Kids at a Build-a-Bear party were forced to give their creations to the birthday girl
We're as baffled as you are.
A mom on Reddit is seeking advice after a birthday party for her daughter's classmate left her and her child in a very awkward situation.
The festivities, which took place at the mall, started off with pizza and cake in the food court, followed by a trip to the Build-a-Bear workshop to make stuffed animals.
Understandably, the mom, who goes by the username namenerd77, expected her daughter to keep her creation, and even helped defray the cost of the stuffed animals. "The invitation said each kid (about eight total) would get to make a bear, and I just assumed they would get to take them home, since that is what happened at another BAB party I went to. Me and my husband even pitched in about 30 dollars as we know these things can get expensive," she wrote on Reddit.
And even though the celebrant's parents didn't indicate a limit to what kind of stuffed animal and how many accessories they could get, the OP said she made her daughter "stick to just a standard dog with a shirt, which about half the parents did as well."
That sounds like the nice thing to do, if someone else is kindly footing the bill for something your kid will take home, right?
Interestingly, as the mom on Reddit later found out—and the invite neglected to mention—the Build-a-Bear creations weren't for the guests to take home.
"All is well, we leave the store, then friends mom announces that the kids need to give all their animals to her daughter. Cue the upset and angry kids. They all disappointingly handed over their animals, and friend wasn’t even being nice about it either. Another little boy didn’t want to, and friend ripped it out of his hands. I probably should have said something, but I didn’t. The other parents seemed pretty baffled too," the mom wrote.
Yup, the parents invited kids to create stuffed animals to give to their DAUGHTER, the children were understandably upset, and the little girl didn't even feel bad about it?!?
But the party, and awkwardness, wasn't over yet.
The celebration moved back to the classmate's house, where the kids were forced to watch the celebrant play with all the new animals they unintentionally created for her.
"I left with my daughter pretty quickly, and once we got back into the car she just started bawling. I felt bad so we went to Build-a-Bear and got her a new one."
The mom concluded her post writing, "I’m just wondering if this is totally normal and I should have expected this, or am I being an entitled parent?"
People on the social media forum were quick to assure her she was NOT being entitled. "Beyond strange. I would never in a million years think to have a party where the kids (and our guests) have to give away their item. So bizarre," wrote one user. "This is disturbing. It sounds like something the Dursleys would do to Harry Potter," commented another.
Meanwhile, a mom who had her own Build-a-Bear party for her daughter said she would never have considered keeping all the bears.
Many also agreed the parents of the birthday girl should've been clear about what was going to happen at Build-a-Bear to minimize any disappointment. "I think it would have been less weird if they had said that upfront like, 'Oh, she wants a bear specially thought-out by each of her friends' to make it seem like they'll be special or something,' lol," wrote one user.
In the comments, the mom added that the celebrant even told her friends that they would get to keep their bears. However, it's possible the girl was in on it too, which makes this all the more heartbreaking. "At first I thought maybe the birthday girl didn’t know she would be given all of them, but judging by her attitude maybe she did."
Plus, several pointed out that making guests relinquish their Build-a-Bear creations was especially unnecessary. "All the parents probably also bought this child a gift. What a shitty thing to do. Way to make your daughters party memorable for all the wrong reasons!" wrote one commenter.
As for the money the mom handed over to the birthday girl's parents before learning the unbearable news? They "happily accepted" and didn't offer to return the funds. "Yeah, now I’m thinking I really should have taken my daughters animal since we paid $30, which was more than the dog costed. Kinda regretting this now," the OP wrote. To be fair, attendees did receive goody bags, "with sunglasses, bubbles, some candy and their own decorated cupcake." But yeah, that probably didn't cost $30.
One dad, who admitted doing something similar for an arts-and-crafts-type birthday party for his son, said, "It's one of those ideas that makes great sense to adults but not young kids." In his case, instead of having kids bring gifts, he asked them to paint wooden cars that he bought, which would later be given to his son. "The adults all thought this was fair. But when it came time to give the creations away, the kids just couldn't understand the rational. Some of the sweeter kids were very understanding. But a lot of the kids felt hurt," he wrote.
Others pointed out that the parents of the celebrant should've thought twice about their actions, since the guests would have to interact with their daughter in social situations after the party. "They just set their child up for social failure. I would never attend another party they hosted."
As for what happens next, the OP said she spoke with another mom whose child was at the party, and who also felt upset by what happened. "She said she will try talking to her (the child's mom) about it at school Monday." According to the OP, the birthday girl's mom is on the school board, is very involved in volunteering, "seems a little uptight," and "acts like she’s better than everyone else."
Sounds about right.