Kids are much more intuitive than we think. Social cues, emotions of others, and manipulation are all in a child's wheelhouse. They are also very impressionable and will pick up good and bad behaviors from the people they're around.
I (27F) started working at my dad's law firm when I was 18. My dad was the big boss, and two lawyers working there were Eric (41M now, he was 32 when I met him) and his wife Carol (36F now, she was 27 then). At first, I was answering the phone, making coffee, and stuff like that.
The issue is that Carol got pregnant, and after the baby was born, she wanted to return to work as soon as possible. I never enjoyed working for Carol because she was always demanding and uptight. I liked Eric more as a boss, with him being way more relaxed and funny. My dad says they are both great lawyers, but Carol is better.
They had problems finding a babysitter because of their crazy work schedules, so they always brought the baby to work. My dad allowed it because he didn't want to lose Carol. I had to take care of the baby whenever he was in the office; feeding, burping, changing his diapers, getting him to sleep, and generally giving him attention.
The kid is seven now. Three years ago, Carol and Eric started their divorce, and they both had to leave my dad's firm because they hated each other so much they couldn't work together, but it would have been unfair for one of them to stay.
I had become very close to their son after spending so much time with him in the office. Eric and I also became close friends. He started his firm and asked me to go with him. He also shared his feelings for me, and we started dating. Now we live together in his big apartment, and my life is generally great.
This issue started last week when Carol came by to drop off the kid. I was waiting by the door happily and said hi to Carol, but she was not in a good mood. She told me that my 'happy face' was annoying to look at and that she missed when we all were using face masks so she wouldn't have to see it that much.
She always has that harsh sense of humor, and I am generally not affected by it, but this time it made me feel bad. I started to cry a little in the elevator, and the kid became worried about me. He told me that he also had cried that week when other kids at his school made fun of him for wearing a Sonic costume to class. I said that those kids were bullies and that he should ignore them. He asked me if his mom was a bully, and I had to be honest and said that she sometimes was.
The issue is that apparently, he later talked to Carol about all this and asked her to stop bullying me. She is angry because she feels I am pitting her son against her, but that wasn't my intention. Maybe I should have been more careful with my words, but I also think she could be a little nicer to me. Am I the A**hole?
The internet has many thoughts on this subject.
YTA (You're the A**hole). You're dragging a child into adult problems. I don't care how much you dislike Carol -- leave the kid out of it. By the way, am I the only one who thinks dating the ex-husband of an ex-coworker is just weird?
YTA This situation is too complicated for a seven-year-old to understand, and you shouldn’t be turning him against his mom. Your issues are not his issues.
Never ever badmouth a parent to their young child. YTA.
YTA: If you want Carol to be nicer to you, you talk to her like an adult. You don't tell her seven-year-old son so that he can fix the situation for you.
OP, Carol was definitely mean to you, but you probably shouldn't bring her child into that.