shower before he comes to my house because of his sister's peanut allergy, and not letting him come over when he didn't?

I have a son (14M) with my ex-husband, as well as a daughter (12F) with my current partner. My daughter has one of the most severe peanut allergies her doctors have ever seen.

To give you an idea, someone touching a peanut, touching someone else, that person touching a surface, and then my daughter touching that surface would cause a reaction, and has before.

Because of this we have to take precautions beyond what's normal for a peanut allergy. We can't eat out, we deep clean the house frequently, and any guests have to wash their hands when they come over and avoid touching stuff.

It's a lot and I can understand my son being frustrated, but the issue at hand has to do with his father's house.

My son also has two young half-brothers at his father's house, who unsurpisingly eat a lot of peanut butter and the like. Obviously we can't police what another house does, but it does mean my son has to take additional measures to keep his sister safe.

Chiefly, he has to shower immediately before leaving to go to my house, otherwise he could have contamination. This is because as I said just him being in that house and than touching things could cause a reaction for his sister.

He didn't do that last week, he showered, but only the morning of, several hours before I picked him up. He refused to shower again, so I couldn't bring him and had to leave him at his father's.

Now his father is accusing me of favoritism, and claims I'm abandoning my son. He also said some very homophobic things about my partner (Also a woman) and said I'm being obsessive.

Of course, the jury of internet strangers was eager to weigh in on this peanut-related hygiene mess. Here's what people had to say:

junigloomy said:

You should try to get a service dog for her. I’ve read about another child who is extremely sensitive like your daughter and she was able to get a peanut sniffing dog.

If I remember correctly, the dog would walk into rooms before her and let her know if it was safe to enter and sniffed people too. She was able to go to school and everything after she got the dog.

bluestocking220 said:

It’s a shower? A small thing that could keep someone out of the hospital. Many people shower everyday anyway so it’s as simple as timing it around that. NTA.

ImKidA said:

NTA. You don't want your daughter to die, so obviously she must be the favorite (/s). You are asking him to remove potentially deadly material from himself so that he doesn't kill your other child.

At 14, he should be old enough to understand how serious this is. Yeah, I'm sure it's a bit annoying and inconvenient for him, but I think he'll live.... unlike your daughter if he doesn't go through with it.

Has he seen her react before? Does he fully know how serious this is?? I'd think a 14 year old would (although understandably a bit annoyed) be willing to take a shower in order to not murder someone. Is your ex filling his head with misinformation, maybe? Like 'Oh, they're just being dramatic. It's not that serious... etc.'

Wickedlove7 said:

I was on your side until you said guest aren't made to shower. Only wash their hands and to avoid touching things. Which lets be honest they probably touch things. They presumably sit down, use the toilet etc.

I can't blame you for trying to protect her. But I have a sinking feeling your son may eventually decide to stay full time at one of the homes. Does he shower when he comes home from school? The store etc? Why couldn't he just shower once at your house since that's what you do.

Disneylover-4837 said:

NTA. You aren’t asking much. Just for your son to shower again, it’s not hard. Plus even if he had peanut chemical stuff on him and he stood in the house or something, without touching anything your daughter might have a reaction as that has happened to people before as well.

Peanut allergies can be extremely severe and taking the precautions you are is a good idea. I’m sorry your ex and your son feel the way they do but this is another LIFE we are talking about here.

Not just some whim. Someone could literally die if exposed to the peanut. As sad as it is, you may have to just accept that your son might not come over as much. I don’t really see what other options there could be.

Neither-Candy-545 said:

NTA. It is completely different to have a guest over and a person that is going to make themselves at home and touch everything your daughter could potentially touch. You are right to be concerned and you are his mother - it's perfectly fine to ask him to take a shower.

Fair-Wedding-8489 said:

NTA. The reason for her son showering is she knows they consume peanuts regularly at their house. So son is already coming from a contamination zone. This would be treated differently from other guest.

So, there you have it...

Everyone agreed unanimously here that this mom definitely isn't wrong to make sure her son doesn't accidentally cause a serious reaction for her daughter. If there's anyone to blame it's probably her ex-husband, who is refusing to help enforce these rules. Good luck, everyone!

Sources: Reddit
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