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To say no to my CF neighbour?
232

MyVeryFirstCF · 05/04/2022 09:10

I'm unsure if I'm being petty here.

Context:

Next-door neighbour has two children, let's call them Jenny (7) and Davy (4). Jenny is delightful. I don't really see Davy.

My children are DD9 and DD6. They don't see Jenny and Davy socially but go to the same school as them.

Their mum is always pleasant to me, but only ever WhatsApps me if she wants something - "Hi MyVeryFirstCF, how are you, can I borrow some eggs?" would be a standard message from her.

On a few occasions when there has been an emergency she has asked me to take Jenny to school. I have always been fine for this. However, when I had Covid, I asked if she could walk my non-Covidy child to school, and she made a bit of a fuss saying she normally drives to school (a 7 minute walk), and that little Davy didn't have any gloves and his hands would get cold. I offered to lend her gloves. She eventually agreed. (It didn't happen in the end as DH managed to WFH that day.)

Last week CF neighbour had a small car accident which has led to her car being off the road.

She texted me yesterday morning asking if I would take Jenny to school. I didn't see her message immediately but replied within 10 minutes saying yes, and saying I'd call for her at 8.30. At 8.30 CF neighbour answered the door wearing basically no clothes saying that Jenny wasn't ready, and she hadn't seen my reply (why wouldn't you check?!) So she had to take her herself.

Then she texted me again this morning asking if I would take Jenny. I did. Jenny is no problem at all - a really lovely girl, but my girls don't know her well and sort of clam up. This is a shame because I really enjoy the school run as a bit of time I get to spend talking to my girls away from the distractions of screens / homework / getting food ready etc.

The reason given for this morning's request was that her younger child was still asleep. Although, when I called, it was clear CF neighbour wasn't dressed again. She has told me in the past that Jenny hates walking. Jenny has told me that she loves to walk, and that it's her mum who hates walking! (It's literally 7 minutes.)

She also has a husband who WFH every day, but I literally never see him with the children, so I don't think she gets any support from him.

Would I be unreasonable to say no to any future (non-emergency) requests, and how do I do this whilst maintaining a decent enough relationship that we can ask each other for actual emergencies?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Indicatrice · 05/04/2022 09:14

YANBU, I would be honest with her and say that whilst you would be fine to help in a real emergency, you can’t do it regularly.

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AchillesPoirot · 05/04/2022 09:15

I would just say no it doesn’t suit today.

I wouldn’t even use her for an actual emergency because people like her never keep it to emergencies.

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Nsky · 05/04/2022 09:16

Say, sometimes I can help, tho Jenny must up in time, and we walk.
Sorry my children can’t be late, cos you are not organised

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BonnesVacances · 05/04/2022 09:16

I'd think of the little girl tbh. She has shit parents who can't be bothered to get her to school sometimes. If it's no skin off your nose, apart from the principle of CFery, do it for her.

You could reply one time, I'll do it but would like you to repay the favour next time I ask. But I'm not sure it would make any difference.

Don't give her any more eggs though. Ignore the message.

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GabriellaMontez · 05/04/2022 09:18

I just wouldn't look at any messages from her in the morning. If she's genuinely desperate she can ring.

If she asks outright you'll have to say "no I don't mind the odd one but I really value this time to have a chat"

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FromOurHatsToOurFeet · 05/04/2022 09:20

If you're happy to and it's only now and then and if the kid is ready then why not. If she can't be arsed getting the kid ready or returning the favour then no. Sounds like she's on her second strike though.

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MyVeryFirstCF · 05/04/2022 09:24

@FromOurHatsToOurFeet

If you're happy to and it's only now and then and if the kid is ready then why not. If she can't be arsed getting the kid ready or returning the favour then no. Sounds like she's on her second strike though.

This is the crux of the problem really. There's no actual reason why I can't take her child to school (I wouldn't - and didn't - hang around for her the time she wasn't ready).

It's more that I don't think any of the scenarios this week would fall into the "emergency" category. Your healthy 4 YO isn't awake at 7.30 a.m. for the school run? Wake him up!

