Would you allow a child with a lice-loaded head to be around a baby who’s barely a week old?
An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for not letting my stepdaughter near my new baby?”.
We need you to find out!
The Original Poster (OP) gave birth to her daughter eight days ago. She has 3 step kids: James (12M), Amanda (11F), and Chris(7M).
“All of them are great kids, and I have been in their lives for 6.5 years. We have them every weekend and rotating holidays (as well as a few extra weeks during summer break).”, says OP.
THE LICE ISSUE
The issue is that all the stepkids just started school, which comes with storms. For example, Amanda keeps sharing hats and headbands with her classmates, and she frequently comes home with new ones because she and her friends ‘switched’ for the day.
Due to this, she has gotten a bad case of head lice, which has always been an issue with Amanda. She gets head lice every year and refuses to stop sharing her hats, so the cycle continues. It’s not her mother’s or the school’s fault.
AMANDA WON’T LISTEN
Amanda has been told several times that this is unacceptable, and OP’s family is tired of buying lice treatments just for her to get lice again. Even though her mom has treated her hair twice since school started, Amanda’s hair has yet to improve because she won’t stop taking and wearing her best friend’s hats, and her friend often has head lice.
So, OP has started refusing to let Amanda near the new baby.
“I don’t want the baby getting head lice, and she has a lot of hair already,” says OP.
This is “mentally destroying” Amanda (her words). However, she still refuses to stop sharing headwear, so OP will continue this until her head lice are under control and until she sees the importance of what they tell her.
OP IS FEELING TERRIBLE
As for Chris and James, they hold the baby often, and it messes with OP’s stepdaughter’s head because she isn’t allowed to touch the baby at all.
“I feel utterly terrible about it because I love my step babies, and I want my stepdaughter to be able to hold and love on her sister, but I don’t feel comfortable given that she won’t stop sharing and spreading head lice wear. Am I a jerk?” asks OP.
OTHER PEOPLE’S REACTION
OP’s husband is getting annoyed at OP and has given OP the cold shoulder, but he hasn’t said anything thus far. Amanda’s biological mom is on OP’s side and thinks maybe it will “teach her” that she can’t do this anymore.
WHY EXPOSE YOUR NEWBORN TO LICE?
“Not the jerk, why expose your newborn to lice? Your stepdaughter is now experiencing the unpleasant conclusion of her actions. She needs to learn that her actions have consequences that can adversely affect others and not just herself.”
PRIORITIZE YOUR BABY
“Your baby is barely a week old. They’re fragile at that age, and their security should be your absolute priority. The stepdaughter’s ego can take a hit, and it will recover. A baby having head lice and undergoing treatment might be a much harder time for you. I wouldn’t risk it either. Not the jerk.”
AMANDA IS OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND
“Not the jerk! She’s old enough to understand that her actions have consequences. If she wants to constantly have bugs in her hair, that’s her choice, but an innocent newborn shouldn’t be subjected to it. Your husband is beyond a jerk if he isn’t supporting you.”
IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
“Not the jerk. I’m no medical expert, but keeping anything harmful from your baby is a solid call. She can stop sharing hats and getting lice if she wants to hold the baby. It’s not rocket science.”
THIS IS A LESSON IN CONSEQUENCES
“Not the jerk. This is a lesson in consequences. They’re not fun to watch. Swift and consistent consequences are the way. She’s not too young to understand the no-swapping hats rule.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.