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Woman calls father's wife a 'creep,' for 'fussing over' her daughter in Disney World. AITA?

Woman calls father's wife a 'creep,' for 'fussing over' her daughter in Disney World. AITA?

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"AITA for calling my father's wife a creep?"

My (32F) father (60s) has been married to "Sasha" (fake name, 40s) for almost a decade. I was already an adult when they started seeing each other, so I never had much of a relationship with her. That said, Sasha was nice and thoughtful (though a bit annoying at times), and I never had any problems with her.

I now have a husband (34M) and two kids (9M and 4F). Sasha is very fond of my children, specially my daughter. That became very suffocating pretty quickly, so we started setting some boundaries. She never overstepped them. In January, my father and Sasha decided to go on a trip to Disney World, and invited us to join them. We decided to go to celebrate our son's 9th birthday.

I quickly regretted coming along. Sasha spent the entire trip fussing over my daughter in ways that overstepped almost every boundary we'd set. Examples include:

-Sasha bought a Minnie ears tiara. She wanted me to buy my daughter an identical one so they could "match." My daughter didn't like the tiara, so I bought her a Donald Duck hat instead. Sasha got her the tiara anyway, and was upset that she didn't want to wear it.

-My father and Sasha went shopping in between parks. I told them not to buy my kids anything, as we still had shopping to do and didn't want to risk making our bags too heavy. Still, Sasha returned with 5 bags of clothing for my daughter (and 2 for my son), saying she "couldn't resist it."

-My daughter wanted a Belle costume to wear at the parks, as that's her favorite princess. Sasha tried to convince us to get her an Ariel costume instead, because that's her favorite. I explained that we never watched The Little Mermaid at home because my daughter is scared of Ursula.

-Sasha insisted on taking dozens of pictures with my daughter in front of the castle at Magic Kingdom. She also took some with my son, but not nearly as many.

-She tried to convince us to take our daughter to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. We refused because the prices are crazy and we'd already bought her the Belle costume. She offered to pay, but we held our ground. I later found out Sasha tried to make a reservation anyway, but there was no availability.

-When we took our daughter to Slinky Dog Dash (her first roller coaster), Sasha tried to sit next to her. My daughter wanted to sit with me, so we switched. She tried to do the same thing in other attractions.

-At the Muppets theater, she tried to get my daughter to sit in her lap. Sasha also tried to pick her up while we met some of the characters.

There were more instances. The final straw for me, however, was the last park day of the trip. We were at Magic Kingdom. My husband suffered a minor injury and I had to take him to the first aid station. The kids wanted to go to the Peter Pan ride, so my dad and Sasha offered to take them in the meantime.

However, according to my father, the line was too long. So instead, Sasha suggested the Little Mermaid ride, assuring my kids Ursula wasn't on it. Actually, there's a pretty big Ursula animatronic there. My daughter was still sobbing and hugging her brother when we reunited.

When we flew back home, I told my father that we'd no longer take our children on trips with Sasha due to her behavior. He got extremely angry. He said his wife loved my kids, thought about what they'd like to do at every moment of the trip, and that we should be grateful to have her in our lives.

I lost my temper at that. I told him Sasha was a "creep", and that they should be grateful I was still okay with them even seeing my children after her actions during the trip. We ended up having a huge fight after that.

It's been weeks since we returned home, and my father is still angry at me and my husband. Sasha has texted me a few times. She says she's sorry if she "made me uncomfortable," but that she loves my kids and hoped to use the trip to spend more time with them.

To be honest, I don't think I'm the AH here. But I do think I might have overreacted. I believe there's a chance Sasha's actions were motivated by love and she truly did have good intentions. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Significant_Cat_3 said:

NTA you set some pretty clear boundaries that Sasha kept crossing the entire trip. Even your daughter seems to not be particularly receptive towards her. Also your son can probably pick up on this favoritism, and that’s not good for him either.

I don’t mean to do armchair psychology, but this reads like Sasha has always wanted a young daughter and is using your’s to live vicariously through. Hence why she kept trying to push things that your daughter doesn’t like onto her (Tiara, Little Mermaid ride, etc.)

Dachshundmom5 said:

She's playing dress up and using your daughter as her child. It's Sashas make-believe. Your daughter is not a toy or a prop. You aren't the AH, but she knew your daughter was afraid of Ursula and terrified her anyway. Your Dad is lying to your face and stomping all over you. How healthy is this?

Fabulous-Search6974 said:

NTA. This is super weird behavior and the favouritism is worrying. Considering this woman is also so close in age to you, I'd have expected her to perhaps be a bit more intuitive and "with it." She most certainly was not thinking of the children and appeared to have gone out of her way to traumatize them. For now, it may be safest to not have her near your children.

Pickabetterusename said:

You’re NTA because you have your children’s best interests at heart. But it may benefit you and your dad’s relationship to understand why Sasha is like she is. Overstepping boundaries is easier for someone when they believe it’s for a good cause or to have fun in a “safe” way. Does she have kids of her own?

Can she not have kids of her own? Does she maybe see the kids as her grandkids? It’s a difficult one but getting to the source of that could make the whole thing healthier. But on the other hand it’s not your job to put that work in when it’s your father’s relationship. All I’d suggest you do is explain to your father you set boundaries and regardless of intention, Sasha broke them which you do not condone. Good luck!

Mountain_Monitor_262 said:

NTA- His wife disregarded you on purpose and overstepped your boundaries. Your dad didn’t give a sh$t about his grandchildren and only about his wife. She is pretending that your daughter is hers. The twinning is to claim your daughter. She only wants to do what she wants with your kids not what they want. These are activities that she would want to do if she had kids.

Who cares what she is motivated by. She is unhinged and unsafe for them to be around. So yeah that woman is a creep. Your dad doesn’t give a sh#t unless she’s happy. Cut them both off now before your kids become more traumatized. She and your dad can never be unsupervised around your kids again even at a family event.

askashleythatsme8 said:

NTA but you will be if you let your kids around her, she’s selfish and unstable. Your son doesn’t like her for good reason.

little_crouton said:

NTA. She's one of those people who can disrespect everyone around her and still feel good about herself because she had "good intentions." Yeah she's probably trying to vicariously parent your kids because of some insecurity. It is sad, but also invasive and weird. You gave her so many opportunities to change.

Catisbackthatsafact said:

NTA, if your dad's wife loved your daughter so much, she'd be ok doing things with her that she wanted to do, instead of pushing her own agenda. She lied to your daughter to make her do something that she knew she wouldn't otherwise be comfortable with.

Did she even apologize for making her cry? Did she assume any responsibility for the discomfort she put your daughter through? Your duty is to making sure your daughter is happy and safe, not whether your dad's wife is.

If she really wants to spend time with your kids, she needs to slow down and get to actually know them rather than assuming they want to do whatever she wants them to do. Also, don't lie to kids because you don't believe or care about them being afraid of something. That's so messed up!

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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