Have you ever had a neighbor who was under this weird impression that you would just do things for them because you were neighbors?
Especially if it seems they’re making assumptions based on your gender.
One woman went through that recently according to her post in the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor SpinkleSnicks explained how their neighbor asked them for a favor out of the blue. But when he was surprised she didn’t say yes, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was in the wrong for saying no.
“AITA for not watching my neighbor’s baby for a few minutes?”
The OP was surprised to see her neighbor at her front door.
“My neighbor knocked on my door and asked if I could watch his baby for a few minutes while he got groceries out of his car.”
“The parking at our apartment building is terrible so depending on where he parked, this could have taken up to 20 minutes if he needed more than one trip.”
“I don’t know how old the baby is; he’s old enough to kind of walk but he can’t speak aside from sounds like BA BA BA.”
“Well the poor guy had to have been desperate to ask a total stranger, so I felt bad about saying no and wasn’t sure if that was shitty.”
“I thought it was weird, too. I won’t even ask a stranger to watch my dog while I grab coffee or something; I can’t even imagine handing my offspring to someone I’ve never seen with a child and whose name I don’t know.”
“I don’t think it was crazy that he asked because it was just a few minutes. A little weird though since we don’t know each other.”
“The kid wasn’t in a car seat; the guy was holding him and the baby was in nothing but a diaper.”
But she knew she couldn’t oblige.
“I said no. I’ve never held a baby before, I don’t know anything about babies, I’m never going to have babies. How do I know I’m not going to accidentally kill him?”
“I offered to go get his groceries for him, but he said no, he’d just carry him and make extra trips.”
“I am a woman.”
“It was weirder to me that he thought it was okay to hand me a baby but it’s not okay for me to get his groceries for him. You trust me with your child but not your spinach?”
“I did go with him to help carry stuff.”
“He didn’t say anything about it, but he looked really shocked when I said no, so I’m wondering if I was unreasonable.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the **hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out they’re terrified of babies, too, and wouldn’t watch one.
“This will be an unpopular opinion, but some people are simply not comfortable with babies. This doesn’t make you TA.”
“NTA. Especially as you helped in other ways.” – Cato_95BC
“I’m a woman and while I have held babies before, I would still 100% say no.”
“Unless it’s ‘hey, can you stand by my baby who’s sitting in his stroller while I quickly do something?’, I’m not looking after a baby for any length of time.”
“I’m positive they can sense fear/unease because any time I’ve held one, it instantly started screaming.” – Without-Reward
“They can certainly sense if someone is tense or really uncomfortable and they want to be safe.”
“There’s also a huge ‘stranger-danger’ factor – what if the kid started wailing and OP was accused of doing something to harm the kid? That may be an illogical jump but you really can’t take any chances nowadays.”
“Any solo responsibility for a kid is hard but you figure out how to make it work, either with extra trips or paying someone to carry your stuff up or some other compensation eg, I’ll make you cookies if you carry my groceries.” – benji950
“NTA. Babies are a big responsibility. If you don’t want that, you have the right to say ‘no’. It doesn’t matter your reason or how long you were supposed to watch her.” – PotentiallyKnocks
Others said the OP at least offered to help with the groceries.
“‘No’ is a complete sentence and you even offered to bring in the groceries. Then you helped.”
“You didn’t need to do any of that. NTA and you seem like a great neighbor.” – MaddyKet
“NTA dude, [you] offered an alternative which was h**la nice to do. Some people would’ve shut the door in [your] neighbor’s face.” SJ2012
“Agreed! NTA! You didn’t just say no, you still offered to help. Weird that he would hand his baby over to a stranger?” – michmark95
“NAH. You offered a reasonable alternative because you were uncomfortable.” – SonOfAGunderson
“NTA. Not your baby, not your problem. You offered to help in a way that you were comfortable with, and that was kind of you.”
“People are not entitled to your time, or attention. And I think, since you said you don’t know squat about babies or don’t feel comfortable with them, saying No was the right decision.” – CaptSpacePants
But some said the man also wasn’t an AH for asking for help.
“I would say NAH. The Dad didn’t flip out on you, give you dirty looks, bad mouth you to neighbors, etcetera, so I don’t think he’s the a-hole for asking, and I don’t think you are for saying no.” – CandyNo4303
“I agree that OP is not the a**hole, but I also do not feel that making a request is enough to make the neighbour into an a**hole.”
“He didn’t push, he didn’t talk back to OP. He may have made an expression, but we do not actually know if he was shocked at OP or thinking something else.”
“Wouldn’t NAH be a better judgment in this case?” – palcatraz
“His neighbor has trusted him with beings he loved before [by asking her to watch his dog]. He’d probably feel bad making him get the groceries by himself but did accept help.”
“NAH. For OP a baby is too much and his neighbor thought it wouldn’t be. No big deal.” – PM_ME_SUMD**K
“NAH especially since you offered to carry the groceries instead. Honestly, I’d much rather have a neighbor carry my groceries instead of my child.” – thereforthecomments
“Quite clearly NAH.”
“I don’t know why everyone is insisting the neighbour is an AH with n t a votes?”
“They asked you to hold their baby, you said no, and for a moment they ‘looked shocked’ – I guess they thought you would be ok with it and had a momentary involuntary facial movement when you weren’t – but then they respected your decision and went about their day….?” – peaches1893
It’s always best to stick with what makes you comfortable, according to Reddit. And like they said, at least the OP didn’t leave the guy high and dry by helping him carry his groceries inside.