The parenting community is rife with drama; you don’t need to look any further than the Parenting subreddit for controversy. Some parents vent their frustrations with modern parenting, difficult in-laws, and misbehaving kids. Occasionally, one of these Reddit parents comes forward with a story so outrageous it’s almost impossible to believe. Redditor /u/namenerd77 shared her experience at a young child’s birthday party. The post went viral in hours as parents around the world assured /u/namenerd77 that she was not in the wrong.
Remember last fall when Build A Bear hosted their free bear giveaway event? Parents took it so far, camping out from the wee hours of the morning and standing in line for hours on end with a cranky kid. Some malls hired extra security and most stores ran out of the shapeless bear bodies before lunchtime. Apparently, these birthday party hosts wanted to one-up that circus!
When her six-year-old daughter got an invitation to a classmate’s birthday party, /u/namenerd77 was more than happy to celebrate with the birthday kid. As the plans for the day unfolded, she felt like something was a little off. The parents of the birthday kid were planning a party at Build-A-Bear, but they would not be using the Build-A-Bear staff’s party package. Instead, they served cake and pizza in the food court of their mall. The group then made their way to the mall’s Build-A-Bear store and finally ended the day back at the birthday kids’ house for the rest of the party.
“The invitation said each kid would get to make a bear.”
In fact, u/namernerd77 and her husband slipped the hosts $30 to help compensate for the cost of buying almost ten stuffed animals.
“We get to the store, and the kids go wild getting their animals and accessories.”
Most of the parents stuck to more basic designs, but some kids loaded their bears with accessories and cute outfits. All was well - until the group left the store. The birthday kid’s mom announced that all the kids had to give their stuffed animals to her daughter.
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As you might imagine, these kids are not happy to hand over their precious pets! After some protest, the kids started to hand over their animals. The birthday kid was ungrateful, the guests were begrudging. One kid tried to keep his bear - until the birthday kid tore it from their hands!
“I probably should have said something, but I didn’t. The other parents seemed pretty baffled too.”
By this point in the story, my jaw is on the floor. I cannot imagine how entitled someone must feel, to demand their guests surrender a custom self-built bear. This whole situation just reeks of spoiled-princess syndrome! I am furious that these parents felt entitled to demand children give up their toys. Was there some kind of misunderstanding? Were parents supposed to bring gifts but didn’t, so the bears were some kind of party guest tax?
Actually, no - /u/namenerd77 commented, “Yes we did get her a present. I talked to one of the other moms whose child was at the party, and she was really upset when her kid came home without a bear. She said she will try talking to her about it at school Monday.”
Apparently, the cherry on top of this awful birthday sundae was the last phase of the party. The kids who had just built bears watched the birthday kid play with all their new animals. Most of the kids broke down after they left the party. In fact, /u/namenerd77’s daughter was so upset she was “bawling”.
“I felt bad so we went to Build A Bear
and got her a new one.”
Never in my life have I heard of such a ridiculous premise for a kid’s party. Just a week ago, I hosted my son’s third birthday party. Each guest left with at least one treat bag, and gifts were not at all required. I can’t imagine how entitled a person has to be to think they get to demand gifts - let alone tear gifts out of their own guests’ hands!
It’s Monday evening in my time zone. Stay tuned to BG to learn when /u/namenerd77 updates their post with a schoolday confrontation.
In true internet fashion, /u/namenerd77 updated her original post with more details. The following Monday after school, /u/namenerd77 approached the host mom to thank her for the party. She added: "I was actually wondering about the whole (daughter) getting all the bears thing. The kids seemed pretty upset afterwards."
The answer? The birthday girl wanted to have a special animal decorated by each of her friends.
/u/namenerd77: "Oh okay. I was just wondering why the kids didn’t get to keep their bears. I even pitched in a little bit of money, assuming the bears would go to the kids."
This is when the host mom admitted she didn't have enough money for each guest to make their own bear. Pause and rethink this: yes, she absolutely did have enough money because she ultimately paid for the bears. Of course, our heroic OP pitched in funds to help cover the cost of her own child's Build-A-Bear. Especially since she paid for the bear, her daughter ought to be able to keep it after she built it, right?
Entitled host mom huffed about giving money back to /u/namenerd77, saying, "I don't really see the problem."
When OP reminded the host mom that each kid created their own bear and expected to keep them. "Obviously they're going to be upset about it." She added a final zinger: "I don't see why your daughter needs all these animals."
Exactly, /u/namenerd77. Exactly.
The host mom didn't respond and walked away moments later.
I hope she learns from this awful social faux pas.