AIBU to think they should have let DD keep the sodding toy?

(315 Posts)
captainbarnaclesismyboyfriend Sat 05-Jul-14 16:02:42

DD is 4. I have been separated from her arrogant manchild father for 2 years. Lots of backstory: his family is incredibly dysfunctional, very toxic mother who smothers her adult children, my ex as a result was extremely difficult to live with, behaviour bordering on EA. He dips in and out of DD's life, leaving havoc in his wake. I'm not perfect but I do think I have tried my absolute best to facilitate contact with ex and his family, often to the detriment of my own plans/happiness.

Ex lives with his parents and his 2 adult siblings. About 4-5 months ago, DD came back from the house with a small cuddly cat toy. She said ex had given it to her. I was pleased at this: he never buys her anything, in fact I used to have to buy DD birthday/Christmas presents 'from him' until I got a grip. I still have to send packed lunches to his house when she visits

DD is very attached to this toy. She sleeps with it every night and takes it everywhere with her. She makes a lot of the fact that 'her Daddy got her it and it's her favourite toy in the world'

DD sees ex on average once a month, or every 6 weeks. Yesterday she spent the afternoon with ex and his family. When he dropped her home, she was sobbing- really hysterical, heartbroken sobs. I naturally asked ex what was wrong. He informed me that his sister (aged 25) had decided to take 'her' cat toy back from DD. This was news to me. Nobody had ever mentioned the cat toy was anything other than a gift bought for DD by my ex.

Apparently it was in fact a birthday present from the sister's friend when she was 18 or so. The sister had 'lent' it to DD to play with, but apparently DD was not supposed to take it home and keep it. Yesterday the sister spotted DD with it. and decided she wanted the toy back. So she took it from DD who naturally had a complete meltdown

I was very short with my ex and said 'for god's sake, she is 25, could she not just let the poor child keep the toy, your sister hasn't missed it in months'

Ex just shrugged and said 'but it is HER (sister's) toy. It was never DD's.'

DD sobbed and howled until bedtime, then she woke sobbing in the middle of the night saying she missed her cat. I wanted to tear ex and his whole family apart. I have rarely seen my DD so inconsolable

I told my lovely, lovely friend all about it, and bless her, this morning she drove 30 miles to her parent's house to get the toy lamb that she has had from she was DD's age. She came straight to my house afterwards, and gave DD the lamb, along with a note asking her to take adopt it, as Woolly has been alone in the attic for ages, with no little girl to cuddle. This seems to have worked quite well (friend was given bottle of wine and cake for her troublesgrin) but I am still spitting with rage. I can't believe ex and his family. This is just another example of how they don't give a damn about DD and her feelings, they don't even see her as a child who needs nurtured and occasionally indulged.

Sorry for the rant. Am I BU and overreacting? I know it's possible the toy cat had a lot of sentimental value for exSIL but honestly I doubt it. It's not a particularly special/unusual toy (one of those you get in Toys R Us with the sort of red tags hanging from their ear?) and she doesn't even speak to the friend who gave her it!

Hoppinggreen Sat 05-Jul-14 16:06:37

Aside from any issues with your ex and his family ( who sound awful) I think that if it was sil's and your DD had taken it home when she wasn't supposed to then she had every right to ask for it back. It would have bee nice to let me keep it but they don't sound like a nice bunch.
Be glad you have nice friends at least

StandsOnGoldenSands Sat 05-Jul-14 16:07:35

Can you perhaps get her a replacement cat toy?

How thoughtful of your friend to give her old toy.

If it was your ex's then obviously he would BU to take it back. But as it's his sister's, it's really up to her. Does she have a relationship with your DD, is she "aunty X" and so on? It does seem very unkind of her. Perhaps she didn't realise what an impact it had?

MeMyselfAnd1 Sat 05-Jul-14 16:07:37

Frankly, there are no words!

tripecity Sat 05-Jul-14 16:09:16

I am incredulous at this, your poor dd

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 05-Jul-14 16:11:14

Its unfortunate but your DD needs to learn other people value possessions and if they are not hers she can't keep them.

primarkprincess Sat 05-Jul-14 16:13:35

I think your DD sounds a bit spoilt tbh; helping herself to something that belongs to someone else, and then screaming and crying for hours when she couldn't have her own way. At 4 she is old enough to understand that she can't just take things that don't belong to her.

Thumbwitch Sat 05-Jul-14 16:13:35

Your exSIL should never have let your DD have the toy if she wanted it back so much. But since she did, the least she could have done is given it up with good grace, I think.

I have toys that people have given me, that have sentimental value to me - the DSs don't get to play with them because of that. If I decide to let the DSs play with them, then as far as I'm concerned, they then belong to the DSs, not to me.

