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Aunt tells niece 'not to make her mum's life harder' when her b-day is ruined. AITA?

Aunt tells niece 'not to make her mum's life harder' when her b-day is ruined. AITA?


A concerned aunt and sister came to Reddit to ask:

'AITA (Am I the A-hole) for telling my 12 yr old niece to not make life any harder for her mum?'

Littlebiggran writes:

I (40f) have a 12 yr old NT (neurotypical) niece and a 8 yr old high needs ND (neurodivergent) nephew. They are my sister's kids (37f). My niece's birthday was yesterday and she had cupcakes ready to bring to her class.

My nephew doesn't sleep well at all and both his parents are up with him a lot of the night and very sleep deprived. Nephew snuck downstairs yesterday morning before everyone was up and ate most of the cupcakes.

(Parents forgot to lock the cabinet, like I said they're very sleep deprived). BIL works about 60 hours a week as a physician and sister is a stay at home mom.

My niece called me from her cell (we're very close and I only live 5 miles away) and with her being hysterical, I could also hear nephew having a meltdown in the background and his parents trying to calm him down.

That's a lot for anyone to handle.

She was understandably upset because it was her birthday and she was bringing cupcakes to the class, neither of her parents would be able to replace the cupcakes on time.

Sister had to take nephew to a doctor's appointment (they would've been there a number of hours) and her dad had several surgeries lined up that day and couldn't get out of work.

We live in a rural area that doesn't have UberEATS or door dash.

My partner (42f) owns the local bakery and was able to go in early to make impromptu cupcakes for my niece, and my partner would deliver it to her school (I too couldn't get out of work).

Thank goodness for that!

So I told my niece not to worry that I would take care of it, but to please lay off her parents that their lives are hard enough with her brother that she shouldn't make things any more difficult for them because they're so burnt out and overwhelmed.

She got angry with me because she said her parents were 'careless' in forgetting to lock the cabinet. I told her it was an honest mistake that anyone could make.

My partner thinks I shouldn't have said that because she's just a child. This is true, but her parents are literally hanging by a thread and I'm trying to help the only way I know how.

Her parents thanked us profusely for coming to the rescue with her cupcakes and offered to pay but we declined saying it was on the house. AITA (Am I the a-hole)?

It's great that OP was able to save the day via bakery, but was the lecture necessary?

Here's what Reddit thought...

Littlebiggran says:

YTA (You're the A-hole). My experience is that when a high needs child eats up all of the energy and time and attention, the other child is told to stuff their feelings down at that age and it emerges somewhere else in life. For a couple of my students it ended very, very badly.

Her feelings are valid. She's too young to get over it for her parents like an adult. I agree with your partner. I don't know what the 'high needs' are, but you might cover for the parents some time so they can sleep. Help them find a respite caregiver, take the niece out away from the chaos.

From Ghost273552:

Yeah I can tell you this is true. Autistic brother who is 2 years younger. My mom did all the surface level stuff like going to sporting events and definitely provided financially but emotionally I was kind of on my own. Worse than that is that she dismissed any learning issues I had as character flaws and refused to accept that I needed help as well.

Elle_Vetica adds:

This girl has not been her parents’ priority for 8 years now, and likely won’t ever be again. She’s lost so much of her childhood as the sibling of a high needs ND kid. And now you, too, are expecting her to parent her parents? I feel for her parents - I do - but it’s not their pre-teen’s job to soothe their egos when she has to suffer in silence.

Ok-Delivery-2218 sums it all up:

She’s 12. TWELVE. Not an adult but a child. She has a right to be upset. It was her birthday for crying out loud. YTA.

And what does OP have to say?

I accept your judgement.

Sources: Reddit
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