This is a vent, but also a genuine question; am I the a-hole in this situation?
Tonight my partner comes home from work early and our 4-year-old is excited to see him. She tells him everything that she did today in the span of a few minutes while jumping up and down in the backyard. He sits on the picnic table and seems engaged.
Soon enough, she grabs her scooter and asks to ride up and down the street. Normally, we follow behind her because even though it’s not a busy street, cars can come around the corners quite quickly.
Tonight we are both tired, so we decide to settle in, sitting on the front lawn and letting her scooter around in front of the house. I go inside to put a pizza in the oven, but when I come back out, she takes off down the street. I sit next to my partner and call out, “That’s too far, come back this way.” In my mind, I want her to be within a distance where I can reach her if needed.
She gets upset and says that daddy told her she could go as far as she wants. I look at my partner and say that she should be close enough for us to get to her, and being in front of the house is good enough.
His response? “I don’t really care.”
What the heck?! “I don’t care?!”
Naturally, our 4-year-old is upset that mom is saying something different from what her daddy said, and my partner is acting dismissive, saying “whatever” when I try to explain why she needs to stay close to the house if we’re not walking with her.
I go into the house to cool off, our 4-year-old is upset, and my partner has a look of complete indifference on his face.
So he comes inside, our kid is outside looking at bugs, and I explain to him why I’m mad. That his attitude about the whole thing is upsetting, that she needs to be close to the house and within at least ten steps in case anything bad happens on the road. Oh, and did I mention that she wasn’t wearing a helmet? Because that was another factor.
His response? “Well, then you need to take responsibility for it.”
I don’t yell, but I was furious, so I did raise my voice. I loudly explained that he is a parent too, and when he’s with her, I expect him to make safe decisions for her because she is 4!
He claimed not to understand what to do and that I’m too controlling of her. I shut down that comment right away.
This kind of dismissive behavior has been constant, and I don’t know what to do. Did I overreact?