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Who was unreasonable? A return of borrowed baby things...

(147 Posts)
Cleanmywindows Sun 03-Mar-19 23:13:46

A and B are sisters. A has 4 dc aged 7-1. B has 2 dc aged 2 and 7m.

When B had her first dc, A was very supportive and provided a lot of the stuff A needed. When A subsequently had her 4th dc, B sent back various items she was no longer using, along with some items which were new for B. Some of these A then returned to her for use with B's second dc. Overall, A has spent far more money on the items that have been used by both sisters than B.

Recently, A asked B to return a specific toy that A's youngest dc is now at the appropriate stage to use. B said that her oldest dc was still using the toy - would a new replacement of the item be acceptable to A? B said no - for good reasons, she wanted the originally lent item back. B agreed to return the toy.

However, the conversation caused some bad feeling between A and B. B says A did not ever use the words 'lend' or 'borrow' when providing the items to B but feels that, as sisters, this should not need to be explicated. B feels the reverse, claims that she never requested help from A and stated that if there are other items that A has 'lent' to B, then A should say what they are because B did not understand that these items were on loan. B said she would not be able to give back loaned items if she did not know what they were! B feels angry that A was not clear about wanting certain items back. She said she would not have accepted children's toys 'on loan'. A feels angry that B has taken her assistance for granted and has not acknowledged the financial value of the items.

A responded with a list of items - two higher value items and a few more specific toys, and requested that these be returned today. A said that she is struggling financially, and can either make use of the items herself (and therefore not be out of pocket for similar items) or resell them and bring in much needed funds. B is coming to the end of mat. leave, with not much to spare herself, but is not struggling as much as A who is a SAHM and has recently had her tax credits cut. B said that she will need to replace some of the items, some of which are necessities (breastpump) others of which will be missed by her toddler, who doesn't understand why her toys have been taken away. A told B that she cannot afford to be out of pocket on account of things she's already paid for once. B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem. A told B that she is done with the sharing of items and that the future of the whole relationship was in question. B cut A off, and ended the call, saying to A that she was coming close to saying things she would come to regret. B returned the items (via a third party) and so far no further messages have been exchanged.

Obviously I am one of these people. If my sister is reading, she'll certainly recognise herself as I've been pretty specific! I've tried to be neutral, although obviously that's hard. Who was being unreasonable?

MightyAtlantic Sun 03-Mar-19 23:18:27

I got a bit lost sorry OP but honestly I think you are both being unreasonable for different reasons. But I think it is mainly B who is being unreasonable if most of the things were bought by A in the first place.

SoftPlant Sun 03-Mar-19 23:20:11

A is being unreasonable. It reads as if A passed on baby items but never explicitly said "they are only to borrow, I will want them back." This is really unfair, and like B said, she wouldn't have accepted the items if she knew they were "on loan". Who would willingly give their child toys "on loan" with the chance they'd be taken away again?

I think A has been quite spiteful. If you pass baby items on to someone, you shouldn't still consider them yours and expect them back.

TwoRoundabouts Sun 03-Mar-19 23:21:05

You both need to grow up.

cocodash Sun 03-Mar-19 23:21:15

All sounds a bit petty. But if I was B I would return everything and learn from it. It's no reason to fall out with your sister.

Out of curiosity are you A or B?

Sparklfairy Sun 03-Mar-19 23:21:36

You're B I think. It's a tricky one. Clothes being swapped back and forth makes sense as dc grow out of them. Toys, not so much. Kids can get attached to them and it's not really fair on them. Also the breastpump, if B is still using it it seems really mean of A to randomly demand it back. Could B go halves on replacements with A?

Jakethekid Sun 03-Mar-19 23:23:40

I'm guessing you are A. I think B's attitude is wrong however I sympathise that her child is still using some of these items A now wants back. I was always told never to lens anything and to expect it back be it money or items. Never give away anything you can't afford to lose and always write it off from the get go and if it is returned it's a plus.

I'm not sure how you fix this now though unfortunately. Good luck

Ilnome Sun 03-Mar-19 23:23:48

I think its a difficult situation for both, but b had no right to refrence the fact that a is a sahm as that has nothing to do with it and if I was aquiring items from someone even my own ma and I knew they were valuable I would clarify that they were for keeping especially if I knew her finances were tight- b cannot lay claim to items and expect to be reimbursed for things that were never strictly promised to her because a didnt specify I think b was bu and a wnbu but not too strongly - its nothing no one can come back from xx

BackforGood Sun 03-Mar-19 23:25:17

Confused why A wouldn't accept a new replacement of the toy ?

Sounds like you both need to grow up a bit, but A sounds like she is BU more than B (in so far as I read - OP is a bit long).
If someone gives you babystuff, then it is yours for as long as you need it. When your baby outgrows it, it is then in the "pile" of stuff to go to whoever has the right age baby - which might be back to the original giver, or might be a different sibling or friend.
If you need something, then don't give it away.

