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'Adults only' woman asked to apologize for rejecting neighbor's daughter. AITA?

'Adults only' woman asked to apologize for rejecting neighbor's daughter. AITA?

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"AITA for turning away my new neighbour and her child?"

Klutzy_Hedgehog_1516

I (26F) just moved into a new, small apartment block two weeks ago. Been busy setting up the place, furniture, all of it. The afternoon I moved in, one of my neighbours came up to the steps (each apartment has a little front area, and mine faces the carpark).

She introduced herself, single mom with a 4 year old daughter and gave me a small succulent to say welcome. I was very appreciative, said thank you and we spoke for a few minutes.

I work three days from home, and am usually home in the evening after work and at night. This neighbour has started showing up a lot, can generally hear her approaching with her daughter and they'll show up with a painting, or something the daughter has made to give to me.

It is nice, but I do prefer to keep to myself, and often I'm in my baggy tee or not dressed for visitors, I have to kind of make myself presentable in under a minute with no notice.

This latest instance, they showed up around 7pm. The daughter had made some kind of drawing and wanted to drop it off. I'd had a long day (was in a giant sweater, looking a mess but insanely comfy, ice cream on the couch, watching a film) saw them through the window, had to quickly jump up, put on shorts, and greet them at the door.

Said thank you as always, daughter wanted to come in, see what I was watching. Nothing terrible, just a bit too grown up for a 4 year old. I politely said, look, thank you but I'm really not in the mood tonight and could they please leave.

My neighbour responded "but she's just a kid, it'll only be a few minutes, she loves making things to show you" and I said, "look, I'm child-free by choice, can you please leave? Thank you and good night."

They have not been back since, but left a note in my mailbox explaining I was rude and her daughter was upset, cried and they'd be open to an apology. I haven't responded but don't want to apologize. Am I the a$$h0l3 for turning them away?

Update; have really taken all this advice on board. I'm going to speak to my neighbour in person in the morning (not a note reply) and say that I'm sorry for my choice of words but boundaries need to be in place and they cannot keep showing up unannounced.

I don't plan for it be combative, just human to human. I realise I should've said something from the beginning, but that is neither here nor there. However she decides to respond, that's what it is.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

BulbasaurRanch

F no, NTA. Unannounced visitors are the worst, especially when there is no valid reason for the surprise visit.

“She’s just a kid”

This means absolutely nothing. I don’t care what your age is, I said no. You were neighbourly. Good, great. They don’t understand normal social boundaries. I bet this woman is trying to befriend you so she has an easy “oops, I have an emergency could you watch my child” friend in the building.

The OP responded here:

Klutzy_Hedgehog_1516

I myself, yeah, have suspected that. I don't want that, and I worry that an apology might lead to "well, to show you're sorry, watch my kid since she loves you."

ex-farm-grrrl

This is my nightmare and I have no idea how I’d deal with it.

heatherriffic

NTA for turning them away, but the extra "look, I'm child free by choice" was definitely an asshole statement. However, I get it. Some people don't know how to read the room and/ or check their kids. Not everyone has to think they're cute and succumb to their every whim because you do. I have a kid and I still don't really care about other kids...

HyenaStraight8737

NTA. You get she was trying to work out dumping her kid on you yeah? And I'm saying this as a single mother who finds this shit abhorrent. Pay for childcare or suck it up before anyone comes for me.

baka-tari

I love this part:

"but she's just a kid"

That's the perfect time for her to learn that no means no. I can't imagine any kid wanting to make things to show to a stranger (or even someone they just met recently) - this has all the hallmarks of the mom telling her daughter to make something for you so the mom has an excuse to barge in on you and ask for childcare favors.

I bet that once you get to know a couple other neighbors they'll probably have similar stories. I'm on the fence about your childfree comment, but it's not like you were insulting her with it . . . just stating facts, though maybe a touch harshly. Understandable, given their frequent intrusions.

NTA for turning them away, and no need for an apology. That's the mom's way of building an entitlement doorway that leaves you open to owing the mom something - clearly a position you don't want to find yourself in.

Humble_Scarcity1195

NTA. My parents had a neighbour like this when I was a kid. It started with them dropping by for a cuppa 2-3 times a week with the kids so that we could all play. Then just the kids would come over, parents were at home and my mum saw it as ok as I would play with them and then when it was time for a meal mum would walk them home.

Then one day the kids got sent over and mum didn't know that their parents went out (free babysitting). Mum went to walk them home to eat and no-one was at home. This was before mobiles.

Mum was livid and when the parents came home, hours later. They had been shopping and didn't bother to let mum know. Mum told them that they were no longer welcome.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

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