Mind you, given the toxic nature of the household, it's not remotely surprising that your DD should have been treated this way. sad

CoolCat2014 Sat 05-Jul-14 16:13:56

Honestly it could of been very sentimental to your exs sister. She probably didn't think it would cause distress. Tough call either way, and painful as it is I don't think you could have demanded she gave it back to your DD. Sorry sad

Your friend sounds like a star.

captainbarnaclesismyboyfriend Sat 05-Jul-14 16:14:24

She doesn't want a replacement cat toy, I asked her and she said no because it wouldn't be her old one.

I don't understand how DD took it home when she wasn't meant to. When DD brought it home with her, saying 'look what daddy gave me', I did the 'oh how kind of Daddy, isn't that a lovely cat' etc, and my ex just stood there doing his smug Dad of the Year act.

SIL has surely seen DD with the toy before- she's had it for months for chrissake.

Fair enough, if it was SILs and it wasn't meant to keep, then she is entitled to ask for it back. But what 25 year old woman takes away a 4 year old child's favourite toy? I'm afraid if that was me, sentimental value or not, i would put it down t experience (bad idea letting small children play with something THAT important) and relinquish the bloody thing.

Slh122 Sat 05-Jul-14 16:14:51

Yes maybe the OP's DD does need to learn that other people value possessions and she can't keep things that don't belong to her - but really, taking a toy back from a 4 year old after letting her keep it for months?
Your poor DD - what a lovely friend you have.

emsyj Sat 05-Jul-14 16:15:03

YANBU - but there are a lot of unkind and selfish people in the world, unfortunately. sad

apermanentheadache Sat 05-Jul-14 16:15:33

Ah good grief, you miserable bunch. A 25-year-old making a fuss over a stuffed toy cat?! OP, YANBU.

TeeManyMartoonis Sat 05-Jul-14 16:15:51

No, you aren't BU at all. Your poor DD.

Sharon - the child is FOUR. and the OP said that it has been MONTHS. If the cat wasn't meant for her to keep then it should have been taken away from her ages ago.

It may be that she didn't realise the impact of taking it back but for him to back her up is just plain weird. You sound well shot OP.

captainbarnaclesismyboyfriend Sat 05-Jul-14 16:16:15

My DD did not 'help herself' to the toy primarkprincess, she was given it. She is not spoilt: I wish I had the money to spoil her! She was inconsolable because she had the toy that she has slept with every night for the last few months taken away from her for no reason. Most children would be a bit upset

apermanentheadache Sat 05-Jul-14 16:17:01

Oh amd she does not sound spoilt to me. How ridiculous. Her father gave it to her. She didn't take it.

Slh122 Sat 05-Jul-14 16:17:13

MN never fails to surprise me. Incredulous at some of the responses on this thread.
primarkprincess - really? OP's dd sounds spoilt because she played with a toy that was given to her by her aunt? If you'd read the OP properly, you would have seen she didn't just 'help herself to it'.

primarkprincess Sat 05-Jul-14 16:17:52

She says she was given it but she might not have been. Children don't always tell the truth.

It doesn't sound like she was a 'bit upset' though, it sounds like she had a screaming tantrum for hours because she couldn't have her own way, which resulted in your friend then facilitating her behaviour even further by getting her something else.

captainbarnaclesismyboyfriend Sat 05-Jul-14 16:18:58

Also just on the subject of how my DD was definitely given the toy- she is not allowed in any rooms in my ex's house except the living room and the bathroom. She is not allowed in any of the bedrooms and she is not allowed in the kitchen because that is where the dogs live. So it is unlikely that she would have wandered in to exSILs room and taken the toy.

Slh122 Sat 05-Jul-14 16:19:36

The OP clearly states that her aunt had lent it to her.

captainbarnaclesismyboyfriend Sat 05-Jul-14 16:20:15

primarkprincess do you have small children? Do you arbitrarily remove their toys and watch them cry, the spoilt little beasts? You sound lovely.

cocobongo Sat 05-Jul-14 16:20:57

Do you know what? I don't have any toys. And do you know why? Because I am an adult.

FFS, they sound awful. Your DD had obviously told herself that the toy was from Daddy, and came to believe it.

Does your DD's aunty get her toys at all,or is she just as self-absorbed as your ex?

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 05-Jul-14 16:21:26

Im not saying the aunts behaviour was acceptable but if it belongs to someone else she cant have it.

DidoTheDodo Sat 05-Jul-14 16:21:35

Although she says she doesn't want a replacement cat, can you post a picture of said toy and maybe one of us can source a suitable pre-loved cat and don't tell her it's not the "one"

primarkprincess Sat 05-Jul-14 16:22:03

captain, yes I have small children. No I don't remove their toys from them but then they don't go around keeping toys that aren't theirs!

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