Grandma ‘Banned for Life’ after Potty Training Faux Pas

A grandma has really peeved off her daughter-in-law by making a potty-training faux pas that she meant as a joke. Now the grandma has been ‘banned for life’ from seeing her grandson while the mother is left wondering if maybe she took the punishment a bit too far.

Here’s how it went down on Reddit’s AITA:

As the mother explains, she and her husband are wee-deep in potty training. It’s been going pretty well and their son has been willingly sitting on the toilet and getting the hang of it. However, one day Grandma decided to step in and take her grandson to the potty.

As the mum explains,

“His grandma (my husband’s mum) was visiting around that time about two weeks ago, and I was taking my son to go use the bathroom. She then decided to tell him, ‘Be careful, a monster might pop out of the toilet!'”


Now, as adults, we know this was just a potty training joke. But the little boy did not. He started to cry and has refused to use his potty ever since. He’s reverted to peeing his pants which means Mum and Dad are back to square one in their potty training quest.

Potty Monster fear is real, folks!

As the mum writes,

“My son has been refusing to use his potty since then for the past two weeks, and we had to put him back into diapers for the time being. My husband and I asked Grandma what she was thinking, and she only got defensive and insisted that it was just a joke. She refused to apologize. So we kicked her out of the house.

After discussing with my husband, we mutually decided to permanently ban his mom from ever seeing our son again.

“Now that she realized that this is serious, she has been begging for our forgiveness. But she refused to apologize the first time, and she’s only sorry now because there are going to be negative consequences for her. We don’t forgive her, and she isn’t entitled to any forgiveness whatsoever. She isn’t welcome in our home anymore.”

Potty monster joke leads to lifetime ban

Potty training drama
Source: Adobe Stock

Clearly Mum isn’t backing down but she’s wondering if she’s in the right. And, well, sorry darl, but most people think you’ve gone a little bit too far.

Yes, making a joke that inadvertently scares a child isn’t cool. And if that joke means you have to return to the depths of despair that is potty training, then that is frustrating. But, a lifetime ban? That’s a long time!

“She threw a stone, you threw a nuclear bomb’ 

As one commenter pointed out:

“The joke is very harmless but the baby reacted negatively about it and that sucks, but the lifelong ban is extremely ridiculous. Unless we are heavily missing some details about how the grandma is, like if she has done things like this before, then this little incident is like dropping a bomb on a flower.”

Another commenter suggested that maybe ‘banning’ the child from seeing his grandmother isn’t the way to go and perhaps they could just keep Grandma away until after the child is potty trained.

“Maybe a ban until he’s potty trained, but life?”

“I sure hope you plan to be a flawless mother-in-law and grandmother, lest your son find someone as reactive as you.”

Potty training is NO JOKE

However, one commenter agreed with the lifetime ban, suggesting,

“This ‘joke’ is only the beginning. What if she causes him to be scared of other stuff in the future? She thinks it’s a harmless joke so what’s stopping her from doing it in the future?”

Of course, the normal thing to do here is to communicate with both Grandma and the child. Tell Grandma that her joke didn’t land. Tell the child that Potty Monsters aren’t real. End of story.

But, if we’ve learned anything from these MIL parenting debacles, it’s that it’s never that simple!

Case in point? Check out what happened when this grandma decided to get a tattoo of her grandchild’s name without running it by the mother. #GrabThePopcorn

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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