It's no skin off my nose really, but my girls are always a bit disappointed on the mornings they don't get me to themselves.
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RatherBeRiding · 05/04/2022 09:25

Difficult as she sounds a bit pushy but you need to be a bit pushy back, and say - firmly but politely and repeat as necessary - that it's not convenient on a regular basis although you will help in an emergency.

I'd also regularly have my phone on charge in another room between getting up and setting off for the school run! It's amazing how many notifications you miss when you're phone is upstairs and you're downstairs.

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Indicatrice · 05/04/2022 09:25

It also looks like this will become a permanent arrangement, OP.

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billy1966 · 05/04/2022 09:30

She is a user and of no use to you.

Tell her it doesn't suit you as the girls like you to themselves in the morning.

A straight No.

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GabriellaMontez · 05/04/2022 09:31

my girls are always a bit disappointed on the mornings they don't get me to themselves.

This is the actual reason. You don't need any other. They're your priority. There hasn't even been an emergency.

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billy1966 · 05/04/2022 09:34

Oh and I was asked to bring a child to school years ago and I said No, my children don't like strangers in the car for school runs, it changes the dynamics.

I didn't particularly know the woman that asked and there is a bus route, but she thought it would be nicer for her child to have a lift.

Not my issue. With 4 of my own I don't want the responsibility of another child.

I have heard tales over the years of how annoying it is to get into this arrangement and be sitting waiting for a child.

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EthelTheAardvark · 05/04/2022 09:34

Start developing phone problems so that you don't see her texts.

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Chely · 05/04/2022 09:35

I wouldn't even ask her in an emergency, she sounds very unreliable and hard work.
CBA with folk like that

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FridayBluezzzz · 05/04/2022 09:36

She’s a user I agree.

I made friends with one of DDs friends mums. It started with me doing small favours (I didn’t mind) regularly. The two times I asked her in an emergency for help, she gave a pathetic reason why she couldn’t. Then shortly followed up with more requests for help.
I stepped back. I actually still did help her out when she had an emergency because it’s not her child’s fault.

Some people think everyone exists to make their life easier.

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Georgeskitchen · 05/04/2022 09:38

You say there's no reason why you can't take Jenny to school. There doesn't seem to be a reason why Jennys own mother can't take Jenny to school, apart from she's a lazy bstrd. Nip this in the bud now before it escalates because I know from bitter experience that it will.

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CloseYourEyesAndSee · 05/04/2022 09:42

Don't open her messages until it's 'too late'
She'll give up asking

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godmum56 · 05/04/2022 09:42

I'd back right out. I wouldn't rely on her for emergencies and I wouldn't let her rely on me...but...well is she a lousy driver? why would you not allow her to drive your daughter to school when you had covid?

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MyVeryFirstCF · 05/04/2022 09:51

@godmum56

I'd back right out. I wouldn't rely on her for emergencies and I wouldn't let her rely on me...but...well is she a lousy driver? why would you not allow her to drive your daughter to school when you had covid?

Because she didn't have our carseat and I couldn't leave the house to fit it because of Covid (this was back when rules were much more strict). Also, it's such a short walk that I wouldn't have considered that walking would be much of a chore.
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LittleDidSheKnow · 05/04/2022 09:57

Why don't you suggest a reciprocal arrangement, whereby if you take her kids two days a week, then she takes yours two days?

I know this is not what you want, but it's even less what she wants, so she'll say no and realise you're not prepared to be doing something for nothing for her.

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BoredZelda · 05/04/2022 09:57

Not sure why the names are necessary, but if you don’t want to walk this girl to school, then don’t.

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shiningstar2 · 05/04/2022 09:59

I think I would take the children next time she asks but a few days later have an 'emergency' yourself. If she finds an excuse not to do it she might be too embarrassed to ask you again. If not you will be very comfortable saying no to her as she is obviously very comfortable saying no to you.

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RhiWrites · 05/04/2022 09:59

You could also try texting her to borrow things: eggs, a screw driver, etc. She’ll say no and then next time she asks you repeat her excuses.

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user1471538283 · 05/04/2022 10:00

I would knock this on the head. I had an acquaintance like this, constantly wanting something and it all got too much.

Some people will ask and ask until you are sick of it and then move on.

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MarvelMrs · 05/04/2022 10:00

Just don’t look at the messages until it’s too late. She will get the message. And don’t ask her for any favours.

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