Remember that scene in Christmas Vacation where the Griswolds’ extended family comes to stay for the holidays and Rusty has to give up his room so his grandparents have a place to sleep? That’s the premise of this Reddit mom’s AITA post, except her son isn’t being quite as cooperative as Rusty — or anywhere close to it.
The frustrated mother gives some context for her situation, sharing that she and her husband bought a 3-bedroom house a few years ago. They of course took the master bedroom, and they devised a deal for their two children for the remaining two rooms.
She explains, “We put a very nice double bed in the larger room, and a single bed in the smaller room, and told them both that they could choose their rooms, but whoever ended up in the larger room may be asked to share or relocate for visiting family members, while whoever ended up in the smaller room would have it to themself always.”
She continues, “We almost never have family over, so we were surprised when our older daughter chose the smaller room, and our younger son chose the larger room. But ok, they worked it out between themselves, both seemed happy with the choice, so ok. And it has remained that way for a couple of years.”
The room situation seems to have turned out better than most parents could hope, but that’s not where this story ends. The mother gets to the heart of the issue, writing, “We have a 4-day weekend coming up (my kids are now 15f and 12m), and my mother decided to come down to visit. Of course, we told her ok (my husband and I), as we hadn’t seen each other in a while, and I told our son (with the larger room and bed) that grandma (83 years old) would be here for a few days, and would be using his bed.”
Not only is it normal (and the respectful thing to do) for a grandkid to have to offer their bed to a visiting grandparent, but this woman’s son was warned from the get-go that this was the condition of him having the larger room. He seems to have forgotten that, though — the mother continues, “Well, my son threw a fit. He didn’t want to share a room with grandma, not even on an air mattress, not even for 3 nights, she smells funny.”
She details several compromises she and her husband offer to their son, sharing, “We reminded him of the original deal, and offered to put the air mattress in the living room, but that wasn’t enough, he’d have no privacy there. His sister offered to let him put the air mattress in her room (which she wasn’t required to do), and that wasn’t ok either. My husband and I offered to let him put the air mattress in our room, and he said no to that (because sharing a room with your parents, yugh! god bless the privilege, but whatever).”
The mother reaches her breaking point after being fair and reasonable, continuing, “Finally, I put my foot down and said, the condition of you having the bigger room was that you’d give it up for visiting family members. So one way or another, you’re sleeping on an air mattress for 3 nights. You can choose if the air mattress goes in your room or our room or the living room, or literally any room in this house, but you are sleeping on an air mattress while grandma is here.”
The kid is being a bit on the bratty side — not only was this, again, the condition of him claiming the larger bedroom, but his grandma is 83 for Pete’s sake, and it’s only for three nights. Well, if you thought he was being ridiculous, buckle up for the husband’s hot take.
“Shortly after that confrontation, my husband came to me and suggested that we encourage my mom to stay in a hotel,” the woman shares. “I asked him who was going to pay for that hotel, since she can’t afford it, we can’t afford to put her up, and he went silent. Now he’s calling me TA for forcing our son to give up his room for all of three nights, and suggesting that I tell my mom not to come at all since apparently ‘none of us can afford it.’”
So the husband is not only abandoning the united front with his wife and the rule that the entire family agreed upon, but is also being a total wad by throwing the “apparently none of us can afford it” bit back in his wife’s face. It’s giving “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” between this father and son.
The woman validly adds, “My daughter is willing to help in the short term, but she seems a bit smug right now about the overall room choice, so she has no desire to switch rooms. And I will not force her, because what kind of parent would I be if I hold my son to the letter of his deal, but go back on my word to my daughter? You may decide I’m TA, and I’ll accept that, but I am not a hypocrite.”
Redditors are not having the son’s behavior, with one user writing, “Your son sounds a bit entitled if he can’t survive THREE nights on an air mattress while his grandmother is there. Expecting him to share a bed or room with her would be excessive, but there are presumably other spaces in a 3 bedroom house where he could crash.”
The user made an edit to their original response, writing, “To all the people saying Y.T.A. because a 12 yo needs privacy, safe space, etc, I can’t help but think how entitled a society we have become. In past decades 2-3 kids would share a room through their entire child and teenage years and even today there are tons of kids living in miserable conditions in slums, refugee camps or other similar situations. And OP is being called an AH for telling her son he has to vacate his room for 3 nights while his grandma visits so she doesn’t have to sleep on an air mattress or stay in a hotel. Just WOW!”
Other Redditors agreed, with one responding, “Second this! People are also forgetting that this was a pre-made arrangement!! If the son didn’t want to share, he could’ve picked the smaller room! But no, he wanted the bigger one so he needs to abide by the condition put in place! Like it’s 3 days, he needs to get over himself acting as if it’s for 3 months.”
Another person jumped in to comment, “I saw in OP’s comments grandma is 83. No reasonable person expects a woman of 83 sleeping on an air mattress … Totally agree with you. Is is 3 nights not 3 years!”
One user shared their real-life Christmas Vacation experience, writing, “Anytime family visited my sister and I would give up our beds when we were kids. This was before air mattresses were as popular, and my sister and I would either share a bed or sleep on the couch or floor. We did this pretty much every Christmas and several other times a year and we survived.”
Perhaps the most poignant comment of them all comes from a person who shares they’re a first-generation Hispanic American in their family. They wrote, “My family immigrated here when my mom was 19 (she’s 52 now). My family consisted of my grandma who had 5 kids, each of her kids had 2 kids.”
They continue, “When we moved here my aunt knew someone who had already immigrated to America and with time she was able to purchase a house. In that house lived 11 people ! It was a 3 BR house. 1 room had 3 bunk beds and that’s where all the boy cousins including myself would sleep. The other room was where the girl cousins would sleep. And my aunt slept with my grandma and her sisters, and my uncles slept in the living room on blankets on the hardwood floor because we didn’t have enough money for a mattress.”
The user shares an important message that the son in this situation needs to absorb: “There was absolutely no privacy whatsoever in that house. Society today is wayyyy too entitled. We need to remind ourselves and be humbled with what we have because so many people have it worse than not having privacy for 3 DAYS !”
With the holidays coming up, perhaps this mom should sit her son down for a wholesome family viewing of the Chevy Chase classic to really hammer in the fact that she’s not asking much of him — no more than what the good ol’ Griswolds ask of Russ while his grandparents sleep in his room for a few days.
Before you go, check out these unbelievable stories about Reddit’s worst dads.
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