Have you ever been together with friends or family and then heard something bad happen in another room?
More than likely, a story was told when you entered the room, which you then had to decide whether or not you believed.
Something very similar recently happened on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor California334543 found herself caught in the middle of a feud at her daughter’s birthday party.
After she was criticized for how she reacted, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have handled the situation differently.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for kicking my brother and his son out after what his son did at my daughter’s birthday party?”
The OP’s daughter wanted to share her baking skills at her birthday party.
“My daughter Nora (16) loves baking and is dedicated to learning more about it.”
“This summer, she’s focusing on learning to make ice cream with different types and flavors. She makes great homemade ice cream.”
“Her birthday was last week. The family and Nora’s friends and their parents came.”
“She handled preparing dessert and prepared homemade berry ice cream cups and served everyone at the party.”
The OP’s daughter’s plan didn’t go as expected.
“She and her girlfriends wanted to wait to eat their ice cream later so she left their plate in the freezer.”
“When it was time for them to have ice cream, Nora went inside the kitchen to get the plate.”
“On her way to her friends, she was stopped by her cousin Elijah (14) who has a bit of a bad attitude but is spoiled because of his heart condition.”
“He wanted to take two cups of ice cream for him and Nora’s brother, Sean.”
“She refused to let him take any, because he and Sean already had ice cream while Nora and her friends still hadn’t.”
The situation escalated.
“They began exchanging words and Elijah began shouting at her and pressuring her to let him have some.”
“When she said no again, he took the whole plate out of her hand and tossed it into the pool that already had kids in it.”
“There was a loud noise, and Nora screamed, ‘Mom,’ and I ran out, and the guests followed.”
“I saw Nora cry, pointing at the pool, saying Elijah tossed the ice cream into the pool because she declined to share her friends’ ice cream with him.”
“Elijah was sitting, pretending to play on his phone, completely denying it happened and saying Nora accidentally dropped the plate and that he had nothing to do with it.”
“Nora’s friends said he was lying, but my son, Sean, sided with his cousin and said Nora was lying (he got punished for lying on his sister).”
“Nora swore Elijah did it, so I told him to get up from his chair and immediately demanded he confess and apologize.”
The OP’s brother then entered the conversation.
“He kept stalling until my brother intervened, telling me to stop humiliating his sick son and wanting him to confess and apologize for something he didn’t do.”
“I told him I believe my daughter and I trust her to tell the truth, unlike his son who doesn’t respect anyone.”
“My brother argued with me when I kept demanding Elijah apologize, and when he refused, I told him to take his son and leave.”
“Mom told me to take it easy, but I repeatedly told him to take Elijah and just leave.”
The OP’s family had mixed reactions to this incident.
“My brother called me a horrible sister and a horrible aunt to kick him and Elijah out after they came to celebrate Nora’s birthday and brought her gifts.”
“He accused of me creating hate towards his sick kid and had the family tell me kicking him and Elijah out in front of everyone was cruel.”
“They wanted us to reconcile, but I refused since Nora hasn’t even been offered an apology.”
“This could’ve been an exaggeration on my part, but Nora doesn’t deserve this treatment, no matter the circumstances.”
“It’s sad that my family thinks we should just suck it up because my nephew has a chronic medical condition.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was NTA, even if the nephew had a heart condition.
“One of my first cousins was a child with a serious medical condition. The medical issue healed, but he grew up without a basic understanding of personal boundaries.”
“In his early twenties, he made life decisions that put him in prison for decades.”
“OP, you are NTA. Here’s hoping you have a serious sit-down with the other adults in the family after the immediate feelings about this incident fade.”
“Wouldn’t want your nephew to head down that path. Parents can’t shield him from the consequences of his decisions forever.” – doublestitch
“My cousin was born with only 3 of 4 chambers in his heart and will have heart issues for life, even after surgery. He’s the absolute sweetest 18-year-old and I’ve never once seen him behave like this.”
“It isn’t the disease that makes Elijah a brat, it’s OP’s brother’s crappy parenting.” – Saltynut99
“NTA. I was really sickly as a child from birth-10 years old. I’m not going to pretend there wasn’t any preferential treatment from time to time in those years, because there was.”
“But I was never allowed to just do as I pleased and treat people like s**t. If anything, my parents encouraged me to remember that other people get sick too and have problems that we can’t always see so it’s best if we treat everyone with kindness because you never know what they have going on.”
“I feel like teaching kids to be empathetic of others is probably pretty easy to do if they have a condition themselves, because they already know how much it sucks to be sick and have to deal with everything that comes with a chronic condition. But maybe that was just my experience.” – Positive-Parsley-985
Others questioned if they knew enough of the story to make a judgment.
“In reading through all these N T A’s (unless I missed it), I haven’t seen anything questioning whether Nora’s version of events are actually what happened.”
“You went full gung-ho without 100% knowing what actually happened, and then kicked your brother out for doing the exact same thing. He believes his son, you believe your daughter. Both of these are understandable positions to take but unless you actually know what happened how can you rightly say who (if anyone) is an AH.”
“I mean, if Nora’s story is not true, then Y T A. If it is true, then obviously N T A. Maybe, as with most things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle and it’s an E S H (or at least you, Elijah, and your brother).” – Snrubber84
“If Elijah did as the daughter said, then obviously NTA. But if it turns out that it’s as he said, then you are a huge AH since you not only punished Elijah, but your kid too.”
“You basically took a side here without knowing definitively what happened.”
“I volunteered once at my son’s school and during lunch, this one kid forced his way onto the bench between 2 other kids. One of the other kids that was already sitting wasn’t happy and try to stop him but finally gave up and the kid sat down.”
“When he was sitting down, he wasn’t paying attention to his tray and he knocked his cupcake over and it fell down. He thought the other kid that was sitting already knocked it off his tray and went to go tell the lunch lady.”
“If I hadn’t been there to witness this, the kid that was sitting could have gotten in trouble for something that he totally didn’t do. Did the kid who dropped his cupcake lie? No.”
“Two people can tell different stories and both not be lying in their minds. There are 2 sides to every story and then there is the truth.”
“So the more I think about it, unless you have solid reasons to say Elijah did what Nora said (did Sean confess later?), YTA for picking a side without truly knowing what happened.” – DVus1
“Nora’s friends aren’t really reliable witnesses.”
“OP says the son was punished for lying – did Sean ever actually admit he was lying or is he still sticking to his story? My 14-year-old son would side against his sister if he thought it was funny for a while, but would eventually tell the truth.”
“One of your reasons for not believing Elijah is the motivation for Nora throwing her own ice cream in the pool. But Elijah and Sean’s story is that Nora dropped it. Is it possible that during the argument Nora swung the tray away from Elijah and it slipped? Like Elijah was reaching to take it, Nora yanked it away, and BOOM.”
“Since Nora was trying to keep it away from Elijah, I can totally see a teen girl blaming the fault entirely on Elijah at that point.”
“Now that scenario is stretching the story OP told – but OP is only getting Nora’s version of the story. She’s totally discounted Sean’s version and Elijah’s version. Nora’s friends are backing Nora, but depending on the layout, did they actually see Elijah take the tray or just assume it?” – Peridwen
Though the OP was fairly convinced she had done the right thing by standing up for her daughter, the subReddit wasn’t convinced.
Some agreed that the OP’s nephew shouldn’t be allowed to get away with poor behavior just because of his health condition… but others were more worried about the quality of the OP’s story and whether or not the right person had been deemed at fault.
Even if the nephew had a history of poor behavior, that doesn’t automatically mean he was the one to blame for the ice cream ending up in the pool while nearly everyone was out of the room.