Ilnome Sun 03-Mar-19 23:25:56

Maybe meet to talk in neutral territory like a cafe and both hear the other out - it sounds like a miss communication and while you may not have the same sharing relationship I think your friendship is still salvageable or redeemable xxx

Knittedfairies Sun 03-Mar-19 23:26:09

That's quite confusing... I'm not sure who is being the most unreasonable; both A and B could make a convincing argument. Who loans toys though?
I'm guessing you're B.

homeishere Sun 03-Mar-19 23:26:12

What does C think?

Blankscreen Sun 03-Mar-19 23:28:09

I don't understand why A wouldn't accept new version of the toy and insisted on the old one back.

I reckon you are A.

3luckystars Sun 03-Mar-19 23:29:20

A has paid a lot more out over the years than B.
Now A is struggling for money and is worried, and B wont even give stuff back to her kind sister (who shared first and probably saved B a lot of money over the years.)

I think B is 100% wrong but A is over reacting because she stressed over money and is mad with the wrong person.

Make up. You only have one sister.
(Unless you have 2 or a whole alphabet Of sisters)

Good luck.

BejamNostalgia Sun 03-Mar-19 23:30:02

A is being unreasonable. If the items were on loan, she needed to be explicit about that. It sounds to me like A gave B the items, but now her financial situation has deteriorated, she’s suddenly decided they were a loan.

She absolutely cannot take toys off a child, that’s horrible.

TBDO Sun 03-Mar-19 23:30:24

I think B is unreasonable, on balance. She should have realised that A had spent a lot of money and has saved B from buying new herself - B is selfish for begrudging giving things back. She must have saved overall and she needs to look at the bigger picture.

I don’t think you need to explicitly say you want something back when you’re passing around family - I’d assume things are a loan until the next DC in the family comes along.

I bet if A had not offered to lend anything at all, B would have thought of A as selfish!

BejamNostalgia Sun 03-Mar-19 23:30:46

Even bailiffs aren’t allowed to take children’s toys. It’s horrid she would even consider doing that.

Chocmallows Sun 03-Mar-19 23:33:13

I think you're B. You are not understanding that A is upset as she is realising that she is under real financial strain and that the items were originally her DCs (emotional attachment as she's stressed). A is not understanding that you are taking brunt of her stress and she would be better off talking about her issues.

I would offer her a cuppa, be apologetic and give some time. I bet she will then apologise, back down and talk about the real issue here.

BartonHollow Sun 03-Mar-19 23:33:18

You are both being petty and immature but A started it by getting pissy over a specific toy her niece or nephew still engaged with that she was never compelled to part with

VelvetPineapple Sun 03-Mar-19 23:33:32

A provided B with items but didn’t say if they were just loaned or not. A should have been clear about who owned the items and whether she was giving or lending. Equally B has given A some items and also didn’t say whether they were given or loaned.

Basically it sounds like A has given stuff to B and now decided she wants it back, which is unreasonable. You can’t give stuff away and expect it back unless you said so up front. If I was B I’d throw A’s stuff at her and demand my stuff back from her, and not exchange items again.

AngeloMysterioso Sun 03-Mar-19 23:37:43

Overall, A has spent far more money on the items that have been used by both sisters than B.

Seems fair enough, A has had twice as many children as B...

A asked B to return a specific toy that A's youngest dc is now at the appropriate stage to use. B said that her oldest dc was still using the toy - would a new replacement of the item be acceptable to A? B said no - for good reasons, she wanted the originally lent item back

Whatever the reasons are, taking a toy away from a 2 year-old? Who does that?

B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem.

Harsh... but true.

Smelborp99 Sun 03-Mar-19 23:38:02

Whoever loaned toys is unreasonable. Children get attached to toys and it’s really unfair to take them back.

Thistles24 Sun 03-Mar-19 23:38:16

I would always assume things are to be given back, unless told to pass it on/take to the charity shop. Even then, I’d double check before I got rid of it.
I’m guessing the toy is a big/expensive item (like a balance bike/toy kitchen/farm with large collection of animals) rather than a random noisy fisher price toy, and perhaps a new but cheaper version was offered. Either way, I’d say B is in the wrong, but is it really worth falling out over?

Thistles24 Sun 03-Mar-19 23:40:37

I don’t see the taking away of the toy that bad- surely you just say that it belongs to Auntie A and the cousins, you just borrowed it. And if B offered a new one to A then they could just buy their DC a new one.

Merryoldgoat Sun 03-Mar-19 23:41:20

I think A.

I never accept anything for children on loan as I don’t want to police its use or condition.

A should’ve made it clear it was a loan and B would have the choice of whether to borrow it.

I also think it sounds extremely petty.

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